We wear shorts all year round when we’re out on the trails, whether there’s ice, hail, snow or wind. However, one piece of kit you won’t find us without, especially between the months of November and March when the temperatures are hovering around the single digits, is a decent pair of trail running gloves.

Updated 20/11/21

In fact, it was on November 1st this year that the gloves made their first appearance of the season. We don’t just have one pair of gloves, we have several. Gloves are like socks right? You start off with a pair and end up with losing one, or you put them somewhere and forget where you left them. You then buy another pair only to discover the ones you thought you had lost.

Buying gloves for trail running isn’t an expensive business but you do want to invest in the right ones. But how do you know which trail running gloves to choose? We offer our advice on choosing the most relevant for you.

Reasons for Wearing Running Gloves

You may not like wearing gloves when you run but we find it a necessity in the cold. Most importantly because one of us suffers from Raynauds. It is only in the fingers and means that the fingers go white and take about half an hour to warm up again post run. Gloves go some way to preventing this.

Additional reasons to wear gloves when trail running include feeling comfortable when you run in colder temperatures and protecting your skin from the elements. Ever tried to tie a shoe lace with freezing fingers or opening an iced up gate? In the midst of a pandemic, running gloves can also provide an additional barrier when climbing over stiles or opening gates.

They also come in  quite handy to wipe your nose with – just make sure you wash them each time 😉

Choosing the Best Trail Running Gloves

Touchscreen Optimised Gloves

Discovering a photo opportunity, stopping to take an emergency call from the kids, or checking the route on the map are our main reasons for getting the phone out mid run. Taking gloves on and off every time can be a faff so we like to have running gloves that are optimised for touch screens.

One such option are Trailheads gloves of which I have a pair. They have so far lasted me 3 winters and are great in all weathers. In fact, I can confidently say they are one of the best kit purchases that I have made. Coming into their 4th season now, they are constantly in the glove compartment of my car and on hand for all eventualities – especially great when de-icing the car.

A Little Pocket for Your Key

When going out for shorter runs, sometimes all you need is somewhere to keep your key. There are many gloves that come with little pockets, just large enough to slide your door key into. I tend to hold my key inside my glove but it’s not for everyone. The pocket is great for popping a small key in though.

Reflectors

If you are running before the sun rises or sets, it is important that you can be seen by traffic. Choose a pair of gloves with reflectors to give that added visibility. In fact, make sure that as much of  your kit as possible includes reflectors. While you do also need to ensure you are wearing gear with reflectors on and a hi-vis vest, every little helps.

Warmth

The thickness of trail running gloves you choose will depend on the time of year and the temperature. While you don’t want to get too hot and a thin  pair will often suffice, there might be occasions when a thicker pair is required. Many gloves are designed for autumn or spring temperatures. For freezing winter conditions, choosing the best running gloves is key. Climbing over gates and styles that are covered in ice is no fun when you have the wrong gloves on.

Running gloves aren’t a major expense so you can often afford to invest in a couple of pairs (then you end up with your pairs as you lose and rediscover them). We recommend having a pair for milder weather and a winter pair. If you find the right pair, as long as you don’t lose one, they should see you through a few winter seasons.

Keep them somewhere safe. I have lost count of the times I have been searching for an odd glove, or lose them all together. Keeping them in the glove compartment (they are for gloves, right?) is a good idea. Then you have them even when you aren’t going for a run.

Popular and Affordable

If you want a highly rated pair of gloves that stand out from the rest, these Ronhill Classic Running Gloves are very popular. We keep seeing them popping up in the running groups here and there.

The Ronhill Classic Running Glove employs a generous elastane content and Regulite fabric blend to adopt a close fit and provide comfortable, consistent insulation, respectively. An extensively applied wicking treatment manages the wearer’s moisture output by wicking excess sweat away from the skin and onto the glove’s exterior.

ronhill running gloves

Which running gloves do you recommend? We’d love to hear your feedback.

Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links which may provide a small commission to me at no cost to you. The products we recommend are either those that we’ve used or that our fellow runners have used.