People have been wearing leather gloves as hand protection since ancient times. Over the years, leather has remained a staple in work gloves for both professionals and non-professionals. In fact, good leather gloves are ideal for most outdoor and indoor home maintenance projects, including electrical work, landscaping, and general household repair work.
Whether you’re looking for a heavy-duty, professional-grade glove, or something more basic and lightweight for DIY projects, this guide will cover the basics of leather work gloves, including:
- When to choose leather and why it’s so effective for hand protection
- What kind of leather to look for in a work glove
- How to choose the right type of gloves for your needs
Let’s get started.
When to choose leather work gloves
There’s no question that leather is a great material for work gloves. The question is, when is it your best option? Leather has several properties that make it a consistently popular and long-standing choice for work gloves:
- Cut and puncture protection
- Grip control
- Impact protection
This combination of protection and dexterity makes leather an ideal protective material for everything from yard work to welding. Plus, technological innovation has made even simple leather gloves better than ever before. For example, improvements in the leather tanning process have made it possible to reduce shrinkage and improve protection against cuts, punctures, and impacts.
Just keep in mind that many leather gloves (particularly specialized, heavy-duty gloves) will often have other materials strategically added as well, such as rubber, Kevlar®, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and others. It’s important to make sure your gloves have these extra protections if your work requires it. In fact, some gloves made with all synthetic materials can be just as good or better for certain jobs. Fire and rescue gloves are a good example.
What is the best leather for gloves?
Numerous types of leather can be used in gloves that are meant for leisure or fashion purposes, but when it comes to work gloves, you want leather that’s tough, durable, and abrasion-resistant.
Goat-skin is often considered the strongest type of leather for gloves. It’s tough and abrasion-resistant but also thin enough to offer great dexterity. Plus, the natural oil in goat-skin leather makes it soft, flexible, and more water-resistant than many other types of leather.
Cowhide leather is another great option that’s also durable and abrasion-resistant. It tends to be heavier and less breathable than goat-skin, but it’s also warm and heat resistant. Synthetic leather is a great choice when you need extra grip control.
How to choose the right leather gloves for the job
Because leather is such an effective and versatile material, many different types of gloves are made with leather. Here are a few different types of leather gloves that we offer, listed according to the most common jobs and tasks they’re used for:
Leather gloves for yard work and landscaping: When you need gloves for something like yard work, gardening, home maintenance, or landscaping, look for something lightweight and breathable without too many extra bells and whistles but with leather padding where you need it -- typically on palms, fingers, and knuckles. Our EZ-Landscape glove is a great choice.
Leather gloves for electrical work, carpentry, home maintenance, and more: Here you really need a versatile, snugly fitting, lightweight glove with superior dexterity. A glove like our L2 is ideal due to its one-piece goat-skin leather palm, reinforced thumb, and form-fitting spandex across the back. (This is another great choice for landscaping too.)
Leather gloves for construction, rigging, mining, and more: Certain jobs require extra protection on the backs of hands. Our RockHard Original is a great option with excellent dexterity and Thermoplastic Rubber shields over the knuckles and backs of fingers for impact and laceration protection. It even has a touch-screen surface on the little finger so you can use your phone without taking off your gloves. The Deep Impact Driver is another option with even more back-of-hand impact protection. If you don’t need quite that much protection, here's our Spyre Leather Driver.
Leather gloves for welding: Welders typically need gloves with tactile sensitivity, flame and cut resistance, and protection that extends all the way up the wrist area. If you work with other tools in addition to welding equipment, you also need gloves that are versatile enough for different tasks. We offer an entire Welder Series of specialized welding gloves (most of which are made with leather), and each one has a variety of specialized features.
If you still have questions about when or how to choose leather work gloves, we’re here to help. Tell us about your hand protection needs, and we’ll help you find the perfect pair. Contact us today!