Garden Gloves

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Garden gloves drying after park cleanup. This was in 2010 before I started using the latex-coated polyester gloves. The cotton gloves are not durable, they don’t stay on well, and they don’t offer much protection.

Not only do I love gardening, I love garden tools and accessories. Nonetheless, for quite a while I have been using inexpensive latex-coated polyester gloves that I buy at Costco for about $1.25 per pair (packet of 8, I think). I buy these because I always provide gloves for nature park volunteers who don’t bring their own. The gloves can be washed, they are comfortable, and they are fairly protective. But alas, they don’t last very long.

I have also used Foxgloves. These are extremely comfortable, wash up well, and last longer than the cheap Costco ones. However, they don’t stand up to the thorns on the wild roses. Furthermore, I think I only get about six months before they spring a hole in a finger tip. At over $20 a pair, that is not good enough.

Splurge for new gloves

So when a friend and nature park volunteer showed up with these awesome leather gloves, I was jealous. I decided I needed to up my game when it comes to gloves. After all, I would not be seen with a cheap pruner (Felco all the way!), so why do I cover my most precious tools, my hands, with cheap gloves?

As with all garden tools, there are good leather gloves and bad ones. The good ones are durable, breathable, pliable, and strong. I was pleased to find an amazing chart on Gempler’s website that compares different leathers. Looks to me like pigskin, with its excellent breathability, and puncture and abrasion resistance, is the winner.

What garden glove would you recommend?

9 thoughts on “Garden Gloves

  1. What a great image!

  2. Joan McGuire

    I like Atlas string-knit gloves with the fingers dipped in blue neoprene. You can get them for about $36.00 for a whole dozen from Palmflex (on line), which is a great deal! They wash well if you turn them inside-out, and they last a long time. They really help with gripping. Love them, used them for years.

    • Barbara

      Thanks, Joan. I’ll check them out.

  3. I have used the Costco ones, too. Black, right? I can’t remember the name right now. It’s just out of mental reach. I want to say it was a “Western” sounding name… Latimer? Lorimar? Larrabee? Anyway, I found something similar and maybe a little better, even. They are Atlas Showa work gloves. Here’s the link: 12 Pack – Showa Atlas 370 Black Work Gloves – Large

    I ordered a pack like that last November. I’m about 2/3rds through it now. But, I wash and reuse them if I can. I find they offer a decent amount of protection from rocks, blisters, and bugs but they shouldn’t be thought protection from sharp edges, thorns, or nearly any contact with the knuckle area. It’s just cloth there. But, they are comfortable and also give me a good grip when things are wet (probably irrigation as precipitation is the stuff of myths around here).

    I tried the gloves Joan mentioned. In fact, I used them almost exclusively before I switched to these Atlas Showa gloves. My main gripe with them was how bulky they were. The cuffs always pushed on the crown of my watch (I know, I should take off my watch when working in the yard, but I need it) and they got my hands sweaty any time from Spring to Fall. I also wasn’t a fan of the smell, either. But, they definitely were inexpensive and they did protect my hands. I think they even did a better job offering protection than my current preferred gloves, the aforementioned Atlas.

    But, I can’t deal with the heat and those gloves.

    If I need protection, then I get leather work gloves. Lately I’ve been satisfied with the Home Depot brand models. They are light gray with orange cuffs. The leather is tough in the short run but it doesn’t last a long time. I wear them if I work around cacti, for example. My prickly pear has a chronic condition where little worms bore into the pads and create a white shell around them. It kinda looks like a mold or fungus when I first saw it and thought I had been watering too much or something. Later, I found they were little worms inside there. If you scrape the white stuff aside, they will die, I believe. I grab my garden knife and go over and scrape as many as I can find, or reach. The leather gloves are a necessity for such work.

    I enjoy the blog. But, I must admit that I was a little saddened by your move out of Southern California. Selfish, I know. But, I’m still reading. I came for the native plant talk. I stayed for the gardening talk. Good work.

    • Barbara

      Thanks for your thoughtful response. Will definitely check out Atlas Showa. BTW, I’m still in So Cal, just spending summers in PNW.

    • Joan

      Thanks for the tip on Showa gloves, glennonrp. I’m going to check them out. I agree the string-knit gloves I like are a little bulky, but I’m constantly switching back and forth between tasks, so I liked the heft of the gripping parts of the glove. Still, it’s always fun to get a lead on a new product!

  4. Kitty Connolly

    Deerskin for me. They are soft, flexible, tough as I need them to be, and allow me to feel what I’m touching. With my deerskin gloves, I’m fearless reaching into hidden spots! I tend to cut them myself before they wear out.

    • weedingwildsuburbia

      Thanks, Kitty. Still haven’t gotten gloves but maybe deerskin gloves will be my Chanukah present!

      • Kitty Connolly

        Hope you got your gift. If not, they have them at OSH.

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