One of the best parts of gardening is being able to use your hands outdoors. So often we are stuck behind computers typing or in offices flicking through paperwork. Gardening frees us up to be both creative and productive. Most of the time by getting our hands dirty! However, any gardener will tell you that sooner or later you will need gloves to save your hands. This guide gives my top 4 types of gardening glove to keep your lovely hands pristine!

When I first started gardening many many moons ago I used to always garden barehanded. It gave me a real feeling of connection with the earth and the process of gardening. It wasn’t long though until coworkers were giving my dirt-stained hands and nails the look of horror. Looking like I’d clawed my way from an underground tunnel to make the 9 am catch up meeting. So unless you want hands like a 100-year-old caveman/woman then at some point gardening gloves are going to become a necessity.

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The problem with looking for gardening gloves is that there are thousands of poor gardening gloves out there. Waving their crazy patterns and chintz at you to get your attention. Manufacturers place hideous fashion or motifs over substance it seems and this is where most complaints come from. Gardening glove reviews are often lacking in any detail online and seem to change almost weekly. Believe me when I say I’ve tried the cheapest to some of the most expensive out there and there’s plenty of duds you need to steer clear of.

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What to avoid in gardening gloves

Before we dig into the 4 best gardening gloves it’s worthwhile giving you four pearls of wisdom to make you a glove choosing sensei. If I can give you any advice its this my friends.

  • Avoid anything with a flower print, ‘brushed cotton’ feel or ‘Fashionable’ moniker these are all pointless features of a gardening glove.
  • Avoid one size fits all – it’s a lie and sizing is one of the most important glove features.
  • Avoid glove, trowel, kneeling pad, seed tray ‘gift boxes’ you end up with lots of low-quality tat and paper-thin gloves.
  • Invest in your gloves. Better to buy one £30 pair every 5 years than replace cheap pairs every month. Think of the environment.
flowery gardening gloves on soil
These flowery examples are neither use nor ornament and are a waste of money

After 20 years of non-stop gardening here are my 4 best gardening gloves and glove types that will last the distance. With these 4 gloves, you will be able to tackle all aspects of gardening. From Rose Pruning, Show Garden Planting, Heavy Landscaping and Cold Winter tidying. I have tried and tested these gloves to give you my best thoughts. So let’s take a look at the best gloves for gardening.

Gold Leaf Leather Gloves

In first place and my go-to glove type its leather gloves in particular anything that Gold Leaf create. Gold leaf was started as they saw a gap in the market for well fitted and high-quality gardening gloves, particularly for ladies. Peter designed these gloves 16 years ago and they have been endorsed not only by the RHS but numerous gardening professionals.

Distinctive and beautifully made – Gold Leaf Gloves are the serious gardeners choice.

Gold leaf has a number of glove options but the one type that I go to is their Tough Touch gloves. Why? Because they are amazing for pruning particularly thorny plants like Roses or Pyracantha bushes. Now usually with tough or heavy-duty gloves, I find them to be baggy, heavy and really awkward to lift or pick things up with. The Gold Leaf Tough Touch is the complete opposite. They fit really snugly to your hands and because of their high-quality leather construction, they will over time mould to your hands the more you use them.

I’ve got really small hands. There I’ve said it. No shame. The Gold Leaf collection comes in either ladies or gents. I use ladies. There’s no silly patterns or pink logos. Just a bright yellow easy to spot pair of high-quality gloves. However, the gloves can tolerate a 20% size difference in hands so they really do provide a nice snug fit. The gloves are brilliant with thorns, pruning and more intricate tasks. Especially if you want to be able to move plants and pick things with ease. You probably don’t want to use them for collecting leaves or other more mundane tasks they’re too good for that. See the winter gloves below for that!

Impermeable to thorns and a near-perfect fit. These are my go-to gardening gloves

Review of Gold Leaf Gloves

  • They provide a near-perfect fit
  • Even their heavyweight Tough Touch feels lightweight
  • Brilliant dexterity (movement from the hands and fingers)
  • Gauntlets save your wrists from scratches
  • Wearable for hours without needing to take them on and off again
  • Easy to find like a pair of Marigolds

PU /Latex Coated Work Gloves

Now the name of these gloves is not too obvious for gardening but believe me, these gloves are cracking for planting and delicate work. You probably wouldn’t know they even existed. I know many professional gardeners who rave about these gloves whilst also keeping them a best-kept secret. In fact, I only found out about them from a friend at Chelsea Flower Show who took pity when my gloves went missing and passed me a pair hidden in their rucksack with a secretive nod.

They’re not sexy but they do the majority of the more delicate gardening jobs really well

I use these elasticated snug fit gloves when it comes to planting, show garden work where detail is key, dividing seedlings and also general tidying up. They are the best all-rounder for gardening. They are really cost-effective and come in a variety of sizes. They are not waterproof, thermal or heavy-duty nor do they pretend to be. These are your every day ‘save my hands from abuse’ gloves.

These gloves are great for delicate work and come in packs of 10 so ideal to leave one in the shed, greenhouse, van or garage. As you will often find yourself misplacing your gardening gloves so it a good idea to spread these pairs around.

I tend to rinse my clean as well as they dry really quickly. They are not machine washable and will only last a limited amount of time as they are thin. Maybe a couple of months depending on how much you use them. It’s then time to replace them. So I tend to keep mine for non-heavy duty work so I’m not wasting them.

Review of PU Work Gloves

  • Incredible dexterity
  • The best general gardening all-rounder
  • Cheap & easy to wear
  • Can be hand washed
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty work
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Winter Insulated Gloves

Winter can be the cruellest month to gardeners hands. It’s cold, usually wet and it seems that everything is twice as heavy to move or takes twice the effort. However, the garden waits for no one and there’s often tidying and other chores that need to take place. That’s where winter insulated gloves come in as a godsend. You wrap up the rest of your body in colder months so why not your precious hands?

Super-insulated for those freezing days

These gloves are rubberised and have a thick fleece inner glove. They warm up really quickly and make mundane tasks like sweeping up leaves for leaf mould or moving containers far easier. The rubberised palm gives a really good grip on wet or cold items. Meaning there is less of a struggle with the gardening chores and more comfort.

The drawbacks for all this heat and grip is that they are often not breathable. Meaning your hands will sweat and because of the thickness dexterity is an issue. I believe you can’t have it every which way and given you’re only going to be doing short bursts of gardening when it’s cold they meet the brief really well. I can wear these for a couple of hours before escaping back into the warmth and letting my hands breath a bit.

Review of Winter Insulated Gloves

  • They are super warm and snug
  • Good grip from the rubberised palm
  • They do make your hands sweat though
  • Dexterity is limited
  • Not good for more delicate tasks

Heavy Duty Clip Gloves from Treadstone

The fourth pair in the list are Heavy Duty Clip Gloves made by Treadstone. Sometimes as a gardener, you’re going to have to lift and shift rubble, paving, stone or other heavy sharp objects. You really don’t want to be subjecting your hands to that without protection unless you have hands like shovels that are Teflon coated. Here I introduce the Heavy Duty Ultimate. Cue Tron Soundtrack.

Feel like you’re in Tron whilst saving your knuckles from scrapes

The thing I’ve always disliked about Heavy Duty Gardening gloves is that they always feel ultra baggy and awkward to wear. The Treadstone Ultimate gloves are completely different which is why I really like them. They are a stretch fit so reduce the issues with other baggy gloves. Not only do they fit better but they are tear-resistant meaning that sharp stone, metal or other garden scraps won’t tear through them like I’ve done many a time with other gloves.

The thing I really like about these gloves is the ‘Terminator-style’ rubber pads on the knuckles and fingers. Many a time I’ve struck or scraped my knuckles with heavy duty gardening. Looking like I’ve been in a cage fight afterwards. Not with these gloves. They also come with a clip so when you’ve finished using them you can clip them onto a belt or back together. Which helps with the problem of ‘where did I put my gloves?’. This is a really nice feature.

They clip together to help keep track of them

These are not everyday gloves but ones that I use for specific heavy-duty tasks, lifting & turning compost or moving stone. I rinse them clean afterwards and air dry them like my PU gloves. I wouldn’t machine wash either of them as this may damage them.

Review of Treadstone Clip Gloves

  • Great for tough tasks and sharp objects
  • Stretchy yet tough meaning a much better fit compared to other heavy-duty gloves
  • Knuckles and finger joints feel really protected.
  • The clip works really well to attach gloves to a belt or back to each other
  • Not suitable for more delicate tasks.

Summary

Gardening is one of the most enriching activities you can undertake. Often the more you garden the more you want to be outside. It’s an addictive hobby/job/passion. It is important to look after your hands though and I hope that my experience over the years in providing this glove guide is helpful.

Yes, some people will want to garden bare hand which is fine. If you like your hands in a neater safer state then gloves are the way to go. Sizing is everything with gloves along with investing in a decent pair that will last you. In our throw-away world, it’s important to be aware of our carbon footprint and influence as gardeners.

Got some gardening gloves you just can’t live without that you want to share? You can Tweet, Facebook or Instagram me. You can also follow me on Youtube where I’ve got plenty of garden guide vlogs.

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Happy gardening!

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One thought on “Gardening Gloves Reviewed: the best gloves for your hands

  1. Derek Price Snr says:

    Hi Lee,

    After seeing your great video & notes on the gardening gloves at first I thought they were quite expensive but after reading many of the reviews I dived in and bought the Gold Leaf Soft touch gloves. They arrived today and I’m pleased with the quality of them.
    I also bought a pack of ten PU /Latex Coated Work Gloves but it took a while searching for them. I propose to use them for everyday garden work in spring & summer.
    Thanks for that publication, it was worthwhile and also something I had never seen other gardeners appraise before. Well done!

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