You may think that you’re too macho for a pair of gloves for working in the garden – after all, tough guys and gals don’t worry about getting a little dirty, right? It’s been noted in studies in the past that working in the soil can even help your mood and boost your immune system. Of course, there are dangers in the soil as well, with fecal matter and other organisms being present. Add on top of that getting scratched up from thorns and branches, and sooner or later, you will want a pair of gloves.
What should you look for in a gardening glove?
There are a few factors that you should look for in a set of gardening gloves.
- Sturdiness – The main reason behind getting a pair of gloves is to hold up to the environment. This is why many gloves are made by using a cotton base and applying a coat of tough nitrile rubber.
- Dexterity – One of the main reasons for the combination of cotton and nitrile rubber is to allow the user to still be able to feel what they are doing and operate like they are not wearing gloves at all. If you want to step up, a glove made from goat skin can also provide toughness and flexibility. Work gloves, like those used on construction sites, are tough enough to withstand anything that the garden can throw at them, but they don’t have the ability to feel and flex, meaning they’re terrible for pulling small weeds.
- Waterproofing – You don’t want your fingers to turn into prunes from absorbing lots of water from the plants and soil. Gloves that absorb or hold water will be uncomfortable to wear over a long period of time.
- Tight Fit – You need to make sure that the gloves you choose fit snugly around your hand. If they are loose around the fingers you won’t be able to get a good grip. If they are loose around the palm and back of your hand, they may slide around and cause chaffing. Finally, if they are loose around the wrists, they will slide up and down, and stones and dirt may work its way in without a good seal.
- A Good Grip – A big part of using a pair of gloves is to help you to get a good grip – you shouldn’t have to worry about tools or plants slipping out of your grasp. Make sure the pair of gloves you select doesn’t have a slick, smooth surface on the fingers or palm.
A good set of gloves can last you for years if they are properly maintained. This includes washing them and storing them properly – if stored incorrectly, they can become brittle and crack.
What are some good brands?
Some brands to consider when looking at a new set of gloves includes Atlas, a brand that is fairly new but durable; Hestra, which has been a leader in the category for years and provides specialized gloves for a variety of situations; and Mechanix, which provides heavy-duty, high-impact gloves that are great for some of the tougher lawn duties, like working in trees and shrubs or with tools and machines. Stay away from gloves that are under $1 – you get what you pay for, and chances are a pair of those won’t last more than a month or two.