Gloves keep our hands warm and cozy, protecting them from frostbite and UV rays. They also prevent scratches from branches and thorns, and blisters when using hiking poles. Some styles provide extra grip when scrambling up rocks. But people often avoid buying wool gloves, fearing they’ll be scratchy and itchy. However, thanks to ultra-fine merino, that’s no longer true, making wool a fantastic choice.
Wool gloves are breathable, water-repelling, odor resistant, fire-resistant, providing slightly more warmth than fleece, and are a natural material that won’t release microplastics into the environment. Thus, wool gloves offer superior performance from a sustainable material.
Hiking safety depends on synthetic materials. After all, as any outdoor enthusiast knows, “cotton kills.” There is no better moisture-wicking fabric out there than technologically advanced synthetics. Except, that statement isn’t 100% true. Wool is the champion of breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics. However, with old fashion processing and varieties, it used to be scratchy. It’s time to think again.
Wool Gloves Vs. Fleece
Wool gloves are amazing but often overlooked. For starters, it’s seen as old-fashion. It’s been around since humans managed to domesticate sheep. Where fleece only arrived on the scene in the late 70s and, in the 90s, boomed. It was inexpensive, warm, lightweight, soft, and oh, so cuddly. Thus, wool was essentially abandoned in both fashion and outdoor gear.
Advantages Of Wool Gloves
But the wool in gloves of yore is not today’s merino wool. It is soft, itch-free, with all the advantages wool brings:
- Free of microplastics and nanoplastics
- Fire resistant
- Still provides warmth if soaked
- Odor resistant
- Water repellent
- Warm (slightly more than fleece)
- Won’t melt to the skin if burnt
Advantages Of Fleece Gloves
Admittedly, wool isn’t perfect as an outdoor material. Fleece still has some advantages:
- Easier to wash, harder to ruin
- Dries faster
- Less weight or bulk
- More durable
- Usually softer than wool
However, while wool isn’t perfect, it’s making a comeback as people become more aware of the need for sustainable fabrics and the harms of microplastics.
Wool Gloves Are Safer
Wool gloves are also safer than fleece. Hands are typically not covered by rain jackets, and they are the part of the body that gets closest to a campfire: lighting it, adjusting the coals, and adding wood.
Wool has superior water resistance to fleece, and even in the event wool is soaked, it still does its job as an insulator. There are similar advantages when it comes to fire. Wool is much harder to set alight than fleece. But even when fire does manage to burn wool, it won’t melt to skin. Synthetic fabrics, however, do melt to the skin, compounding the damage to the body.
Wool gloves are incredibly warm and keep your hands cozy even in the damp. They help you cut down on contributing to harmful microplastics in our environment. They are also a safer choice when hanging out by the campfire. Best of all, wool gloves come in a wide array of styles, including thin and elegant, fingerless, and fat and comfy mittens.