What to Consider When Choosing Riding Gloves

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What to Consider When Choosing Riding Gloves: A blog about the essential features of riding gloves you should keep in mind when choosing your pair.

The different styles of riding gloves

Riding gloves come in a number of different styles, fabrics and materials. Different gloves are ideal for different riding disciplines and weather conditions. Here’s what you should consider when choosing your next pair:

  • Styles of gloves include padded gloves, which offer protection against blisters; dressage riding gloves, which are designed to be used with reins; suede leather half-finger driving gloves; lightweight summer mesh show jumping gloves.
  • Fabrics used in the construction of riding gloves include synthetic leathers such as Clarino and Spandex; synthetics like cotton and microfiber; natural leathers such as deerskin and lambskin.
  • Materials used in the construction of riding gloves also include synthetics like nylon or Kevlar

Materials used in dressage and show jumping

When it comes to the kind of gloves you should get, there are two main factors at play: comfort and cost. A pair of leather riding gloves is usually comfortable, supple, and allows for a better feel than their synthetic counterparts. The downside is they’re more expensive and require more maintenance. Synthetic riding gloves are cheaper, easier to clean and maintain, yet don’t provide as much feel as leather ones (this can be a plus or a minus depending on your priorities).

For the most part, leather riding gloves will be the best option for dressage while synthetic ones will be better suited for show jumping events. Regardless of which kind of glove you pick, always make sure they fit perfectly without any bunching or pinching.

Care for your leather and synthetic gloves

  • Don’t put your gloves in the dryer.
  • Don’t leave them in the sun.
  • Don’t use leather cleaner on synthetic gloves, and don’t use saddle soap on leather—you’ll eat away at its finish.

Instead of using saddle soap, you can clean your leather gloves with a neutral pH cleaner. You should always clean the insides of your gloves, too—sweat stains are gross and they will prevent your skin from breathing while you ride, which could result in blisters.

Don’t squeeze water out of wet gloves; instead, dab them with a towel to remove excess moisture before letting them air-dry for several hours (never overnight). If you need to speed up drying time, stuff paper towels inside each glove until it’s completely dry.

Avoid talcum powder when cleaning or storing your leather or synthetic riding gloves; it causes discoloration over time and may degrade some materials used in lining (i.e., those found in fleece-lined gloves).

Style, materials and care all contribute to maintaining healthy hands

Keeping your gloves in good condition will help to maintain healthy hands and prolong the life of your glove.

  • If you’re wearing leather gloves, remove them before washing your hands with soap and water.
  • For leather or synthetic gloves, gently brush off any dirt or debris using a soft bristle brush.
  • It’s best to wash your riding gloves separately from other clothing, as the pumice on most detergents could damage the material. Use mild liquid detergent for synthetic materials, and use thick leather soap for leather materials.
  • For synthetic gloves, wash them by hand or by machine in cold water on a gentle cycle; hang dry or tumble dry with low/no heat depending on the material of your glove (see care instructions).
  • For leather riding gloves, we suggest investing in a quality conditioning product to keep your pair looking good for years to come. Be sure to test it out first!

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