Last Updated on September 17, 2020
We’ve all bought a pair of gloves that didn’t live up to our expectations. Whether they break prematurely, or just don’t feel that good, the disappointment of a bad pair of work gloves can leave a sour taste in your mouth for months.
Of course, shopping online was supposed to make it easy to find the gloves that fit great and worked well. However, the opposite is often true. Misleading product descriptions tend to be designed to get you to buy instead of giving you the information you need to make a great decision.
We think that it shouldn’t be that way. Our reviews of the best leather work gloves of 2020 are designed to show you the pros and cons of each selected glove. That way, you can shop for gloves and know what you’re getting when you’re ready to buy. We’ve also created a buyer’s guide, so if you’ve never owned leather work gloves before, you can learn everything you need to know about them before you buy.
|Best Overall||Midwest Buffalo||
|Best Value||Wells Lamont||
|OZERO Flex Grip||
The Midwest Buffalo Leather Work Gloves 650 are easily the best leather work gloves on the market today. They’re made from buffalo leather, which is stronger and more durable than cow leather in the same size. That allows these gloves to take a beating without tearing, and last for months or years of hard work. They’re also unlined, so they’re not bulky, and allow you to use most tools without taking them off. They also come with a hemmed cuff, which helps keep dirt and other detritus out of your gloves.
However, the best thing about these gloves might be how comfortable they are. Leather gloves are known for how comfortable they can be, but these buffalo leather gloves start comfortable and then get even more comfortable as you break them in. The only negative you need to be aware of is that they sometimes run large, making it hard to find the right size on the first try. Still, if you’re looking for durable work gloves that won’t let you down, you’d be hard-pressed to find a pair better than this. They’re reasonably priced as well, which makes it easy to put these gloves first on my list.
The KIM YUAN Leather Work Gloves give you the option of choosing your wrist type, which can lead to a more comfortable glove for the specific tasks you’ll be doing. You can choose an elastic wrist, which will only have a single level of tightness but strikes a balance between tightness and comfort. You could also choose the adjustable wrist, which allows you to tighten the glove against your wrist, which won’t be as comfortable but will do a superior job of keeping dirt out. They’re also on the thicker side when it comes to work gloves, which means they’ll hold up well to stabbing and scraping moments.
Part of that resistance is because they’re made from full-grain leather, which is the highest quality of leather in which you can find work gloves. They’re also very flexible, despite their thickness, which is a good quality for work gloves to have. Unlike the top model, they run small, so you should buy up a size in most cases. And while they have good durability, they’re not quite as good as our top gloves in that category. However, they cost less, so they’re still a good buy.
The Wells Lamont 1132L Work Gloves strike a very nice balance between toughness and dexterity and might be the gloves that you want to get if you value having as much flexibility as possible when wearing gloves. These gloves come with a ball and tape wrist, so you can adjust the wrist to maximize comfort or to prevent as much dirt as possible from getting in. They’re also some of the softest work gloves that you can find today. While not everyone values that aspect initially, you’ll enjoy wearing soft gloves much more in the long run.
Since these gloves are cheaper than our top two models, but still perform so well in most areas, they earn the title of “best for the money” on our list. It’s always important to take advantage of a good deal when you see it, and these gloves are some of the best that you can get, but have an incredible price, too. They’re not as durable when it comes to tearing, on average, as our top two models, though. Still, if you’re looking for a good pair of work gloves to get you through your next project, you can’t go wrong with these.
On a design side, the OZERO Flex Grip Leather Work Gloves do just about everything right. They come with reinforced palms, which can be a common area of failure on non-reinforced gloves. It also adds a layer of comfort to that critical area. They’re also very flexible, in large part due to the excellent placement of the seams in such a way as to impede as little movement as possible. And, they’re soft. So soft, in fact, that just about every user of the glove feels the need to talk about how good they feel, even if they ultimately don’t like the glove.
The big problems with this glove seem to happen on the production side of things. These gloves suffer from inconsistent sizing. While some fit correctly, people have problems with the gloves running both large and small, which suggests that quality control isn’t done well. The quality also varies. Some are rock solid, while others arrive with loose stitching. These aren’t bad gloves, overall, but they suffer from problems that could be solved with a more robust quality-control inspection. Until those problems are fixed, we can’t rank these gloves any higher than fourth on our list.
Carhartt does well with other products, but their Men’s Leather Fencer Work Glove doesn’t live up to the quality that the rest of their products have. The design is exceptional. These gloves come with reinforced sections not only on the palm but on the thumb as well, giving extra protection to an area that most gloves neglect. It also comes with a double-elastic cuff, which keeps more dirt out than single-elastic cuffs but retains the easy on-off ability that elastic provides.
However, these gloves just aren’t well made. They have poor durability, and many people report that they start to break down within just a few hours. That’s poor for leather gloves. They also suffer from inconsistent sizing, so you can’t know if you’re getting a pair that will fit. Finally, some of the shipped gloves shouldn’t have passed quality control. They feature extra leather tabs along the seams or irregular stitching. Any of those problems alone could be enough to make a pair of gloves a bad buy, and this one suffers from all three. Ultimately, these aren’t the most expensive leather gloves on the market, but you can get better value for the price with other brands.
We hope that our reviews have already given you some ideas about what makes for a great pair of leather work gloves, and what makes for a pair that you’re better off skipping. However, we know that not all gloves are going to be right for all people. That means you need to be able to evaluate gloves like a pro. This guide is designed to get you there. We show you everything you need to consider before you buy so that you can go into your final decision confidently. We’ve also thrown in some tips on strategies for getting great value for your money, so if you want to get a fantastic deal, make sure you check out this guide.
One of the most underrated aspects of work gloves is how comfortable they are. This may not seem like it should be that big of a difference-maker to you, but the fact of the matter is that you can get two gloves of similar quality for a similar price, but the comfort will likely vary. In that situation, the more comfortable glove would provide much more value.
The most comfortable gloves help reduce blistering. They also put less stress on your hands, which may not matter minute-to-minute, but can make a big difference in how your hands feel by the end of the day. The good news is that you can often get comfortable gloves without jumping up in price.
Durability is the other major thing you should consider before you buy. While you can have degrees of comfort within a glove, gloves either last long enough to justify their price, or they don’t. So, it’s important that you invest in gloves that will last a long time in tough conditions. One of the best ways to indirectly assess durability is by reading reviews and looking for complaints about poorly-done seams. Even if there are no complaints about short lives, inattention to small details like that is a good sign that the gloves won’t live up to your hopes.
You should look for gloves that make use of full-grain leather. This is the top quality of leather, and generally provides good thickness and flexibility in addition to strength. Top grain leather is the next-best quality, while split-grain and lower should probably be avoided.
It’s also a bonus if your gloves are waterproof. This is an important feature for some users whereas for others it will not be a factor to consider.
Since not all gloves are made to the same standards, and people have different needs, there’s no one pair of gloves that’s going to be right for all people. Consequently, if you want to get the best value for your money, it’s important to focus on your needs.
Start by making a shortlist of gloves that live up to your durability and comfort expectations. Then, choose the cheapest glove from that list. It has the features it needs to leave you satisfied with your purchase, but provides those at the lowest value, giving you the best deal for your money.
The Midwest Buffalo Leather Work Gloves 650 are our favorite leather gloves, as they’re made of extremely durable buffalo leather, and are unlined and very comfortable. The KIM YUAN Leather Work Gloves can be had in elastic or ball and tape wrist versions, and are thick, yet flexible, though they won’t last as long as our top model which drops them to second place. The Wells Lamont 1132L Work Gloves are soft and provide good dexterity, and since you can get them for less than our top gloves, they provide the best value for the money on our list. The OZERO Flex Grip Leather Work Gloves are soft and come with good flexibility, but their inconsistent sizing and quality mean they can’t beat out our top three models. The Carhartt Men’s Leather Fencer Work Glove is well designed, but the manufacturing process leaves something to be desired, as they have poor durability, inconsistent sizing, and poor quality control, which drops them to the last place.
Our reviews and buyer’s guide should have given you more insight into the world of leather work gloves. We hope that we’ve led you to one that will meet your needs at a great price.
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Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!