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10 best gardening gloves

Keep those green fingers protected with an essential, hard-wearing piece of horticultural kit

Owning weather-beaten, corrugated hands may well be a badge of honour for some horticulturalists, but we prefer to lend our paws a bit of protection from the rigours of gardening duties. Whether providing a barrier from the muck and detritus, or to keep your digits mobile on a cold spring morning, a pair of decent, durable gardening gloves is a must. 

There’s a baffling choice of gloves on the market, promising protection against all types of conditions for all types of gardener. Fortunately, we’ve managed to get our grubby fingers on some of the best.

1. Briers Advanced Grip & Protect Gloves: £15.99, Briers

Sporting the same kind of features you might find on mountain biking gloves, this padded, nimble pair fits nice and tightly and feels assured in action. The extra grippy detailing on the fingers aids safe portage of slippery plant pots, and the wrist tab is a welcome addition, making them easy to don with cold, numb digits. Available in only one size, large. 

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2. Burgon & Ball Love The Glove/Dig The Glove: £17.99, Waitrose Garden

There’s a certain aristocratic charm to these gloves. Slip them on, and you can imagine yourself at the wheel of a vintage automobile, hurtling down country lanes and dodging pheasants. They handle fine and dandy in the garden – the meshed finger sections make them nice and airy to wear, and the padded palm provides welcome comfort when wielding a spade. Two cuts are available – Love The Glove for the lady, and Dig The Glove for the gent – both of which are available in a number of colour options (including tweed, above).

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3. Dickies Performance Gloves: £13.50, Dickies Store

These tough, goat-grained leather gloves are fashioned with the car mechanic in mind, but are perfect for heavy-duty landscaping tasks and other blister-risky gardening jobs. Sporting a soft interior and neoprene wristband, these are a comfortable pair to slip on. Padding is extensive – palm pressure points, fingertips and base of the palm are all double-skinned, even the knuckles (so you’ll be well positioned for fisticuffs, should push come to shove over scrumped apples down on the allotment). Available in medium, large or extra-large.

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4. Bionic ReliefGrip Gardening Gloves: £29.99, Bionic

Made from stretchable, breathable lycra and featuring multi-panelled finger sections, these futuristic-looking robo-mitts afford generous amounts of hand flexibility for such well-padded gloves. They feel soft and supple in use, and provide a decent level of thorn protection. The only downside is that they only come in white – not the most practical of colours for scrabbling around in the dirt, but at least they are easy to spot if you misplace them in the undergrowth. Available in either men’s or women’s sizes.

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5. Harrod Horticultural Leather Gauntlets: £32.95, Harrod Horticultural

For extra protection when plunging your hands into rose bushes and other belligerent shrubbery, you’ll want to invest in a pair of gauntlet-style gloves. These are a fine pair, made from gold grain leather and affording graze and puncture protection right up to your forearm. They will wear a tad stiff on the first few outings, but soon soften up. Thorns and briers can be grabbed with confidence – your hands and arms will come up scratch-free and smelling of roses. Available in either men’s or women’s sizes. 

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6. Schiek 530 Platinum Gloves: £29.99, Discount Supplements

Even though these are designed for those wishing to sculpt abs and biceps rather than lawns and borders, these muscular weightlifting mitts provide unrivalled cushioning and grip, which is exactly what you need when flailing around with heavy garden implements. And because they are fingerless, your pinkies will be free to engage in gentle seedling handling and other delicate garden tasks – in between bouts of noisy, horticulturally-induced grunting. Available from size small to XXL.    

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7. Gold Leaf Winter Touch: £23.95, Waitrose Garden

A princely pair for delicate digits. These deluxe gardening gloves are designed for winter gardening in cold climes, thanks to their Thinsulate thermal lining and waterproof membrane. Made from deerskin and featuring a reinforced palm, these are super-soft to wear and allow a decent amount of hand articulation despite the thermal padding. Thrust them into a pile of wet leaves and your hands will remain snug. When it’s cold outside, you’ll want a pair of these on to prevent green fingers from turning blue. Available in either men’s or women’s sizes.

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8. Oregon Protective Chainsaw Gloves: £12.99, Amazon

Budding arborists need extra protection when lopping, chopping and sawing branches, so here’s a pair designed for the task in hand. Specifically suited for operating chainsaws, these gloves have extra padding on the left, most exposed hand, while retaining a thinner leather construction to maximise grip and dexterity on the right. This also makes them particularly useful for wearing while cutting back brushwood with a handsaw, or sawing up logs to stuff into your wood burner. These fit tightly around the wrist to keep out muck and splinters, and come in eye-popping orange.

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9. Town & Country Master Gardener: £5.99, Town & Country

Often spotted dangling from a garden centre display rack, these ubiquitous green gardening gauntlets are Britain's best-selling glove – and rightly so. For a shade under £6, you are getting a dependable, durable, water-resistant glove. The mottled, ribbed-grip pattern provides good purchase, and at the same time makes your hands look like dexterous, cabbage-leaf puppets. Available in either small or medium.

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10. Showa Floreo 370 Lightweight Garden Gloves: £6.99, GardenerGear

These skin-tight gloves are a fine, lightweight choice for summertime garden activities. The soft, stretchy construction makes them extremely comfortable to wear, and the nitrile palm coating grips garden implements like a snail on a hosta. They pack down small, so you can stuff them into your pocket when not in use, and you can lob them in the washing machine after a day on the garden to revive them ready for their next outing.

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The Verdict: Gardening gloves

For a gardening glove that will see you through the seasons, sink your hands into a pair of Briers – a great, grippy, all-round performer for gardening in comfort.

Richard Hood is one half of the Two Thirsty Gardeners. Their book, Brew it Yourself, is out now

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