Gold leaf gloves are probably the best gardening gloves you can get. Made of high quality leather and fully lined, they fit better than cheaper gloves and last many times longer, which makes them better value even though they cost more to start off with.
Gardening gloves used to be a pet hate of mine. The DIY stores seemed to be locked into a race to the bottom, producing ‘value’ gloves that got cheaper and cheaper, and were less and less use. They allowed as much ‘feel’ sensation as oven mitts, so I only wore them when I needed to protect my hands from thorns or stings. But every pair seemed to wear out faster than the last, and they didn’t offer all that much protection to start off with.
The DIY stores also offer much more expensive gloves, but they didn’t turn out much better. Pads of thick (but still low quality) leather stitched onto cloth gloves offered more protection to start with, but it didn’t take them long to come to pieces. Inevitably it was always nettles that pointed out the weaknesses, and I’d curse as I stamped off to throw them away. The damned things didn’t even compost down properly.
All that changed when I was given a lovely pair of Gold Leaf Tough Touch gardening gloves. They look like yellow gauntlets, with cuffs that protect the wrist as well as the hands. The high-quality leather allows you to feel what’s going on, and also means that the stitching isn’t going to give up in a couple of months. They actually fit too, and are fully lined for comfort which stops your hands from getting so sweaty.
Now the surprise part: I received those gloves three years ago. I’m still wearing them, and they’re still going strong. They’re still comfortable, and still protecting my hands from tough brambles and viscious nettles just as well as when they were new. I wonder how many pairs of cheap gloves I’d have got through in that time?
There are four types of Gold Leaf gardening gloves, and at the time of writing Harrod Horticultural is offering the best prices I can find. Just click on the glove you like to go to the HH store.
Dry Touch gloves are good for general purpose use, and offer great sensitivity.
Tough Tough gloves (my favourite) have thicker leather and wrist gauntlets, ideal if you have to deal with what the RHS calls ‘heavy pruning’. In my case, that means ripping killer brambles out of the corners of my plot that I never quite get under control. Even this kind of abuse doesn’t seem to bother the gloves much, and they still let me feel what’s going on.
Soft Touch gloves have composite backs made from lycra, nylon and foam which gives them a really close, tight fit. This makes them ideal for precision work, such as when you have to handle a chainsaw. It has to be said that they don’t last as well as other Gold Leaf gloves.
Winter Touch gloves have a double lining: a Ski-Dri™ waterproof layer and a Thinsulate™ one, so that your hands stay warm and dry even in the worst winter weather. They have reinforced palms too, on the assumption that you’ll be doing some fairly rough work during the winter.