Gloves. You certainly know when they work, even more so when they don’t, but they don’t get the headline space of shoes, jacket, packs or watches.
There’s nothing worse than freezing digits on a road run, let alone when you head into the mountains and I can vividly remember adventurous training in the school CCF, forgetting gloves in the Ogwyn valley, deep in winter, with my hands feeling like they were on fire. It ended the walk and was a lesson I’ll never forget.
For this review, it has another element. I bought this pair of inov-8 All Terrain Gloves back in November and I also own the previous pair. So I figured, why not compare and see how things have changed, does it warrant an upgrade?On the left we have the 2017/18 All Terrain Glove, on the right, the Race Glove that I bought from Pete Blands at Kendal Mountain Festival a couple of years ago. If memory serves me right, I paid £15 for the old pair and £18 for the new.
The RaceGlove have been on a many a training day and race, including LakeLand 50, Clif Bar 10 Peaks, Hell of a Hill, pre dawn raids of Ben Nevis, a fair few other runs. They pack down tiny, are super light and have a close fit, but, warmth was their compromise. Or should I say limiting factor. I picked them as I often will leave gloves at home for training runs as I’ve found gloves in general too warm, but when things got cold enough to require them, they didn’t offer as much protection as I’d have liked. So all in all a good gloves, but there was definite room for improvement.
On to the new All Terrain Glove.As you see, there are obvious differences on first glance. Large reflective brand logos now feature on the back of the hands, there’s a nose wipe and a substantial cuff. What isn’t so evident from an image is the material. The material blend is more robust and has greater wind protection, but for the latter, you’ll have to take my word for it. The reflective patches really light up at night, as given I spend a lot of miles on the road, they’ve shone brightly throughout this winter. The cuff, oh the cuff. It holds the glove firmly in place and keeps the heat in. They may look big, but once on all you feel is secure. And that nose wipe, it’s a big plus, just make sure you wash them regularly, as it can get a little abrasive if you feel the need to use it as much as I do…… I don’t recommend you run behind me in a race.Triangles, triangles everywhere! The silicon grippers are everywhere and are a big improvement when scrambling. I took them up Pike O’Blissco, Y Garn and the Langdales this winter, and they gave me good purchase. The palm grips to rock, trees and gates, whilst adding durability. Despite this large contact area, they are still highly flexible and not a hinderance. Below is a shot comparing old to new, to show how different they really are.And finally, the thumb and index finger. Instagrammers and selfie lovers, you can snap till your hearts content on the trail, as they are smart phone friendly and they genuinely work. On a serious note, if you need to call in mountain rescue or call someone for help whether on a training run or race, these do allow you to do so without the need to expose your fingers to the cold. Along with this, they work ok in wet conditions.All in all, I really rate the new All Terrain Glove and like I said at the beginning I paid for both pairs. When things have got cold and wet, I’ve reached for them every time and when things have gone baltic….. well, you’ll have to wait for the answer next week….
Durability is pretty darn good. I’ve had to repair a small patch on a seam and the reflective logos have cracked a little, but other than that, they look pretty much new after 3 months of almost daily use.
A lightweight, tech friendly, warm pair of gloves, which are as home on the road as the fell. For me, they are a no brainer over the previous RaceGlove, so much so, the Race’s have been relegated for defrosting my car.