Can anyone explain why we need running gloves? I totally understand the need for other running-specific types of clothing.  Take socks for example; us lot do some bloody horrible things to our feet, so it’s a good idea to wear socks that prevent us from becoming more than 80% blister. But I can’t for the life of me work out why we need special gloves. I’m not having a go at all gloves (in fact, some of my best friends are gloves1), but what special features do we really need? While out running, gloves have two jobs:

  1. Keep our little handies warm.
  2. A bit of protection against road rash in the event of a fall


They also cover our fingerprints, but that’s only useful to evil cat-burgling runners, and they’re not allowed to read this blog2.

I’ve had a look at the various running gloves out there, and other than the ability to keep our hands warm (which all gloves do, to some extent3) the only other notable features I kept seeing were things like reflective panels and light-up doojemies. I’m sorry, but if you’re so ninja’d up from head to toe that you find yourself relying on the sparkliness of your hands to prevent you from being run over, then you’re probably beyond the help of a whimsical blog. So no, it’s just simple old-fashioned wool gloves for me when I’m out running.

While writing this thing, I did dream up one nifty little innovation: built-in airbags. Just picture it. You’re running along, not a care in the world. Your gaze settles on a lovely sparrow perched on a branch, and you fail to notice the abandoned shopping trolley in your path. You trip, plummeting face-first towards the unforgiving ground, your hands instinctively reaching out to offer some small degree of protection. Now, what if, instead of the usual raw-palmed agony, this happened: little accelerometers built into the gloves detect the sudden increase in velocity and automatically activate a pair of great big space-hopper sized airbags which spring from your palms and provide a safe, bouncy landing.

I know, I know. I’m an actual genius.

The only problem I can see would be if the accelerometers are too sensitive. If this was the case, they could accidentally go off during a race as you kicked to a sprint finish, sending a poor marshal flying 10ft into the air when his only crime in the whole world was to offer you a banana.

1 Okay, I made that up.
2 With the possible exception of catsuit-wearing lady ones who do the cartwheels and stuff.
3 If yours don’t do this, you might want to check that they are actually gloves in case an unscrupulous travelling glove salesman has tricked you into buying a yoyo or some magic beans or a stuffed iguana. Again.

Want more? You’re weird. You can find me on facebook or chase me around twitter (@borntoplodblog). Also, I’m on some sort of shortlist for the 2015 running awards. If you’re feeling extra clicky, why not head over there now and vote for me. I’ll put up a swanky sidebar button link thingy at some point, but for now, it’s

11 thoughts on “Glovely

  1. My running gloves need to be tough enough to wipe sweat, spit and snot off our faces and fold up small enough to go into the ridiculously small pockets they give running kit. Or as a delicate lady, to be tucked into my bra. And to keep you warm when it’s pouring with rain or you’ve just called into a flooded ditch/river/large puddlen#justsaying

    • Gah! My entire argument shot to pieces in a heartbeat!
      I’d completely forgotten about the unpleasantness of wiping my nose on a rough wooly glove and having a glistening mucus trail staring at me for the rest of the run. The true power of a running glove is in the chamois nose-wipe thumb.

  2. Thanks …this post made me chuckle. And genius idea… I then thought the space hopper bounciness! Too bouncy and the speed of the fall would cause a 180 bounce back landing on your back … So another would be needed on the other side… which led me to imagine endless flipping …. so I stopped there! 🙂 🙂

    • I will now be spending the rest of the morning giggling to myself while imaging a hapless runner trapped in a cycle of bouncing back and forth, just yards from the finish line.

  3. Pingback: Glovely: Revisited | Born to Plod

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s