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Rollerski gloves on the cheap

Tue, Sep  13, 2011 - By Mike Muha

It's always a quandary about what gloves to use for rollerskiing. Use my expensive ski gloves? Use some expensive full-fingered mountain bike gloves? Buy expensive gloves meant just for rollerskiing?

I've done all of the above. My worn-out ski gloves become cold weather rollerski gloves. I have a pair of Toko Thermo Plus's with one finger seam ripping out - they work great as long as I repair the seam periodically. But they're a bit warm for the summer and early fall.

I had a set of Trek mountain bike gloves that worked great - until they sort of melted away from use.

And way-back-when, I had a nice pair of Saranac leather rollerski gloves. Saranac doesn't make cross country ski gloves anymore.

A  big problem is glove sizing. I don't really want to order a pair online or mail order without trying them on first. Gloves are more about immediate gratification: I need 'em. I go into a store and try 'em on. I buy them.

The nearest cross country ski shop is three hours away. Not immediate gratification...

Big box store to the rescue

So, being on the cheap, I drop into one of the many Lowe's I pass during the week. Lowe's, Home Depot and the other big boxes stores, have oodles of gloves in their garden or tool section.

I have a couple criteria for rollerski gloves:

  • They can't be tight across the back of the hand - I found it makes my hand sore
  • They need a secure closure around the wrist.
  • They need to be fleible.

Since I want summer gloves, I also looked for lighter weight gloves. One pair stood out...

rollerski gloves

Lowe's has a zillion gloves (above).

rollerski gloves

For less than fourteen dollars, Lowe's had a pair of lightweight deerskin gloves with a wrist closure.

rollerski gloves

Here's the fresh unused pair. They don't stay clean for long.

rollerski gloves

The wrist closure is heavy duty Velcro...

rollerski gloves

...that grips like iron.

rollerski gloves

Notice the stains. I have 10 hours of skiing in them.

rollerski gloves

But the stains don't matter - the gloves are comfortable and keep the blisters away.

rollerski gloves

How long will they last? I don't know. A real ski glove would be reinforced between the thumb and forefinger, although my gloves tend to wear along the first finger or the palm. But for $14 compared to over $40 for ski or bike gloves, if I can get a couple season out of them, I'll be happy.