Do you own a pair of driving gloves? The kind with the open back and room for your knuckles to breath? If you don’t, I’m sure you’ve thought about it. In my humble opinion, a pair of driving gloves are hands down the coolest men’s style accessory there is. Every man looks great wearing a pair.
I used to think that in order to really “deserve” a pair, I needed to own a fast car. Something sexy and preferably without a top. Today, I’m much more open minded. I think that just driving a car, any car (even my 18 year old pick up), is enough justification to own a pair of driving gloves. Hmmm, let’s be even more open minded – maybe you don’t own a car, ever ridden in one?! You deserve a pair of driving gloves, if you want them ;).
Now that you’re emboldened to go out and buy a pair, here’s what you need to know to fully appreciate them.
Driving gloves history
Originally, driving gloves were used to keep the driver’s hands clean while operating the vehicle. Remember, early cars were relatively open, there wasn’t the closed cabin that we take for granted today. That meant that mud, dirt, snow, and rain could get onto the steering wheel. Driving gloves were used to keep the driver’s hands clean, warm, and of course, provide a reliable grip on the wheel, since power steering was not yet a thing. In addition, some early steering wheels were made of wood so there was the risk of splinters; leather gloves provided a layer of protection.
And where did early drivers store their driving gloves when not in use? In the compartment just ahead of the passenger seat – the glove box!
Today, driving gloves are made of relatively thin leather. This is a good thing, because it will give you better feeling over the steering wheel. The grain in the leather is what helps to create an increased level of friction in your grip.
Your driving gloves should be unlined and with the seams on the outside so that you can better feel how the car is driving.
And of course, there is the open back and open knuckles, the tell-tale sign of a driving glove. These areas are left open to allow for greater flexibility and movement. The small holes along the fingers aid in ventilation, but also reduce stress on the very thin leather.
When shopping for driving gloves, find a pair that fit tightly. You don’t want your hand to move around inside the glove!
Obviously, you’ll want to find something in leather. The best ones are made out of deer or peccary skin leather. By the way, a peccary is a South American wild pig.