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People who use work gloves on a regular basis know first hand how a glove’s fit can make or break their day. Fabrication materials are an important consideration, but even the best quality, top grain cowhide can leave you with fatigue, chafing, blisters or other injury if it doesn’t fit both the job and your hands.
Here’s how you can choose the right gloves to fit and stay comfortable all day.
1. Start with the Numbered Size
Glove sizing is fairly straightforward — well, at least for numbered-size gloves. However, not all styles use numbered sizing. But for those that do, all you need is a flexible tailor’s tape measure. Wrap the tape all the way around your hand at the palm near the base of your knuckles. The measurement is your glove size, and it easily translates to S / M / L sizing.
Sizing begins, at least in some styles, at a size 5 or 2X Small. A measurement of 6 equates to an Extra Small. From there, 7 is Small, 8 is Medium, 9 is Large, and 10 is Extra Large. Some are also available in extended sizing, with 11 as 2x Large, and 12 as 3X Large.
2. The Cut Affects Your Comfort
The cut of a gloves affects the fit and level of comfort that you’ll experience while wearing them. While a size Large in any glove style should fit any 9-inch measurement, you’ll probably prefer one cut over another. The two most common cuts are clute and gunn cuts. These names denote the different ways that the gloves have been cut and stitched together.
Clute cut gloves are usually lightweight and have seam-free palms. The back side has a separate piece of material for each finger, so seams on the back run from wrist up. Gunn cut gloves use a single piece of material for the palm, index finger, and pinkie. The two middle fingers are also stitched separately to the palm at the base of the fingers. Gunn cut gloves can help improve your dexterity — especially with heavier materials.
3. Thumb Construction Also Matters
Gloves might have a straight thumb with a single seam, but both the keystone and wing thumb styles are commonly found in specialized work gloves; this is because they improve ergonomic fit, dexterity, and comfort. The effect is similar to the way that full-fashion socks with a curved, shaped heel fit better than straight tube socks.
The wing thumb has no seam on the palm side. Laid flat, this type of glove has a thumb that extends out at an angle from the side of the palm. This is common in heavy-duty styles such as welding gloves. The keystone thumb is shaped with a curved seam along the base of the thumb. You might find this design in smooth, fitted driving gloves, but it’s also found in work gloves where dexterity is important.
It’s sort of ironic to say that something fits like a glove — at least when you think about how many ill-fitting gloves most people own. If you aren’t working with your hands, fit might not be terribly important. But if you are, proper fit can make the work day much safer and more comfortable!
Start with finding the right size for your hands, and then think about the cut. With such a wide range of styles and materials for different purposes, we offer many different types of gloves that will fit and stay comfortable all day long — no matter the task at hand!
Looking for a reliable pair of gloves that fit like a dream? You’ll love our S15TAFGPUs.
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Work gloves, by R. Nail Bradshaw, via Flickr Creative Commons
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Hand Injury Rates are Reduced by 60% when using the right gloves.