November 4, 2015 | Joe Geng |

Punch Water in the Face: Guide to Water-Resistant Gloves

Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to hold onto something, but your hands are so wet that it slips and falls? Can you imagine if that item was a sharp piece of glass or metal? How about when you have to submerge your hands into cold water to do your job but don’t want your hands to be freezing for the rest of the day? What if we told you that there were products out there that were specifically created to alleviate these problems? That there are not only one but many different types of work gloves that were made to keep your hands dry for hours?

Start by evaluating how water-resistant you need your work gloves to be, so to speak. While you’re at work, how much does the interference of water or oil affect your job performance?

When people come to us looking for waterproof work gloves, they generally say one of three things…

1. “I need a glove that will withstand a small amount of water or oil, here and there.”

water resistant work gloves

If you’re looking for gloves that will protect you from occasional splotches and splashes, it’s best to look for a glove that’s had a water-resistant treatment applied to it, such as Scotchgard™, or Oilbloc™. Note: these treatments tend to work better on grain leather than suede; these types of sprays also work on knitted gloves like this one but not as well as on leather styles.


Another low cost alternative would be to buy your own silicone spray, and apply it to your gloves.

2. “I’m tired of my hands getting soaking wet”.

If you’ve found yourself saying this before, ideally, you’ll want a glove that was not only treated on the outside with a waterproofing spray, but that also has a special waterproof membrane sandwiched in between the inner and outer parts of the glove. Before it’s sewn into the glove, the membrane looks similar to a disposable glove — but it’s much more effective.


These membranes (mentioned in the diagram above) are stitched into gloves at the fingertips to prevent them from moving or coming out. A good glove manufacturer will ensure that there is good stitching at the finger tips, and make sure that the bladder isn’t too loose. It should feel and sound almost like you have garbage bag scrunched up inside of your gloves. Outdry is one method of ensuring that your gloves have a good bladder fit.

Usually, if you’re looking for this type of glove, it’s likely that you work in a cold environment. If this is you, you’ll also want to check out our tips for keeping your hands warm.

3. “I’m going fishing in the North Atlantic”.

If you’re in this boat – pun intended – and immersing your hands in water on a regular basis, you’ll want to choose a glove with a waterproof (not just water-resistant!) outer lining, such as nitrile. The most important factor is making sure the outer lining of the glove will stay flexible in the conditions you’re working in. A normal nitrile or PVC glove will tend to get stiff in cold weather. To combat this, you’ll want to choose a glove that was specially formulated for cold weather.

Ocean storm

For more useful tips about selecting gloves for colder temperatures, check out these tips for selecting the best industrial level work gloves!
Joe Geng
About Joe Geng
Vice President of Superior Glove