Written by Terry Smith

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Best gardening gloves [UK]: thorn proof for gloves for women and men compared on price

This article was last updated on April 23rd, 2022 at 3:31 am

Since I last wrote this article there have been massive improvements in gardening gloves, most notably safer and better fitting to assist with more nimble work so I thought high time I updated this article on the best gardening gloves to reflect what this! Some however still haven’t changed much and are still top notch and taking my best picks 🙂 Enjoy.

How to pick the best garden gloves?

As you’ll see from my latest update of the best garden gloves in the UK, you’ll notice theres a granular battle going on. It’s protection versus comfort and ability to use ones fingers nimbly. The fact is, the old gardener gloves, often referred to as the ‘old welder gloves’ are absolutely bullet proof. The only draw back is the fact they aren’t comfortable on the hand (some use an inner glove to negate this a little), they are almost always too large and fall off easily (some use elastic bands on the wrist to try to reduce this), and theres not much you can do to make your hands subtle and nimble. There really is no cure for that. However as I mention before you can be sure the thorns won’t get through.

By contrast the more modern latex and lycra mixed versions that are thinner, for example the WESTWOOD FOX garden gloves are designed to make you super capable of more intricate tasks, even as delicate as planting seedlings. Overall for lighter use you’ll want the more modern glove. The heavier use the older style. Talking of intricate, the RHS Flora and Fauna Gardening Gloves do well at that, superbly at protecting against thorns and looks amazing. Just had to throw that in there. I bought my mum a pair a year ago and still going strong!

Top picks for the best gardening gloves

  1. Gardening Gloves Thorn Proof, Xndryan 2 Pairs Heavy Duty Garden Gloves for Men Women. Best gardening gloves commercial grade
  2. Viridescent Gardening Gloves for Women and Men. Best alternative garden gloves
  3. Ladies/Mens Leather Gardening Gloves Thorn Proof Garden work gloves. What I would buy if Viridescent was unavailable
  4. EINSKEY Gardening Gloves for Men Women, 2 Pairs Thorn Proof Leather Work Gloves
  5. Town & Country TGL429 Master Gardener Green Mens Gloves
  6. RHS Flora and Fauna Gardening Gloves. Best garden gloves for women in UK, must have.

What about waterproofing too? Are your gloves waterproof enough? Here’s how you test. Have a look at this video, cool music too 🙂

What if you don’t like either option but still want to protect yourself?

Well actually there’s a new sheriff in town as far as the gloves go and they are the name Xndryan. These gloves are a superb culmination of the best of both worlds. And as a Jack of all trades they obviously master none but do almost all task to an acceptable standard. So for thorns these are an absolute yes, and for the lighter stuff like raking or weeding, they are still a yes, though you may feel two pairs for their different jobs is the way to go and I wouldn’t blame you. I have both types!

Also, here’s some other handy safety tips for protecting yourself in the garden – sorry it’s not UK – we don’t have a relevant video!

What else to think about if you’re looking to buy gardening gloves?

We use gardening gloves almost everyday so it’s important we find a pair that suits us. I use mine forking the garden, weeding, when I’m trimming the hedge, and probably most notably when I’m using the pruning saw or secateurs. Every practise in the garden warrants the best garden gloves which should fit comfortably, allow good grip on handles, minimise sweating, and offer adequate protection for the task in hand, if you’re pruning ordinary garden gloves will do just fine, if you’re handing hot coals you will probably want barbecue gloves. In this article we have reviewed the best garden gloves for general use as mentioned to save you time.

You need to shove along Viridescent, there is a new king (or queen if you prefer) in town! Well maybe not, Viridescent are still superb but if they are out of stock or unavailable the Xndryan gardening thorn proof gloves are a super alternative. Now, you’re going to check second position and try to understand why I’ve gone back to basics with these thick heavy duty gloves to keep my hands safe when weeding. In short, these are far superior at their originally designed job. Stopping prickly thorns get to my finger tips and palms. Now just to go back to my point about thorn proof, these are about as thorn proof as you can get without using the old old fashioned clunky gardening gloves (more on this later though).

Now, at the start I was in love with Viridescent although as I update the review slightly you might well not see that so I’ll fill you in a little here. Basically they were amazing to begin with and after a period of time, let’s say about 18 months since I last updated this article, they are now holed and not doing the job. Meanwhile my old fashioned thick leather gloves are beautifully worn in and protecting my fingers just fine. So although these are not the ill fitting type that are bullet proof, these are somewhere in the middle, and more toward hand safety. This is only something I’ve worked out from the last couple of years use and experience. If you look at the picture below the movement and better fit is obvious:

Xndryan Thorn Proof Gardening Gloves- still plenty of manoeuvrability possible with these

But you have a different choice, probably the one I made a couple of years ago – what you’ve got to weigh up is absolute surety of not getting your hands hurt vs a more snug fit that protects ‘most’ of the time and won’t last as long. Choices ay? 😀 So being thrifty and also the fact I like my fingers, I’m going back to what I know, sorry modern and well fitted gloves!

The Xndryan gardening gloves are thick leather, the seems don’t even look like they can be broken in any time frame, and surprisingly yeah, for an old fashioned thick leather, my fingers are still pretty nimble as I say, these are legitimately somewhere in between. Especially since they are made in three sizes now making them absolutely the top pick for women’s gardening gloves.

If I can find complaint with these it’s the breathable thing. Now I know they are advertised in a way that suggests your hands won’t get sweaty, but that’s not my experience. In fact, I don’t know a glove that keeps my hands dry so it could just be me 😀

the other thing that was a little annoying was my hands came out yellowish after using for the first dozen times. As proof my hands sweated, the yellow dye then transferred over to me. This took some serious getting off by the way. Great if you’re scrubbing to defeat Covid though 🙂

“You no longer have to deal with thorns and pricks between your fingers when you have Viridescent Leather gardening gloves with you.” This is what I wrote a couple of years back and now need to correct myself. You no longer need to deal with thorns and pricks for a year or so of heavy use, after that, they will wear out and hole. However, whilst as you can read above I’ve moved away from the better fitting glove, the one thing I have missed when using these is just how nimble my fingers are in between brambles. And to say a professional gardener used the same gloves for a year is actually a compliment, not a negative.

I wouldn’t call them totally thorn proof anymore either, I did get nabbed by a few of the very worst thorny bits but a many times better than the really thin garden gloves, that’s a cast in stone fact.

These gloves are suitable for both men and women given the different sizes that are available and fit beautifully, in fact, they have many many more size options than my top pick the Xndryan gardening gloves. That is their biggest strength. You are basically picking usability/comfort over total safety if you go with these gloves. Don’t let me put you off too much though, they are made with genuine leather and are still Amazons top choice. This to me says the buyers aren’t using them as heavily as a professional gardener, so ideal if you don’t need to wear them day in day out. And their best feature is the strap that stops debris falling back into your glove, I’m glad to see they haven’t messed about with that design either.

What made me buy these a couple of years ago was the fact that if you were not happy, then they would give you a complete refund. I am pleased to say this policy is still in force, they have the highest rating online of all gloves sold in their thousands and no one wants to give their gloves back :D.

These are all good enough reasons to keep this gloves as the best alternative gardener gloves, and certainly the best if you want to be nimble and this is less about thorns and more about general protection.

New to the list and definitely deserving of third spot (and arguably better than Viridescent as these are directly in competition) is the Gardening Gloves Thorn Proof sold by WESTWOOD FOX. These gloves are pretty robust, I’d go as far as calling them rigger gloves and more than up to the task of keeping fingers free of thorns.

What you’ll like about these gloves is the great fit for maximum feel and an adjustable wrist strap that is easy to remove. What you pay for though in comfort and ease of use is reduced robustness. They will eventually break down just like the Viridescent but in between that time you’ll get comfortably well fitted gloves that are not a hindrance to wear, which we both know is the biggest draw back when working in the garden with gloves.

What’s interesting about these gloves is the material used. Lycra and goatskin is combined to make the gloves a little stretchy (for the best fit possible). It’s the first time I can remember gloves made from goatskin and obviously equally as a appropriate as a cows hide.

If it helps to know, you want a small glove if your hand is a size 7, 8-9 best fits a medium hand and anything else is large. The sizes work quite well despite not being nearly as versatile as the Viridescent gardening glove, mainly because of the wrist strap assisting in keeping things tight.

EINSKEY Gardening Gloves claim to have breathable fabric but in reality long use will result in sweaty palms. It’s unavoidable and especially more so if you decide to put on a pair of inners first to make them more comfortable. Now I’ve got the grey area out the way, the rest is pretty much good news. These are pretty comfortable and pretty much the most thorn proof set of gloves in this entire review. If you’re a women and have medium/large sized hands, I would still go with the medium sized glove, they are plenty big enough already. If your hands are small then don’t worry too much, the elastic wrist makes a big difference in helping the fit. Talking of sizing, the grips not bad for a clunky glove, in fact I would say it’s on the better side of good actually.

In years gone past these were not as durable. You could burn them out pretty quickly and anyone working hard that needed ‘rigger gloves’ found themselves a bit disappointed. Now they seem to be much better wearing and the ratings keep going up and up online at unbiased platforms like Amazon with verified purchases. and whilst I’ve not used them daily I do know from reading others opinions on the matter that you’ll get a year from these gloves now and still not have holes or enough wear to throw them out. A reliable steady leather glove then.

Another reason I like these is the money back guarantee. They are a quality pair of gloves that offered a comprehensive guarantee before that still exists two years later. You really can’t ask for much more from a pair of gloves or retailer.

Also, like most out and out leather gloves these are not waterproof. But with all that said, if I try to protect myself from thorns then these area great alternative to the Xndryan garden gloves should they go out of stock and a definite buy rating from me if you need serious protection from thorns.

5. Town & Country TGL429 Master Gardener Green Mens Gloves

Good old town and country gardening gloves. These were around years before I reviewed them last time and I daresay will be around for many years after this review, and that’s not a bad thing, that’s actually a testament to the initial design. If you’re looking for good grip and decent protection whilst gardening then these are your go to glove.

The crinkle design on the hand doesn’t feel uncomfortable when carrying objects but certainly increases grip well beyond any other glove I’ve ever put on my hand, bar the thinner glove with a series of circular plastic dots to create friction – those are pretty amazing too. However, these are also good in wet conditions and to me these are one of the top gloves for gardening in the UK.

The stretchable wrist section is good for fit, comfort, and stops dust and dirt coming back up and in at your hands. It’s a comfy fit for sure – but forget dry hands. Mine always end up sweaty in these.

They offer pretty decent protection from thorns, but if that’s your primary consideration you’re going to do better to go with the Xndryan garden gloves if they are available. However, if you want an allrounder with grip in the wet and still need a delicate touch, these are your best bet.

This is the ideal pair of gloves if you like pretty as well as the benefits associated with keeping your hands in good nick! No joking they look delightful. So delightful in fact, I saw one lady asking if these gardening gloves are fur lined 😀 I suppose we all start somewhere with our research!

RHS garden glove – just look lovely don’t they

Beyond the aesthetics there’s plenty going on though and despite the quality, not much has changed since I reviewed these a couple of years back.

When you put these gloves on the first thing that will hit you is just how well they fit. So much so, you may even question how tight the wrists are! I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining about too much of a good thing and being a material that stretches, in time you’ll wear them to the correct position on your hands.

The breathable material on top sides of hands will reduce stickiness for sure. Overall these are a super pair of gloves and well designed. So well designed in fact, I bought a pair of these for my mum at Christmas last year. She has big hands but still fits no problem (hence me mentioning about the wrists being pretty tight off the bat)

The sewn on leather grip around the fingers and palms. This is designed by someone that wears gloves in the garden A LOT! The leather is pretty durable, and good for thorns. Be sure not to catch yourself on the other side of your hands as theres far less protection. But with that all said, being agile is still possible. You would be awfully surprised just how difficult it is to find a glove that offers the protection these do, with the nimble quality too. Overall, despite the cost, these are probably the professionals choice when looking at garden gloves for women.

One thing on the downside, they aren’t waterproof, just wanted to throw that in for a bit of balance. I don’t want to sound biased, they are super and highly recommended all over the internet – not just me.

Looking for an alternative ladies garden glove if the RHS offering is out of stock, or you’re concentrating solely on thick thorny bramble? Then take a look at the Briers. It’s a super alternative for ladies and certainly much more comfortable than your average welder type garden glove. They are a refined heavy duty gardeners glove for sure.

A great place to start talking about these gloves is the size. They come with two options which is helpful if you’re on either end of the size spectrum. To help further, medium is a size 8 and up.

The first thing you’ll notice when putting on these gloves for the first time will be just how well they feel and fit. These really aren’t your average rigger glove at all. You’ll be surprised just how well they protect. Stinging nettles won’t even get close, even on the upper suede side. At the same time weeding, seeding, watering, and more fiddly tasks are still reasonably possible. I have to admit not ideal, but as an overall pretty good.

They are not waterproof, just wanted to point that out after mentioning watering 😀 and your hands will get a bit sticky but otherwise a very solid glove at a bargain price, less than half the price of the RHS and well worth considering as an alternative.

That’s a decent evaluation of what’s available in terms of the best garden gloves at the moment and I’ve certainly highlighted the must haves and what should not be overlooked. I’ll probably come along and take a look at this again at some point.

About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from gardentoolbox.co.uk, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence. Always feel free to pop me a message: info@gardentoolbox.co.uk

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