As the name suggests, driving gloves are specially designed for driving. They are worn to increase vehicle control by enhancing gear stick and steering wheel grip.
Driving gloves were initially worn by drivers to keep their hands clean and comfortable. This is because early racing cars were steered by steering wheels which were taken from road cars. Road cars in the early days had wooden steering wheels which prompted the use of leather driving gloves for cleanliness and comfort purposes.
Driving gloves were initially made using thin soft leather a practice which continues to date because leather contains grains and pores that assist drivers to get grip when steering cars or shifting gears. Soft leather is also used because it feels good to the hands and adds comfort.
Classification of driving gloves
Driving gloves have numerous classifications. The most common classifications are on design, function and style.
Driving gloves are usually designed to offer tactile benefits to drivers driving cars near adhesion limits. They are made using soft leather to ensure that they offer maximum sensitivity to drivers when they touch or move the steering wheel. They are unlined using external seams making them seamless in the inside.
Most driving gloves are open on the back and at the knuckles. This design helps to offer maximum flexibility. The design also offers adequate palm ventilation to ensure that movement isn’t restricted. The gloves also have a fastener on the back. This feature makes the gloves fit perfectly around the wrist maximizing grip.
Driving gloves are also classified according to function. Although the function is obvious i.e. driving, driving gloves can be further classified into; normal driving gloves and racing driving gloves. As the name suggests, normal driving gloves are specifically designed for normal driving conditions/experiences which racing driving gloves are designed for extreme driving experiences.
For instance, racing driving gloves have better grip, temperature protection and performance. Unlike normal racing gloves, racing driving gloves must be fitted with cuffs for providing thermal shielding. It is also important to note that racing driving gloves aren’t entirely made of leather. They are made using Nomex. This is because leather is capable of shrinking greatly when exposed to high temperatures associated with race car driving. Instead, leather is limited to tactile areas only. For instance, there is no leather on the back of the glove.
Driving gloves are also classified according to style. There are 4 main driving glove styles namely; unlined, lined, full fingered and fingerless.
a. Unlined: This style of driving gloves allows maximum finger senses so that a driver doesn’t lose sensitivity which is usually the case with lined gloves.
b. Lined: Lined driving gloves are styled to keep drivers hands warm especially in cold weather i.e. winter. They are lined to insulate the hands when driving.
c. Full fingered: As the name suggests, these driving gloves cover all the fingers. They are meant for cold weather driving like lined driving gloves.
d. Fingerless: These driving gloves don’t cover the fingers. Their style offers minimal interference with the gripping sensation.