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05 December 2010

I don't understand fingerless gloves ... [More:]Several years ago I bought a pair of these gloves from the Sundance Catalog. Only my gloves had full fingers.

I lost one, but have kept the other, hoping to find the missing glove one day. I'd happily replace the pair only I can't find any like this.

In fact most of the knit gloves on Etsy are fingerless. Why? Aren't your fingertips the most vulnerable bits? What sort of outside work are all these people doing that they need their fingers exposed? Enlighten me please, and tell me what obvious thing I'm missing here. Why would anyone want fingerless gloves?
I think it's for when the temperature isn't THAT bad

or when you're going for that 70s rocker/homeless chic
posted by Firas 05 December | 10:25
I worked in a lab that was *cold* but I couldn't wear gloves because I was typing a lot of data as I went. Fingerless gloves were better than nothing.
posted by gaspode 05 December | 10:42
They're handy for any outside work that needs some kind of delicate touch, or inside if it's cold. Don't forget you can wear them underneath full gloves like Roy Mayall the postman:

We posties are used to the weather. We know how to dress for it. I had on at least four layers, and a woolly hat and two pairs of gloves: a fingerless pair, with an ordinary pair over the top. You need the fingerless gloves to pick through the bundle. Every so often the cold would bite and my fingers would stop working. Then I would have to stop to warm my hands under my arm.
posted by TheophileEscargot 05 December | 10:48
I couldn't have made it through my years at the outdoor maritime museum without fingerless gloves. THey're invaluable. So often you need to tie or untie knots, climb something (and you want to be sure you have a solid grip, not be slipping around through a layer of fabric), or handle small bits which you would easily drop without the feedback of your sensitive fingertips. I use them less since those days but find them very useful to have in my inventory. Also, if you're outdoorsy and like winter camping or XC skiing, they're really helpful when you need to adjust your backpack or bindings, open up your thermos top, start a fire, etc, while still wanting to keep your hands and wrists warm. Getting cold and snow on your wrists has got to be one of the most uncomfortable sensations that all of winter can provide.

A lot of their attraction for hipsters lies in the fact that you need your fingertips for using touchscreens and and clickwheels and for texting and stuff like that.
posted by Miko 05 December | 11:02
Most market traders working outdoors wear fingerless gloves because it makes it easier to handle coins but keeps the hands warm. I wear them sometimes and I've not found that my fingertips get particularly cold.
posted by Senyar 05 December | 11:30
A lot of their attraction for hipsters lies in the fact that you need your fingertips for using touchscreens and and clickwheels and for texting and stuff like that.

I would think this makes them more useful than ever for the rest of us, too, though I haven't owned a pair since I moved someplace with a proper winter when I was a kid.

Or is it only in northern New England that one routinely finds oneself in a freezing cold foyer trying to buy a train ticket from a recalcitrant touchscreen, or wrestling with the grocery checkout interface while arctic winds blast in from the opening-closing-opening-closing automated doors nearby?
posted by Elsa 05 December | 11:48
They're very useful when playing a stringed instrument in a vast English cathedral with Victorian heating in the dead of winter. Trust me.
posted by altolinguistic 05 December | 12:23
I wear them when i go out birding. Binoculars are much easier to work with finger pads instead of slippery yarn or even leather.
posted by Stewriffic 05 December | 13:13
I need a pair for precisely the reason Miko mentions- can't use the iPod wearing full gloves.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 05 December | 14:00
I wear them because I think they're cute (the #1 reason, not gonna lie) and because they keep me warm. I LOVE layers and how they look peeking out of long sleeved sweaters and jackets. I can still type and use touchpads. I wear them in the house and at work if I feel a little chilly and they always take the edge off.

(not a rocker, not a hipster, not homeless, and definitely not chic :)
posted by iconomy 05 December | 15:19
Yeah, I have a pair b/c it's cold on the train platform in the mornings, but with gloves I can't manipulate my phone/MP3 player. :)
posted by BoringPostcards 05 December | 15:22
are we talking full fingers gone or just the tips of the fingers? Going full fingers off for manipulating a device seems to be needlessly masochistic.. but again I guess it depends on the weather
posted by Firas 05 December | 15:30
I have a rant I posted on someone's wall back in 2006 but facebook won't let me dig it up and only lists up to 2007.. damn. but yeah, basically juggling gloves + coffee + mp3 player + winter in the morning is a pain
posted by Firas 05 December | 15:33
What is baffling to me is that all of these portable devices use such fidgety little controls. Didn't portable electronics in the 1970s have much larger, more robust controls? There is no reason they can't build an MP3 player that you can operate one-handed, in gloves, without looking at it. I know some people prefer the very tiny size of modern devices but surely I can't be the only one who wants a proper volume knob and so on.
posted by enn 05 December | 16:21
I'm a big fan of the fingerless glove/mitten hybrid. You can flip the top of the mitten back and they become fingerless gloves. It's a pain in the butt to take my gloves off to wipe a nose or zip a coat or fasten a car seat, but I can't makes snowballs and such with fingerless gloves.

In fact, if you've got a parent of a young child on your Christmas list, buy them some mitten/glove thingies. They're the kind of thing you don't realize you need until you have 'em.
posted by jrossi4r 05 December | 16:56
Yeah, I only buy the fingerless glove/mitten hybrid. It is genius.
posted by amro 05 December | 18:20
They're a must for winter photography!
posted by JoanArkham 05 December | 21:27
Yeah, the fingerless glove/mitten combo is also great for walking dogs in cold weather. Makes poo pick-up/bag tying off a whole lot easier.
posted by ufez 05 December | 22:28
I use these kind sometimes.
posted by Eideteker 06 December | 08:57
Useful for handling cash when delivering to customers at their doors. When done, just put your hands in your pockets (or warm food delivery bag) and your fingers will warm right up again. (Food delivery bags also make great wind shields.)
posted by serena 06 December | 12:42
what jrossi and amro said. I just got a warm, wooly pair of hybrid mittens / fingerless gloves with the flip-top. They're invaluable for easy-access iPhone & camera use in the dead of winter, and they're especially warm on the bike(s).
posted by lonefrontranger 06 December | 14:19
posted by jabberjaw 07 December | 17:48
I wish I'd known about this years ago. || Musical Advent Calendar this year?