I think we all believe that a good glove should primarily protect against the cold and wet, while at the same time allowing the hands to breathe... At least that's my thinking, and the basis for how I have chosen my gloves in the past. Now, after spending time testing some of the best gloves out there, I've learned that the new generation of gloves does so much more!
With the trend moving towards the terrain parks and back-country, and with more and more skiers discovering the art of fun-carving (where you actually end up with your gloves in the snow if you just lean into your turn far enough), the chances of incurring hand or wrist injures have increased for skiers, jibbers, and riders alike. Some of the new gloves are keeping up with the times by providing extra padding to protect your fingers or reinforcing the palms avoid tearing of the materials. Protection against the cold has also significantly improved. You can maintain cozy hands even in the coldest of conditions with a new generation of glove that offers pockets for inserting heating pads or, even better, can be hooked up to a battery that heats the entire glove.
Another trend these days is listening to tunes while you ski or ride, or at all times for that matter, which can be seen by the increased sightings of Mp3 players plugged in to people's ears. But what a hassle to have to take your gloves off in order to skip to the next track on your latest Black-Eyed Peas album… No worries! Some of the new gloves even offer special pads on the index finger or thumb to facilitate easy use of your sound source without having to expose your fingers to the weather.
Some of the defining features of Best of the Best for gloves - and should be a must - include true breathable and waterproof materials, seamless fingertips, and rubberized or leather materials around the palm to ensure a good grip and more.