Since coated glove was invented a couple of decades ago, it got spread quickly. Compared with traditional leather gloves and cotton sewed gloves, it is relatively more ambidextrous and versatile. That is a very big progress in work glove history, but there was one inherent problem since it was introduced. In last post, I talked about the chemicals left in gloves that threats hand skin health. In this post, I am going to talk about another glove issue that affect our hands which is more relative to hand comfort rather than a health issue. That is breathability, how the glove is breathable.
For many people, they believe palm coated gloves with open back are definitely breathable. Their logic is that this kind of glove has a open back that has no coating on it and that allows sweat to evaporate. I have seen a lot of work glove vendors say their glove is breathable on their website and catalog just because the glove has an open back. Regular glove users know the truth. Glove with open back can still get your hands wet unless the palm becomes breathable.
Breathability would be not really an issue if you wear glove not long like 10 minutes. But for long time use, your hands could sweat and becomes wet if the glove palm is not breathable. The following is a picture taken from real work site that shows how it looks like after wearing a pair of gloves that is not breathable. When your hands look like this, are your going to keep wearing your gloves? For comfort, most people would take off their gloves that will expose their hands to risk.
With the technical progress in coating technology, the palm coating can be made breathable with foam structure, actually it is an old technology. But till now, the majority of people are still wearing regular coated gloves without foam. This is, to some degree, because of the durability and price issue. When the coating was made into foam structure, the durability became low and price goes up. I think that might be a reason why most people are still using regular coated gloves not foamed one. I believe in the near future, with the technological advancement and the whole society becoming more wealthy, breathability will be a must-have feature for all work gloves.