Judy Armstrong tests the Salewa Leather Finger Glove as part of a wider review of the best year-round gloves

Strange – the test glove was size XS / 6 and should have been too small, but in fact was the biggest glove in this review. There’s no arguing with the quality of the Salewa Leather Finger Glove, especially the use of soft, supple goatskin leather (naturally windproof and water repellent although not technically waterproof).

The Alpine Wool Responsive lining was warmer than I expected given how slimline the glove feels but it’s definitely more ‘lining’ than ‘padding’. I honestly couldn’t feel the Responsive element, which claims to ‘absorb infrared heat and reflect back to the body’; my hands quickly got cold in cooler conditions, and I wouldn’t reach for them in a winter freeze.

Box construction fingers are slightly curved with a double layer of leather around the thumb to index grip and under the knuckles. This creates a small amount of extra bulk when flexing fingers to grip on smaller diameters like rope, although is not noticeable with trekking poles.

The underside cuff is neoprene with a wide Velcro tab; they’re slim fitting with a seamless top face to slide under outer garments. Salewa are taking no chances on you losing these: each has a grab tab at the cuffs which you can hook a carabiner through, plus a sewn-in leash and wrist loop to hang them off wrists or forearms. But they do look and feel somewhat niche.

The Salewa Leather Finger Glove isn’t particular warm or foul-weather waterproof, yet they seem over-engineered for cool to mild weather tasks. Salewa say they are for mountaineers, providing dextrous grip for axes and poles. They do have good grip and dexterity and the supple, stretchy leather is more durable than synthetic fabrics. They’d certainly protect hands if you’re cool weather scrambling on sharp rocks and are ideal for handling ropes.