How to Choose the Right Leather Glove for the Job

Leather gloves are a top choice when it comes to choosing a work glove. Leather gloves are a great option for their excellent resistance to high temperatures and abrasion. When you are purchasing a new pair of leather gloves, consider the type of work you will be doing while wearing your gloves. At Wilco, we carry cowhide, deerskin, goat, and pig. They all have different qualities that make their use unique to the task.

Cowhide leatherThe heavy-duty option. Cowhide is divided into three layers prior to manufacturing. The smooth outer layer (or grain side) is used on “premium” grade styles of leather gloves. It is the strongest, smoothest part of the hide. The bottom layer (or suede side) is used mostly on leather palm styles, which typically have linings to protect the hands against its roughness. The middle layer is usually discarded because it has no tensile strength. Cowhide gloves are best used for outdoor and heavy-duty jobs.

Deerskin leather is naturally soft and supple, with excellent dexterity. Deerskin also dries soft and flexible after being wet. Great for outdoor riders.

Goatskin has the highest natural lanolin content, which makes these work gloves soft and pliable with a bit of stretch and durable. They offer great dexterity for handling smaller objects and are waterproof.

Pigskin leather is tanned for toughness and pliability. Soft drying and flexible, pigskin withstands moisture without stiffening. Pigskin also has excellent abrasion resistance, durability, and breathability. It becomes softer after many uses. It does not crack after getting wet, as opposed to various cowhide options.


Compare Leather Glove Performance






Good Very Good Excellent Very Good


Good Fair Fair Excellent


Good Excellent Excellent Excellent

Abrasion Resistance

Good Fair Good Excellent

Dries Soft & Flexible

No Yes Yes Yes

Cold Blocking

Very Good Good Good Good

Heat Resistance

Excellent Very Good Good Very Good

Moisture Resistance

Poor Good Very Good Excellent


Fair Fair Good Very Good

Puncture Resistance

Good Fair Good Very Good
Please note that glove performance may vary dependent on the grain and thickness of the leather and the cut of the glove. This chart is rating gloves against each other in general terms and is not meant to guarantee the performance of any type of glove.

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