Giro’s Proof glove is touted as the warmest, fully waterproof model from the brand, for use in temperatures from -3.8 to 1.8 degrees. That waterproofing is provided by Giro’s OutDry membrane that’s heat bonded to the glove’s outer shell, with no seams or gaps
They have 100g Polartec Power Dry insulation, made from 80 per cent recycled plastic and a micro fleece lining. The palm is made from Ax Suede, and the two forefingers are touchscreen-compatible.
The cuff has an adjustable hook-and-loop closure, and there is a microfibre wipe strip between the index finger and thumb. They have a clip to pair the gloves together and a pull loop to help with getting them on. The size 8/large test pair of gloves weighed 120g.
Giro Proof Glove performance
The impressive warmth provided by the Proof gloves means they’re best suited to the coldest days on the hill, or for people who run much cooler or suffer from cold hands. The insulation is sufficient to maintain and even increase hand temperature, even during periods of inactivity.
This makes their performance closer to ski gloves than cycling gloves.
That level of insulation wouldn’t be possible without some bulkiness, and they are on the larger, more cumbersome side. The result is that some dexterity is lost. This is especially noticeable when operating the gear shifters, but is less of a problem for dropper posts and brakes.
Equally, depending on how close you run your brake lever blades to the bars, you might feel the lever squashing into the glove’s fabric on the fingers holding onto the bars.
The padding and internal fleece liner don’t insulate the ride feel too much and remained comfortable for the duration of the test period. There is some damping between the bike and hands, but it wasn’t extreme enough to create numbness or a disconnect.
Because of the gloves’ construction, there was twisting between the inner and outer layers. However, the suede palm was grippy and free from stitches or bumps, meaning comfort was impressive.
Waterproofing was effective, and rain beaded on the glove backs. After prolonged exposure, the outer material soaked out, but the waterproof membrane remained impenetrable for the duration of the test period.
The same was true in the two-minute submersion test, where the gloves resisted water ingress. Their windproofing was also exceptional, and I couldn’t feel any cold air over my hands.
The two-layer cuff worked well, the inner, liner portion of the glove slipping under my jacket’s sleeve, while the outer, bulkier section went over the top. This provided a good weather seal, and the hook-and-loop adjustable cuff meant it could be secured in place.
Because of the thick liner, getting the gloves on with sweaty hands is tricky, and removing them without care caused the liner’s fingers to slip out of place. Grabbing the ends of the fingers when removing them fixed this issue, however.
I couldn’t use the touchscreen on my smartphone with the gloves on, despite Giro’s claims. However, the conveniently positioned pull tab proved useful for getting the gloves on, and the soft fleece wipe was welcome.
How we tested
We tested five pairs of winter gloves back-to-back in the widest variety of conditions we could find. Temperatures ranged from a mild 10 degrees celsius, right the way down to a positively chilly -5 degrees celsius. We endured cold, crisp and sunny days, and the wettest rain the great Scottish mountains could provide. We tested the gloves on low-intensity ebike rides, through to heart-pummelling cross-country epics to really get a handle on performance.
Also on test
- Altura Polartec Waterproof Glove
- Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather MTB Glove
- Specialized Men’s Trail Thermal Gloves
- Troy Lee Designs Swelter Glove
Giro Proof Glove bottom line
If you need highly insulated gloves for the coldest and wettest winter rides, these are exceptional performers. The level of insulation on offer comes with the associated bulkiness and reduction in dexterity, but it’s not possible to have heat without some loftiness.
Ride feel wasn’t negatively affected as much by the gloves as it would have been by having numb, cold hands, and for that I was truly grateful for the Proofs.