Shimano Windstopper Thermal Reflective Gloves
A sophisticated palm and inbuilt curved cut make for great bar comfort with the Shimano Windstopper Thermal Reflective gloves but they aren’t quite as hi-vis as their name suggests.
Shimano reckons its winter gloves are good down to -10°C and while I didn’t have the opportunity to test them in temperatures much below 5°C, they proved comfortable and effective in those conditions.
You might find there’s not enough padding to take you down to that quoted minimum, particularly on the inside face of the fingers.
The comparatively thin synthetic leather used means that the Windstopper Thermal Reflective gloves give you a firm grip on the bars and allow confident use of the shifters and brakes.
Shimano’s palm design is sophisticated, with extra padding in all the most important areas for comfortable riding; there are two pads at the base of the palm and a set across the inside of the knuckles, so you’re well set up for hand comfort on longer rides.
There are areas of thinner fabric where the hand naturally curves when gripping, so there’s no tendency for the gloves to bunch up below pressure points. This is further assisted by a curved cut to the fingers, which again leads to smooth distribution of padding when gripping the bars.
The Gore Windstopper membrane built into these gloves does a very good job of keeping out the cold but it’s breathable, so your hands stay comfortably dry even in milder weather.
On the inside of the backs of the gloves, the insulation has a metallic finish, designed to reflect heat back into the hands. The outer surface of the tops has a printed silicone wave pattern that seems to be entirely decorative because it’s not positioned to be functional.
As with most winter gloves, there’s a broad wiping surface built into the top of the thumb.
Although billed as reflective, the reflective elements of Shimano’s gloves are less noticeable than on many alternatives, being confined to a dart on the outer edge of the little finger and a small Shimano logo. Nighttime visibility isn’t the best, although there’s a variant with yellow waves on the back of the glove that adds a bit more road presence.
Another area that isn’t quite as sophisticated as on some gloves is the cuff. This is made of elastic fabric and is quite short, with no Velcro adjuster. It makes the gloves a bit easier to get on and off though, and there’s enough stretch and length to keep your wrists warm.