Having cracked, hoary hands is part and parcel of being a gardener, but we prefer to keep our paws pristine and protected from the rigours of outdoor graft.

Whether to provide a barrier from muck and detritus, to stave off blisters when brandishing gardening implements, or to keep your digits nimble on a cold winter’s morn, a decent pair of gloves should be part of your go-to gardening gear.

We’ve grabbed a bunch of the best and worn them for various gardening jobs down on the allotment.

Thanks to the changeability of the springtime weather, the gloves on trial were exposed to rain, wind and (occasionally) sunny conditions, and were tasked with digging duties, weeding, pruning, mower pushing and plant manhandling.

We were looking for comfort, flexibility and protection – here are 10 great gardening gauntlets to cover all eventualities.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

HexArmor thorn armour glove: £36.27, Safety Gloves

Made for arduous landscaping tasks that involve hand-to-thorn action, HexArmor gloves provide unrivalled puncture protection. It can be quite disconcerting the first time you grasp a spiky plant, half expecting to experience tear-inducing pain, but the triple layer of near impenetrable SuperFabric (a material infused with hard guard plates) ensures your hands remain unsullied. The short “mechanic- style” design helps with hand mobility but does leave your wrists vulnerable. Likewise, the light breathable back panel doesn’t share the potent protection properties of the palm, so be wary of thorn bushes exacting a vengeful cheap shot.

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Town & Country master gardener: £5.99, Town & Country

Town and Country master gardener are Britain’s best selling gardening gloves and are easily spotted on garden centre racks thanks to their green, cabbage-like appearance. They are fairly flimsy – prolonged scrabbling in soil will wear out the fingers quite quickly – but these gloves are water resistant, grippy and comfortable. For a shade under six quid, you can’t go wrong.

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Marigold extra tough outdoor gloves: £4.70, Just Gloves

Marigold are renowned for their canary yellow mitts made for grappling filthy dishes, but gardeners looking for decent hand protection should check out the lesser known “extra tough” range. These gloves have a distinctly surgical room feel to them, but the extra thick, double layer latex means they are completely waterproof while remaining grippy and durable. Their snug, digit-hugging fit makes them perfect for potting up seedlings where nimble-fingered dexterity is paramount.

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Gold Leaf dry touch gloves: £19.95, Harrod Horticultural

Gold Leaf gloves have been gracing the paws of discerning gardeners since 2004 and now come with the highly sought after Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) stamp of approval. The Gold Leaf dry touch gloves are some of our favourites. Made from soft, supple deerskin with a warm fleece inner, this dandy pair of gloves offer effective water resistance to gardeners undaunted by wet weather. They are not fully submersible (don’t go using them for scrabbling around in ponds) but should it start bucketing it down while you are out weeding, your hands will remain warm and cosy.

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Briers professional gloves: £9.99, Robert Dyas

This dependable pair is a great choice for gardeners wanting decent hand protection when using blister-inducing garden tools. Generous padding on the palm, fingertips and forefingers ensures comfortable, assured grasping, while the supple, breathable back fabric keeps things cool. We can also report that the Velcro wrist fastenings held these gloves locked on and secure during the furious bouts of hoeing we tasked them with.

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Showa Thermo gardening gloves: £6.99, Amazon

These cold-weather gloves hail from the extensive glove portfolio of Showa and have become our go-to glove for cold days down on the allotment. The sticky-gripped palm and finger sections hold up to prolonged garden rummaging, while the extra long cotton wrists provide welcome comfort when cold winds start to whistle.

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Husqvarna classic light gloves: £9.76, Tools Today

For a luxurious-feeling garden glove on a budget, you could do worse than sink your hands into a pair of these. They are predominately constructed from durable goatskin, which affords them stretch and movement while retaining a high degree of comfort. The soft jersey fabric section on the outer thumb is also a welcome addition – handy for mopping a beaded brow (or for stemming the flow of a nose beset by hay fever).

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Stein gloves: £12.75, Northern Arb Supplies

There are times when gardening gets extreme and power tools are called into play. When wielding chainsaws and their ilk, it’s essential to keep your hands properly protected while still being able to retain a sure grip on your tool of choice. These padded gloves are made from multi-layered Kevlar – meaning you stand a much better chance of retaining a full complement of fingers should your chainsaw slip. Extra padding is provided for the left hand, while the protection on the right-handed glove is kept lean and light for mobility.

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Clip Glove medium duty general purpose: £16.95, The Pink Invasion Company

If you have the tendency to fling off your gloves during hot garden toil, only to spend the next 15 minutes trying to locate them, these are the gloves for you. Their USP is that each pair come with a neat aluminium carabiner to dangle them off your belt when not in use. Clip gloves come in a variety of styles and are made from a mixture of bamboo fibres, cut-proof yarns and synthetic leathers. We favoured the general purpose glove, which offers a balance of flexibility and durability.

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Haws gauntlets gardening gloves: £35.39, Garden4less

For tackling thorny jobs in leather-clad comfort, slide your hands into a pair of these regal looking gauntlets. Made from soft-lined leather and boasting a 20cm cuff, they ooze quality. They were by far the longest gloves on test – for jobs that require delving elbow deep into brambles and rose bushes, these have got you covered. They are not the most dexterous of gloves to wear and come with a princely price tag, but what you lose in mobility, you gain in protection.

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The verdict: gardening gloves

For pierce-free protection when ripping out brambles and for tackling arduous landscaping jobs, it’s worth splurging the (considerable) amount of cash on a pair of HexArmor gloves. Gardening folk with a more modest budget should reach for a pair of Briers – they’ll help you tackle everyday garden tasks in comfort and style. Glove-ley.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.