carhartt coated work gloves

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Are there small work gloves that fit well? How many truly good options are out there? Are there any that are budget-friendly? I ordered a bunch of pairs to find out, and compared them head to head!

It probably isn’t a surprise to anyone, but when you do a lot of DIY, demo, renovation, or yard work, you eventually need a pair of safety gloves (or a bunch to last through several seasons). Here’s the thing, though: I have SMALL HANDS. As in small palms, small fingers, and small thumbs. Petite women’s hands that are more or less in proportion with my petite woman’s body. And, apparently, that’s a pretty huge challenge for the glove-making world!

The simple reality is that it is pretty difficult to find a pair of work gloves that fit and still offers us small-handed folk the dexterity we need to get the job done. So, I decided to go looking for the perfect pair… and to write about my personal experience with shopping for them.

carrying fence panels
The gloves pictured here were borrowed and too big, but gave me more motivation to go looking for the right pair.

The dilemma of poorly-fitting work gloves

The whole point of wearing a work glove is usefulness and safety, just like your go-to pair of safety glasses. To have so few choices for protecting my hands is frustrating. After all, loose PPE (“personal protective equipment”) can get caught. It reduces dexterity when you need it most, like when you need to pick up something sharp or rough (cough cough screws and nails). Plus, it’s a pain — sometimes literally, since it’s been shown that repeated straining from poorly-fitting workwear causes hand and arm fatigue.

So, the choices we’re left with aren’t so awesome, especially when trying to find gloves for a project immediately, without waiting on shipping. Because when do you think about grabbing a pair of work gloves — when you’re right about to use them, right? I find myself asking:

  • do I risk injury from not wearing gloves? Or
  • do I risk injury from wearing them? Or
  • do I delay the project because I don’t have something that should (logically) be readily available?

Given that I take a lot of photos and video while using power tools on social media, I want to demonstrate wearing proper safety gear when necessary (like most humans, I don’t always practice what I preach, but I still wanted to put an honest effort!). There are a few other frustrations that motivated me, too:

  • Most of the split-sized “S/M” sizes are still too big if they can be found in stores, so buying online is often the only option… and a gamble (since size charts only go so far)
  • Finding smaller gloves that are made for women are often only for gardening or light work… and often pink or pastel-colored (eyeroll)
  • A sponsor might require me to wear safety gear in my photos and videos when using their tools… and may even offer some… but it doesn’t always fit. That still means I need to find other PPE that fits — not to mention the mixed message of wanting me to endorse their brand, but not having safety gear for people my size ???
  • Various nitpickery from know-it-all online commenters who tell me I need to wear gloves, without realizing just how difficult this whole scenario is when you’re small!

Best Women’s Work Gloves?

Gloves come in all different sizes because people’s hands do. So, it’s not just a matter of men’s versus women’s sizing and marketing makes this search particularly tricky (even though lots of labels on them beg to differ). But we’re talking finger length and width, palm width, and wrist fit, and lots of gloves simply seem to misunderstand proportions when a tight fit is pretty darn important for flexibility and moving around in a situation where you can hurt two very handy (pun-intended) pieces of your body. So, my experience may certainly differ from the next woman’s search if she has long fingers but small everything else. I’m looking for small everything. If you’re like me, then this post is dedicated to YOU!

I searched online, naturally, for a solid list for small work gloves by someone out there in internet-land who may have found the answer for me already. Aside from reading individual reviews, glove by glove, I came up empty. So, I’ve made my own list! I’ve started by shopping in 3 places (I intend to expand this list in future updates to this post):

  • in person: Home Depot
  • in person: Lowe’s
  • online: Amazon

I ordered around ten pairs in size “small” (I wanted to compare a single size where possible; very few brands actually make an “extra small”, but I’ve noted them in the list below). I also did two in-store try-ons at Lowe’s and Home Depot.

I also asked K (who wears a men’s size medium) try on some of the too-large pairs for the sake of additional feedback. He wound up keeping two of those for himself (they were basically mediums).

My work glove fit test criteria:

Granted, small hands aren’t created equal; we don’t all have the same finger lengths and palm widths, so fit is going to be tricky no matter what. So, my notes below will reflect a personal fit (small palms, small fingers, small thumbs). Still, I found most to be absurdly large, long, or wide. I don’t like wearing loose gloves, period. I also found that the same size and the same brand can have a completely different fit. Here were the main things I noted to myself during each try-on:

  • Dexterity: Can I still move my hands around comfortably, without bagginess? Can I pick up small items?
  • Features: knuckle protection, foam padding, reinforced stitching, Kevlar, etc. These are considered nice-to-have, but not exclusively deal breakers. All had adjustable wrist, mostly through velcro cuff.
  • Finger length: Do the palm & wrist fit, but the fingers leave absurdly extra length, making tasks difficult (especially picking up items or feeling for buttons and triggers on tools)? This is often the biggest issue for me! Some gloves were too long by as much as an inch!
  • Weather type: I’ve separated my list into summer/all-season and winter gloves for better apples to apples comparison. I live in Georgia where heat is an issue for most of the year, but thermal features are great for winter months.
  • Comfort: Issues like no breathability when working up a sweat, scratchiness, rubbing in weird spots (such as velcro placement), quick off/on, etc.
  • Wear & tear: I’ll add follow up notes after months of use from the ones I kept. At a minimum, anything that starts to show holes or broken stitching on the first use is not great.
  • Not pink: I don’t mind pink as an option, as long as it’s not the only color available in small sizes. This assumption that “all women’s stuff should be pink” drives me mad. Items advertised as “women’s work gloves” don’t fit just women, too (men may not have large hands, older kids might want to do tasks that require durable gloves, etc.).

My In-Store Shopping Try-On Experience

  • At Home Depot, they DID have small pairs of “heavy duty” work gloves and one women’s medium. It was clear that the smaller sizes are selling out FAST; most of the smaller boxes were empty. I grabbed the very last pair available of Firm Grip Pro for women.
  • The majority of the brands I saw at Home Depot were unisex sizes; at Lowe’s, more were labeled as “men’s gloves” and men’s vs. women’s size labeling.
  • At Lowe’s, I still tried on a few small-looking men’s mediums and one S/M, but they unfortunately didn’t fit. A pair of women’s medium Mechanix gardening gloves did fit. I didn’t buy them that day, but noted these might be a substitute for heavier work because they were leather gloves (leather fingers/leather palm).
  • I looked online at the brands carried at both stores and there are even more options I can try to order. It looks like there are also extra-small options. But, of course, I was definitely interested in what I could find in the store itself (since gloves are so often something one buys while running an errand for something else!).

Summer/All-Season Gloves

Since I live in Atlanta, it is really important to me to find a pair of gloves that provides adequate protection without smothering my hands in the heat and humidity. The moisture that collects inside gloves that don’t breathe is kinda miserable, but you keep them on for protection when you don’t have another choice. I’m hoping to find that other option (or two!). As you can see in the collage below, quite a few pairs were really loose!


Ironclad EXO Project Impact — Designed for maximum impact and knuckle protection plus anti-vibration, which is super smart. When doing heavy duty work, it’s easy to forget that the back of your hand can get damaged from knocking around objects or something falling. Unfortunately though, the palm was too wide so it felt loose and frustrating. Finger length was ok (a smidge too long, but in places that I could live with). Fingers were very wide. Despite that, they felt like I might get a good grip if I were to use them. Both the palm and all knuckles had padding/guards. Thumbs have a terrycloth material for a sweat wipe. All in all, decent number of features, but ultimately made for much wider (and just slightly longer) hands. Too small for K so definitely a small, but not a good enough fit to earn it a spot on the keep pile. Returned.

Ironclad General Utility — Much too big. But, the good news is that this is one of the few that also carry an extra-small size (which I’ll have to try next). Heavy duty leather palm. Returned, but trying a smaller size.

Ironclad Ranchworx — Cut resistance, which is nice for demo work and handling splintery materials like firewood. Out of the Ironclad brand gloves, these are arguably the best fit of my small hands and I could probably justify keeping them as a backup pair of gloves (I thought these were going to be my overall “winner” until I tried on Carhartt’s and Firm Grip Pro). I like that the velcro wrist comes down a little further compared to the rest on this list, but there’s less overall velcro surface and it’s on the side of the wrist rather than across the back. Over time, that placement/smaller patch may not attach as well or will have wear & tear from repeatedly pulling them on (we’ll see). Has finger & palm padding for extra protection and looks like it’s got some good reinforced stitching on the fingers. Fingers are short enough to feel like I still had some dexterity, but not enough for detailed work. However, much like the other Ironclad gloves, the fingers are still wide (especially the thumb), even if they are a more comfortable length.

Ironclad Framer Work Gloves — Why, oh why, did these have to not fit??? I had such high hopes when I found out these existed. A lot of the features on these are similar to the other Ironclad gloves, except the index, middle, and thumb are all tip-less. That means they only had to get the length right on FOUR fingers, and it failed miserably (womp womp). That, plus the palm and fingers were all far too wide, making these some of the worst of the bunch. Returned.

CLC Handyman Flexgrip — Palm felt nice. Had extra padding and only slightly too wide. 3 out of 5 fingers were too long. I tried these on after trying on the Ironclad ones, which as a group, were a lot thicker. Given the thin fabric, I think these might perform well in heat/humidity, so I decided to keep these and do a follow-up review in the summer.

Carhartt Ladies Dex II ★ — LOVED THESE GLOVES from the second I put them on. In full disclosure, my friend Kit, who now works at Carhartt, sent me these and another pair when I told her I was looking to do this comparison (I went online and purchased a third type to review once I knew these fit so well). These are truly made for small hands. Designed for high dexterity. Breathable spandex. Synthetic leather palms and leather fingertips increase wear and tear life. The leather is soft and flexible, but still has a little padding/knuckle protection (though not as much as the rubber impact protection along the back of the fingers as some of the Ironclad gloves).

Carhartt Women’s C-Grip Pro Palm Glove ★ — These were the ones I ordered online after the two Kit sent. I am already using these in this video for my DIY Firewood Rack. They fit well and offered great protection from scraping up my hands on the bark/splinters of the firewood, and they added some nice insulation with how cold it was the day I was stacking all the wood and filming. I couldn’t really call these “winter” gloves because I still felt the cold, but they were much better than bare hands. I got them in purple, which were the only available size at the time of ordering on Amazon, but it looks like they come in gray as well.

Update: I use these a ton for demo work, yard debris, or other tasks where I need good palm protection! The rubbery palms are great for situations where I’m working with slimy leaves and dirt and don’t want to feel it but need the protection and flexibility.

Grease Monkey Gorilla Grip ★ — found at Home Depot’s in-store display and fit very well; if I didn’t already have the Carhartt ones, I would have purchased these as well. These will probably be very useful in situations where it could get very messy and might need to discard. They’re cheaper than the Carhartt ones and can be bought in multi-packs. I would be more inclined to use them in a situation where I couldn’t use them again, such as tiling work where thinset would ruin a “good” pair. (Update: I use these whenever I plan to do mucky work.)

Firm Grip General Purpose (Unisex, yellow) — found in Home Depot’s in-store availability, but they didn’t fit very well (size small). Length was ok, but fingers and palms all too wide.

Firm Grip General Purpose (Women’s, blue) ★ — found in Home Depot’s in-store availability, fit very well. Offers fingertip protection via reinforced stitching and extra wrapping on the tips, so potentially good for demo work. Tight (!) and comfortable fit. Also, the size is WOMEN’S MEDIUM where most of the other pairs offered by this brand are not specified as women’s or men’s. Purchased.

Update: I LOVE these and have used multiple pairs. These are a go-to pair for demo work because they are abrasion resistant yet I still have lots of grip in the tips to pick up small pieces of sharp objects.

Update #2: Since the original date of this post, Firm Grip has since expanded the number of size “small” gloves in various different styles and sent them to me to try on… it’s so appreciated that they listened! None fit quite as snug as the General Purpose Women’s Medium, but they are proportional, so I imagine they’ll still fit lots of other folks who don’t have “tiny baby hands” as I do!

Pretty much any pigskin/deerskin (those pale tan leather work gloves) of any brand that I tried on didn’t fit.

Winter Gloves

I separated out cold-weather gloves because I figured I might have to sacrifice a little dexterity for warmth. Finger length was still the top problem, though:

winter work gloves for small hands

Superior Winter Work Gloves (Red) — Has some nice stretch and seems to be cozy enough to keep my hands warm, but all fingers were far too long… some up to an inch of extra length. Now when I click on the same link as the product I purchased, the size description has been changed to medium, so perhaps this was a complaint they addressed! When I search for the same description, a completely different item pops up, which also has extra-small sizing. So I’ll try those in a future order. Returned.

Ergodyne Proflex Gloves (with 3M Thinsulate) — Much more like a medium, because they were big everywhere. Did not pass what I call the “thumb test”, where I squish my hand into a palm to see how much extra room I have on each finger; if I can bend the finger tip over itself, it doesn’t come close to fitting (there was a lot of extra length in each fingertip, especially the thumb). They fit K perfectly though, so he’s keeping them instead (and used them on our camping trip!). They felt nice and warm, at least!

Youngstown Waterproof Winter Plus — Funnily enough, I had the opposite problem with these gloves as I had with pretty much all other competitors. The fingers were a pretty good length. But, unfortunately, they were made for much wider hands, so all of the fingers still felt like they were falling off and reduced overall dexterity. The thumb was so wide that I probably could have fit both my thumb and a stick of string cheese in it for a mid-afternoon snack. Returned

Carhartt Iris Touchscreen-friendly Gloves ★ — Really good fit and warm. They seem to have some insulation and thicker fabric, but they also have some grip on the palms. I took these this past weekend on a camping trip with me where it was both cold and raining; they aren’t waterproof and my fingers still got cold, but I felt the chill far less than I would have otherwise!

Top Small-Glove Winners:

Other overall takeaways:

  • Most size “small” pairs seem to be designed with men’s hands in mind, even if they aren’t labeled explicitly for men. Having unisex gloves is a great move, but that means an XS size is needed as an option, and many are missing this so far, especially in store. It might also have an influence on how long the fingers are and how wide the fingers are made, even if the palms fit.
  • Finding winter work gloves that fit is an even bigger challenge across the board.
  • There seems to be demand — enough to empty boxes in the store. But overall availability is still lacking compared to the larger sizes, so I hope that continues to change.
  • When ordering online, such as on Amazon, expect to pay a little more for small gloves than the rest of the sizes. In many cases, the cost was as much as 32% more for the small size vs. larger sizes.

I know I’m not necessarily putting a positive light on many of the gloves I tried on, but I’m not trying to vilify these brands listed, either. My point is that safety gear is important. And with so few of choices despite the amount of competition there is, means there’s plenty of opportunity to improve.

There’s also opportunity for design improvement. If the feedback I got already on my Instagram stories were any indication, this a problem that many people face, not just the ladies. Simply shrinking down a large pair of gloves and calling it a day is probably how we wind up with gloves that have comically long fingers. These need to be tried on by real people who will go, “um, is there any reason why I could fit my hand and my lunch in this thing??”

The ones I kept: next steps

Of the above pairs, I wound up keeping the pairs listed below. I  felt like the Ranchworx and CLC pairs are settling for a workable but not great fit, so they make the “almost” pile. These selected pairs should be enough to get through a few months of putting them to work and seeing which ones wear thin or become too uncomfortable to use in the heat.

I hope this provided some answers for you small-handed DIY badasses on a few good options that are out there, and maybe inspire a few brands to offer a fuller range of sizes. I’d love to see comments if you’ve been looking for small gloves so I can show this to more brands as PROOF that we need more options!* The fact that those boxes in the stores were empty (or near-empty) says one message loud and clear to me:

shut up and take my money

*Update: THANK YOU for the outpouring on this post and for sharing! I’m so pleased so many of you have found this helpful.

Also, since this is a working list, I’ll regularly check back in and add the latest updates or new products until I feel like I have found the trifecta of small gloves: FIT, FUNCTION, and aFFORDABLE (I know, not an “f”, but close enough). If you have a favorite pair I need to try next**, let me know.

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P.S. **Yes, I’ve already been told about the Duluth Trading gloves… I didn’t have them yet at the time of this first posting (mainly because it’s an individual buy vs. Amazon where I can buy a bunch, or in-store where I can do a lot of try-ons at once), but they are on the next batch of orders I’ll make. I also know of a new brand coming out with their own gloves in January, but the price is like 3x more than these on average, so I may try them just to say that they fit, but I’m looking for affordable options.

P.P.S. I wasn’t paid to mention or post about any of the brands mentioned here. In fact, brands usually don’t like you mentioning other brands in a single review, even if it’s a comparison in their favor! Kinda weird but true. If a brand offered me a pair of gloves a this point to add to this post when it gets updated in a few months after testing this first group, I’m not opposed to doing so and I’ll include those disclosures if the brand sent it themselves (one brand generously offered me a pair after they found out I was doing this review, but I’d already purchased them). Just wanting to be 100% transparent on the behind-the-scenes part in case there are any questions.

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  1. I have a similar problem but in a different dimension. I am tall and I can’t find work gloves (or driving gloves) with long enough fingers. Means I have webbing between my fingers and I blow out the ends of gloves in no time. Men’s gloves are longer but also wider so no dexterity. I often go without gloves simply because poor fitting ones get in the way.

    1. I see the dilemma! The framer’s gloves might be a good fit as a work glove (no pun intended, I guess?) since they deliberately don’t have finger tips on most of the glove. But, perhaps too, you might be more drawn to the type of glove with the rubberized coatings, since they have a lot more stretch? If you find a pair that fits well, please follow up & let me know. I’d love to tell folks that there’s a solution for that, too.

    2. THANK??YOU??!!!!! The struggle is real for those of us with very small hands. If I ever come across a pair of gloves that don’t have fingers that are too long (I’ve only had this happen a few times in my life,) it’s a damn miracle. And I’m talking just regular gloves. Work gloves that fit my hand, especially if they’re not pink? I thought it was a lost cause.
      I so so so appreciate your article!!

  2. Try out bellingham wonder grip Nearly Naked gloves! A thinner glove that I wear 24/7! The only place I’ve found them is wilco farm store. But I actually use a medium, and consider my hands fairly small

  3. Love this review! I’ve bought so many not-quite-fitting work gloves since I need something to protect my hands even if it’s too wide in the palm and fingers and too long in the fingers

    1. Same, Kay! I felt like this post was long overdue. I hope you find a pair that fits you well (and that this post helped narrow it down some).

  4. As a guy with small hands I have a similar problem. The biggest problem is that no one stocks small men’s gloves. Some wider cut women’s gloves work but often have long fingers. Typically I just suffer with ill fitting gloves (or like you go without when I shouldn’t). This last summer I found my perfect gloves at harbor Freight. They are the Hardy Goatskin Riding Work Gloves in Small. They fit me really well and have a velcro wrist closure that helps keep dirt out and the gloves on. I was so worried they would go out of stock that after I used them and liked them I bought 5 more pairs! But they have continued to be in stock both in store and online. If you have a HF around might want to try them out. They are only $10 and have held up well for me.

    1. I’ll give them a try! But often the men’s small are still a little too large for me, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed. So glad you found an affordable pair! And definitely stock up on them; I’m hearing a lot that it’s very common for smaller pairs to disappear from stores because not enough people are buying them!

  5. I finally remembered to look in our tool box to see what gloves I have and like, especially since one of my favorite non-pink pairs are blue, and apparently I’m missing the left hand. Anyway, you found them, because my searching suggests they’re an older model of the Firm Grip High Dex gloves. No clue what size they are, but I’m a relatively tall woman who still has a rough time getting small gloves, if they’re in stock, to fit. Keep up the great work, and can’t wait to see what other manufacturers get some love for actually catering to their full range of customers!

  6. I am a tiny boned woman who does a lot of the work around our house, too. I mostly go without any gloves, as it’s usually more dangerous to wear the huge ones than to just risk it and build some callouses.We also mentor with a robotics club, which does large-scale as well as detailed building. It’s a serious challenge to get the teen girls gloves that fit. We’re seeing good changes in the club since some of the insecure/misogynist older boys have graduated, but the girls still fight a battle to be taken seriously and given equal time with the tools. I agree that this whole pastel trend is condescending. Having all pink accessories would annoy me, but it could really seriously undermine our female club members, because it’s the industry reinforcing those negative ideas. I’m glad for the recommendations and I hope that companies are listening!

    1. More and more seem to be. And many women are starting their own brands to make products that are designed for women without thinking pink. I’m hopeful for the future with more & more women being interested in these trades! :)

  7. Thanks for writing this! I went through this dilemma last year, looking for work gloves for farm work (so not as much safety needed but still dexterity and overall protection). I was so frustrated with how few options there were and the pink problem! I ended up giving up and just buying those ubiquitous yellow leather gloves, which didn’t come close to fitting, and totally turn my hands a nice yellowy orange color. I’m going to have to try ordering some of the gloves you mentioned now!

    1. I hope you finally find a pair that fits well! I’ll follow up in a few months on the ones I kept and will pass along my own favorites too.

  8. For forty-five years I’ve been bitching at garden centers and hardware stores about those ridiculous pink flowered cotton “gardening” gloves the manufacturers think we want. Do they ever actually SELL any? Be so audaciously unfeminine as to pick up one piece of firewood and they’re history, with fingers poking out the ends and stitching ripped apart. Forty-five years. That’s how long I’ve been looking for a durable, well-fitting pair of heavy-duty work gloves for my small hands. I’m almost 70 and they STILL haven’t figured out what a huge market is out here. (Any entrepreneurs listening???) Even the tougher ones that come somewhat close to fitting (I’ve been through dozens of Wells Lamont gloves) rarely last through a whole summer of serious, heavy-duty yard work. I’ve never understood why the men (who apparently still to this day control the manufacture of these things) refuse to even imagine that women might dare to do really heavy outdoor work that requires sturdy gloves that actually fit. So THANK YOU. I will try the ones you recommend.

    1. I’m so glad to see your comment, Margie! That’s SO similar to how I’ve felt trying to shop for gloves! It’s so essential to use them for tough jobs, yet so much harder to find! I will be updating this post soon with more info on some of the gloves I’ve been testing out (the Firm Grip ones are great, the Carhartt ones are also awesome and super durable). Glad you found my post and can speak to this frustration!

  9. Have you found any gloves that fit well and are more durable than the firm grip? I have been doing a bathroom renovation and I have bought at least 4 or 5 pairs of these in the past couple of months because the fingertips keep wearing out. I would love to find a pair that fits like these but is more durable.

    1. I really like the Carhartt ones as well; they make them small enough and I use the rubber-palmed ones whenever I’m handling firewood.

  10. thank you for the article. I am wondering if you have tried out the duluth women’s kevlar gloves or any others made by duluth. I am trying to find a work glove for my daughter who has size 5 hands.

    Thank you for your help

    1. I wound up being very happy with my Carhartt (with the rubber palms) and the Firm Grip gloves mentioned in my post, so I haven’t tried any others out yet (they’re both still going strong!). Highly recommend either to give them a try for small hands.

  11. First of all—-you’re far from an ugly duckling and if I was a lesbian, I’d buy you all the gloves in the world and form them into bouquets…
    I’d imagine I’d be a very generous glove giving gay girl, but I like the fellas because they have Dick’s Sporting Goods is a great store isn’t it?
    Anyway – I also have been on the glove-go-round because I have long slender fingers and hands (another reason I’m probably not a lesbian and if I was I’d probably have to drive a Porsche or Corvette to get the ladies)…Anyway – enough about lesbianhood…I don’t even know what got me started on that subject – Oh – I was trying to let you know that you’re not ugly…
    This sweet lady from Hourglass International was wickedly awesomely helpful when I was looking for rubber gloves a while back (before The Budweiser Virus Pandemic) and she sent me three different sizes to try and they were smalllllllllll. So you may check with her when it comes to nitrile or latex or rubber gloves.

    1. Thanks for the compliment! But the name is actually about the house (Ugly Duckling House) — making it over into a much more beautiful version of itself. Thanks for the tip about the gloves. I’ve found small latex gloves work well for me, but it’s all the protective gear for heavy duty stuff that tends to be too wide! FirmGrip Women’s and Carhartt are still my top two.

      1. Oopsie Daisies – That’s a big duh on me…but of course I’m not the sharpest tool in the drawer or toolbox…My SOB calls me YaDerrr which is short for You’re Doing it Wrong…I call him idiotstick but it’s not short for anything…Have a nice rest of the day….

  12. I have been eyeballing the Carhartt gloves, too. I just am so leary. I have busted up so many gloves. I have a big question though – FINGERTIPS??? Besides gardening, lopping/pruning, concrete blocks, wood, rototilling, lawn tools, etc., I spend a lot of time digging through rocks or digging rocks out of my crappy rocky soil. This causes the tips or pads of my fingers to be torn up unless I’m wearing huge, heavy gloves that limits my dexterity. If the soil is wet, that lends to new issues. I shop online (mainly Amazon). The C-Grip look like they would tear so easily. I’m just so uncertain. The Knuckler version looks a bit better for function. Have you seen the Perennial High Dexterity by Carhartt? Fingertips are fully covered! People seem to complain about the seams on the fingers being bothersome though. Carhartt Work Flex looks a step down the the Perennial as far as fingers go. The Dex II almost look like driving gloves to me. Tempting, but how tough are they over time? A bit pricey, but if they can handle it, it’s worth it at this point based on all the money I’ve lost in gloves over the years. Thank you so much for your review. Hope you can help me decide a bit since you’ve hard some wear on the gloves.

    1. I wrote an update on the bottom of the two gloves I use most: the C-Grip and the Women’s Medium from FirmGrip Pro. The fact is, eventually, you’ll wear through safety gloves (and I fully expect to), but I haven’t worn through these two yet and I’ve had them since 2018. If you look at my Instagram, you’ll see I’m wearing the C-Grip while I demo my camper. I use them in situations where I need extra grip from the rubber palms and fingers. For me, anything that protects my knuckles doesn’t mean anything for finger dexterity or reinforcement on the fingers. As for the FirmGrip pair, I wear those when I’m doing general purpose stuff around the house. Both are excellent IMO in terms of fit. Unfortunately, since fit is such an issue for gals with small hands like mine, that’s my first issue. The FirmGrip has reinforced stitching on the fingers. I need to stress though that it’s the Women’s Medium pair, and not the regular small pairs — those are still too wide on the fingers and palms for me.

  13. Thank you for this post! My husband and I have been DIYing our house for 4 years now, and he gives me grief every time I come to a project without gloves. I had a pair that actually fit pretty well once upon a time, but they disintegrated within about 3 months and I can’t find them again even if I did want to replace gloves that often. I finally dragged him to the glove aisle at Lowe’s and invited him to find me an appropriate pair of gloves. Even knowing my struggle in finding clothing my size generally (I am a small women overall), that was an eye-opener for him. I’ve ordered 3 pairs from your list, and fingers are crossed that something will work!

    1. Oh that makes me SO HAPPY to read your comment! I hoped so much that this post would be helpful to people in the same situation as you are, so I am so glad you found it and that you’re on your way to better fitting gloves! Enjoy!

  14. When it comes to gloves I’m a size XS, it was hard enough finding regular winter gloves, (by fluke I found some in a Harrods style shopping centre in Sweden.) But here in the UK we have even less choice. My preferred brand is Dirty Rigger because they are pretty good quality and not too expensive. I currently own a set of size small fingerless which serve me well but I still need to take them off for doing fiddly jobs (because they are too big) which sort of defeats the point of having them fingerless. I cannot for love nor (releasable) money find a pair of xs gloves (sold in the UK) that haven’t been subjected to the “pink and shrink” treatment. It’s infuriating!
    My Mum is a (kinda) small Biker who commutes to work on her bike and she has the same issue when it comes to most of her protective gear. (Luckily for her she doesn’t have too much in the way of boobs and bum so she can get away with wearing small man’s gear)
    Oh and trying finding protective clothes for people like me with big butts.
    I get that work wear is a male dominated industry but it’s just absurd the amount of hoops I have to jump through to get enough half the decent quality stuff my male friends can walk into any shop and find.

    (Thank you for coming to my ted talk, sorry about the rant.)

    1. Rant away! I totally understand your frustration. And love that you now gave me a new phrase to use — “pink and shrink”! I hope that since many of these items are on Amazon that they might help you find a few that work for you, even if most of my review is stateside.

  15. I loved the #eyeroll about the pink! Thanks so much for your detailed report about work gloves for women with small hands. I am a DIYer, always have been. I was my dad’s “little assistant” growing up, doing everything around the house that needed fixing. I am now in my “retirement” job (I used to be an IT Engineer), working at The Home Depot. And, I need new work gloves, which is how I found your website. I’m going to look for what we have in store, especially the Firm Grip Pro Women’s!

    1. Glad I could help, Mary! From my experience, the Firm Grip Women’s gloves sell out fast, so hopefully you can keep your eye on shipments! They seem to have expanded to new pairs in their small sizes, but those are still usually too big for me. ONLY the Women’s Medium size has fit my hands! And the small Gorilla Grip ones too. Those are your best bet for inside Home Depot.

      1. Sarah, I found several pair of gloves in stock that seemed to fit. They were all size Medium (without gender designation). I wound up purchasing 2 different pairs, both Firm Grip brand: 1. Duck Canvas Utility, described as heavy duty duck canvas, quick fit, and quick dry. They have comfortable elastic wrist, and are brown. I wore them for a few hours while pruning a tree. They were tough but breathable! 2. General Purpose, described as performance fit, breathable mesh, and reinforced construction. They have a velcro closure. I haven’t used them yet. One key feature both pairs have is reinforcement on the index fingers; this is the part that wears through to a hole quickly without it.

  16. Omg ? so happy I found this post I just started a icecream delivery job and got some small gloves from 7/11 store and ugh my hands get cold instantly!! I need cold gloves but I’m prett sure I’m a xtra small bc the small stil has loose tips and it’s not good when I have to grip the icecream boxes. I tried going through as much as possible but maybe you have new discoveries for xtra small cold work gloves ?

    1. I don’t really have any extra small ones that I found were made for small hands. The ones I recommended under the “winter glove” section of this post fit my hands pretty well though. I would say that Carhartt is a pretty good place to start otherwise!

  17. I am small boned, 5’2” and have extra small hands and have always complained about this to local nurseries and hardware stores. When I took welding lessons from a local sculptor (6’6”) about 20 years ago, I had to use a pair of his work gloves to just learn the process. It was so dangerous! I ended up finding a pair of children’s leather gloves and brought them to a shoe repairman (I don’t think they exist anymore) who was able to attach long leather sleeves to the gloves to protect my arms!

    A couple of years ago (then 64 years old) I created a large stone relief sculpture in my yard and went through several pairs of leather gloves that were ill- fitting and/or cheaply made. I have some Carrhart small gloves that are are still too big and still struggle to find work gloves that work well for me. My current project is a rolling work cart that works for my height in my art studio — I will try some choices on your list— thank you for addressing this! I always said that once I retired I would start a company designing tools and hardware that fit the needs for women who work with their hands!

    1. If you’re looking for gloves that might work in welding, check out the Jessi Combs PPE offered from Lincoln Electric. Both her jackets and other gear was designed for women and come in smaller than average sizes for welders!

  18. I’ve been to this page before. I am also trying g to find gloves that fit. This time it’s winter gloves with enough dexterity. I just ordered two pair of XS from Amazon and they were both too big (both fingers and palm). I’m not a tiny person!!! I’m probably shorter than average, but wear a normal size shoe. My kids are also active (as DIYers and helping in the yard) and we don’t have good gloves from them either.

    1. Which brand did you order? I’d love to know! There are a handful (no pun intended) of gloves that are made for kids, but as you might imagine, very few are safety gloves for heavy-duty work. I haven’t tried any personally that are specifically labeled for kids. For what it’s worth, the Carhartt and Firm Grip brands were my favorites (though note that it’s the Women’s Medium and NOT their size “small” gloves… the size small were still too large for me). Hope you find what you’re looking for in this list!

  19. Thaaaaank you for this! Ugh, such a ridiculous dilemma that is so easily fixed! You speak the truth about the issues and needs. If only manufacturers would listen and realize us women use tools and have needs for quality gear. In the meantime, I’ll be checking out the recommendations! Thank you and let’s keep up the good fight!

    1. Thanks Becky! And yeah, I’ve been told DIRECTLY that they are aware of the request for these, but the argument I always hear is that it’s supply and demand. According to the info I’ve been told, there is never demand enough to warrant making them or fixing the problem… yet I saw for myself in stores that the small sizes were nearly or completely sold out! So I don’t know what else can address it, because it seems there’s also a large assumption being made further up the design/manufacturing chain to make them ill-fitting AND pink. Ugh. Which I think is a huge issue that gets glossed over. Because if I’m not buying because they are pink or ill-fitting, and they are looking at poor sales numbers and drawing conclusions that there isn’t interest in small gloves, which isn’t true!

      1. Nothing like a self-defeating prophecy….Yeah, I’m not buying pink either (which is indeed a gigantic issue that needs addressing) nor blazoned in logos nor should I have to settle for ill-fitting gloves that wear out in an instant, nor spend twice as much for the same quality as made for men. Home Depot today had not a single pair in small. None.

        Safety issue, women’s tax, demeaning, unempowering — I could go on and on and I sense a post of my own coming on. Seriously though, thank you for bringing light to this massive problem! I’ll come back if I find something worthy of your post!

  20. OMG THIS IS AMAZING THANK YOU SO MUCH. I, too, have tiny lady hands and have struggled to find a good pair of gloves since starting my warehouse job. This is so so useful and so important!! Thank you for representing us tiny ladies!! You rock :D

    1. I am SO glad you found this post helpful! I got so frustrated, ha! I’d like to do similar tests for other safety gear but other things are a little pricey to buy this many multiples, but I’m sure I’ll get to them someday!

  21. I took matters into my own hands – and modified a pair of small work gloves to fit! The leather and stretch material gloves fit well enough but the pinky fingers were almost an inch too long. I used a sewing machine (turned by hand to more easily follow the curve of the finger tip seam) and a good deal of patience, but the results were successful.

    1. I admire your tenacity, but having to sew my own gloves would be so frustrating for me with the level of work I do (especially if I need lots of pairs for messy/demo work). But I’m glad you found a way!

  22. Thank you for this article. I see it’s been 4 years since you wrote this. I have not just small but weird ratio hands compared to the standard marketplace. My hand width width across my knuckles is just over 3 inches with a 7-7.5 circumference and If I go by the sizing charts I generally fall into the medium or large (and sometimes extra large category). Yet most places leave off the finger sizing in their charts. My finger length from palm to index fingertip is only 6 inches… some of the charts do have a measurement from index finger to the crook of the thumb (which possibly gives a better idea of fit). Mine measures 5 inches. Depending on which measurement I use I am in a different size glove of the same make and model, sometimes a difference of 2 or three glove sizes. I am curious… what is your measurments. I think that would be helpful to know because then when you say this glove fits better in the finger length but not in the width etc… I would have something to compare to when I am looking at the glove for myself… because I haven’t found some of these gloves locally to try on. (I went to lowes to try the ironclad ones and they were out for example. But I can find them on Amazon but have no clue what to order because by their sizing chart I should be in a Men’s Medium or a Women’s Large, But which is my better bet for finger length?) I can go to a store and place my hand up against gloves to find the right finger lengths I usually fall in the youth glove but I can never get my hands in them.

    I even went to the Carhart online store and chatted with someone and they were able to give me the sizing chart for both finger length and hand width and the size I would need for my hand width leaves me with an inch too much in the index finger. SO it’s not just hand size its finger to hand ratios.

    1. You’re correct, we all have different hand measurements. So my assessment is definitely based on a personal fit. I don’t have a cloth tape measure to measure my hands, but that’s good feedback and I may add that in the future. Thanks! As for ordering on Amazon, the good news there is that you can usually make really easy returns if something doesn’t fit to your liking. It sucks that the local stores still don’t carry enough small sizes to try on in person!

  23. I have standard sized palms but short fingers and thumb. Always a tough fit.
    When I owned a lumberyard I made an arrangement with a crafty sewing person in town, that I’d buy her heavy duty needles, if she would shorten the fingers on my leather gloves. Match made in heaven…until she moved. We would turn the gloves inside out and with my hand in the glove, trace a line. She would then make the necessary adjustments.

  24. I have short fingers and, for work gloves, have had good luck with the Mechanix Wear Mens SpeedKnit CoolMaxSM/MD Nylon Nitrile Dipped Multipurpose Gloves, available at Lowes. It’s funny because these are sized S/M but they fit better than any other “small” gloves I’ve tried.

    1. Isn’t that interesting how the labeling doesn’t always match the best fit for us? I’m glad you found work gloves that work well for you and I hope you never run out of them!