Hand in glove with good design
Weise have been making biking gear for years, and their experience shows, with products regularly garnering accolades in the biking press. It’s not surprising then that we’d like their new Runway winter gloves. There’s a familiar blend of good quality and keen pricing here that the firm is known for. The Runways are typical of the brand; no-nonsense practicality, good materials, sturdy build and excellent value for money. For the price they also have some clever design features and high-tech components, which some mid-range gloves lack. If you’re looking for a durable pair of winter warmer at a fair price, you’d be hard pressed to better these.
We know from personal experience that Weise designers pay attention to feedback on forums and in the press, and it’s clear that they’ve listened and thought hard in coming up with the Runway gloves.
Someone there knows for instance that while insulation is necessary for warmth, riders need suppleness in their hands in order to be able to feel the controls, maintain good grip on the bars and deliver the delicate inputs needed when roads are slippery. Gloves have to keep digits warm without too much bulk.
Weise also seems to know that, in the real world, if it can find a way, water will leak in somewhere. A practical design therefore has to consider what actually happens when a real rider wears the gloves in extremely wet weather (drips running down sleeves for instance). In the case of these pinkie-covers, what all this thinking results in is not a set of irritating advertising acronyms, or unnecessary features, but a simple and well made product that actually works. The Runways are not the fanciest handwear out there, but for well under a hundred quid they’re stonkingly good value.
With the Velcro-fastened wrist restraint undone, a bit of a push is needed to get the gloves on as the design tapers at the wrist to keep the water out and heat in. Once your paws are in though the fit is very good – nice and snug yet not too tight.
Our tester has broad hands and usually takes an XL, yet with the Runway gloves a Large fitted him perfectly. This is probably because the material used is Nyspan – a kind of nylon interwoven with spandex. Think Cordura with stretch. First time we’ve seen this in a glove and it works well.
The McFit (no it doesn’t come with fries) lining stays put when you remove the gloves, even when soaking wet or with sweaty hands. This is achieved by a compression fitting of the membrane and outer shell rather than conventional stitching or gluing which most manufacturers still use. The process reduces the likelihood of leaks as the membrane is not punctured and also gives a more comfy feeling as there are no seams or threads to scratch or irritate.
The Runway glove can’t offer you the protective skin of some ultra-tough fish or the hide of a belligerent marsupial, but it’s Nyspan outer is abrasion-resistant and stretches four ways, making tears less likely. The palm is reinforced with real leather that’s doubled in thickness in key impact areas.
Insulation is achieved by Thinsulate – a highly efficient insulator used by Porsche in the lining of the Boxster’s canvas roof. To retain heat while avoiding bulk, the back of the hand gets a hefty 200g lining, while the palm gets a much thinner 60 gram. This is great news if you plan to fit heated grips and is a feature so far seen in only more expensive products.
Construction and know-how
Good materials themselves are not enough however. How they are used also counts.
Stitching on the Runway gloves is doubled in the likely impact and abrasion areas for added burst resistance and the distribution of materials throughout the design achieves toughness and warmth with flexibility.
It’s clear that there has been real-world rider involvement in testing, as the fit is superb. The use of an elasticated anti-leak inner storm cuff also testifies to real-world awareness and will be a real godsend for those who spend long winter hours in the saddle – such as commuters or couriers.
Sizing and fit
The sizing is pretty true to normal, though the inclusion of Spandex in the shell’s mix does allow for unusual and helpful flexibility. Weise Runway gloves come in sizes: S – 3XL and retail for £69.99 including VAT.
Weise say that your exact size can be found by wrapping a measuring tape around your hand just below the knuckles, but above the thumb , and using the measurement as a guide.
Small 8 inches
Medium 9 inches
Large 10 inches
X-Large 11 inches
XXL 12 inches
3XL 13 inches
Real world tests
Cold enough if you’re out for several hours though. But Graham’s hands stayed toasty even during three hour training sessions, with the thinner base layer allowing heat from the grips to rapidly enter the glove from below, while the thicker top layers kept it in. After an initial warm up, the grips were usually switched off. We’re confident that the insulating properties of the Runways will be well up to British winter conditions, and as usual we’ll update this report in a few months when we’ve clocked up more miles.
Naturally we tested the gloves in the rain – and not a drop of water got in. We also did our standard bucket of water test – immersing for 5 minutes. No leaks. Hands remained sweat free when temperatures rose, showing that breathability of the membrane is good.
Not packed with the features of an up-market glove, the Runway gloves nevertheless score where it really counts; keeping hands snug and dry. Design is intelligent, informed by real-world needs and build quality is very good. For an RRP of just £69.99 these are class-beating value for money.
If we were going to be picky – we’d have wanted hard knuckle armour (there’s only padding on back of hand and palm). Why do manufacturers put all the armour on summer gloves but assume in winter all we want is warmth? If that could be added for no more than an extra tenner’s cost they’d be right up there with plus £100 offerings. Damn good stuff as they are though. Tick VG.