I need winter gloves that are warm, waterproof, and allow plenty of dexterity. I walk dogs through the winter and most gloves are too bulky and inflexible when it comes to holding leashes, picking things up, and so on. Annette New York City
My current belief is that the most versatile, nimble gloves make use of Polartec's Power Shield fabric. This is a tough, thin material that's virtually windproof, sheds water admirably, and offers surprising warmth. REI's One Gloves ($46; www.rei.com) use Power Shield, along with Pittards leather in the palm. I use mine for dog-walking in freezing temperatures, and also as a winter biking glove. They are not waterproof, but do a good job of keeping hands warm even if fairly wet and would be fine for winter walks in the snow... as long as you don't get in a snowball fight. And while they fit snugly, you can slide a pair of silk or synthetic glove liners under them for extra warmth. As they Madagascar penguins say, "Excellente!"
For something more traditional, Manzella's Tundra Gloves ($50; www.manzella.com) have waterproof nylon shells over Thinsulate insulation, along with leather palms. They're bulkier than the REI gloves and look a lot more like ski gloves, but they're distinctly warm and comfortable, with reasonable dexterity. Lastly, Marmot's Randonnee Gloves ($100; www.marmot.com) offer Gore-Tex liners, PrimaLoft insulation, and Pittards leather palms. I wear these when downhill skiing, and they're fantasticsurprisingly nimble for all the warmth they offer. And their all-black color is nicely understated for around-town wear.
As they say around this house, woof.