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.
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