Look on the hands of the person wrangling chairs or patrolling at your local ski hill. You’ll probably see an old-school insulated leather glove made by workwear supplier Kinco. Now, there are slightly warmer and more dexterous technical gloves out there made specifically for skiing, but would you change your oil or weld with $100 Hestra Army gloves? I haven’t found a more durable, warm, or better value work glove than Kinco’s for the cold and snow.
The pair I have so far has lasted through four years of welding, skiing, snow shoveling and carpentry. They’ve been drenched in motor oil, covered in antifreeze, and nearly frozen solid in an ice storm while I was skiing. My hands have stayed happy.
The most care they require is a coat or two of Sno-Seal every season. Unlike synthetic gloves, they aren’t fazed by heat and flame. I’ve found that the Kinco 901 gloves paired with some cheap silk liners is enough to keep my hands warm until it gets below 5F or so.
I’ve never used their ski gloves, but Kinco insulated pigskin gloves with the knit cuff are staples at our farm. Pigskin is durable and most importantly dries soft after getting wet, whereas cowhide gloves can become useless after getting wet as they dry stiff. The knit cuffs are important if you work with chainsaws or hay, etc., as they keep debris from getting in and permanently clogging the fingers of the glove.
We go through a few pairs a year, but that’s because we use them hard. I often get them at Gempler’s for about 15 bucks. The uninsulated styles are good for working in warm weather, but often I use the insulated ones even in summer as they damp vibrations from power tools pretty well. They are widely available elsewhere but often stores only stock the large size which are too big for my hands. Gempler’s was a subject of Cool Tools a long while back and is a great source for workwear and general outdoor/light industrial tools and supplies.