Just like other layers of clothing, you'll want to be prepared with your gloves for varying climate conditions as you go hiking. You think of gloves primarily for the more extreme cold conditions and to save your fingers from cold weather injuries. Even in moderate weather you may want to make consideration for the wear and tear on your hands if you're scrambling over rocky terrain, and if you're using poles or a walking stick wearing some thin gloves will prevent hot spots and blisters. In general as you're passing any rugged terrain it is a safety issue in case you slip and fall the gloves will protects the skin and even help get a better grip if you start to slide downhill. Packing a pair of light or medium weight gloves is essential, regardless of the conditions you expect. Utility or leather work gloves will serve you well in the right conditions when you need protection and a secure grip. To keep then cooler and to get better sense from your fingers you might where open-finger gloves that just protect the palms and allow great ventilation.
The gloves for cold
weather protection are usually made of synthetic or mixed natural materials
and are designed to keep your hands warm and dry. Just as with other outdoor
clothing components you will want to find material that will block the wind,
insulate well, wick away the moisture from your body, and keep out the rain
and melting snow. Gore-Tex works well as a shell material since it is an excellent
wind break and it beads up and keeps moisture out while allowing breathability.
The inner layers of the best cold weather gloves are usually constructed with
wicking and insulating polypropylene, fleece, or even wool. Wearing an extra
thin liner layer inside the gloves improves the insulation and wicking. Again,
thin liners made of polypropylene or fleece help hold in the heat and wick
away the excess moisture. For cold weather it may be better to wear mittens
where all the fingers on each hand are together in a snug compartment. The
fingers can share whatever warmth they can manage.