Today I tried my new Planet Bike Borealis Fall/Winter gloves for the first time. Here they are so you know what I'm talking about:
The pros: These gloves are very soft and comfortable. I may even wear them on cold days when I'm not bicycling. And I love the cuff that extends so far up my wrist. I can easily tuck it under the sleeve of my cycling jacket to keep my wrists warm, even when I'm stretched all the way out with my hands down in the drops. They are very warm. In fact, my hands got quite sweaty when I used them on a 46-degree morning. The back of the gloves - which is the part exposed to the wind - did a very good job of blocking the wind and keeping that part of my hands warm as well, something I have found lacking in some other full-fingered gloves.
The cons: There's no padding!!! And I mean absolutely none!!! Perhaps Planet Bike is just assuming that thicker gloves eliminate the need for padding in the palms, but they're not THAT thick. I found myself shifting my hands around to different positions on my handlebars much more often than usual trying to relieve pressure on my palms. This is by far my biggest disappointment. I also felt that the index and middle fingers are a bit too tight despite the fact that I have very skinny fingers. They didn't cause me any trouble in 46-degree weather, but I can definitely see why that would become an issue in colder weather.
So overall I like these gloves, but I simply don't understand why they're not padded. After all, isn't the padding what makes them bicycle gloves as opposed to just gloves?