Winter gloves have a tough job, and those meant for temperatures around freezing arguably have it the hardest. They have to keep our fingers from going past the point of no return at the beginning of a ride before we’ve warmed up, and once we’re warm, they need to breathe well enough to avoid sweat buildup. The Nøkken glove is 45NRTH’s response to this tall order.
The 45 NRTH Nøkken is a unique response, too, and not because of its hard-to-type name. Every glove I’ve worn has either been insulated, or not, and I never considered that there could be an option between—until I pulled on the Nøkkens. They are, in fact, half insulated. The palm side of the glove treats your hands to a plush-feeling Merino blend liner, while on the backhand there’s nothing between your knuckles and the wind/water-resistant softshell fabric. This asymmetry feels weird until you’re holding a cold handlebar.