SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 28 September 2020

Women's Leather Protective Work Wear Gloves: A Comparative Pilot Study between Three-Dimensional Hand Scans, Product Specifications, and Sizing


For more than 25 years, safety-related organizations and researchers have reported on the great need of outfitting women properly who rely on personal protective equipment (PPE) for their occupation. Anecdotally through user interviews, the researchers found that women who rely on protective gloves for their work often have negative experiences with products that are either (1) too large and interfere with sensory information, or (2) too small and restrict movement and blood flow. Users have also explained that, while working, they sometimes remove their gloves to improve accuracy and efficiency. This action, of course, puts them at a greater risk for injury, but they believe that the trade-off is worth the risk. There is a need to better understand this challenge and foster future standards for women's PPE, including accessible anthropometric hand data, evolved glove fit and sizing systems, and education for women and those who outfit them with PPE to improve glove fit and safety. A pilot study was conducted to evaluate a methodology developed to collect, compare, and analyze three-dimensional (3D) female hand scans (30 subjects) versus actual glove specifications and sizing of a commonly sold leather work glove purchased in the United States (Wells Lamont Model 1124). Scans were taken of each subject's dominant hand with an Occipital structured light scanner and measured with AnthroScan software to determine how well the selected glove model fit each subject. Results suggest that standards and more measurements are needed to inform better glove sizing and fit. Based on the findings of this study, future research will be conducted to evaluate a larger sample of women and include more glove brands, styles, and activities (e.g., firefighting, surgery, and sport).

Author Information

Sokolowski, Susan, L.
Sports Product Design, Dept. of Product Design, University of Oregon, Portland, OR, US
Griffin, Linsey
Dept. of Design, Housing and Apparel, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, US
Price: $25.00
Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Pages: 287–311
DOI: 10.1520/STP162420190087
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7695-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7694-2