There are your standard prickly bushes in the garden or yard: Pesky, but manageable with a regular pair of gloves and a watchful eye.
And then there are blackberry brambles with truly wicked thorns that can scratch and puncture skin on contact.
For clearing out invasive blackberries or collecting a harvest, you need specialized gloves that can stand up to the challenge.
Even though no glove is a truly thorn-proof solution, some offer far better thorn resistance than others.
Without further ado, here’s our list of 5 of the best gloves for blackberries to keep you safer and more comfortable.
1. NoCry Long Leather Gardening Gloves
The brand name NoCry stirs up high hopes for painless blackberry removal, doesn’t it?
And it certainly seems to deliver on that promise!
Blackberries have thick, tough thorns with wide bases, and these gloves have an excellent design to handle just that type of thorn.
The hand portion is goatskin, which is a supple leather that offers outstanding flexibility and dexterity. Even though goatskin doesn’t have the same brute-force strength against punctures as cowhide, NoCry smartly put double layers of goatskin on the fingertips and palm of the glove.
So you get protection exactly where you need it when you grip the blackberry cane, without adding extra bulk to the whole glove.
On some gloves with double layers on the fingertips, the stitching holes can be an entry point for thorns to poke through. But NoCry uses thin, tight stitches that keep large blackberry thorns out and also hold up well over time.
The rest of the hand portion is a single layer of goatskin, which is enough to prevent scratches while still allowing for easy movement. And the gauntlet portion uses a thick cowhide to keep those thorns from attacking your forearms.
One thing to be aware of is that these gauntlets are a little shorter than some of the other gloves we’re looking at here, reaching about mid-way up the forearm on most people. This can be a pro or a con depending on your preferences.
Most users found that the gauntlets offered adequate protection, and a shorter length may help you stay a little cooler on a hot day. But these gloves won’t be the choice for you if you want elbow-length coverage.
One downside is that you have no other color options to choose from. But on the bright side, it should be easy to spot your red-and-white gloves even in a crowded storage space or on the ground!
We also wish that there were a couple more size choices, particularly an X-large.
- White and red (pictured here)
2. Acdyion Thorn & Cut Proof Long Forearm Protection Gauntlet
These gloves feature an all-cowhide construction to provide a tough layer between you and the blackberries.
Cowhide is thicker and denser than goatskin, which is another common material for sturdy work gloves, like the NoCry ones we looked at in spot #1.
While NoCry addressed the goatskin problem with strategically placed dual layers, these gloves use a single layer of cowhide for both the hand and gauntlet portions. This helps keep bulk to a minimum while also keeping thorns from getting through.
And if you want elbow-length protection, you’ve got it here with full gauntlets.
But while cowhide is great as a barrier against thorns, it has a slightly stiffer texture that may cut down on your dexterity a bit.
The thumb is also placed in an ergonomic forward-facing spot rather than sticking out the side of the glove. This helps overcome some of the natural stiffness that comes with cowhide.
You’ve also got a little area of extra reinforcement in the seam between the thumb and the palm. That’s a good design feature, because this is a classically high-stress area that tends to be one of the first to rip or show wear.
We really like that Acdyion offers these gloves in a wide range of sizes. But since they’re unisex sizes, they do seem to run a little large for people with smaller hands.
- Yellow (pictured here)
3. Handlandy Thornproof Long Gauntlet Gloves
These gloves are made from 100% pigskin, which is a highly breathable leather that still offers great puncture resistance.
Handlandy made these gloves with a supple finish on the hand portion and a rougher texture on the reinforcement pads and arm gauntlet. This gives you plenty of flexibility and grip in the hand/finger areas while still providing a tough shield on your palms and arms.
One thing we really like about the reinforcement pads is the slit on the outer palm. This is an area that could easily get bulky with a double layer, impeding your dexterity. So eliminating the second layer in that vulnerable area is a smart move.
You’ve got quite a few nice, bright color options to choose from, so if you don’t like plain tan, you’re in luck! But one drawback to the colors is that they may bleed onto your skin, with the pink one seeming to be the prime offender.
One thing to be aware of is that these gloves tend to run small. And it’s not just users saying so, even Handlandy says the same on their product listing.
So don’t try to just eye-ball it or order your usual size. Instead, make sure to measure your hands and use the size chart to get the right one.
Also related to the size issue, these gloves only go to size large. Since they already run small, you may want to look elsewhere if you have large hands.
- Green and beige (pictured here)
4. CRRXIN Cowhide Work Gloves
Made from all cowhide, these gloves may look the most like the leather work gloves you’re used to seeing.
Like the Handlandy ones we just looked at, these gloves also have a notched palm reinforcement pad. The difference is that these gloves have a deeper indentation, allowing for maximum dexterity and movement while still protecting the most poke-prone areas.
We also like that these gloves have a slightly larger thumb reinforcement pad, and it’s placed in the perfect spot. Another nice feature is the rough-grain leather that protects almost the entire back of your hand. However, the index finger has supple leather throughout to let you move and grip easily.
While these gloves offer a few inches of coverage above the wrist, they do not have a full elbow-length gauntlet. This can be a nice feature for airflow, and if you’re looking for gloves to harvest blackberries, it should be perfectly sufficient.
But for jobs where you’ll be elbow-deep in brambles, you’ll need to be a little more careful to avoid scratches.
Another point to be aware of is that the size options are fairly limited. According to the size chart on the product listing, the Medium fits a hand circumference of 5.0 – 9.5 inches. That’s a pretty wide range, and if you have small hands, these may be too large to be comfortable for you.
- White and yellow (pictured here)
5. Alomidds Leather Gardening Gloves
With sturdy material and a surprisingly low price point, these gloves offer a great combination of value and function.
These gloves feature cowhide material, which provides a durable protective layer. The upper portion has a soft, supple surface, and the gauntlet has a bit rougher, suede-like texture.
One nice thing about these gloves is that the entire hand portion is a single layer, so there’s less bulk to contend with.
And with cowhide’s puncture-resistant nature, one layer is all you need. Also, strong, reinforced seams add extra durability for good wear over time.
On most people, the gauntlet should reach fully or nearly to the elbow, so your arms stay safe from painful scratches.
Although it’s pretty much unavoidable given the protective factor, be aware that these gloves can retain a lot of heat. Especially if you’re working on a hot day, your hands/arms may get sweaty and hot.
When choosing a size, keep in mind that these gloves do have a tendency to run large. All sizes are unisex, so it’s a good idea to think of each size as a men’s size.
Also, we want to note that not all colors are available in all sizes.
- Brown (pictured here)
Why You Need Proper Protection Against Blackberry Thorns
Besides just being painful, pokes and scratches from blackberry brambles and other thorny bushes could lead to a fungal skin infection called Sporotrichosis.
According to WebMD, the Sporothrix schenckii fungus is responsible for the infection risk. This fungus most commonly lives in the soil, on rosebush thorns or on crops like hay or sphagnum moss.
While you can get a Sporotrichosis infection from skin contact or breathing the fungus in, puncture wounds are the most common entry route.
Once this fungus makes its way into your skin, you can develop a red bump at the site, which can progress to an ulcer.
If not treated appropriately, the skin ulcer can become a chronic condition and the fungus can spread to other areas of the body. In rare cases, Sporotrichosis can lead to serious illness, especially in people with weakened immune systems.
So it’s definitely a good idea to do what your can to protect yourself against Sporotrichosis. And a good pair of gloves and care while you work are two of the best ways to do that.
Shopping for the Best Gloves for Blackberries
Beyond your style and glove construction preferences, there’s not too much to keep in mind while picking a pair of thorn-resistant gloves.
But here are a few thoughts that you may find helpful as you’re shopping:
Remember That No Glove is Truly Thorn-Proof
No matter how they’re marketed, no glove can block 100% of thorns 100% of the time. Despite the best design and workmanship, the odd thorn grabbed at just the right angle could find its way through any leather.
We chose each option we’ve covered here for its track record among gardeners for specifically keeping blackberry thorns away from your skin.
But you’ll still need to be vigilant and careful as you work.
Which Type of Leather is the Best?
That depends on what you’re looking for.
All the gloves featured here are one of three materials:
Each one is best in a different way.
In terms of strength and puncture resistance, cowhide is the thickest and offers the best protection. But they also tend to be stiffest.
For flexibility and softness, goatskin comes in at number one, but if it’s not reinforced, it offers the least resistance to thorns.
When it comes to breathability and comfort, pigskin is the winner. It also offers pretty good protection against jabs, but reinforcement is still a good idea.
To avoid both pain and possible infection, it’s worth your time and money to find a pair of work gloves that can handle aggressive blackberry thorns.
We hope you’ve found the pair that’s right for you on our list of the best gloves for blackberry bushes.
Now go out and clear those blackberry brambles or gather a delicious harvest safely!
We’d love to hear from you! Do you have any tips for working with blackberry bushes safely? Do you have any other questions?
Share your thoughts in the comments!