Leather gloves used to be for farmers and ditch diggers. Skiers and snowboarders eschewed animal hide in favor of nylon or some other weather-proof synthetic with a few Cordura patches sewn in for toughness.

Now, thanks to advances in fabric technology, that’s all changing. A number of manufacturers are using leather in construction of this year’s lines of winter gloves, combining the waterproof-breathable capabilities of tech fabrics with the old-fashioned durability of leather.

The result are versatile gloves that will survive clinging to ropes and ice axes while mountaineering and encounters with sharp snowboard and ski edges for the descent minded.

Here are a three leather paw covers to make you feel Beowulf tough, ready to slay monsters and what not:

Mountain Hardwear Pistolero

The Pistolero was designed as tough, versitile glove for a variety of cold-weather backcountry sports. The leather shell – pig and goat skin – is bonded to a waterproof, breathable membrane to keep water, wind and cold from getting to your digits.
Price: $100

Eddie Bauer First Ascent Heli Guide Glove

Designed for snowboarding, skiing and climbing, this hard-working glove has reinforced leather palms and articulated figures for dexterity. The removable liner is a glove in its own right, and can be used as a back-up on warmer days. A wrist leash prevents dropping the gloves off the charilift.
Price: $129

Arc’Teryx Alpha SV Glove

This burly looking glove boasts leather in the business areas – fingers and palm. A GORE-TEX layer and taped seams keep the water and wind at bay. A removable Polartec liner provides insulation.
Price: $275

(To save a bit of cash, check out their leather-bound Sigma AR Glove for $175)

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