There are a lot of gloves on the market built for ice and mixed climbers. Some are great and last a long time, but some are over-complicated and don’t last as long as you want. Enter the Showa glove line.
Showa is a Japanese glove manufacturer that has been making durable waterproof gloves designed for industrial work and cold fishing. The company was founded over 60 years ago by Akeo Tanaka, who served in the army and suffered through extremely harsh conditions. During his service, he saw that soldiers lose their fingers from frostbite, despite wearing rabbit skin and cotton gloves.
After the war, Tanaka worked in the manufacturing of PVC ink cartridges for fountain pens. He noticed that the traditional industrial work gloves were strong, but not functional. In 1953, knowing that there was a need for better gloves, both for military and industrial purposes, he made the first-ever PVC gloves designed for safety. They were thick on the palm and fingers, but had a thin cuff that made them easy to remove.
Due to rapid automation in the 1970s, the PVC industrial glove needed to be more precise, but had to maintain strength and durability. The seam inside the glove was causing discomfort, so Showa designed the 610 with a seamless, comfortable inner liner. The glove is still one of the world’s most popular.
Ice climbers caught on to using the gloves a few years ago, and since then countless Canadians have been taking them up easy and difficult ice lines. The Showa Atlas Temres 282 are completely waterproof and have a fleece liner built in. The 281 comes without a liner, which is great for spring climbing. Check out some images below of climbers using Showa gloves.