Nitrile Gloves in History

Nitrile gloves may seem new to the industry, but nitrile is not a new material. Nitrile compounds, a form of synthetic rubber, have been around for several hundred years. It wasn’t until natural rubber became scarcer during the two World Wars that the production of nitrile gloves was considered. Even then, it wasn’t until the 60s when the medical industry needed an alternative to latex that the development of a commercial blend of nitrile that leant itself to mass production was developed.
Medical Uses for Nitrile Gloves
Rubber glove use began when pouring carbolic acid on nurse’s hands, with the introduction of germ theory, caused rashes. When rubber became scarce, latex gloves were developed. But growing allergies to latex caused manufacturers to look for a material with similar properties, but without the allergy problems latex caused.
A search began for a synthetic rubber without the allergy causing antigen proteins in latex. This led to nitrile, a material in use for products including industrial gloves since the 1930s. In addition, since nitrile gloves don’t produce the powdery by-product common in other synthetic gloves they were perfect for labs that must be antiseptically clean.
A Search for Superior Industrial Gloves
Latex gloves had been around for years by the 1960s. However, when dealing with abrasive materials or chemicals there were problems. Gloves were thin and often didn’t protect the wearer completely. Early nitrite gloves were thick and heavy, which gave great protection.
They were also resistant to petro-chemicals and hydrocarbons, making them particularly useful for heavy industry. Initially somewhat clumsy to use, this changed with the development of vulcanization and polymerization. Nitrite gloves became more malleable and even used in such areas as chemical laboratory work.
Increased Need for Puncture Protection
Puncture resistance has made nitrile gloves a top choice for medical and dental work. They are three times more resistant to punctures than traditional latex plus they have a tendency to tear when they are punctured. This makes it obvious to the wearer that their safety has been compromised. Latex gloves don’t tear, so the wearer may be unaware of a critical puncture.
With the advance of blood-borne disease, this became a critical difference. Once nitrile gloves had been further refined to give them added tactile sensitivity and elasticity they became the de facto glove of choice across the entire dental profession and still are today.
As you can see, the development of nitrile gloves for industry and medical/dental has proven to be critical. While the patented properties may make them incrementally more expensive, they are easily worth every penny for the protection they give.

TrueTip Gloves – Review 1

Gear Review by Ray Rippel, Author of “Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail

Web Site:


February 8th, 2013

I’m on record as a huge fan of trekking poles. I can’t count how many stumbles I’ve avoided on the John Muir Trail because of them. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have certain disadvantages.
One of those disadvantages is that they take a toll on your hands, particularly if you use them properly (i.e., if you slip your hands up through the loops so that the pressure applied to the poles is transferred to the meaty part of your hands and your wrists, not your fingers). The straps can rub against bare skin, the fore-and-aft swing of the poles can irritate the inside of your palm, and your hands will be horizontal—thus exposing them to sunburn.

The solution to all of those problems is a pair of gloves. For years, I used a pair lightweight, fingerless, cloth gloves. They did the job fairly well, although the parts of my fingers that were exposed would still get too much sun from time to time and my hands would get dirty. They also didn’t do a very good job of protecting my skin from abrasions when I moved through vegetation.
Enter PalmFlex TrueTip hiking gloves. These gloves are my new constant hiking companions, stored with my hiking gear, to be slipped on whenever I intend to use the poles.


I have to admit: this was not love at first sight. When I first opened the package I was afraid I’d received the wrong pair. They looked more like something a SCUBA diver might wear! The backs are a very light weight, breathable fabric, but the inside of the palm and fingers appear to be black rubber. Who wants that on a hot hike?

It turns out that they are not rubber, but nitrile—the same material they use to make latex-free gloves for hospitals. The material is durable (for protection), breathable (to keep your hands from overheating), and have a natural stickiness (which means you don’t have to take them off to manipulate small objects).

After a few months of using them, I really can’t imagine being without them. Here’s why: They cover the wrist up to the point where my long-sleeved sun shirt covers the gloves. That’s a very nice feature, since sun-protection is one of the reasons I wear gloves.

They prevent the trekking poles handles and straps from irritating my hands.

One of my favorite trails near my home is a steep one, with loose dirt and small pebbles on rock. In other words, I rarely hike it without slipping once or twice. When I put my hand out onto a dusty, dirty rock, the glove holds up fine: no rips, no tears, and the dirt can be brushed off quickly. Also, my hand doesn’t get dirty. (Not insignificant, in my book.)

On my day hikes, I often carry an iPod so that I can listen to podcasts; the missing fingertips work exactly as intended.

I do my “local” hiking in Hawaii, where the days are frequently warm. If I’m perspiring heavily, the feel of the dark part of the fabric can be a little different, but I’ll gladly trade that for clean, protected hands. I guess that means there’s a trade-off, but that concept is hardly new to hikers.

Good hiking, Ray

© 2013 Ray Rippel

TrueTip Gloves – Review 2

Date: 04/03/2013

Review by Travis Johnson Survival Instructor of Northwest Survival School


I have been in the outdoor industry for well over 25 years instructing and recommending products to my students. I have tried several different gloves and never have found a more useful glove than the MobiliTip.

demo glove 3

These gloves are durable, lightweight, comfortable and above all affordable. If you need to have the ability to use a touch screen either on a cell phone, Camera, Compass or on a GPS these gloves are perfect for that. I noted that when I hike using these gloves I could easily snap a photograph of a animal without having to remove the gloves and risk missing the photo opportunity which is a important part to hiking and capturing the beauty in nature.

demo glove 2

I will be recommending these gloves to all my students and anyone else seeking a quality glove for hiking or any other outdoor activity. I will be ordering many of these gloves to provide to my students to use while training. As a Survival School Instructor there are so many skills that require you to have the dexterity in your finger and hands not be compromised by wearing a constricting glove. Thus making these gloves a safe investment to all. These gloves get a definite thumbs up in my book of gear. (recommended by a professional)

demo glove 1

Below I am going to list the (PRO’S) and the (CON’S) of these gloves.
Equipment type: Gloves (TrueTip)
Style: (Palmgrip 380)
Color: (Blue)

• Extremely Durable
• Did not snag when navigating through dense vegetation
• When wet the gloves maintain their grip
• light weight and takes up very little room in your pack
• High quality materials: waffle style Nitrite for the grip you need and a comfortable Nylon liner offering you breathable non-sweating hands
• Adjustable finger cuffs for a custom fit to any hand
• Long lasting wear protection
• Can use your phone, Camera, GPS or other devices without removing the gloves
• No dexterity loss in fingers or hand
• Very good grip so you will not drop your expensive devices or gear
• Washing is easy (machine washable)
• Very fast shipping
• Easy ordering from their website
• Designed in the USA

• Wish I knew about these gloves sooner enough said!
• Honestly I found nothing negative (No Con’s found)

Travis Johnson
Senior Survival Skills Instructor
Northwest Survival School
Spokane, Washington