Hestra Gloves is one of the world’s most respected manufacturers of alpine, outdoor and functional gloves with over two million pairs produced per year. The brand’s gloves are favoured by skiers, mountain bikers and hikers, as well as professional workers and fashionistas, for their premium quality, functionality and longevity.

Swedish brand Hestra Gloves dates back to 1936, when farmer Martin Magnusson started manufacturing strong leather gloves for lumberjacks in the small town of Hestra in Småland, a region known for its entrepreneurial spirit. Shortly after, a slalom slope opened in the village and Hestra quickly grew in popularity among skiers. The clever entrepreneur realized that there was a big market for ski gloves, and this was the beginning of the company’s success story.

More than 80 years on, with five factories and worldwide distribution in over 40 countries, Hestra is still a family-owned business. “Our heritage is important to us and we are still characterized by our entrepreneurial history and setting,” says Anton Magnusson, the company’s CEO and the fourth generation of glove makers. “Having a passion for what you do is important in order to develop and constantly improve, and our focus remains solely on gloves – designing and crafting high-quality gloves that last for many years.”

Hestra Gloves: Gloves for every adventure, since 1936

From lumberjacks to Ingemar Stenmark

In the beginning, Hestra’s main focus was on providing gloves for the Swedish market and Scandinavia. In the 1980s, the international expansion began with the export of the range of premium gloves within Europe and across the world.

The big breakthrough came with the high-profile collaboration with legend Ingemar Stenmark, the most successful Alpine skier of all time, in the 1970s. He wore the famous Stenmark glove (Stenmarkshandsken) when he won the World Cup in Madonna di Campiglio in 1974. This was also the start of a close partnership with the Swedish National Alpine Ski Team, which has lasted for almost 50 years.

“Over the years, we have had many great collaborations, including the Swedish National Cross-Country Ski Team, and we are extremely proud of them all,” says Magnusson. “We believe in creating long-term partnerships with teams and individual athletes that share our values – ambassadors who are genuinely interested in and use our products for a long time.”

Hestra Gloves: Gloves for every adventure, since 1936

Glove making and the key to longevity

Hestra’s range has come to encompass everything from tough alpine gloves and hard-wearing work gloves to elegant fashion gloves. Despite the wide range of styles, many gloves actually share characteristics, and designs from previous styles often inspire new styles. No matter the type of glove, the design process involves compromises where function, durability, materials, sustainability and cost are considered, with properties balanced against one another. ⁠

Together with his cousin Niklas, who is also part of the Hestra team, Magnusson is the fourth generation of qualified glove cutters, currently the only ones in Sweden. “We want to continue the heritage of this great craftmanship and our approach is to make small, continuous changes to improve product quality, but also to cater to the changing needs of the intended user,” he says. “We regularly integrate more sustainable materials into our products, but never at the expense of quality and durability of the gloves.”

The brand’s long-term success is indeed proof of its longevity, and the focus on sustainability extends well beyond being environmentally friendly. Hestra’s approach to sustainability is also about controlling the value chain with its own production facilities and careful selection of materials. “In the 1980s, we introduced gloves with a removable liner, so that you can replace the liner instead of the entire glove, and people thought we were crazy. It turns out, we were just a bit ahead of time.”

Growth in gloves for summer sports

Hestra’s products combine durability, dexterity, and functionality. Whilst the brand shot to fame with its alpine gloves, it caters for other winter sports such as cross-country skiing, as well as summer sports including cycling, hiking, running and horse riding – and many of the gloves are actually intended for multi-sport use. For instance, you can go from cross-country skiing one day to downhill mountain biking the next – with the same pair of gloves.

In addition to the wide range of sports gloves, Hestra’s line-up includes fashionable gloves for everyday life and special occasions, as well as professional gloves for the military and the police force, and gloves suitable for construction workers, keen gardeners and home renovators. “As experts in our field, we provide everything from robust gloves for extreme weather in winter to sleek bike gloves in summer,” ensures Magnusson. “Regardless of the season, we want to keep your fingers warm and comfy when out and about.”

Hestra Gloves: Gloves for every adventure, since 1936

Hestra Gloves is based in Småland with five factories worldwide, subsidiaries in the USA and Germany, as well as selected agents, distributors and dealers in over 40 countries around the world, plus e-commerce in Europe and the USA. Hestra also has its own brand stores with the world’s best assortment of gloves in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Oslo and Copenhagen.

Web: www.hestragloves.se
Instagram: @hestragloves
Facebook: HestraGloves

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