Gloves offer several types of protection. They can:
Help prevent blisters caused by paddling.
Keep your hands warm in cold weather so that you can maintain a firm grip on the paddle.
Prevent sunburned hands.
Protect against rocks in white-water capsizes.
For most situations, stand-alone paddling gloves are adequate. To keep your hands dry, use a sealed neoprene glove or mitten.
For heavy-duty paddling in colder weather, consider using pogies (paddling mitts). Pogies help keep your hands warmer when paddling in colder weather. They strap around the paddle shaft so that your hands can be in contact with the paddle.