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Specifically, what the mod "Critical strikes do not inherently apply Non-damaging ailments" mean. To my knowledge, the way the game determines elemental ailments is that when you deal a specific damage threshold, you will apply a non-damage elemental ailment at some % of that initial hit. For critical strikes, you would normally always inflict the elemental ailment of that type, provided it meets the minimum amount of hit damage to produce an elemental ailment of note.

So how exactly do these gloves work? How is an elemental ailment being applied if it's not "inherently" provided with crits?

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You can always apply elemental ailments on any hit, whether or not it is a critical strike, dealing a crit will just set that chance to 100%. These gloves take away that 100% chance so you will have to rely on having freeze/shock chance from skills, support gems, the passive tree, weapon modifiers etc.

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