As a passionate rider myself, I know the importance of having the right gear, and one item that often gets overlooked is the perfect pair of motorcycle gloves. Every rider, including you and me, has unique needs and faces different challenges on the road, so our glove requirements can vary greatly.
That’s why I’ve decided to put together this hands-on buying guide, specifically focusing on finding the best motorcycle gloves for you. I’ve personally delved into the options, splitting this guide into two essential sections.
The first part will cover the top considerations you need to keep in mind when shopping for motorcycle gloves. Trust me, paying attention to these critical points can make all the difference in finding the right fit and function for your riding style.
Next, I’ll share what I believe to be the best motorcycle gloves available on the market, based on my own experience and thorough research.
I strongly urge you to take a close look at the considerations section, as it’s tailored to help steer you in the right direction, ensuring you choose the gloves that suit you perfectly.
So, buckle up, and let’s dive into this together! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting on your riding journey, I’m here to help you find the gloves that will make your rides safer, more comfortable, and undeniably more enjoyable.
Your gloves and the weather
Living and riding in different weather conditions has taught me that considering the climate is crucial when picking the perfect motorcycle gloves. Whether you’re in the scorching heat or freezing cold, or somewhere in between, the gloves you choose can make or break your ride.
For instance, if you’re like me, living in a place where winters are mild but summers are blazing hot, a good pair of summer gloves can serve you well all year round. In a place like Australia, winter won’t freeze your fingers, so the summer gloves you pick will do just fine. Now, it’s up to you whether you want two pairs for different seasons or are content with one versatile pair. Here’s what I’ve learned about both:
Riding in cold weather? Then you’ll know that winter gloves are not optional, they’re essential. Depending on how harsh the cold is in your region, you might find that your standard pair suffices or you might need something with extra insulation.
I’ve found that winter gloves are packed with padding to keep your hands warm. Sure, they offer more protection than summer gloves but often at the expense of flexibility and movement. They’re usually waterproof too, and if not, the dense padding will usually keep the rain at bay.
If you’re in a seriously cold area, or just value that extra comfort like some of my fellow riders, you might want to look into heated motorcycle gloves. Although I’ve never needed them myself, living in a warmer place, I’ve heard rave reviews from those who swear by them in colder regions.
Summer gloves, in my experience, are typically less expensive than winter gloves. Why? They don’t need all that extra insulation and padding. They’re designed to be thin to let your hands breathe, keeping them cool and comfy.
You might notice, as I did when picking out my first pair, that summer gloves often use synthetic materials or mesh rather than traditional leather. It’s all about dissipating heat, but keep in mind that this can mean sacrificing some protection.
What I love about summer gloves is the flexibility. I still remember how comfortable and mobile my hands felt in that first pair I bought. And if you’re like me, craving that sleek leather look but living in a warm area, go for perforated leather. It’s a game-changer for breathability, retaining that classy leather look, and adding that extra protection you might want.
Which Glove type is best?
If you’re like me when I was a new rider, understanding the different types of motorcycle gloves can be confusing. Let me break down my personal experiences and insights with each type of glove, which I hope will guide you in finding the perfect fit for your riding style.
In the motorcycling community, street gloves might be called by different names, like short cuffs. I know them as street gloves and have found them to be more comfortable with increased mobility compared to other types, even though they may offer less protection past the wrists and forearms.
Often seen on inner city riders, they usually come with handy touch screen fingertips. Constructed from a combination of mesh, leather, and synthetics, street gloves offer good protection and have never failed me on the road.
Short cuff / Summer gloves
Short cuff gloves share a lot in common with street gloves. For clarity, I’ve separated them here, as they’ve provided me with the highest comfort and dexterity among all glove types.
Ideal in hot climates, short cuff gloves come in various materials, with the leather versions being the most stylish in my opinion. However, be aware that they provide less protection around the wrist and forearm, something I’ve noticed in my rides.
Unless you’re racing at speeds of 200MPH like professional racers, you probably won’t need racing gloves. These gloves are the most protective and, not surprisingly, the most expensive I’ve come across.
Designed for high-speed crashes, racing gloves typically feature knuckle protection, double or triple stitching, and added wrist safeguards like palm sliders. Though excellent in protection, their added features reduce the feeling and dexterity, making them less suitable for beginner riders like I once was.
The term ‘gauntlet’ refers to gloves that extend to the middle of your forearm. From my experience, these gloves offer fantastic protection.
Gauntlets tend to be bulkier than street or short cuff gloves, providing less dexterity but more safety. Usually, they include reinforcements around the knuckles and fingers and are designed with two straps for added security. Gauntlets have always performed well for me in cold or wet conditions, making them an excellent choice for those environments.
If you’re a weekend rider like I used to be, touring gloves may not be necessary. They’re designed for long-haul motorcycle tours, offering comfort even after five or six hours on the road.
Usually more expensive than standard gloves, touring gloves are known for quality ventilation, breathability, and waterproofing. I’ve found them made mostly of textile or a hybrid of textile, leather, and mesh.
While touring gloves are not a bad option for average or beginner riders, keep in mind they usually come with a higher price tag. If you’re planning a long tour like I have, they might be worth the investment.
Navigating through the world of motorcycle gloves might feel overwhelming at first, but I hope my hands-on insights into these different types will guide you towards the perfect pair for your riding needs.
What are the best glove materials?
Understanding the differences between glove materials had me scratching my head when I first entered the world of motorcycling. What would be the best option for me? I learned that while a glove is designed to protect your hands in a crash, the material can greatly influence your riding experience. Let me share what I’ve found about the pros and cons of leather and textile gloves.
Leather gloves have always caught my eye. Their cool and iconic look has made them the popular choice for many riders, myself included.
When I first tried on leather gloves, they felt uncomfortable, but just like a good pair of boots, they broke in with use, molding to my hand. Leather’s durability and superior abrasion resistance make it a favored choice. However, I quickly found that leather performed poorly in various weather conditions. Its poor water resistance can damage the quality if regularly wet, and it seemed to perform worse in the heat, though modern gloves often have some ventilation.
One downside I noticed about leather gloves is their significant cost, especially if you’re eyeing high-quality leather. It might set you back a bit.
I was intrigued by textile gloves, a newer material compared to leather. These gloves seemed to address the shortcomings of leather, and they were more affordable.
Textile gloves opened my eyes to a world of materials like gore-tex, mesh, or polyester. What struck me about textile gloves was their adaptability. Whether I was riding in bitter cold, pouring rain, or scorching heat, textile gloves were my go-to.
Yet, I found a drawback: textile gloves lack the same levels of protection as leather. In high speeds, leather clearly outperformed textile for abrasion resistance and impact protection. If you’re someone who rides at very high speeds, you might want to think twice about textile gloves.
Hybrid Gloves (Best of Both Worlds)
I realized that leather and textile gloves each had their unique advantages, so I began to explore hybrid gloves. These gloves cleverly emphasize leather in high impact areas like palms, fingers, and knuckles while using mesh in low impact areas for ventilation.
Hybrid gloves even incorporate textile’s superior waterproofing. If you ride in extreme weather conditions like I often do, these gloves can offer protection from the elements and superior abrasion resistance. For someone like me, who doesn’t need racing gear, hybrid options seemed like the best choice.
Best Glove Sizing and Fitment
Getting the fit right was a challenge. I learned that poorly fitted gloves could ruin a ride and reduce hand protection. I found it vital to choose gloves that fit my hands properly, and here’s how I managed it:
American and European Glove Types
I noticed slight differences between American and European fits. American gloves generally have short fingers and more room, a more relaxed fit. European gloves have longer fingers and are snugger. Personally, at Bikes Future, we prefer the European fit for its snug feel, but it really comes down to individual preference.
Motorcycle Glove Sizing
Figuring out my hand sizing was surprisingly simple. Using a soft measuring tape (though you can use a string and hard ruler), I measured my hand’s width from the lower part of my pinky finger to my index finger.
Remember manufacturers will use different measurements depending if they’re from the United States or the rest of the world, something to keep in mind so that you mix them up.
How to know if your gloves fit properly?
I made sure to check the manufacturer size chart to be certain of my size, keeping in mind that measurements might vary between the United States and the rest of the world.
In my journey through the world of motorcycle gloves, I’ve found that the material and fit significantly influence my riding experience. Whether you choose leather, textile, or hybrid gloves, consider your riding conditions and preferences to find the perfect pair, just like I did.
Glove Safety and Protection
When I slide my hands into my motorcycle gloves, the word that best describes the feeling is ‘snug.’ They should feel somewhat tight but still comfortable, embracing my hands like a second skin.
When I unfasten the strap, does the glove loosen or stay firm on my hand? In my experience, the strap is merely an extra precaution. Even without it, my gloves need to feel snug and firm, hugging my hands.
If they’re too tight, I’ll know almost immediately. Uncomfortable riding and struggling with controls? I’ve made a mistake, and these gloves are too constricting.
My Checklist for Glove Safety and Protection
Choosing the best motorcycle gloves for me comes down to their protection level in a high-speed crash. Here’s what I always look for:
I equip my gloves with impact protectors, those armors that soften a crash’s blow. Positioned on my knuckles, wrist, and the back of my hand, these hard plastics absorb the shock and protect against injuries.
I’ve found that poorly stitched gloves wear out quickly and can even unravel during a crash. Always looking for at least double or ideally triple stitching, I make sure one layer of stitching is concealed inside, providing more protection.
A must for me, proper knuckle protection can be the difference between a bad day and a terrible one. High-quality gloves will have a shell covering the entire knuckle area, something I insist on.
Double layer impact protection
The double layer in my gloves helps me feel secure, reducing the chance of them bursting open in an initial impact.
Pre Curved Construction
While not a top priority, I’ve come to appreciate pre-curved construction. It makes my rides more comfortable, though it might not be everyone’s preference.
Also known as scaphoid protection, palm sliders are non-negotiable for me. If I fall, I want my hands to slide instead of crumpling against the concrete. I’ve heard enough horror stories to know that this feature is vital.
Finally, I never overlook wrist protection. Gauntlets are my personal choice because they offer the best wrist and forearm protection. Street gloves might suffice for some, but the assurance that gauntlets provide is unbeatable for me.
Every time I hit the road, I know that my gloves aren’t just accessories but essential tools that can make the difference between a minor mishap and a serious injury. The knowledge that I’ve selected the best ones for my needs gives me the confidence to ride with freedom and joy.
How much should you spend on the best motorcycle gloves?
When it comes to choosing motorcycle gloves, the question I often ask myself is, “How much should I spend?” I want enough protection without breaking the bank on unnecessary extras. Here’s how I navigate the process based on my personal experience.
The answer to how much to spend really depends on my needs and what I value in a motorcycle glove. I’ve seen gloves as expensive as $500, but those premium racing gloves are more than what most riders, including myself, would ever need.
I’ve found short cuff gloves to be the most affordable option. If I’m looking for a budget-friendly pair, I can find quality ones for under $100. They might not provide the ultimate protection, but they’re affordable and perfect for warm weather rides.
For excellent protection, I turn to gauntlet gloves. In my experience, they usually fall between the $150 and $200 range, offering a blend of safety and value.
With street gloves, my spending varies widely. These gloves can differ significantly in features and protection, so a decent pair for me has typically ranged from $100 to $200.
If I plan a cross-country tour, I’m prepared to invest in touring gloves. They’re on the pricier side, similar to racing gloves, and I’d expect to pay between $200 and $300 for a good pair that fits my needs.
When it comes to racing gloves, I wouldn’t skimp on quality. Racing at high speeds demands the best, and I wouldn’t consider anything less than $200, ideally leaning towards $300 or more.
The best motorcycle glove buying guides
In the end, the right gloves for me depend on my riding style, needs, and budget. I consider my options carefully and choose the ones that provide the best balance of protection, comfort, and affordability for my specific situation. By understanding the different types of gloves and what they offer, I ensure that I’m investing in the right pair without overspending on features I won’t use.