Motorcycle gloves come in so many different designs and with so many different features and functions that it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed when shopping for that one perfect pair to suit your riding style. To add to the confusion, it’s also important whether you’re a fair-weather rider or are you on the bike in all seasons and all temperatures. Finally, you’ll need to figure out the amount of protection you need and find out what’s the most comfortable glove out there.
To help you out, we’ve put a comprehensive motorcycle glove guide for you to make it easier. Here’s how to pick out the best motorcycle gloves for you:
Style matters, but when it comes to motorcycle gloves, always look for a pair that will offer the best protection. After all, it’s about safety, so opt for gloves that would include safety features such as knuckle protection as well as abrasion-resistant materials. Another important feature to look for is palm protection: most glove manufacturers focus on protecting your knuckles, but the reality is that we usually use our palms to break the fall, so having a little extra padding or reinforcement in the palm and wrist area makes a huge difference.
However, not all motorcycle gloves are created equal, and to decide which gloves will work best for you, you first need to look at the type of riding you do the most. If you’re an urban rider or a commuter, chances are, lightweight and comfy street riding gloves like these will be more than enough for zipping around town. If you love hitting the trails on your dirt bike, opt for stretchy and lightweight motocross-style gloves designed to give you the maximum amount of movement, breathability, and comfort. For adventure riding and touring, you’ll need something a little more durable, four-season, and fully protected as you never know what the road (or off-road) will throw at you on a daily basis. Something like these touring gloves by KTM is ideal for long-distance travel and adventure riding. Are you an easy rider on a cruiser, mostly riding in warm weather and enjoying those glorious twisties aboard your Harley? Opt for soft leather gloves like these to stay comfortable and protected. Finally, if your local racetrack is your natural habitat, aim for highly protective leather gloves designed for high-speed riding like these Ducati racing gloves.
If you own several different bikes and often ride in different conditions, shop for all-rounder gloves meant to cover a wide variety of riding styles. These gloves could work great for urban riding, cruising, and weekend adventures alike. On the other hand, racing gloves can be a perfect fit for traveling, and dirt bike gloves like these can double as your summer riding gloves on your street bike. As with any motorcycle gear, glove choices are highly individual, so experiment and see what works best for you.
Summer Motorcycle Gloves vs Winter Riding Gear
Regardless of what type of riding you do most, another factor to consider is the weather. If you only ride in the summer months, one pair of gloves should be enough. However, if you ride year-round, getting a second pair of motorcycle gloves for those colder months is a must: having cold hands isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s also unsafe. Sometimes, even a few seconds’ delays in pulling your brake or clutch levers can make a difference between a crash and a save, and when your fingers are frozen, this can easily happen on the bike. Stay warm and stay safe by adding a pair of winter gloves to your gear set up!
When shopping for four-season motorcycle gloves or a pair of warmer mitts for those colder months, see if the gloves are not just thicker and well-insulated, but also waterproof. We love these Dominator gloves by Rev’It that are made for all-weather riding: offering solid protection and GoreTex-lined, these gloves will work in any conditions and any temperatures.
If you know you’ll be riding in the cold, you can also consider a pair of heated gloves, installing heated grips on your bike, or adding hand warmers over your bars.
Motorcycle Glove Sizing
Now that you know what style and function you want from your motorcycle gloves, there’s one more thing to consider: sizing. Most gloves are made for the average person, and we all know that person doesn’t exist. Some of us have longer, thinner pianist fingers, others have wider palms, and standard sizing does not always fit like a glove, excuse the pun. This is why choosing gloves that have stretchy inlays or seams is a great way to get the right size, and if you’re opting for leather, always go with a tight fit as they will stretch out a little once you break them in. With thicker winter gloves, it’s best to go half a size up as you may struggle with controls at first, and when it comes to summer gloves as well as racing or street gloves, see that they fit well to make sure all the protective elements are exactly where they need to be to work right in case of a crash.
When you’re picking out motorcycle gloves, what do you usually go for? Let us know in the comments below – we could use some of your tips!