No matter what kind of riding you’re into, every motorcyclist should own a pair of quality motorcycle gloves that offer real protection in the event of an accident. Falling hands first onto an asphalt road is painful enough from a standstill, and a hell of a lot more so at speed. Since you’re more likely to land hands-first in the vast majority of accident scenarios, a good pair of gloves will keep your paws protected.
Different riders have different requirements, so for the purposes of this list, we’ve decided to select products that cover a wide range of riding needs. These include options for sport, touring, and dirt riders, and dedicated summer and winter options too.
Our conclusions have been drawn from a blend of real-life experience and product familiarity, in partnership with quality reviews from trusted sources. Naturally, we also take into account customer reviews and feedback too. We also value the overall quality of a product and whether it truly offers value for money. After all, expensive doesn’t always mean good, and cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad.
So, without further ado, here’s what we came up with.
Dainese Steel Pro Gloves
First up, let’s look at sports gloves. When it comes to all things sport, Dainese is a go-to brand name. In terms of value for money, the Dainese brand can be a little too expensive for the average rider. However, when it comes to their Steel Pro gloves, you get a great return for your investment. They’re premium gloves without the over-the-top premium price tag.
Constructed from goatskin leather with advanced armor, these gloves are claimed to be the “ultimate track glove.” If you’re a regular track rider, they are worth your money. The leather is tough but supple, offering excellent flexibility, but the real benefit is in the protection. Composite and stainless steel inserts protect the knuckle area, while thermoplastic armor keeps fingers safe. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that these gloves are certified to CE – Cat. II – PrEN 13594 Standard lev. 1.
There’s a shopping list of other armored features. But are they comfortable to wear? Thanks to elasticated sections, an adjustable cuff strap, and a tightening strap, these pre-curved racing gloves have a snug fit without compromising your freedom of movement. Pay attention to the sizing though—they’re known to run a little long in the fingers.
Knox Nexos Mk1 Sport Gloves
If you’re looking for touring gloves, we recommend the Knox Nexos Sport Gloves. Though they say “Sport” in the name, they’re better suited to sport touring. These are replacements for the outgoing Knox Biomech gloves that used to be some of the best-selling gloves out there. The Nexos gloves carry on the Biomech’s tradition for excellence.
Made from a combination of cowhide, goat leather, and a dual compound synthetic material, these long-cuff gauntlets are comfortable and warm, but light and airy too. They are ideal for riding in three seasons, depending on your locale. They are quite bulky but they don’t hinder your dexterity in any way.
The main bulk of these gloves is taken up by armor. The Nexos Gloves use the Knox Scaphoid Protection System on the heel of each hand. In summary, they’re thick plastic sliders that defend the palm against impact and abrasion. The knuckles are protected by soft TPU armor with honeycomb gel inserts, and the fingers also have TPU armor and added leather on the little finger.
These gloves are secured using a BOA system. This is a dial-operated closure that pulls a metal cord tight around the cuff. It’s a great closure, but they can be quite bulky—and that’s the only negative point above these gloves: they’re bulky.
Alpinestars Megawatt Gloves
Though these gloves are designed for both on and off-road use, we think they’re exceptionally good in the dirt. They’re lightweight, tough, durable, versatile, and very well priced. In terms of your bang-for-buck ratio, it will be difficult to find a better pair of gloves than these. And since they’re manufactured by Alpinestars, you can truth in the quality of the construction.
The Megawatt gloves are made from a combination of materials that include perforated leather, stretch-polyamide, and synthetic suede. They’re pre-curved to reduce rider fatigue and boost comfort, but without restricting your movements. One feature that we really like is the reinforced thumb and palm sections that give you a confident grip on your handlebars, whatever the situation.
Protection comes in the form of synthetic suede panels across the palm, extra suede reinforcement with foam padding for boosted abrasion protection on key impact zones, and a hard polymer knuckle protector for added safety. Despite the layers of protection, these gloves are fairly breathable and well ventilated too.
The closure is a Velcro cuff for fast and easy removal.
Joe Rocket Atomic X2 Gloves
At the budget end of the spectrum, we’d suggest these Atomic gloves from Joe Rocket. They’ll do the job and they won’t break the bank. Joe Rocket is a brand that’s well-known for delivering quality protectives on a budget, and the Atomic gloves do just that.
Manufactured from goatskin leather, stretch Spandex, neoprene, and Chamude, these short cuff gloves are comfortable and snug, without restricting your hand movements. Ideal for summer weather, they’re not that waterproof and you’ll definitely feel the cold in them if you’re riding out of season.
In terms of protection, these pre-curved, rider-friendly gloves feature 5mm high-density padding around the index and middles fingers, leather knuckle armor, and goatskin palm pads. These gloves also feature SmartTouch material that allows you to use touchscreen devices, a secure hook-and-loop closure, and a TPR pull tab.
Despite excellent long-term tests and reviews, we’d still urge caution about the life-expectancy of these gloves. Since they’re budget products, don’t expect them to last forever. However, if you need affordable protection for low-stress riding, these are perfect gloves.
REV’IT! Dirt 3 Summer Glove
If you’re looking for a hardwearing summer glove that offers high-levels of protection with comfortable airflow, then we recommend the REV’IT! Dirt 3 gloves. They’re designed for warm weather riding but can stand up to the demands of adventure touring and street riding in equal measure.
To meet the needs of summer riders, these gloves are made from goatskin leather, 3D air mesh, corduroy, and polyurethane coated textiles. The result is a glove that has a close, snug fit, with plenty of flexibility, that’s light and breathable at the same time.
Hand protection comes in the form of thermoplastic rubber knuckle guards, palm sliders, and finger knuckle armor, as well as Temperfoam reinforcements. REV’IT!’s own PWR|Shield knit holds it all together, creating a tough, durable, and abrasion-resistant glove.
Other cool features include a connect touchscreen-friendly fingertip, a grip patch on the palm, and elasticated wrists. The overall design of this glove is a tour fit with a short cuff, making it incredibly versatile and compatible with any jacket.
For the best results, take care when sizing. Read other customer reviews to ensure you’re getting the best fit possible.
Alpinestars SP Air Gloves
Next up, we’ve got another set of impressive summer riding gloves. These long gauntlets offer exceptional protection without overheating your hands. They’re essentially a race-quality glove but with optimized airflow to let your hands breathe. In short: they offer everything you want from a summer glove and more.
The SP Air gloves are made from a variety of materials. The most significant of these is a full-grain leather, with synthetic suede, polyester, and polyurethane features. The leather section is perforated for ventilation and is used around the knuckle, gauntlet, and finger boxes. Suede is used across the palm for added grip, and across other sections of the glove.
Protective features include an injected TPU palm slider and knuckle slider, a patented third and fourth finger bridge, EVA foam padding, and a reinforced pad at the base of the thumb. Naturally, the glove uses abrasion-resistant material in key impact zones, keeping your hands safe and sound in the event of a spill.
We love these gloves because they really do have some impressive airflow. They even have dedicated TPR air intakes, though they’re not as effective as Alpinestars claim that they are!
Even so: these are great gloves for sport riders in hot climates.
Rukka Virium Gore-Tex X-Trafit Waterproof Gloves
We’ve seen summer gloves, but what about waterproof gloves? There are plenty of gloves out there that claim to be waterproof, but very few live up to the hype. These ones, however, are the real deal. The Rukka Virium Gore-Tex X-Trafit gloves are warm, dry, flexible, and protective—everything a rider needs in a glove.
Made using Gore-Tex X-Trafit technology and a breathable, water and windproof textile, the Virium gloves are sturdy and durable. The palms feature extra grip sections for confident handlebar controls, with touchscreen fingertips, and a handy visor wiper too.
In terms of armor, these gloves don’t have a huge list of protective features, but they have enough for safe and secure riding. For example, they include adequate knuckle, scaphoid, and finger protection but not to the same level that you’d expect from a track-focused glove. However, these gloves are designed for wet weather riding, when you shouldn’t be taking any risks anyway!
These gloves are waterproof! And not just a bit waterproof. They’re seriously waterproof. If you’re in need of something that will keep your hands warm and dry, these well-ventilated breathable textile gloves are for you. This level of waterproofing costs money, but these gloves ship with a two-year warranty and they’re worth every penny.
Gebring Vanguard Heated Gloves
Lastly, we have a solid winter option: Gebring’s Vanguard Heated Gloves. As the name implies, these winter gloves feature a heating element that promises to keep your hands nice and toasty, even on the coldest of days.
Constructed using premium Aniline cowhide leather, these gloves are tough and durable, but remarkably pliable and flexible. The leather is backed with water-resistant Aquatex, and complemented with Thinsulate insulation. They feature superfabric patches in high-risk abrasion zones, a TPU knuckle protection, and gel pads on the palm and on certain fingers.
On the surface, they’re just normal motorcycle gloves. But on the inside, they’re something else. Lined with Polyester microsuede, these gloves feature an advanced microwire heating system that delivers impressive heat to the whole glove, even to the tip of every finger. Connected using a discreet wire connector, these gloves are what you want to be wearing if you’re riding out in the cold.
These are easily our favorite winter riding gloves in very cold weather, but if you don’t really experience cold winters, they’re not going to be for you. They’re too expensive to own just for the sake of it. But if you’re an all-season rider who likes to tear it up in the snow, these are the gloves for you.
The post The Best Motorcycle Gloves You Can Buy [Updated Q4 2020] appeared first on Motorbike Writer.