HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT PAIR OF MOTORCYCLE GLOVES FOR YOU?
Buy now, it’s clear that buying the right pair of motorcycle gloves is a process. So many things should be considered before making your ultimate decision.
To simplify the process, we wanted to include some of the key factors to think about when shopping for motorcycle gloves.
1. SIZE MATTERS
Your riding gloves must be the right size to allow for maximum comfort and protection. It’s so crucial to find gloves that both fit well and offer a good balance of snugness and room to move. You don’t want gloves that are too restrictive (or loose fitting).
A good fit is super important! In fact, next to impact protection, proper fit is the single most important factor to consider when buy a pair of motorcycle riding gloves.
Here’s some things to look out for when factoring in the size of your gloves:
- The Snug Factor:
Try to buy gloves that are snug but not too tight. There should be no excess material at the ends of your fingers. The section of glove near your wrists should be tight (and not loose at all).
Having snug gloves that give are essential to maintaining full, direct control of your bike when you ride.
A glove that is too small or tight will make your hands tire out faster and are very uncomfortable to wear on long rides. Air circulation also becomes limited with tight fitting gloves, and your hands will feel like they’re on fire.
If your gloves are too saggy for your hands, any armor or protective layers contained within the glove will not provide the protection that you need in the event of a crash or slide.
Loose-fitting gloves make it hard for you to get a proper grip of lever controls since there is too much material.
- Break-in Time:
Be sure to consider that with time, your new gloves will begin to widen or break-in from regular use. That’s why new gloves always feel tighter at the beginning even if they are the right size for you
- Your Unique Anatomy:
Getting yourself a motorcycle glove that matches your exact hand size is a vital process that you cannot afford to ignore.
Sizes can differ wildly from glove to glove, so make sure you know your true hand size.
Because you’re shopping for your gloves online, it’s important to use the corresponding sizing chart provided on our site for each glove before buying. These handy guides will show you how to measure your hand and pick the best fitting glove for your unique hand anatomy.
2. How Do They Feel?
Far too often, people buy motorcycle gloves without really paying attention to how they feel. It really doesn’t matter now protective or water-resistant your new set of gloves are if they hurt your hands or make your fingers numb.
Try them on! Make sure you actually put them on and see how they feel for you before going riding with them for the first time.
Here’s some things to look out for when factoring in the feel of your gloves:
Is there room to move?
Are your fingers too snug?
Is there too much inner liner (or too little)?
Does the liner impede your movement?
Do they make your hands sweat?
Are the gloves going to be comfortable during those cold weather rides?
3. What Are They Made Of?
It’s important to factor in what type of material your gloves are made of when searching for a good set of riding gloves.
Here’s some things to look out for when factoring in the construction of your gloves:
Are they leather or textile?
If they are made of leather, what kind of leather is it? Synthetic or animal-based?
The materials chosen will affect more than how the gloves feel, but also how they perform in a crash, or how long of an overall lifespan they will have.
More times than not, a glove will either be made of textiles, leather, or a hybrid-mix.
Never underestimate how the materials used for the construction of your glove’s can impact their functionality. After a potential crash, textiles will usually have to be replaced, while a good pair of leather gloves can often survive multiple crashes - or they can even be repaired. Textiles, however, offer a wide range of possibilities for protecting riders from extreme weather and impact crash conditions.
So, what type of material is best?
In truth, there’s really no right or wrong answer. The type of glove material that you choose will depend more on personal preference and the type of riding that you undertake.
To help you figure it out, here’s some of the pros and cons when factoring in the type of material found in your gloves:
Textile gloves provide solid protection against abrasions, cuts, and breaks. They also come in a variety of colors and patterns sure to compliment your style.
Textile gloves definitely have their place in riding:
They’re ideal for waterproof protection.
They’re also ideal for dealing with temperature extremes (both hot and cold weather rides).
Typically, they’re not going to have an extended break-in period the way that an animal leather glove would. They should fit perfectly right out of the box, while leather gloves will tend to break in overtime.
They also have a more consistent fit when buying identical pairs.
Unfortunately, textile gloves also have inherent faults:
They don’t conform (or mold) to your hand all that well.
They don’t break in and get more comfortable as you wear them over time.
They often come with heavy liners that add bulk to the glove.
They have a one-time crash use and must be replaced more frequently.
Genuine leather motorcycle gloves have been a mainstay for any serious motorcyclist since the advent of riding. Leather gloves are protective, stylish, and made to fit all different types of riding.
The main advantage of leather gloves is:
They have a higher level of abrasion resistance.
They have greater longevity and can frequently survive multiple crashes.
They will break in and get more comfortable over time and mold to your hands.
They require less reinforcement like kevlar, hard plastics, or carbon fiber to protect you properly.
Unfortunately, those benefits come at the following expense:
Waterproof options are extremely limited with leather.
They’re also not ideal in extreme temperatures (hot or cold).
They often come at a much higher price point than their textile counterparts.
Here’s where you can have the best of both worlds. Leather and textiles can be combined in a hybrid material that offers you both the abrasion resistance of leather while providing the weather protection that textiles give you.
What’s more, hybrid gloves often come with complex liner systems or mesh at the back of the hands to help combat the extremes of warm or cold weather riding.
Increasingly, glove makers have integrated even more advanced materials into hybrid gloves to add even more protection and additional features. Materials like kevlar, titanium, carbon fiber, and hard plastics are used to increase impact protection in hybrid gloves.
The main advantage of hybrid gloves is that they:
Provide waterproof functionality.
They’re abrasion resistant.
They great for multi-seasonal riding in extreme temperatures.
Unfortunately, those benefits come at the following expense:
They have limited use or durability.
The built-in liners add bulk to the gloves.
4. How Much Do You Want to Spend on Them?
The old adage that “you get what you pay for in this world” certainly rings true when buying a quality pair of motorcycle riding gloves. There’s such a wide variety of gloves across all price points and budgets.
You might be wondering, why should i spend close to $300.00 on a new pair of gloves when i can get cheaper pair at $30.00 from my local bike shop?
What’s more confusing, is that the price that manufacturer’s charge for a pair of gloves doesn’t necessarily reflect how well it’s made or how well it will protect you in a crash.
Not to worry, that why we’re here.
Try to keep the following in mind when factoring in the dollar value of your gloves:
Quality materials and stitching will almost always come in gloves at a higher price point.
Leather gloves are always going to be more expensive than textile gloves.
The type of armor or built-in protective plates will also affect the price. Be prepared to
Spend more for carbon fiber or kevlar armor over the lesser priced plastic or cell-foam padding.
Durability matters. It doesn’t make sense to save money on a pair of gloves if you have to keep replacing them every few months.
A truly great glove will blend price and quality by offering superior protection and feel like an extension of your own hand.
Fortunately, there’s so many high-quality gloves on the market to suit all budgets – so long as you know what to look for.
5. What Type of Protection Will They Provide?
It’s easy to get hung up on features that look cool or might seem important, instead try to concentrate on the practical features that a glove provides.
Remember our earlier conversation about taking a spill?
Our instinct when taking a stumble is to fall on our hands to protect ourselves. If you come off your motorcycle, the likelihood that you’ll reach out with our hands to shield yourself from the impact is all but certain. What happens next will depend on a bunch of factors. The only one that you can really control in those terrifying moments are what’s in between you and the hard asphalt.
It is important to realize just how much damage can occur from having inadequate hand protection during a fall. It’s shocking how little it takes to break one of the small bones in your hand or slice them to shreds when sliding across the cheese grater that is asphalt.
A well-designed glove can greatly reduce your risk of injury. What’s more, they will provide you with a greater ability to operate controls and levers.
Just keep in mind, cool-looking carbon fiber knuckles with air vents are great, but do they come at the expense of being too restrictive? In the same vein, will those high-end leather gloves that cost you and arm and a leg save your hands if you fall?
This is a good time to discuss the types of padding common in motorcycle gloves.
Nothing saves your hands in a fall like padding. To understand what to look out for when selecting a glove, let’s review the types of padding in protective riding gloves.
- Palm Padding
Palm padding protects the most likely area of impact over the palm and the flat of the hand by adding an extra layer of protection between the cheese-grating road surface and the soft skin of your palms.
- Palm Sliders
Palm sliders are tough plastic studs added into the glove that can turn a potentially abrasive impact into a harmless slide leaving no more than minor scratches to the glove.
- Knuckle Protectors
Knuckle protectors might not seem important, but they invaluable at protecting against road debris, insects, stones, and side collisions.
- Gauntlet (Wrist) Protectors
A full gauntlet offers significantly more protection around the wrist area than traditional short gloves do.
- Kevlar, Carbon Fiber, Or Plastic Re-Enforcement
These advanced materials add even more impact protection and additional features for maximum peace of mind.
6. What Type of Weather Do You Ride In?
Weather can be everything in riding. When deciding on the right set of motorcycle gloves, you must consider the weather. Most importantly, you’re going to want gloves that provide “ride-specific” protection based on your local environment and temperatures.
Cold weather dictates that you have warm or heated gloves to protect you from the bone-chilling wind or snow.
Hot weather, on the other hand, mandates that your hands receive steady airflow to prevent sweating and becoming slippery. Sweaty hands from the baking sun can lead to a loss of control when handling throttles and levers.
7. How Much Does Style Matter to You?
The last factor to consider - after you’ve assessed a set of gloves for function, weather, and protection - is to factor in their style.
There’s nothing like having the perfect set of gloves that also look cool. Perhaps they’ll have a fancy pattern or color scheme, or perhaps they’ll match the rest of your clothing or your bike itself.
There are also definite advantages to having fashionable gear that goes beyond how you look. Like most things in life, looking the part often translates to acting the part. Often having the proper equipment or gear causes people to be more dedicated and more serious about the endeavors that they undertake. This seriousness can lead to greater experience and mastery of your bike. That in turn can lead to greater safety.
It also doesn’t hurt to turn some heads. Keep in mind though that style often equates to an increased dollar value when purchasing gloves.