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Best Motorcycle Gloves: Get a Grip on Your Ride

When you twist the wrist, these are the gloves you want.

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BYRobert Bacon/ LAST UPDATED ON March 24, 2022

For the avid motorcyclist, other than the actual riding, one of the greatest aspects of motorcycle riding is all the cool gear you get to buy. But one piece is often overlooked and that’s your gloves. A great pair of motorcycle gloves will fit you like a second skin and provide much-appreciated warmth and protection in all kinds of riding conditions. Not to mention, they provide an extra layer of grip for confident control, as well as safety. If you’re in the market for a new pair of motorcycle gloves, check out our comprehensive list of top-quality options, as well as our extensive buying guide that will help ensure you get the best pair of motorcycle gloves to suit your needs.

Best Overall

Alpinestars SP-8 V3

Summary
Gauntlet gloves that are at home on twisty roads, a track, and tackling your daily commute. The quality is great, and the price is even better.
Pros
  • Great value
  • CE-certified Level 1
  • Touchscreen compatible
  • Gauntlet style
  • Good for sport riding
Cons
  • Not suitable for winter riding
  • Not CE-certified Level 2
Best Value

Joe Rocket Super Moto Gloves

Summary
If you’re on a tight budget and need something to wrap your mitts in a hurry, you won’t find much better than these. Unfortunately, they have no CE certification.
Pros
  • Fantastic value
  • Breathable and plenty of stretch
  • TPU palm slider
  • PVC knuckle protector
Cons
  • Not suitable for cold weather
  • Not CE certified
Honorable Mention

Dainese 4 Stroke 2 Gloves

Summary
All of the technology and almost all the protection of a high-end gauntlet racing glove stuffed into a short cuff. Just be warned that high-end materials come at a high price.
Pros
  • CE-certified Level 2
  • Reinforced palm protection
  • Reinforced outseam protection and fourth finger slider
  • Micro-elasticated stretch panels
Cons
  • One of the pricier gloves on the list
Best Motorcycle Gloves: Get a Grip on Your Ride
Alpinestars SP-V2 Gloves.

Whether it’s a high side, low side, or minor slip, your natural instincts are to put your hands out and brace for impact, and motorcycle gloves will be your first line of defense. Of course, protection is our top concern when talking about motorcycle gear, but gloves do much more than protect you in the event of a crash. Motorcycle gloves can keep you cool on a hot summer’s day or dry and toasty when commuting in harsh weather. I’ve created a buying guide to help you know what to look for when choosing the right gloves for you. You’ll also find a list of all the best gloves on the market ranked under a variety of categories.

Our Methodology

To choose the best motorcycle gloves on the market, I employed The Drive’s comprehensive research methodology and evaluated dozens of gloves before choosing the top contenders. Although I haven’t personally tested these products, my selection is informed by consumer testimonials, expert reviews, discussions on relevant online forums, and my institutional knowledge of the automotive industry. I visited the Motorcycle subreddit to get a more informed opinion of what motorcyclists felt about the products on the market, and RevZilla to see what the experts had to say after their hands-on tests.

Some brands are already well established in this niche, and priority was given to their products. However, other lesser-known brands were also evaluated. The main features taken into consideration were protection, comfort, ventilation, insulation, durability, and price. Gloves were immediately disqualified from consideration if they were uncomfortable or weren’t suitable for their intended type of riding.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Best Motorcycle Glove Reviews & Recommendations

Motorcycle gloves are as diverse as the riders who use them, so picking one model as the ruler of the roost isn’t easy, but the Alpinestars SP-8 V3 takes my pick. These gauntlet gloves aren’t the best in any one area but rather hit many marks well and are a fantastic value. The gauntlet style offers more protection than short cuff gloves, and these are CE-certified Level 1 and feature MotoGP-derived dual-density knuckle protectors. In the event of a spill, you’ll be thankful for the palm sliders, although it would be great to have better protection here, a reinforced fabric is the best you can hope for at this price. These gloves are geared toward sport riding and commuting thanks to their pre-shaped finger construction and touchscreen compatible index and thumb fingers. There’s enough ventilation for a warm summer ride but provide enough warmth for a cool autumn spin, making these great three-season gloves. There’s a lot of full-grain goat leather used in the construction, which gives the SP-8 V3’s a premium feel and good tactile feedback. Keeping everything snug is a hook and loop cuff and wrist closure that works with an elasticized wrist. The only gripe some people have is that the fingers can be a bit long. Those with shorter fingers should consider the Alpinestars Stella SP-8 V3 gloves for a better fit. As for the previous iteration of the Alpinestars SP-8 V2, managing editor Jonathon Klein owns them and bought them with his hard-earned money. He chose the V2s because of his history with the brand as well as the full gauntlet fit, the protection afforded, the relatively modest price, and the fact they fit his big hands well. These gloves are warm enough for cool autumn rides but have enough venting for a sweltering August day.
If you’re on a tight budget and need to wrap your mitts in a hurry, it’s hard to look past the Joe Rocket Super Moto Gloves. This model works particularly well in warm weather thanks to the mixture of stretch spandex and goatskin used in its construction, resulting in good ventilation. There’s relatively good tactile feedback via the drum-dyed goatskin that covers the palm and some of the top of the glove. The stretch Spandex isn’t just breathable, it also makes these gloves comfortable as they stretch easily. Increasing comfort is the Lycra positioned between the fingers, which makes it easier to reach for the brake and clutch levers. Keeping you protected in the event of a crash is a hard PVC knuckle protector and TPU palm slider. It’s great to see the inclusion of a palm slider on such an inexpensive glove, but it would be even better to see added protection on the outseam. This model’s biggest downfall is that it doesn’t have CE certification, which is an important feature for anyone who rides at relatively high speeds. This model will suit commuters particularly well thanks to the touch technology, which is located on the flat side of the finger rather than the tip, making it a tad difficult to use at times. Females should consider the Joe Rocket Super Moto Women’s Gloves for a better fit.
Gauntlet gloves had to take the best overall award because of their sheer practicality, but if you prefer short-cuff gloves, then the Dainese 4 Stroke 2 Gloves are hard to beat. These are some of the most protective gloves on the market and have a CE Level 2 rating. There’s stainless steel set over thermoplastic at the knuckles and inserts at the back of the hand. Something that’s great to see on motorcycle gloves is initial impact protection, and this model has plenty. There’s a hard slider that runs along the fourth finger, reinforced double stitched material on the outseam, and a thermoplastic polyurethane palm and cuff slider. These gloves have all the bells and whistles of an out-and-out race glove but are comfortable enough for daily commuting thanks to the micro-elastic accordion stretch panel across the knuckles and the pull tab on the cuff. The Velcro closure is larger than the previous iteration, making these gloves feel even more secure. This model should be fantastic for anyone who does a mixture of commuting and canyon carving but be prepared to pay a premium price for such high-end materials.
Tackling some twisties on a hot summer’s day is one the best feelings on a motorcycle, but you'll need suitably ventilated gloves to enjoy it, like the Alpinestars SMX-1 Air V2. These short cuff gloves are mainly constructed from air-mesh and leather, allowing plenty of air to pass through and keep your hands cool and dry. A lightweight, breathable construction sometimes comes at the cost of protection, but not in this case. These gloves are CE-certified Level 1, which is even more impressive when you consider how inexpensive they are. There are poly-blend reinforcements with foam padding on the thumb and palm, synthetic suede reinforcements on the outseams, and a layer of hard-polymer that runs along the knuckles. The mesh construction and stretch materials along the fingers and back of the hand make these gloves extremely comfortable. There’s also an ergonomic stretch insert between the palm and thumb, so you’ll have minimal resistance when operating the brake and clutch levers. All this comfort mixed with the addition of a touchscreen compatible fingertip make these gloves excellent options for anyone who commutes in warm weather.
Comfort, feedback, and protection are the primary features I look for in a sport riding gloves, and the Alpinestars GP Pro R3 has them in spades. This model is constructed from a mix of cow and goat leather, and it uses kangaroo leather on the palm. The kangaroo leather is strategically placed to give you better feedback from the handlebars. The cow and goat leather provide good durability and abrasion resistance in the event of a fall. You can ride with confidence knowing your hands are wrapped in the top level of protection available, since this model is CE-certified Level 2. If you need to brace for impact, you’ll be thankful for the hard palm sliders and reinforced material that runs along the outer seams. Alpinestars made improvements to this model over the previous iteration in terms of comfort. Ensuring you have good dexterity when pushing your bike on the track are accordion stretch panels on the thumb, fingers, and back of the hand. Riding hard is sweaty work, but these gloves have perforated gussets that open as you clench your fist and cool your hands. There’s no touch technology at the fingertips, but that’s to be expected on gloves that are so track focused. There are other models that arguably offer even more track-focused features, but when you take price into consideration, these gloves easily take my pick.
If style is important to you, then consider getting the Dainese Blackjack Gloves. These gloves are made from perforated goatskin leather and have a retro style with a modern twist. Warm-weather riders will appreciate the perforation and lightweight construction, which helps to keep your hands relatively well ventilated. These gloves aren’t only about style, as their goatskin construction provides plenty of tactile feedback to the rider. The pre-curved design and elastication on the two control fingers mean you can wear these comfortably all day. It’s worth noting that some riders might need to go up a size when compared to other brands. Protection comes in the form of double leather reinforcement on the palms, padding across the knuckles, and double reinforced leather at the knuckles and edges of the fingers. Unfortunately, this protection is very limited, and the gloves aren’t CE rated. If safety is your priority, these aren’t the gloves for you. But, if you want to complete your retro riding gear with a modern glove at an affordable price, you can’t go wrong with this model.
All-season riders, especially ones who ride in cold weather, need to invest in a pair of suitable gloves like the Highway 21 7V Radiant Heated Gloves. These gloves are heated and powered by a lithium battery, which lasts for four hours on low, three hours on medium, and two and a half hours on high heat. The heat settings are easily changeable via a control switch on the cuff, but if you run out of power, the 100 grams of Thinsulate insulation should still keep your mitts toasty. Cold fingers aren't the only problem you face throughout winter, as there’s always a chance that the heavens will open up. Thankfully, these gloves have an interior waterproof liner that is both windproof and breathable. These features, along with the glove’s pre-curved fingers, help to keep you comfortable on long commutes. Protection comes in the form of armored knuckles and a durable leather construction, but that’s all that’s on offer unfortunately. Since these are one of the higher-priced models on the list it would be great to see CE certification or at least reinforced outer seams. If you need to use your phone for navigation you won’t need to brave the elements, as the 7V Radiant Heated Gloves feature touchscreen compatible fingertips.

Our Verdict 

I’ve chosen the Alpinestars SP-8 V3 as the best overall motorcycle gloves. These are some of the most versatile gloves available, offer good protection, and are good value for money. If you’re working off a tight budget, check out my value pick, the Joe Rocket Super Moto Gloves.

Consider Secondhand

When we start shopping for tools and products, we never overlook the secondhand market. In fact, it’s usually the first place I look. Whether you’re scrolling through Amazon’s Renewed section, eBay for car parts or tools, or flipping through the pages of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you have hundreds of thousands of used tools, parts, and gear ready to be shipped to your doorstep. Refurbished to like-new status, they’ll be willing to give you many more years of faithful service all while saving you money. It also has the benefit of you not having to cut open an Amazon box inside an Amazon box with bubble wrapped around the part.

If those options above don’t have what you need, your local salvage yard is great for car parts, while swap meets are a great resource you should absolutely tap. Just Google either and head on down.  

Secondhand Tips

To make your secondhand search easier, here are two tips to finding the best deals and making sure your new-to-you stuff wasn’t destroyed by the previous owner. 

  • Closely inspect every inch of the gloves and search for signs of abrasion from impact and rips from general wear. If secondhand gloves have already been damaged, they might not protect you as well as new ones in an accident.
  • Most gloves use Velcro cuffs, which wear out over time. Make sure the cuffs close securely and the velcro closure is tight.

What to Consider When Buying Motorcycle Gloves

There are gloves on the market for every type of rider and every style of riding. Although this near-endless selection of options isn't something to complain about, it also makes it difficult to know what gloves are best for you. This buying guide explains the features to look out for before making your decision and what you can expect to find at various price points. If you still have questions, check out the FAQs section or leave a comment.

Motorcycle Gloves Key Features

Protection

Protection should be the first thing you consider when choosing riding gloves. Look for a pair of gloves that are CE certified, which is the European Union standard of relevant safety protection. CE certification is used as an indication of protection in many parts of the world, including the U.S. The most protective gloves will be CE-certified Level 2, which is a must for anyone who does track days. CE-certified Level 1 gloves also offer good protection and suit commuters and weekend warriors.

The main areas to look for protective features are at the knuckles, along the front of the fingers, along the side of the fourth finger, outside of the palm, inside of the palm, the heel, and the ball of your thumb.  

Weather Protection

Anyone who rides year-round already knows how important weather protection is. If you ride in wet conditions and your budget allows, try to get Gore-Tex gloves, as they’ll stay dry and breathable. If you’re working off a tight budget, look for gloves with an alternative waterproof membrane or an interior waterproof liner. If you ride in cold conditions, you should look for gloves that have extra insulation. 

Manufacturers often state how many grams of insulation are in a certain model, so check this before making your decision. If you want to take things a step further, heated gloves provide the ultimate form of protection from cold temperatures.

Ventilation

Anyone who rides in warm conditions or on a track needs well-ventilated gloves. Mesh gloves are generally the most breathable on the market but can lack the protection provided by gloves made entirely from leather. If you opt for leather gloves, make sure they’re perforated and preferably have gussets at the back of the hand for ventilation. 

Pricing

If you’re hoping to spend less than $100, the best level of protection you can expect is usually CE-certified Level 1. Anyone who spends in the range of $100 to $200 can find CE-certified Level 2 gloves, although there are still a lot of Level 1 gloves in this price range. If your budget stretches beyond $200, you’ll find almost exclusively CE-certified Level 2 gloves that are great for track use. This price point also has some excellent Gore-Tex gloves that all-season riders will appreciate.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

How can I be sure a glove fits comfortably before buying it?

The best way to make sure you buy the correct size is to go to a local motorcycle gear store and try on the glove you want. You can also use a soft tape to measure the width of your palm and the length of your hand from wrist to fingertip, then compare it to the manufacturer’s size guide. It also helps to read reviews from other buyers to get a better idea of the fit and the accuracy of the sizing chart.

How do I wash motorcycle gloves?

The best way to wash gloves depends on their style and the material they're made from. Typically, textile gloves can go through your washing machine. However, leather gloves should always be cleaned by hand. Some gloves with built-in armor should be spot cleaned with soapy water and rinsed afterward.

Are motorcycle gloves unisex?

Gloves typically come in designs for either men or women, as the proportions of the fingers and palms are different. Some gloves are unisex, and these gloves usually come in a much wider variety of sizes.

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