LAST UPDATED: April 23, 2019
Best Motorcycle Gloves: The Top Pairs to Wear on a Bike
The best motorcycle gloves to better protect your hands and to make your ride more comfortable
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON April 23, 2019
Gloves are an essential part of any motorcycle riding protective gear. Finding ones that fit correctly and keep your hands safe from injury can be difficult. The style all depends on what you plan on doing while you ride and when you plan on riding. We’ve put together the best pairs of motorcycle gloves you can find to better protect yourself on the road, off-road, or in rough weather conditions.
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Benefits of Motorcycle Gloves
- Protect your hands. Motorcycle riding gloves are designed to keep your hands safe and warm while riding. They are built with toughness and comfort in mind. They’ll protect your hands from injury if you ever need to use them to catch the bike or right yourself during a fall.
- Help circulate air. Many are built to keep your hands dry. They help circulate air through the gloves to keep your fingers from getting too sweaty, giving you more grip on the handlebars.
- Keep water out. Motorcycle gloves are also meant to keep the elements from affecting your hands. Many are water-resistant and capable of filtering water through the gloves without getting your hands wet.
- Improve comfort Gloves give you a more comfortable ride, especially on long trips, rough terrain, or on the track. They can help prevent calluses and skin irritation.
Types of Motorcycle Gloves
These fit over your hands like a gauntlet worn by medieval knights. Gauntlet gloves have a reinforced layer on the knuckles to better protect your hands from injury. Gauntlet-style gloves are also larger and come with more padding.
Racing gloves are made of padded leather and are typically lighter in weight. They come with more layers of protection and a more comfortable grip.
Dirt motorcycle gloves are designed to keep your hands gripped to the handlebars. More specifically built for dirt bike racing, they can also work for road trips and other riding styles. They are shorter and typically come to the wrist of the rider.
These gloves are meant for the hottest days of the year. Summer gloves help circulate air through them, keeping your fingers cool while you ride. These cool motorcycle gloves are designed to evaporate sweat through the fabric to keep your hands dry.
Riding in the winter and colder temperatures can be challenging. Winter motorcycle gloves are designed with warmth in mind. They are crafted with thicker fabrics or materials to keep your hands warm and waterproof.
The company officially began in 1963 in Asolo, Italy. In the mid-1990s, it developed and launched the first of its apparel lines. It has designed gear for Formula 1 and Motocross teams. One of its most popular glove options is the Alpinestars Men's SP-8 v2.
Joe Rocket made a name for itself by offering high-quality riding gear at competitive prices. It makes motorcycle-specific jackets, pants, gloves, footwear, riding suits, and removable armor. Some of its top-selling motorcycle gloves are the Joe Rocket Men's Café Racer Motorcycle Gloves.
Motorcycle Glove Pricing
- Under $20: Motorcycle gloves in this range are budget-friendly and give you grip to keep your hands protected from road rash during low-speed crashes. Most of these motorcycle gloves use a cloth or mesh material in their design, and are best suited to off-road riding.
- $20-$50: The mid-price range will offer you gloves that protect your hands and keep them warm or cool while also allowing you to access your cell phone screen without removing them.
- Over $50: This range is full of more popular and higher-end motorcycle glove brands. These typically use more expensive leather and suede fabrics, while also offering the same functionality as the more affordable price ranges.
While motorcycle gloves may all help protect your hands in the same way, deciding what pair you need depends on your riding style. Gloves come in all sizes, forms, and designs. If you’re planning a road trip, you may need to invest in a more durable, tougher, and water-resistant glove, while anyone with a dirt bike will want to go for a glove designed for grip.
There are a number of gloves to choose from, and you’ll want to make sure they are comfortable. Checking to see how a glove feels on your hand is preferable before you invest in a pair you’ll wear in the long run. If your hands sweat too much inside or don’t get enough airflow, check to see if there is a different material they come in that provides better circulation.
- Color: Motorcycle gloves come in a range of colors and designs. If you want a pair that matches your motorcycle, you’ll want to research to see what colors they come in.
- Size: Choosing a size that gives your fingers a large range of movement is important. Make sure to test what glove size fits best before investing in a pair you aren’t sure about. Many companies have a glove size chart to help you choose.
- Water-Resistance: Keeping your hands dry from rain or snow is an important feature of motorcycle gloves. Many are made with mesh material on the inside and outside to prevent water from soaking through to your hand. Conversely, the material can also prevent sweat from forming on your fingers and filter it through the glove into the air.
- Phone Accessibility: Being able to use your smartphone's touchscreen while wearing gloves is useful. Many motorcycle gloves have the capability of allowing you to access your phone through the fabric. It’s important to see if the gloves you are buying can be used with smartphones.
Best Motorcycle Glove Reviews & Recommendations 2020
If crash protection and build quality top your list of features to have in a motorcycle glove, then these gloves from Italian manufacturer Alpinestars check all the boxes. Safety features combine with breathability and ergonomic design to provide protection that’s comfortable enough to wear every time you throw a leg over your bike.
Full-grain leather offers years of durability and skin-saving abrasion resistance. Specially designed material is used in the palm and thumb to provide extra grip and dexterity where your gloves contact your motorcycle’s controls. CE-certified armor over the knuckles adds critical protection against impact and sliding, and soft armor on the fingers and back of the hand provides padding to protect the small bones in your hand. Just like you’d see on professional racing gloves, a leather bridge joins the third and fourth fingers to prevent injury. The SP-8 v2 is strong enough for the occasional track day, so you can certainly trust it on the road.
While these gloves offer uncompromising protection and are a smash hit with sportbike riders, their race-ready aesthetic and gauntlet design may be too aggressive for some. The blacked-out option is perfect for safety-conscious touring and adventure motorcyclists, but casual riders might be more comfortable in the next glove on our list.
Not everyone is looking for full-gauntlet coverage and hard armor protection, and Joe Rocket has them covered. Most riders are happy to move toward the comfort end of the safety spectrum if it means they can gain some dexterity and keep more money in their pockets. Joe Rocket has carved a place for itself in the market by providing respected quality at affordable prices. For most riding situations, these gloves bring incredible value.
The napa leather used throughout this glove is strong enough to provide adequate protection, and soft enough to feel like an extension of your own hand. Single-color design and understated construction make this a great option for those riding cruisers and retro motorcycles. Double-stitched padding in high-impact areas keeps safety standards high. Small perforations in the fingers help these gloves cool down, but they’re still fairly warm in higher temperatures. The mid-length cuff provides extra protection on wrists without needing to be worn over a jacket like full-gauntlet gloves, and a hefty zipper makes putting them on and taking them off easy. Best of all, these gloves come in at a price point most big-name manufacturers just can’t compete with.
These gloves offer fantastic value and look just as good holding ape hangers as they do gripping a pair of clip-ons, but riders looking for the most safety features possible might not be satisfied with the soft padding and a mid-rise cuff. If you’re planning on sticking to city streets or taking it easy on the throttle, though, you’ll want to give these a look.
If you don’t plan on letting weather, state lines, or the end of pavement slow you down, you’ll need a riding glove that can hold up to just about anything. Klim is one of the biggest names in adventure and off-road riding gear that can take you from your house to the coffee shop, or from Paris to Dakar.
These gloves are built tough with a waterproof outer layer that stands up to heavy, sustained rain. Insulation offers warmth in winter riding, and does a great job of keeping the wind off your hands. Under the fabric and leather shell, padding on the palm and hard armor on the knuckles provide the crash protection you’d expect from a dedicated motorcycle glove. Klim went above and beyond to make this glove more than a protective measure by including finger pads that are compatible with touchscreen devices, and an index-finger squeegee to wipe rain and mist off your visor.
These gloves are thicker and more bulky than most options, and probably aren’t the best for very hot climates. They also aren’t cheap, but the build quality is worth it. They may not be for everyone, but riders who want to tackle road trips and off-road adventure shouldn’t leave home without them.
Riders who prefer to put two wheels on dirt rather than pavement need their own kind of motorcycle gloves. Fox, one of the leaders in off-road racing and motorsports, offers just what you need for a day on the trail or motocross course with the Pawtector.
Unlike street riding gloves that need to protect against highway-speed impacts and sliding across asphalt, dirt bike gloves need to put more emphasis on flexibility and breathability. Sliding on dirt is a lot more forgiving, after all. These gloves use stretchy, rip-resistant material to wrap your hand in a snug protective layer that breathes as well as it protects. Two layers of Clarino on the palm add cushioning where you need it, and sticky silicone on the first two fingers offers increased grip on the brake and clutch levers. Fully articulated TPR reinforcement on the knuckles comes in handy any time you go down or bang bars on your way to turn one.
These gloves won’t offer much against traffic collisions and should generally be kept for off-roading. For the dirt bike or dual sport rider looking for purpose-built gloves that thrive in the dirt and dust, these are sure to please.
If you want a pair of simple, lightweight gloves for riding around town, the bar-and-shield company makes options that are designed to fit the style of their motorcycles seamlessly. The Peshtigo is perfect for casual cruising and keeping the classic look of your Harley going with vintage-inspired gloves.
In what could be a tribute to the assembly line workers who build Harley Davidsons, these gloves offer a visual nod to traditional leather work gloves. Thick cowhide leather offers protection from scrapes and road debris, while the tricot lining wraps your hands in comfort. Unlike actual work gloves, these are ergonomically designed with a pre-curved thumb and finger shape, so they shouldn’t bunch up under your fingers when you grab the handlebars. A laser-etched logo on the back of the hand makes it clear that these gloves are the genuine article.
Crash protection is limited, so there are certainly better-equipped options out there. Without perforation, these all-leather gloves will also hold more heat than most. Still, riders who insist on having an authentic, classically designed pair of gloves will love the Peshtigo.
Track days are expensive, so sportbike riders will appreciate these well-equipped gloves from Scorpion. They offer the materials and features you need in a sport riding glove, but leave some money left over for brake pads and racing slicks. On the track or street, you can take comfort in knowing the SG3s will take care of you.
Quality construction begins with goat hide leather, which is softer and lighter than cowhide but still strong enough to save your skin during a crash. Knuckles are protected by nothing less than carbon fiber. A perforated wrist allows air to flow, while heavily reinforced leather and plastic sliders cover high-impact areas. A high gauntlet adds protection and should easily satisfy the equipment requirements at your local track days. Two closures on the wrist ensure a secure fit that will remain comfortable and won’t come off accidentally.
These gloves feel substantial, and they’re more applicable to riding on the track than the street. Casual sportbike riders may prefer a more road-oriented option. These gloves are definitely not cheap, but they’re still more affordable than gloves that offer comparable features.
Joe Rocket made these gloves with low weight and high breathability in mind. The model is designed to stay cool and give your hands a fighting chance in the event of a crash. Motorcycle riders on a budget will love how they feel on the hand, but they'll appreciate the price even more.
The gloves feature quality materials and extra padding for more safety and durability. They have TPR-reinforced knuckles as well as padded leather palms. That ensures comfort as well, so you can wear them in any weather and for however long you want. Additionally, the conductive material on the index fingers allows you to use your phone or other touchscreen devices.
Although well-made and highly reliable, these gloves still have a couple of drawbacks. The main one regards their resistance to water. Wearing these gloves during the rain will likely get your hands stained in a black color. Water also might make these gloves a little slippery. Keep in mind that these might be smaller than expected, too.
ome motorcycle gloves defy categories, and the Rust and Redemption glove from Speed and Strength seems to look good on any style of motorcycle. In terms of protection, it fits nicely between lightweight mesh gloves and armored short-cuff gloves. Throw in a compelling price, and this might be a perfect fit.
The all-leather construction provides the kind of abrasion resistance that motorcycle gloves need to offer to be competitive. Perforation creates airflow, but these relatively warm gloves are probably better-suited to cooler climates. Hinged knuckle panels and a pre-curved shape make these gloves a natural, comfortable fit while riding and operating the controls. The wide opening makes these gloves easy to put on and take off, and a hook-and-loop closure keeps them secure while riding.
These gloves lean more toward casual than maximum protection, but they are more durable than most textile alternatives. Their all-leather construction and secure fit contribute to safety, but also hold in a fair amount of heat, so you might want to choose a different glove for hot weather riding. Sizing tends to be accurate, and these should fit fairly snug before breaking in.
Milwaukee is a well-known company that rarely fails to deliver on value. This time, it offers a reliable pair of gloves you can use for summer riding. They are designed with comfort in mind, and are ideal for those who are on a tight budget.
The gloves are made of premium leather and feature a gel-padded palm, which is great for absorbing engine vibration in the handlebars, especially with big V-twin motorcycles. They are ideal for in-between seasons and mild temperatures. Furthermore, the gloves come in many sizes, so you won't have issues finding a perfect pair. They are true to their size and fit snugly for ultimate comfort and protection.
However, keep in mind that these are inexpensive gloves that might show wear after a while. Although very well-made considering the price, the stitching might tear in some places. Some users also noticed that they don't fit tightly around the wrist.
Alpinestars offers a pair of incredibly stylish gloves that prove to be perfect for motorcyclists. The SMX-1 Air v2 gloves are designed to protect your hands and provide comfort during every ride. From several available colors, you'll be able to find at least one pair to perfectly complement your style.
The gloves are made with premium leather that doesn't only look great, but also ensures safety on the road. The material is thick and highly protective yet breathable enough to keep the hands cool during summer. The gloves are also extra-padded and reinforced for more comfort and durability. They offer a firm grip and can absorb scrapes and impacts. Overall, these are warm-season gloves suitable for many motorcyclists.
When it comes to drawbacks, these do have a few to keep in mind. Firstly, the mesh finger and side panels offer less protection and structural integrity than leather. Secondly, the stitching on the wrists might get loose after a while.
- To ensure a comfortable fit and to prevent tearing, find a pair that fits comfortably. You need to move your fingers around without restriction from the material inside. When in doubt, you can consult with the manufacturer to see if they have a sizing chart.
- When deciding which gloves are best, keep in mind the type of weather you will be riding in. You’ll need breathable gloves to keep your hands cool in the summer and thicker waterproof gloves for winter or riding in the elements.
- If you’re riding in colder temperatures, and you can’t keep your hands warm, you can always invest in hand warmers or glove liners to help heat your fingers. Motorcycle gloves should easily fit over most liners.
Q: How can I be sure a glove fits comfortably before buying it?
A: A good way to test which glove size you may need is to measure your hands. You can simply measure the length of your palm and consult the sizes listed with the gloves.
Q: How do I wash motorcycle gloves?
A: Washing them depends on what style and material they are made of. Many are easy to clean by first rinsing them with warm water or using a wet towel mixed with soap. Consult the manufacturer to see the best way to properly clean your gloves so you don't ruin them.
Q: Are motorcycle gloves unisex?
A: Many come in pairs for men and women, but typically fit both genders. When in doubt, check the size chart to find a pair that is right for you.
Our overall best pick for a good pair of gloves is the Alpinestars Men's SP-8 v2 due to the safety features and high build quality.
Riders who want to avoid spending a lot on motorcycle gloves while still getting a high-quality pair should go for the Joe Rocket Men's Café Racer Motorcycle Gloves instead.