Best Leather Motorcycle Gloves: Be Safe and Look Stylish
Protect your hands and look good on the road with these top leather gloves.
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BY Suzana Mijatovic / LAST UPDATED ON March 23, 2021
It's a good idea to wear protective gear when you ride a motorcycle. In addition to a helmet, boots, and jacket, you need a high-quality pair of gloves. Gloves are available in a variety of different materials and textiles, but one of the most popular options is leather. Leather is warm, water-resistant, and protective. Plus, it's stylish.
All types of riders wear leather gloves, from Harley-Davidson enthusiasts to sport bikers. There are a variety of leather gloves available in stores and online, so it can be tough to choose the right pair for your needs. Our buying guide below features some of the best, most popular brands.
These goatskin leather gloves have pre-curved fingers, back and knuckle inserts, a reinforced leather palm, and hook and loop closure.
- Classic style
- Easy to put on/take off
- Don’t slip
- Overall high quality
- Finger length may be too long
- Only for summer/spring riding
These short-cuff goatskin gloves have a diamond-stitch pattern and polyester moisture-wicking lining. They feature a hook and loop closure at the wrists.
- Touchscreen-capable fingertips
- Good fit
- Soft and comfortable
- Less protective than other brands
- Best for warmer weather
These heated gloves are made of goatskin and are compatible with Synergy 2.0 garments or can be worn alone.
- Waterproof barrier
- Wear and tear-resistant
- Soft lining
- Warm and comfortable
- Connectors are a little fragile
- Fingers may be a little tight
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Benefits of Leather Motorcycle Gloves
- They keep your hands safe. The biggest reason to wear gloves when you’re riding is to protect your hands. If you’re involved in an impact, they can potentially minimize the damage. It’s better to have a layer of leather against your skin than nothing at all.
- They keep your hands warm. In colder weather, leather gloves keep your fingers from freezing. It’s vital to have manual dexterity when using the controls, but if your hands are cold, it can be hard to do so.
- They protect against the elements. Leather is water-resistant, so if it rains, your hands will stay largely dry. While leather gloves aren’t 100 percent waterproof, they are fine to wear in wet weather as long as you properly condition them.
- They provide grip. Your hands can get slippery on the controls when they sweat or if it’s raining. A high-quality pair of leather gloves will provide grip, so you can pull the throttle, hit the breaks, or shift with ease.
Types of Leather Motorcycle Gloves
Short Cuff Gloves
Short cuff leather motorcycle gloves can be used in the spring, summer, and fall. Leather is naturally breathable, so they won't feel too hot in the warmer months, yet they are also a good choice in cooler weather. These gloves cover the hand and the wrist and are easy to put on and take off.
Gauntlet gloves are longer by design and extend a couple inches past the wrist towards the elbow. If you ride in colder temperatures, this type of glove is preferable because it provides more coverage. They typically go over your jacket sleeves and keep cold air from penetrating into the wrist and arm areas.
Some leather gloves feature knuckle protectors made of carbon fiber, TPU, and other materials. A few brands also include palm sliders. This extra protection is good if you are involved in an impact. These added features can make a big difference if you crash and your hands and body slide across the pavement.
Based in Italy, Dainese makes protective equipment for a variety of activities in addition to motorcycling, including mountain biking. It's been in business since the early 1970s and is known for its shock-absorbing armor and back protectors, boots, gloves, and more. Check out the Dainese Blackjack Gloves.
This California company designs motorcycle apparel, luggage, and gear, including jackets, pants, footwear, and gloves. We recommend the affordable Cortech Scrapper Gloves.
Many bikers are familiar with Tourmaster, which got its start in 1979 and focuses on bikers who like to ride long distances in any type of weather. The company makes apparel as well as luggage and accessories. One popular product is the Tour Master 12V Synergy 2.0 Heated Leather Gloves.
Based in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., Scorpion EXO makes high-performance motorcycle helmets and gear. You can outfit yourself in jackets, gloves, pants, and more. We like the Scorpion EXO SGS MK II Gloves.
Firstgear designs adventure gear for all types of riding conditions. The company is based in California and tests its products to ensure they last. The Firstgear Kinetic Gloves are just one of its popular products.
Leather Motorcycle Gloves Pricing
- Under $50: It can be a challenge, but you can find some good-quality leather gloves in this price range. They're typically basic in design and are usually short cuff without any armor.
- $50 and up: You can pay upwards of a couple hundred dollars for a premium pair of leather motorcycle gloves. Those on the higher end are often heated. A durable, long-lasting pair of leather gloves will set you back around $100, more or less.
It's vital to wear gloves that fit properly. If they're too small, they will feel constrictive, and you're less likely to wear them. If they're too large, it can be hard to operate the controls properly. Plus, they may slide around uncomfortably and let air in.
While leather is naturally breathable, some types of gloves provide more airflow than others. You can opt for a fingerless option, which keeps your fingers and hands cooler during the summer months. Other types of gloves are perforated for ventilation. You don't want your hands to sweat when you ride because it can be distracting and uncomfortable.
It can be tempting to opt for cheap leather motorcycle gloves, but it's a good idea to choose a pricier, higher-quality pair. Some brands put less effort in the manufacturing process and use lower-quality materials. Read reviews to see what users say about durability and how the product stands up to the elements.
Type of Leather
Many motorcycle gloves are made of cowhide, which is durable and abrasion-resistant. There’s also goatskin leather, which provides a little more dexterity and tensile strength, so it's a good option. You can also find deerskin leather gloves, which are dexterous, flexible, and feel very soft and comfortable.
- Style. Leather motorcycle gloves come in a variety of different styles. If you ride a cruiser, you may choose gloves that are different from what you’d wear on a sportbike, for example. You may prefer vintage-looking brown leather or traditional black leather. Or you may like futuristic-looking gloves with knuckle armor.
- Closure. Leather motorcycle gloves often have some sort of adjustability in the wrist area. It can be anything from a snap to an elastic hem to Velcro or even a zipper. It’s a personal choice, and all are good options as long as they provide a snug fit.
Best Leather Motorcycle Gloves Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Leather gloves are a great way to keep your hands warm. They protect against harsh weather and make you feel comfortable during the ride. Choose a pair according to the season. Winter gloves are thicker and have longer cuffs. Summer gloves are thinner and more breathable.
- Test your new gloves before riding to make sure they fit properly. It's very important that you can move your hands and fingers freely. You should be able to react quickly and steer with precision.
- Regardless of the material, all gloves need to be maintained regularly. You can clean the leather by rinsing it in lukewarm water. This way, they'll preserve the shape and last longer. Don’t put them in a washing machine because you may ruin them.
Q: Do leather gloves stretch?
Gloves made from 100 percent leather stretch only slightly. To stretch them, steep the gloves in lukewarm water, and let them dry on your hands. When leather is combined with other types of material, the gloves may stretch about one hand size larger.
Q: How should leather motorcycle gloves fit?
The gloves should fit snugly without restricting your movements. They shouldn't be tight around the wrist or in the knuckles. Make sure that you can move your hands and fingers freely. They shouldn't be too loose either because your hands may slip from the handlebars.
Q: Can I shrink leather gloves?
Yes, you can shrink them by using warm water. Soak the gloves for about five to 10 minutes. Let them dry on a flat surface, preferably overnight. Don't use hair dryers or any other source of external heat. It will only cause the leather to crack.
Our pick for the best motorcycle gloves are the Dainese Blackjack Gloves. They are great summer and spring riding gloves because they provide good ventilation. They're also comfortable, flexible, and are high quality overall. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Cortech Scrapper Gloves.