LAST UPDATED: March 23, 2021
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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PUBLISHED 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
You can't go wrong with the classic look of the Dainese Blackjack Gloves. Made of goatskin leather, these gloves are designed for spring and summer riding and feature a classic design. They have pre-curved fingers and soft inserts on the back and knuckles. Other features include a reinforced leather palm, elastic inserts, and a hook and loop closure in the wrist area. Users report that they are easy to put on and take off and don't slip. The stitching is high quality, and they provide good ventilation. Overall, the interior liner feels soft, and they're flexible and easy to operate.
One downside is the finger length may be a little long for some users. They also have a tendency to fade over time, and you'll get a tan mark from the hole made by the Velcro strap.
It can be tough to find good-quality, budget-minded leather riding gloves, but the Cortech Scrapper Gloves are an excellent, affordable option. Made of 0.7-0.8mm goatskin, these gloves feature a diamond-stitch pattern, accordion stretch panels, and touchscreen-capable fingertips. They are perforated for airflow and include a moisture-wicking lining made of polyester. The palm and thumb areas are reinforced for durability, and the palm is also padded for comfort. The gloves have high-density foam knuckle protectors and a hook and loop closure. Users report that they fit well, feel good, and are very soft inside. They're also comfortable to wear. You can freely move your hands without feeling constricted.
Unfortunately, they don't have thick armor, so they're not as protective as some other options. Also, since they’re perforated, they’re not designed for cold temperatures.
If you ride all-year round and scoff at cold temperatures, you need a pair of Tour Master 12V Synergy 2.0 Heated Leather Gloves. While a bit on the pricey side, these goatskin leather gloves are designed to be worn as is or when connected to a Synergy 2.0 garment. They have a Rainguard waterproof barrier and polyfill insulation that retains heat, which is dispersed through steel fiber heating elements. The gloves include a single rheostat to control the temperature and a sensor makes sure your hands feel constant heat. Other features include a Clarino palm panel that resists wear and tear, a soft Bemberg interior liner, and expansion panels for comfort. Users report that they are warm and comfortable. They're also thin enough to manipulate the controls rather easily.
One downside is the connectors are a little fragile. Also, the fingers may feel a little tight for some users.
The Scorpion EXO SGS MK II Gloves are made of goatskin leather and feature carbon fiber-reinforced TPU knuckle protection, so they're a great option for the track. They also have Knox SPS palm sliders and hard TPU finger protectors. These short-cuff gloves for sportbike riders provide excellent protection overall. Other features include pre-curved palms and fingers, touchscreen capability, reinforced palms, a padded pisiform protector, and Velcro wrist strap closures. The shorter length keeps them from interfering with jacket sleeves, and they keep your hands relatively cool when it's warm outside because the perforation provides good airflow. Overall, they're quite comfortable after you break them in.
The touchscreen feature is a little tricky, but it works. They're also not the most stylish option. In addition, the Velcro strap could be a little bit longer.
The REV'IT! Fly 3 Gloves are made of goatskin, so they’re breathable with excellent tactile feedback. They have TPR hard shell knuckle protection, a tri-fleece liner, and a PWR/shield in the palm area. These gloves are fully perforated for airflow and have an adjustable hook and loop closure for a customized fit. The finger articulation is very good because the leather is soft, and the knuckle protectors are low profile, so they don't look out of place. They stretch and mold to your hands after a short period of time, and they don't hinder your movement.
However, they're not recommended for winter riding. Also, they may not be true to size, and there have been some complaints that the thumb is a little short for those with longer fingers.
The Joe Rocket Cafe Racer Gloves are another affordable option. These Nappa leather gloves feature a YKK zipper closure, which sets them apart from several other brands. They embody a classic design with a padded palm and an articulated full-flex panel, which gives them mobility in your wrists and fingers. The gloves are pre-curved and have perforated holes in the fingers for airflow. They also have protective high-density padding on the knuckles and thumbs. While they can take a couple of rides to break in, they eventually stretch to accommodate your hands. They are comfortable, breathable, and a great value overall. Users also like their unique look.
One downside is that they may feel a little bulky for some users. They're also not the best option for the track or high-speed riding.
These Firstgear Kinetic Gloves are gauntlet-style gloves that offer a ton of protection from debris and even falls on the pavement. The leather backhand, leather palm, knuckle pad, Knox palm sliders work to protect your hands while riding in even the roughest conditions. These gloves offer the ultimate in performance while allowing you unrestricted mobility. These gloves aren’t going anywhere, thanks to the wrist securing strap with hook and loop closure. The gloves also come with cool features such as touchscreen capability, reflective details, and a shield wiper on the left index finger. They also come with a two-year warranty.
However, there are some downsides. These gloves may be a little too warm to wear in the summer. Also, the fit is a little too small for some users, so you may need to order a larger size.
The Held Rodney Gloves are made of goatskin with a kangaroo leather palm for abrasion resistance. These gloves are sweatproof and are designed to retain their color. They have a Coolmax lining and perforated panels for ventilation and to keep you cool. They also have foam knuckles and finger protection for safety. Other features include flat seam construction, stretch back panels, Velcro closures at the cuffs, and Superfabric reinforcements on the edges. These gloves are extremely well made with a price tag to prove it. They have excellent tactile feedback, feel supple, and are lightweight and breathable.
However, there have been some complaints that the visor wiper feels a bit stiff. Plus, they're a little on the pricey side, and there have been reports that the seams start to fail after a year or two of hard use.
The Milwaukee Men's Summer Cruising Gloves feature premium leather construction for maximum hand protection. The palm is gel-padded for extra comfort, while the Velcro strap around the wrists allows you to adjust them for an optimal fit. These gloves are extra-large, so they're designed for larger hands. One of the best things about these gloves is their breathability. While they're great on cold days, you can also wear them in the summer without any discomfort. Also, they allow you to easily use your bike's controls.
However, the location of the Velcro straps means they may rub against the handlebar, so they may come undone, which can be inconvenient when you're in the middle of a ride.
The ILM Leather Motorcycle Gloves are touchscreen-capable and designed for both men and women, and are available in various sizes, colors, and styles depending on your preference. The air channels provide airflow, while the leather is perforated for breathability, so these gloves are suitable no matter the temperature. The gloves have a protective shell for shock absorption and double layers of leather and foam to minimize abrasion in the event of a crash. Made of goat leather, these gloves are also pre-shaped so that you can feel the handlebars better. The stitching is located on the outside of the gloves so it doesn't irritate your hands. These gloves are also versatile in that they can be used for other activities such as hunting and cycling.
However, if you have short fingers, they may be a little long. You may also have to break them in a little because they may feel a bit tight at first.
The Joe Rocket Men's Cold Weather Motorcycle Riding Gloves are available in sizes small to XXX-large, so you're bound to find an option that fits appropriately. They are made of cowhide leather and feature a waterproof Dry Tech midliner to keep moisture out. The gloves also have 100G Thinsulate and knuckle armor, which protects from abrasions. The gloves' palms include vibration-dampening gel for comfort, and the fingers are pre-curved and flexible for better control. They also have a hook-and-loop wrist closure with a drawcord so that you can close them tightly around your arm.
They're warm, but you may need to purchase glove liners if you plan on wearing them in extremely cold temperatures. It may also take a little time to break them in so that they can conform properly to your hands.
These leather motorcycle gloves from Indie Ridge are camel-colored and available in sizes extra small to XX-large—simply measure your hand and consult the company's size chart to find the perfect fit. These gloves feature mobile touchscreen fingertips that allow you to operate smart devices. Made of full-grain leather, they are designed for warm and cool temperatures and are perfect for spring, summer, and fall riding. The reinforced knuckles provide added protection against debris and impact, and the gloves are pre-curved for comfort and better grip of the throttle and brake. Also, they're lightweight and breathable. Users love the worn-in, retro-look of these gloves as well as how they feel.
One downside is that they aren't the best option for winter riding, and you may need liners for additional warmth. Some also complain that they're a little tight, so make sure to follow the size guide before purchasing.
- 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.