LAST UPDATED: March 31, 2021
Best Short Cuff Motorcycle Gloves: Ride With Style and Comfort
These are the most stylish, high-quality, and comfortable short cuff motorcycle gloves.
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON March 31, 2021
If you’re a motorcycle rider, put on a pair of gloves; your hands will thank you. The right pair of gloves can make the difference between all-day riding comfort and sore hands. You may not realize it, but that extra layer of cushion can absorb a lot of the vibration that comes through the handlebars while you’re riding. Reducing this can help prevent the tingling and numbing effect that happens.
Quality gloves will also save your hands in the event of an accident. Think about it: what is the first thing you do when you feel yourself falling? You put your hands down to catch yourself. This involuntary action means your hands need some serious protection. Modern gloves are more than just a layer of leather on your palms, though. This guide will help you find a comfortable pair of short cuff gloves.
Put your hands in this pair of summer gloves and feel the flexible goatskin and neoprene wrap around your hands for all-day comfort.
- TPU molded knuckle protection
- Pre-curved palm
- Material feels thick
- Long narrow fingers
This affordable glove has an aggressive design. It has full leather construction with suede overlays for additional reinforcement.
- Pre-curved sport fit
- Hard knuckle and finger sliders
- Lack of grip
This glove’s perfect combination of perforated leather and heavy-duty mesh gives you maximum protection and breathability. They also have hard knuckle protection and ergonomic stretch.
- Touchscreen compatible fingertip
- Hard polymer knuckle protection
- Mesh fabric can get damaged easily
- Not good for cold weather
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Short-Cuff Motorcycle Gloves
- Protection. Wearing gloves while riding gives your hands an extra layer of protection. They will have leather, suede, or another durable material covering the palm and knuckles to prevent abrasion and absorb shock from impacts.
- Beat the heat. Short cuff gloves are minimal in design and lightweight. They’re often designed to be the warm weather solution with breathable materials across the back of the hand and venting on the fingers.
- Show off your style. Short cuff motorcycle gloves come in a wide range of colors and patterns. This lets you buy a pair that perfectly matches your motorcycle or other gear. Buy gloves that fit your fashion sense and style.
Types of Short-Cuff Motorcycle Gloves
Summer Short-Cuff Gloves
Summer is one of the most popular times of the year for riding a motorcycle, and your gear should match the weather. Short cuff gloves are designed for summer riding with lightweight, breathable materials and venting. They typically aren’t waterproof but will dry quickly. They often come in a wide range of colors and designs, so it’ll be easy to find a pair that matches the rest of your gear.
Fingerless Short-Cuff Gloves
Fingerless gloves protect your palms and the back of your hands. There are openings for each of your fingers. These gloves may be cooler because you have maximum airflow. However, there’s no protection for your fingers. These gloves are typically made out of leather. What’s nice about these is that you have full dexterity while wearing them. The downside of them is that you may experience increased hand fatigue.
Winter Short-Cuff Gloves
Winter short-cuff motorcycle gloves are designed to withstand colder temperatures. These gloves will have varying levels of insulation to make them suitable for different temperature levels. These gloves tend to lack breathability, so they can make your hands sweat if it’s too warm. The short cuff tends to be the downfall of winter gloves. It can leave a gap between your gloves and jacket, allowing cold air to get in.
Racing Short-Cuff Gloves
If you like to attend track days or race your motorcycle, you need gloves with extra protection. Race gloves are made of leather with extra reinforcement pads on the palm to give you a better grip. Your knuckles will also have extra protection. The most protective option is a Kevlar knuckle guard and additional protection plates down each finger.
The Italian company Alpinestars was founded in 1963 by leather craftsman Sante Mazzarolo. It manufactures various motocross and racing products, including boots, suits, and gloves, including the Alpinestars Celer v2 Gloves.
Founded in Windsor, Ontario, Joe Rocket has produced affordable motorcycle gear and apparel for more than 25 years. The company distributes its products worldwide and makes gear for all styles of riding. A standout option is the Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.1 Gloves with their leather and Free Air mesh construction.
Founded in 1972, Dainese is an Italian motorcycle gear manufacturer that distributes its product worldwide. It’s known for crafting high-quality gear that’s constructed of quality materials with innovative features. The Dainese MIG C2 Gloves are protective and breathable, making them perfect for summer riding.
Short-Cuff Motorcycle Gloves Pricing
- Under $50: You don't have to spend a lot of money on decent-quality motorcycle gloves. Products in this price range provide moderate protection but likely won't be as durable as pricier gloves.
- $50-$100: If you want the best short-cuff motorcycle gloves on the market, you'll have to invest a little more money. Gloves in this price range are long-lasting and are made of higher-quality materials than their cheaper counterparts.
- $100 and up: You can spend as much as a couple of hundred dollars for high-end short-cuff motorcycle gloves. These gloves are usually reinforced with armor and designed for people who race or need gear to withstand hard frequent use.
Look for gloves that will come in a size that fits your hand. They should be snug but not too tight. They shouldn’t shift or bunch while on your hands. They also shouldn’t be so tight that they restrict your hand movement or blood flow. The glove should also have a cuff that secures around your wrist to ensure the gloves stay on your hands in the event of a fall.
Short cuff gloves come in leather and textile construction. The material you choose will depend on what you find comfortable, the weather you’ll ride in, and your budget. Some gloves also use a combination of materials, such as textile fabric on the back of your hand and sides of your fingers. Then there’s leather on the palm and on the back of the knuckles.
Without ventilation, there’s nowhere for moisture to escape. Whether you buy winter or summer gloves, there should be a certain amount of ventilation to keep your hands dry. This prevents sweat buildup and gives you a better grip. There could be molded vents built into the back of the fingers and hand. The material used to construct the gloves could also be breathable. Leather gloves will have perforations and some textiles have a weave that allows for airflow.
- Armor. Some brands of short-cuff motorcycle gloves feature armor on the knuckles and the back of the hand. This is important, as it will protect your hands from abrasion and injury during a crash. Carbon fiber is a popular material as a protective shell across the knuckles. Others will use thermoplastic rubber. The most protective gloves will have armor on the back of the hand and down each finger.
- Finger Feel. Put your gloves on and pay attention to how they feel on your fingers. Are the fingers the right length with a small amount of fabric extending beyond each fingertip? There should be enough room for your fingers to move without there being too much space. Your gloves need to be big enough to allow your fingers to swell and still be comfortable. There shouldn’t be too much on the inside at the seams.
- Style. Your gloves should reflect your style and the type of riding you like to do. Some gloves have a retro-inspired design. Others are brightly colored with multiple accent colors. Some gloves look sleek and modern, with decorative branding stitched into the glove material. While you can wear any type of glove you want, some are designed with certain types of bikes in mind, such as sportbikes, café racers, or cruisers.
Best Short-Cuff Motorcycle Gloves Reviews & Recommendations 2021
This glove is perfect for riding in the spring and summer months. Its durable goatskin leather and neoprene construction make them durable. For additional protection, a TPU molded knuckle guard is on the back of the hands and each of the fingers. You’ll appreciate how comfortable the gloves are with a pre-curved palm and fingers. This reduces the stress on your hands and prevents fatigue. Built into the glove are rib-stretch panels to give you more flexibility. Neoprene wraps around your wrist for a secure and soft fit.
Unfortunately, this glove can feel bulky on your hands. This can reduce the dexterity and tactile feeling you’ll have while operating your bike’s controls and throttle. Also, the airflow could be better, making them too warm for hot climates.
This affordable glove comes in five color options: black, gray, blue, red, and white. This makes it perfect if you’re looking to match your other gear or bike. The protective leather construction will feel like a second layer of skin. This helps you keep your dexterity and tactile feeling, so you’ll feel as one with your bike. To help keep you cool, there are perforations on the fingers and the back of the hand. The glove has an aggressive design with pre-curved fingers and palm. Suede overlays on the index, middle finger, and grip help you have a more secure grip on your handlebars.
The downside of this glove is that it can stain your hands black from the excess dye. The leather is thin on these gloves, which can feel flimsy or not as durable as other glove options.
These gloves are made by the well-known Italian motorcycle accessories brand Alpinestars. They feature excellent ventilation and are very durable. They are made of goat leather with microfiber reinforcements, and the palm is 100 percent leather for maximum grip. The gloves are comfortable, lightweight, and breathable. They fit well and are designed so you can easily use your bike's controls. They have a 3D mesh on top, which fosters airflow. They feature a hard knuckle protector and reinforced palm and upper hand. The fingertips are touchscreen-compatible for use with smartphones and GPS devices.
One problem with these gloves is that the mesh fabric can easily get damaged. The Velcro on the wrist may tear up the mesh on the thumbs when you take them off. Also, the gloves are not suitable for cold weather due to their excellent airflow.
Slip this elegant glove on and enjoy its traditional style with a modern twist. It has a full goatskin leather construction with additional leather reinforcements on the palm. Securing the glove is a hook and loop wrist closure for easy taking on and off. Your hands will appreciate the flexibility of the glove with elastic inserts. Choose from black or brown leather for your gloves. The built-in curve on the fingers helps to reduce hand fatigue and makes them more comfortable to wear.
The downside of this glove is that the sizing is inconsistent. Thankfully, the all-leather construction means you can stretch or shrink the glove as you need for a custom fit. There’s also no armor in the glove on the fingers or knuckles.
This glove’s classic design features goatskin leather for the palm and a combination of stretchable spandex and polyester fabric for the back. The palm is drum dyed and has synthetic leather overlays for increased durability. Silicone printing gives you extra grip. Integrated into the palm is TPU protection. You’ll appreciate the fingertip and thumb’s conductive nature to make these gloves easy to wear while using your smart screen devices. The shape of the glove is pre-curved to reduce hand fatigue. On the back of the glove is a PVC knuckle protector. For increased comfort, the wrist is constructed of neoprene for a secure yet cushioned hold.
Unfortunately, the color options for this glove are minimal. There are several colors, but the glove’s body is primarily black with colored accent lines. This minimal look can be appealing to some people.
Slip this summer glove on and enjoy the breathability it provides. There are three design options available that feature black, gray, white, and red shades. The leather, mesh, and textile construction give the glove durability. Synthetic suede reinforces the palm and gives you more grip. The outer pinky edge is reinforced for abrasion resistance. An ergonomic carbon compound is used for the knuckle guard. The finger sliders are Fused Carbon Deflector TBC. Throughout the glove are EVA foam impact panels to cushion your hands. This glove stands out because it has a finger bridge, silicone palm printing, and accordion neoprene stretch panels for increased safety and comfort.
The downside of this glove is that the seams can dig into your fingers and hands. You’ll want to size up to avoid this from happening. This is also beneficial to account for the small fit of the size guide.
This protective glove looks like it’s ready for the track but is comfortable enough for everyday riding. It’s constructed of abrasion-resistant cowhide with synthetic suede reinforcing the palms. To give your hands extra protection, there are inserts over the knuckles that are CE certified polyurethane. The fingers are pre-curved to increase their comfort level, and there are mesh fabric inserts for increased airflow. The cuff is an adjustable strap to give you a secure fit. You’ll like the aggressive sporty styling of these gloves.
One issue with the glove is that the Velcro closure on the wrist can snag on the glove’s fabric sections. This can cause it to create pulls and degrade the look of the gloves. The glove is limited in color options, with black, white, and red being your choices.
These gloves have a bold color design that comes in all black, blue, gray, and red. You’ll love the balance of color that the glove has, with plenty of accenting throughout the glove’s back and palm. It has an expanded mesh back panel for the maximum amount of airflow. Its pre-curved construction helps your hand to wrap around the throttle and handlebar. You’ll also appreciate the touchscreen-compatible fingertips. The Clarino palm with silicone printing makes the glove stand out to give you extra grippiness in wet or dry weather.
One drawback of this glove is that the palm lacks padding on the palm. This limits the glove’s ability to reduce fatigue or absorb vibration. Also, the construction of the glove isn’t as durable as other gloves.
This lightweight and affordable glove is perfect for warm-weather summer riding. The back of the glove is a breathable mesh for maximum airflow. Then built into the mesh is a flexible D30 knuckle insert. The palm of the glove is a full Battlehide goatskin leather. This gives you abrasion resistance, a great tactile feel, reduced weight, and less bulk. The cuff is neoprene for a soft and secure hold. Both the thumb and index finger are touchscreen compatible. What makes this glove stand out is that it’s CE certified, giving you confidence in its protection ability.
Unfortunately, the palm portion is small, and the fingers are extra-long. Some also find the wrist opening to be small, making the gloves hard to get on and off.
If you're looking for a pair of lightweight summer gloves, the Biltwell Moto Men's Street Motorcycle Gloves are a good option. They are constructed of two-way stretch polyester for ventilation and have a single-layer synthetic leather palm with reinforced material on the thumb areas. The fingers feature Lycra expansion panels that provide a comfortable fit and expanding knuckle joints for flexibility and dexterity. The gloves have a little bit of touchscreen capability, and users like them because they're quite breathable and similar to mechanic’s gloves, they easily allow you to grab onto controls, unzip a jacket, or find items in a pocket.
However, they're not designed to provide impact protection and aren't the best option if you want a pair of gloves that will minimize road rash. Also, because they're so lightweight, they are not a good choice on colder days.
- Your hands sweat while riding, so you need to dry your gloves out after each ride. This will prevent bacteria and mold from growing inside your gloves.
- Occasionally wash your gloves. This keeps them cleaner, so they look great and last longer.
- If you ride throughout the year, you’ll want more than one pair of gloves. Look for a breathable pair that will be perfect for warm weather. Then purchase another pair that’s insulated for cold weather.
Q: What are the advantages of short-cuff motorcycle gloves?
Short-cuff motorcycle gloves are much more convenient to use than mid-cuff and gauntlet gloves. They are easy to put on and take off and ideal for everyday commuting. Plus, you’ll be able to retain dexterity and flexibility through your hand and wrist.
Q: How do I measure my hand for motorcycle gloves?
Use a measuring tape to measure the width of your hand. Lay your hand flat with the fingers together. Wrap the tape around your hand below the knuckles, excluding the thumb. This is the measurement. You can round it off to the nearest half-inch.
Q: Can I wash my motorcycle gloves in a washing machine?
It depends on the material. Check the product manual for detailed washing instructions. Leather absorbs liquid, and once it’s dried, it gets stiffer and loses its shape. Therefore, it is inadvisable to wash leather gloves in a washing machine.
You can’t go wrong with the Scorpion EXO Klaw II Gloves. Their pre-curved palms reduce fatigue, while the flexible goatskin and TPU molded knuckle guard give your hands plenty of protection. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the BILT Sprint Gloves. They have an aggressive design, sporty fit, and hard knuckle guard.