Riding a motorcycle can be cold, hot, or somewhere in between. Your hands have the most important and taxing task when operating a motorcycle; the controls. Your speed (or lack thereof), braking, and clutch are all controlled with your finger’s fine motor skills.
When your hands get cold, they slow down and so will your ability to react to sticky situations. The same goes for sweaty hands; they can make your glove wet and slippery on the controls, so it’s always important to make sure you’re bringing the right gloves for the occasion.
With so many glove options out there, it’s important to have a resource dedicated to weighing the pros and cons of each glove so you don’t have to. I have researched almost all available options for gloves tailored towards beginner riders on a beginner budget and collected them here in this list for your informed pleasure. I was sure to include different gloves depending on weather resistance, riding style, and safety features.
Scorpion’s EXO Klaw riding gloves are the perfect option for new riders seeking a great all-rounder with good protection for the warmer months. They feature highly durable goatskin leather completely enveloping the entire glove and a neoprene wrist relief panel to keep your hands comfortable when gripping the handlebars for long rides.
The TPR molded finger protectors give you some slide protedtion, and the TPU molded knicks protectors are robust and rugged. The gloves look aggressive and maintain an ‘urban assault’ look.
The Dainese Blackjack gloves are by far the most stylish glove option on this list. They look like the gloves of a thief involved in a bank heist (or Nordstroms. I think they look that good).
These mitts feature complete goatskin leather construction with a leather palm reinforcement to prevent wear-and-tear in your high-frition zones. They don’t have any armor features, but if you’re in the market for an extremely comfortable glove with a subtle yet stylish look the Dainese Blackjack could be your best option. I hope you brought sunscreen, because these are going to burn nice holes into the tops of your hands due to the openings.
The Sand 4 gloves from REV’IT are the perfect glove bundle with the Sand 4 Jacket if you wish to go that route. They are designed to seamlessly integrate with the jacket but are still a great glove even if you don’t go for the full Sand 4 get-up.
These gloves have a great fit, and breath very well due to the air stretch mesh outer construction and tri-fleece inner liner. The palms of the gloves are lined in drum-dyed goatskin and with extra panels double layered for reinforced durability in high-wear zones.
Ventilated TPR armor can be found on the knuckles and upper fingers with Temperfoam found in the fingers, thumbs, knuckles, backhand, palm slider, and cuff; lots of protection despite being highly-breathable and relatively light.
One of the more lightweight options on this list, the Alpinestars SMX-1 Air V2 glove, takes a simple approach to protection through the hard polymer knuckle protection system being the main focus of armor. They are constructed with a combination of leather and mesh with areas of perforated mesh to keep you cool.
The touchscreen-compatible fingertips are a great addition, but many reviewers complain that it is still difficult to use your smartphone with these gloves equipped. It’s still better than nothing, my personal Alpinestars feature the same fingertips and I still appreciate the odd chance I can change a song or move my GPS.
The Kim induction Gloves are the most expensive gloves on this list and also the final short-cuff glove style covered. When looking at gloves in the $150 range, it’s quite difficult to find an option towards the higher end of the price bracket as most glove prices jump to the $175-$200 range from $80-$120.
With the higher price tag on this glove, you definitely aren’t making any sacrifices when it comes to comfort and safety. Many reviewers praise how soft the gloves are and how well they fair in warm weather conditions.
The gloves are constructed with goat leather (heavy perforation for airflow), and have Poron XRD in the knuckles and palm pad. These gloves have Mult-E-Touch smart device functionality that is far superior and tactile to the Alpinestars system.
In some cases, a fully stormproof gauntlet is just what you need to brave the harsh conditions on a long trek. The Joe Rocket Windchill gloves don’t get their name from anywhere; these bad boys are fully waterproof and insulated for maximum warmth making early morning fall commutes a breeze.
The outer shell is drum dyed cowhide, while the inside contains a waterproof Dry Tech midliner and 100 G Thinsulate to keep you warm and dry. These gloves are perfect for long rides with the vibration dissipating gel palms.
These aren’t just for weather protection. They also help protect you from impacts into concrete with integrated high-density knuckle armor and leather reinforcements found throughout the glove.
‘Street Rossi’s’ assemble! The Alpinestars SP-8 V2 are so good they may even add a tenth of a second to your grocery store lap-times. Although they aren’t fully suited for the track, they are the perfect option for beginners who just got their hands on their first street bike.
These gloves feature full-grain leather with a perforated cuff and finger sidewalls for extra breathability despite being a full leather glove. They are quite safe due to the gauntlet styling paired with the over-molded polymer knuckle protector, EVA foam padding reinforcements located in the wrist, back of the hand, finger, palm, and thumb areas. The index fingers come ready for smartphone/screen use, but I still struggle with my Alpinestar gloves when using my phone.
When high-performance gauntlet-style race gloves can run you over $300, we simply can’t leave these out of the equation.
If the Joe Rocket Windchill gloves are a little bit too overkill for your riding style and you still want a waterproof gauntlet-style glove, the Alpinestars Aped Drystar gloves are a force to be reckoned with.
These gloves are the most reviewed option in this list with almost 350 reviews on the RevZilla website, meaning everyone is buying them and they manage to leave an impression worthy of logging in and talking about them.
The stretchy polyamide material found in the upper construction pairs beautifully with the goatskin leather palm for a comfortable fit, while the Drystar breathable membrane keeps you dry with 100g thermal insulation located on the backhand.
For added safety, you can find synthetic leather reinforcement patches with foam padding across the palms and outer hands, and the synthetic leather molded hard knuckle protectors will add some extra oomph protection when hitting the concrete.
The Sedici Ultimo glove is a well-protected racing-style gauntlet with tons of protective elements to keep you safe on the track. How the heck did they manage that and still offer it at the low price of $80? We should write them an email because it doesn’t make much sense to me either.
The gloves are constructed with full-grain leather, with perforated leather inset panels all over to keep your digits cool. The cantilever knuckle has a thermoset carbon protector and the palm area has double layer leather with inset memory foam for added safety.
Many reviewers of this glove celebrate their extremely durable construction and the fact that they are well-suited for cooler riding temperatures due to the thickness. For $80 you won’t find a racing-style glove with more protection than this.