Gear list developed by: Simon Bertram and Brittany Morrow
Alongside your feet and your posterior, your hands are two of the five major contact points that control a bike. Clutch, throttle, front brakes, trip computer, signals, headlights, and so much more are at your literal fingertips, so you should be keeping those fingers and hands protected.
Not everyone that rides likes to wear a full gauntlet/long-cuff glove. It may be a stylistic choice, such as wanting to give off a casual air about your riding gear, or a comfort choice, for example, if you have a thick jacket that interferes with the cuff of a gauntlet.
No matter the reason, these are the six best short cuff riding gloves that we think are on the market today. Through research, reading reviews, and in some cases testing them out ourselves, each and every one of these gloves will protect your hands without worry.
The Dainese Blackjack gloves are made of goatskin leather, which is supple enough to allow for a large range of movement, but also tough enough for motorcycle use. These gloves are excellent in terms of protection, with armor in the knuckles and over the fingers, padded and reinforced palms, and side-of-hand reinforcement.
These gloves should stand up to most weather, but are specified as being better in warmer weather. If you need to keep your hands a little warmer, either a thermal glove liner or using a jacket liner with thumb hooks meant for adverse weather would do well to protect you from the cold.
The Klim Induction is one of the most protective gloves in the short cuff market. Full carbon fiber at the knuckles offers excellent impact resistance, while the entire body of the glove is made of goatskin leather.
The glove is reinforced through multiple layers on the palm and heel of the hand, and offer excellent side-of-hand protection as well. Comfort is maintained with a breathable mesh over the back of the hand, allowing the wind to carry away heat, but not penetrating into the glove itself via the mesh to make it uncomfortably cold. Padding throughout also allows for excellent impact resistance, no matter what angle an impact may come from.
The best-selling glove in Icon’s arsenal has been upgraded with new materials and industry-leading construction techniques. The ICON Pursuit Classic gloves feature laser perforation on a tough but flexible and comfortable goatskin chassis. A hidden plastic knuckle plate offers impact protection, and a TPR wrist closure keeps the glove secure. These gloves make the staff pick list on Revzilla every year because they fit well, feel fantastic, offer great protection, and don’t put a huge dent in the wallet.
The ICON Hypersport Short Gloves are the non-gauntlet version of our absolute favorite Hypersport GP gloves. This version is pretty much unbeatable at this price point considering the features provided.
The chassis features a perforated french cowhide backhand. A kangaroo palm provides great abrasion resistance and a supple already-broken-in feel from the very first wear. The TPU floating knuckle armor is fully CE impact rated. Extra value comes in the form of palm, thumb, fingertip, and side-of-hand TPU sliders that prevent the glove from gripping (and ripping) with the tarmac in case of a crash.
These gloves also feature a TPR closure system for maximum security, a pinky-to-ring finger connection panel, a double-wrapped inner thumb to prevent wear and tear from cranking on the throttle, and all stitching is double reinforced for maximum durability.
The REV’IT! Fly 3 gloves are made out of perforated goatskin leather, giving them excellent ventilation and great tactile feedback from the handlebars. There is a polyester lining backed by a tri-fleece lining that will keep your hands warm if the wind picks up, but will also wick away the moisture if you’re riding on a hot day.
Armor comes in the form of hardshell knuckle guards backed by foam, as well as armor down the outside of the fingers. There is an impact resistant polyethylene pad across the heel of the hand to provide a sliding area should you come off the bike at speed. There is a full width accordion stretch zone across the back of the hand, which allows the cuff to be pulled tight and fastened without stretching the leather out.
The Klim Dakar Pro gloves are mostly leather but include a few areas of stretch woven fabric to allow the back of the hand to breathe. In the important areas of impact and abrasion resistance, however, the gloves feature goatskin leather, with the fingers, knuckles, and outer edge of the base of the thumb featuring TPU impact-resistant foam, and the heel of the palm featuring impact foam that also backs a sliding pad.
The entire palm is double layered leather with discreet perforations to allow for moisture to be wicked away by air passing through the glove from the finger perforations or the breathable stretch fabric. The cuff is secured with durable Velcro.
Another staff pick from Revzilla, the REV’IT Sand 4 Gloves are an expertly engineered summer glove that can take you anywhere you want to go. They have been specifically designed to provide the best of both ventilation and protection. The REV’IT! Sand 4 Gloves breathe like an off-road glove without compromising on-road protection. A goatskin palm extends down the wrist and wraps around both the thumb and pinky. These gloves also feature abrasion-resistant stretch mesh fabrics for breathability and an integrated TPR knuckle protector for impact protection.
Additional TPR protectors on the fingers, thumbs and palms help the gloves slide rather than grip to the road in case of a fall. The Sand 4 Gloves also include an oversized pull tab on the cuff for ease of use. Perhaps one of our favorite non-safety features, the smart-connect fingertips allow you to use your touchscreen devices anytime without removing your gloves. Bonus!