No matter what kind of riding you’re into, every motorcyclist should own a pair of quality motorcycle gloves that offer real protection in the event of an accident. Falling hands first onto an asphalt road is painful enough from a standstill, and a hell of a lot more so at speed. Since you’re more likely to land hands-first in the vast majority of accident scenarios, a good pair of gloves will keep your paws protected.
Different riders have different requirements, so for the purposes of this list, we’ve decided to select products that cover a wide range of riding needs. These include options for sport, touring, and dirt riders, and dedicated summer and winter options too.
Our conclusions have been drawn from a blend of real-life experience and product familiarity, in partnership with quality reviews from trusted sources. Naturally, we also take into account customer reviews and feedback too. We also value the overall quality of a product and whether it truly offers value for money. After all, expensive doesn’t always mean goodand cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad.
So, without further ado, here’s what we came up with.
Dainese Steel Pro Gloves
First up, let’s look at sports gloves. When it comes to all things sport, Dainese is a go-to brand name. In terms of value for money, the Dainese brand can be a little too expensive for the average rider. However, when it comes to their Steel Pro gloves, you get a great return on your investment. They’re premium gloves without the over-the-top premium price tag.
Constructed from goatskin leather with advanced armor, these gloves are claimed to be the “ultimate track glove.” If you’re a regular track rider, they are worth your money. The leather is tough but supple, offering excellent flexibility, but the real benefit is in the protection. Composite and stainless steel inserts protect the knuckle area, while thermoplastic armor keeps fingers safe. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that these gloves are certified to CE – Cat. II – PrEN 13594 Standard lev. 1.
There’s a shopping list of other armored features. But are they comfortable to wear? Thanks to elasticated sections, an adjustable cuff strap, and a tightening strap, these pre-curved racing gloves have a snug fit without compromising your freedom of movement. Pay attention to the sizing though—they’re known to run a little long in the fingers.
Rev’It! Quantum 2 Gauntlets
Rev’It announced in 2020 that they had plans for a whole new series of gear coming in 2021 that would land squarely in the mid-market price range. The promises made were that this new line of gear was motorsports-derived, from their MotoGP and World SBK developed PPE, but came in at an affordable price for the quality offered. That series is the Quantum 2 series, and the Quantum 2 Gauntlet is a perfect example of fulfilling promises made.
The primary chassis of the glove is cowhide, with goatskin for the palm and some synthetic leather for extra layers across the fingers. While not carrying as much pure armor as the FIM homologation Jerez 3 GP gloves, the Quantum 2’s are still armored in every place and angle that is of concern on the track. Knuckles, fingers, outer thumb, palm slide, blade edge of the hand, and wrists are all armored, while the outside of the little finger has double reinforced and double-stitched leather to give it as much structural stability as possible in a “budget ” glove. The glove features a double closure as well, with a wrist cinch and then a gauntlet flap that seals over it, so the glove will not come flying off if your bike decides it wants to launch you into orbit on the track.
The only downsides we found in our review of the Quantum 2’s is that they come from the factory extraordinarily stiff and need a good, long break-in period to fully settle in, as well as their ventilation is much more oriented towards the track. That said, if you’re looking for a sport gauntlet that’s equally comfortable on the street as it is on the track, the Rev’It Quantum 2’s are just about the most balanced gloves you’ll find at this price point.
Alpinestars SMX-2 Air Carbon v2 Gloves
The Alpinestars SMX 2 Air Carbon Gloves are everyday street gloves that you could also wear on a trail. These gloves are an update to the immensely popular Alpinestars SMX-1 Air v2 Gloves and feature a sleeker design and the introduction of a carbon fiber knuckle. The gloves are made from full-grain leather with suede reinforcements and a 3D mesh panel on the back of the hand.
Protection is provided by TPR inserts, while flexibility is improved thanks to stretch panels between the fingers and between the thumb and the palm. These comfortable gloves allow plenty of airflow, letting you spend your entire day wearing them. Plus, with touchscreen-compatible fingers, you should also be able to use your smartphone or GPS system to some extent without removing the gloves.
Some other comfort features on the Alpinestars SMX-2 Air Carbon v2 Gloves include impact-absorbing EVA foam panels on the thumb, pre-curved fingers, and neoprene wrist cuffs.
Klim Induction Gloves
Klim has had the Induction gloves on sale for a few years, but they remain an excellent choice for casual riding. The unconventional entry system may put some buyers off, but it’s pretty intuitive to use once you get used to it.
The premium goat leather construction features extensive perforation for maximum airflow without reducing abrasion resistance. The gloves also feature an aramid-reinforced Schoeller fabric palm pad overlay for added reinforcement. Apart from the carbon fiber knuckle guard, impact protection comes thanks to 5mm XRD foam in the palm and under the knuckle pads.
We strongly urge that you pick up a pair of Klim Induction Gloves if you’re looking for summer riding gloves to add to your gear arsenal.
REV’IT! Sand 4 Glove
If you are in the market for one of the best Summer gloves to come around in a long time, then you cannot go wrong with the Rev’It Sand 4 gloves.
The palms, fingers, and lower wrist are covered in premium goatskin leather for excellent feel and high abrasion resistance. The glove uppers are made out of Rev’It’s super-durable PWRShell Mesh that carries a rating of 500D, meaning that you’ll need to slide along on it for about five seconds before it breaks apart.
That is highly unlikely, however, as the innovative TPR injection formed armor across the knuckles and fingers both breathes excellently, and are shaped so that any impact force is dispersed. This armor is also highly abrasion-resistant, meaning you can slide along on it for a while before it starts to grind down.
Add in outer thumb armor, a hard TPU palm slider, triple stitched reinforced leather along the blade edge of the hand, double layered goatskin on the palm, and you’ve got a pair of gloves that will last you many seasons without losing any effectiveness . A truly excellent product from Rev’It, hence the 90% score it got in our review.
Alpinestars GP Pro R3 Gloves
The Alpinestars GP Pro R3 Gloves sit below the range-topping Supertech gloves and the slightly more affordable GP Tech v2 gloves. As you’d expect from a nearly $300 glove from one of the leading gear manufacturers in the world, the GP Pro R3 Gloves will give you some of the best protection you can (literally) get your hands on.
With a combination of cow, goat, and kangaroo leather, the Alpinestars GP Pro R3 Gloves provide a perfect balance of abrasion resistance, tactile feedback, and durability. Despite its track-focused nature, the company has also paid attention to making this a comfortable glove for your hands to be in. The palm features an external seam construction, reducing discomfort when gripping the handlebar.
The protection on the knuckles, palm, and around the wrist has been borrowed from the more expensive Alpinestars gloves — the same used professionally by some of the fastest racers on the planet. Other features include Alpinestars’ patented finger bridge and hard palm and wrist sliders that prevent the glove from catching the pavement while sliding.
Gebring Vanguard Heated Gloves
Finally, we have a solid winter option: Gebring’s Vanguard Heated Gloves. As the name implies, these winter gloves feature a heating element that promises to keep your hands nice and toasty, even on the coldest of days.
Constructed using premium Aniline cowhide leather, these gloves are tough and durable, but remarkably pliable and flexible. The leather is backed with water-resistant Aquatex, and complemented with Thinsulate insulation. They feature superfabric patches in high-risk abrasion zones, a TPU knuckle protection, and gel pads on the palm and on certain fingers.
On the surface, they’re just normal motorcycle gloves. But on the inside, they’re something else. Lined with polyester microsuede, these gloves feature an advanced microwire heating system that delivers impressive heat to the entire glove, even to the tip of each finger. Connected using a discreet wire connector, these gloves are what you want to be wearing if you’re riding out in the cold.
These are easily our favorite winter riding gloves in very cold weather, but if you don’t really experience cold winters, they’re not going to be for you. They’re too expensive to own just for the sake of it. But if you’re an all-season rider who likes to tear it up in the snow, these are the gloves for you.