Generally speaking, we always recommend you wear motorcycle-rated gloves each and every time you swing a leg over your bike. There’s no denying that our hands are among the most delicate and precious parts of our body, so being sure they’re well taken care of in the event of a tumble is absolutely vital. When it comes to the question of which specific pair of gloves is best for you, well, it may be best to do your research aside from taking the word of the salesperson at your nearest motorcycle shop, as they’ll often try to sell you the most expensive pair in stock.
While more expensive gloves may indeed provide more protection than cheaper ones, wearing full-in race gauntlets on your daily commute to work is simply overkill. This is why gear manufacturers have dedicated years and millions of dollars worth of research and development to create the best gloves for all sorts of riding applications. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular types of gloves.
When it comes to riding on the street, you’ll commonly see people riding bare-handed, especially when simply commuting to work. It goes without saying that this is incredibly unsafe, as even just a tiny misstep could cause you to fall over, inadvertently land on your hands, and cause varying degrees of injury. As such, wearing a pair of CE-rated street gloves is the perfect solution to this. Oftentimes, street gloves will be made out of abrasion-resistant textile materials, leather, or a combo of the two. They usually have low to mid cuffs, knuckle protectors, and reinforcements on the palms in the event of a slide.
You may be tempted to go for open-finger gloves as you may think they’re more comfortable. However, we believe that you should always wear full-finger gloves when you’re on your motorcycle. Most premium street gloves come equipped with touch-screen-compatible fingertips, so you won’t have any issues using your mobile phone or GPS unit while you’re on the go
For longer, more demanding rides, touring gloves are your best bet. Unlike street gloves, these mitts are manufactured to a higher safety and longevity standard, and usually incorporate fancier materials such as different types of leathers, aramid fibers, and maybe even Kevlar lining. Furthermore, they tend to be longer on the cuff, and sometimes even come with dual-closure setups.
Given the fact that touring gloves are designed to be used on long-distance rides where weather can be extremely unpredictable, waterproofing is a common characteristic for these gloves. Granted, all these extra features mean a significant increase in price. However, keeping your hands safe and comfortable on long rides is something that goes a long way in keeping your ride enjoyable.
Full-gauntlet/ race gloves
If you have any plans of hitting the race track, it goes without saying that you must first make sure you have the basic track-approved gear. Apart from a helmet, suit, and boots, gloves are an absolute must, too. Race-specific gloves are an absolutely essential when it comes to track riding, as they come with all the protection you could possibly need in such a demanding environment.
Race gloves, also known as full-gauntlet gloves, are always high-cuff and come with more than one closure system. They also usually have adjustability options on the cuffs. On top of all that, race gloves are decked out in all the protective elements available, such as knuckle protectors, impact protectors on the fingers, sliders on the palms, and even additional reinforcements to the forearms.
Last but not least, retro-style gloves are almost always made of leather, and are the most stylish of the bunch. Granted, several years ago, retro-style gloves were notorious for being all show and no-go in the protection department. These days, however, brands like Helstons and Segura have invested heavily in making retro and stylish gloves just as safe as your everyday street gloves.
Additionally, advancements in materials tech have brought about synthetic materials and textiles which give off the same retro aesthetic as leather, but are a lot cheaper and easier to manufacture. This allows retro aficionados to enjoy the perks of looking dapper aboard their classic-style machines, while having the peace of mind that they’re wearing gloves designed to keep them safe.