12 Best Motorcycle Gloves in 2018
There are plenty of reasons for you to wear a pair of gloves every time you hop on your bike and head out onto the road, but there are even more motorcycle glove choices out there that can make finding a decent pair rather difficult!
Here in our guide, we’ll take the guesswork out of your search by presenting you with the 12 best motorcycle gloves on the market.
In addition to highlighting the top 12, we will also provide you with detailed reviews of our five favorite products and provide you with shopping tips that will help lead you to the right pair.
Top 12 Motorcycle Gloves Ultimate Table
|Design||Name||Knuckle Protection||Season||Rating (1-5)|
|1. FREETOO Tactical Gloves Military Rubber Knuckle Outdoor Gloves||Yes||Spring/Summer||4.5|
|2. Mechanix Wear Tactical Original Covert||No||Spring/Summer||4.4|
|3. ILM Alloy Steel Motorcycle Riding Gloves||Yes||Fall/Winter||4.3|
|4. Milwaukee Leather Men’s Premium Leather Perforated Cruiser Gloves||No||Fall/Winter||4.3|
|5. Reebow Gear Military Hard Knuckle Tactical Gloves||Yes||All Season||4.2|
|6. NEW THINSULATE MOTORCYCLE LEATHER FULL GLOVES||Yes*||Fall/Winter||4.1|
|7. KevenAnna Full Finger Cycling Motorcycle Gloves||Yes||All Season||4.1|
|8. StrongSuit 20300-L Voyager Leather Motorcycle Gloves||Yes||Fall/Winter||4.0|
|9. Raider Black X-Large Leather Motorcycle Riding Gloves||No||Fall/Winter||3.9|
|10. Fox Racing Dirtpaw Men’s Off-Road/Dirt Bike Motorcycle Gloves||Yes*||All Season||3.8|
|11. Street Bike Full Finger Motorcycle Racing Gloves 09||Yes||Spring/Summer||3.8|
|12. Carbon Fiber Motorcycle Motorbike Cycling Racing Full Finger Gloves||Yes||Spring/Summer||3.7|
*Note – While the Jackets 4 Bikes Leather Motorcycle Gloves do have knuckle protection, it is not hard plastic or steel like some of the other brands but rather extra padding in this area. The same is true of the Fox Racing Dirtpaw Off-Road Dirt Bike Gloves, which feature rubber reinforcement on the knuckles.
How to Shop for Motorcycle Gloves
When it comes to shopping for a product like this, many factors need to be taken into consideration during the shopping process to find the right gloves.
- Season – It’s no fun cruising around with winter gloves when the temperatures are creeping up to 95°F plus.
We have labeled all of the gloves in our table based on the seasons that they are most appropriate for, therefore cutting your search time down significantly!
There is another reason to choose the right gloves based on the season: sweaty hands can become a safety hazard since you lose some grip, so choose accordingly!
- Knuckle Protection – Usually the hands are one of the first things to make contact with the ground (or an object) in the event of an accident, so naturally, the best motorcycle gloves are reinforced in this area. It does, of course, depend on the way you fall, but usually, the hands take the brunt of it. For motorcycle riders, the knuckles are hit the hardest.
It is a natural tendency to stretch our hands out to help reduce the force of impact, which is why manufacturers created gloves to help protect this part of the hand.
- Steel – Obviously steel will offer you the highest amount of protection but mostly used in racing gloves like the ILM Alloy Steel Motorcycle Riding Gloves.
- Plastic – Most gloves have a hard molded plastic in the knuckle area; the protection is inferior to steel, but it is still better than nothing at all!
Not all gloves have knuckle protection, which is why we labeled this for you in our table.
Types of Gloves
- Gauntlet Gloves – These gloves have a longer shaft that sits up higher on the arm; this helps protect you from the elements better (both water and wind). They also offer superior reinforcement over the entire hand, including knuckles, fingers, palms and wrists.
These are best for traveling (you never know when you’ll get caught in a rainstorm or a downpour of hail) or for racing but aren’t practical for everyday use.
If you do need traveling gauntlet gloves for long trips, you should check out the small details that can make or break your experience with them.
Are the seams taped? Do they have liners or are the shells sealed? Will the zippers or Velcro help keep the elements out?
Make sure you have all the answers to the questions before you purchase.
- Street Gloves – Most of us own a bike so we can go cruising up and down the streets or hug the curves of the back roads on the outskirts of town. Considering that you’ll be around other vehicles and the risk of an accident is higher, try to find a balance between protection and comfort.
Some riders still opt for skimpy street gloves that are breathable since they keep you cooler when you ride; we even included a few on our table, but we would still suggest getting a pair with reinforcement on the knuckles.
For motocross or off-roading, it’s a tossup. You want a pair of gloves that protect you in the event of a crash but that are flexible and breathable, which is why you should go for a pair like the X4 Street Bike Full Finger Motorcycle Racing Gloves (number 12 in our table).
Motorcycle Glove Materials
What about the glove materials? How do they affect the overall performance of the gloves?
They make a big difference, actually.
- Leather – Manufacturers will typically use cowhide, kangaroo hide, sheepskin, deerskin or sometimes goatskin on any of the leather gloves (or patches of the glove that are made of leather).
Deerskin is soft and strong but not exactly that weatherproof. Kangaroo hide is soft, supple and thin, offering you excellent flexibility. Cowhide is the most common choice when it comes to garments, motorcycle gloves included. Although it is heavier and slightly thicker (making it stiffer), it is still able to take the wear and tear like a champ.
The least common is sheepskin, so we doubt you’d find them unless you specifically set out in search of them.
- Synthetic – While some of you may not like the idea of using animal hide (we don’t, anyways), we must admit that it does offer you better protection than the synthetic material that manufacturers use on gloves.
On the other hand, synthetic gloves offer you superior water-resistance, and some (like mesh) are much more breathable than leather is.
It may not be as durable as leather, but it really depends on the type of glove. Leather is not always the best answer.
Top 5 Best Motorcycle Gloves Reviews
As a multi-use glove, we find that in addition to the climbers, the cyclists, and the paintball fanatics, these also work well for those who ride a motorcycle.
We love that they have reinforced the knuckles as well as the fingers and that there are vent holes on the top of the fingers to help keep your hands aerated. On the palms, you’ll find a polyurethane antiskid material and microfiber on the index finger and middle finger to help prevent them from wearing down as quickly.
The cuffs and wrists are snug but comfortable thanks to the spandex and Velcro strap just above it.
If you’re looking for some average gloves for your average riding needs, we highly recommend these.
The best motorcycle gloves for summer cruising are Wear Tactical Coverts from Mechanix.
Thanks to the abundance of ventilation from the mesh panel on the top, these gloves let the airflow across your hands thus preventing any slippery, sweaty problems.
These form-fitting gloves offer you maximum control thanks to the seamless single layer of material they used on the palm (you can feel everything you do on the throttle) and the TrekDry mesh on the top keeps the air flowing throughout the entire glove.
These are intended for law enforcement, military and shooting sports, yet motorcyclists find that they offer the type of comfort and fit needed in warm weather.
The most obvious drawback to these gloves is that they don’t have any reinforcement on the knuckles, so take this into consideration before you choose.
Moving along to something a little more serious, we have these gauntlet gloves from ILM.
Whether you’re riding on a race track or out on the open road as you cross through state after state, these gloves are designed to handle everything you’ll throw at them. They’re waterproof, windproof, they will keep your hands warm, and they have super sturdy alloy steel molded knuckles to keep your hands safe in the event of a crash. You’ll also notice that there are reinforcement panels on the tops of each finger, offering you an even higher level of protection in this area.
Are there better products on the market in this category? Yes, but you won’t find anything better in this price range! They’re a great find.
If you didn’t like the Mechanix gloves we looked at earlier, then take a look at these.
The Milwaukee cruisers are perfect for just that: cruising. The leather is perforated on the top of the gloves, allowing air to circulate easily throughout and the palms of the gloves contain a gel for padding. Ride in style and comfort!
The soft knuckles are interesting: they were much harder than we expected and we would guess that if you got the wrong size, they would be quite uncomfortable to wear.
As a whole, we still feel like these leather riding gloves are worth the purchase, just be sure that you get the right size for your hands. They’re great for the fall and winter months (if you even ride in the winter).
The final gloves we looked at were the Reebow Multi-Use Gloves.
Like the first pair we looked at, these can be used for a variety of sports and activities, but if you’re shopping on a tight budget, these are probably the better choice.
They feature reinforced knuckles and palms, with a mixture of microfiber and synthetic leather on the body of the glove.
In fact, the quality is quite similar in both gloves, but you’ll notice that the tops of the fingers on this pair don’t have the ventilation holes like the Freetoo gloves do.
Again, these are a great option when you can’t spring for more expensive gloves, but if you can spend more, then we would recommend some of the other options we looked at in our top five (or in our table, based on your needs).
Stay safe out there!