From our very first steps, we’re hard wired to brace ourselves for impact the moment things begin to fall apart. Our soft, dainty hands instantly reach for the ground and ready for first impact when we take a tumble. This is why, aside from a helmet, gloves are the most important gear a motorcycle rider slips on. Whether you’re piling on the interstate miles, tackling dusty switchbacks or just riding around in a parking lot, an off at any speed will have you palms out and road rashed — or worse yet, seriously injured. Thankfully, there is a world of options out there designed to deliver the protection and performance that even the most skilled riders need. However, much like navigating the menu at Mofarguru, narrowing down your choice can be an arduous task — it took me 13 failed attempts to find my go-to gloves. To lend, ahem, a helping hand, here’s a list of the five best motorcycle gloves, broken down for riders of various styles and disciplines.
Held Air n Dry
Best For Touring: If you’re the type of rider who isn’t scared away by the occasional sun shower, the Held Air n Dry is the glove for you. Crafted with a perforated kangaroo leather palm and DuPont Cordura upper, the Air n Dry glove provides comfort, tactility and protection where it’s needed most. And when the rain starts to fall, just slide your hands into the integrated Gore-Tex waterproof chamber to prevent waterlogged digits. As an added bonus, almost all Held gloves come with a visor wipe.
Racer Guide Glove
Best For Summer: Riding in the hot summer months demands a minimalist glove that offers both track-ready protection and copious ventilation. Not an easy feat by any standard. Racer’s Guide Glove integrates Knox sliders into the Clarino synthetic leather palm and rubber shields onto the knuckles, along with a perforated goat hide chassis to keep you safe and cool should things get dicey. Racer prides themselves on the comfort and fit of their gloves. To ensure the short-cuffed Guide delivers, their mcFIT (Maximum Comfort Fit Technology) system is used to attach an interior lining and ensure a form-fit.
Alpinestars GP Tech Leather Glove
Best For The Track: Marc Marquez. Jorge Lorenzo. Dani Pedrosa. Basically, the three fastest men on two wheels, around any track. Each of them trusts their hands (and most other body parts) to Alpinestars for their action-packed battles in MotoGP. The Alpinestars GP Tech Leather Glove is the product of hard-learned lessons at the world’s trickiest tracks. Kangaroo leather abounds while a layer of Pittards leather reinforces the palm and outer hand to add breathability and grip. The full gauntlet design also features an ergonomically designed wrist cuff to help keep things in place should a rider go off while pushing too hard.
Rev’It Dirt 2
Best For Off-Road Riding: If ridin’ dirty is in your travel plans, you’ll want to shed hard-shelled protection for something that lets your hands flex and breathe. The Dirt 2 glove by Dutch brand Rev’It uses a combination of polyurethane-injected knuckle pads and wrist sliders, along with self-contouring temper foam to keep branches and rocks at bay. This ensures that the Dirt 2 remains pliable for the active demands of powersliding 500-pound adventure bikes around unbeaten paths. Ventilation is at the forefront with dedicated panels of air-stretch mesh layered at the fingers and cuff. The finger tips even work on touchscreen devices — so you can easily book that extra sick day and continue finding yourself by getting lost.
Dainese Jerico Evo Gore-Tex
Best For Foul Weather Riding: Riding in cold, wet and wintery conditions is a fact of life for two-wheeled enthusiasts stationed north of the winter snow line. The right pair of gloves will keep your digits from going numb, but they should be thin and flexible enough to maintain tactile control of your motorcycle. Snowmobile mitts won’t quite cut it here. The Jerico Evo Gore-Tex Glove by Dainese employs Primaloft padding throughout to stave off frostbite, along with a full Gore-Tex membrane and double waterproof cuffs to keep out the elements. Soft, padded inserts at the knuckles and joints offer protection while pre-curved fingers and a goatskin palm maintain comfort and feel on the controls — which will work just as well with that new snowblower, when all hope is lost.