What Are the Best Riding Gloves?

Let’s get real. We don’t often think about how vital our hands are on a day-to-day basis … until we hurt ourselves and can no longer function as usual. I mean, a mere cut can wreak havoc on a routine. It’s even worse if we end up with horrific road rash on our hands from a motorcycle crash.

In most states, the only equipment required to wear while riding a motorcycle is a helmet, even though, according to John Hopkins Medicine, one of the top three reasons most sports injuries occur is because of “inappropriate or lack of equipment.” While a helmet is the most important equipment to wear, “equipment” isn’t limited to a helmet.

Gloves are often forgotten (especially in nicer weather) because we usually only think of gloves in terms of keeping our hands warm. But keeping our hands well-protected is also extremely important.

According to Kinney, Fernandez & Boire Law, road rash is on the list of the top five most common motorcycle injuries, and it can lead to infection and nerve damage. Nerve damage in the hands could potentially affect our ability to ever ride again (if we can’t work our controls, we can’t ride).


So it’s always best to have a good pair of riding gloves ideal for the type of riding we plan on doing. Check out some considerations for picking the best motorcycle gloves for our riding needs:

Palm protection

Remember falling off our bikes as kids and instinctively catching ourselves by putting our hands out in front of our falling little bodies? Now, imagine that, but at much higher speeds with a full-grown body falling towards the asphalt. This is where that road rash can really wreck our day and, frankly, completely destroy our hands if we’re not careful. Look for gloves that are double-layered in the palms to prevent damage to one of the first parts of our bodies to hit the ground when we try to catch ourselves in a fall.

Full fingers

Sure, fingerless gloves may look cool, but …that’s about it. They’re basically useless for anything else. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, full-fingered gloves “protect hands from blisters, wind, sun, and cold, and will help prevent cuts, scrapes and abrasions in a crash.” We often don’t realize how vital sensations in our fingertips are until we can no longer feel them (don’t risk it).

Knuckle armor

Knuckle armor helps keep our hands elevated so there’s less impact in case of a wreck. According to First Check Point, knuckle armor provides impact protection for the whole hand. Plus, I bet it’s really horrible to break our knuckles (ouch!).

Grip

This one seems like a big “duh,” right? And, yet not enough people are wearing riding gloves even though it seems so obvious. The best motorcycle gloves will not only help with our grip on the bike, but it also prevents blisters and any abrasions from debris. Gloves should fit snugly while still providing enough movement for supreme grip and control.  

Wrist protection

According to First Check Point, “Hand and wrist injuries often require complex surgical procedures to repair.” Therefore, it’s best to get gloves that are designed to help protect our wrists from this type of damage.

Protection from the elements

When our hands go numb from the freezing air (or, mere wind chill), it can be hard to maintain a steady grip. That’s why ensuring we get a pair of riding gloves specifically designed to keep our hands optimally warm and dry is key. In the summer, it’s important to have a pair with ventilation for more comfort and to protect our grip when we inevitably sweat. For the winter months, they now make heated gloves for a supremely comfortable ride. Plus, the insulation provides further protection while keeping us warm.

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