The holidays may be over, but I’m always making a list and checking it twice. Doing a little bit of shopping for my spring riding apparel collection, I realized that my gloves are in dire need of replacement. Before I went to my local dealer to be their favorite customer this month, I made a list of my “must-haves” to help me make an informed buying decision.
Gloves are basically hand helmets. I feel much more confident riding with armor than I do without it. There are a lot of options for armor in gloves, and for the most part, they are lightweight yet extremely durable. From molded knuckles, EVA foam padding and thermo-plastic urethane to carbon fiber and titanium inserts, there are several options to protect your hands.
The most obvious level of protection comes from the material. Leathers offer the most protection, closely followed by textiles and blended materials. A very popular leather being used in gloves is goatskin, and high-end options offer leathers of stingray an kangaroo for supreme abrasion resistance. But, who can go wrong with a classic cowhide?
I put my gloves through the ringer each season, so they need to be able to stand up to anything that I throw at them. When purchasing new gloves, I always look for a design that is double stitched in critical areas and supported by a blend of different materials like leather, mesh and textiles.
One indicator that I look for is whether or not my gloves are touch screen compatible. If not, I will be removing my gloves more frequently, pulling at the materials, which reduces the longevity of my ride if I have to keep messing with my gloves to change the riding mode on my touch screen dash interface. Plus, if I’m constantly taking off my gloves, it wears at the seams and basically reduces the protection that the gloves can offer if they are not properly fitted.
Gloves should fit comfortably, otherwise, they will become a distraction. Most gloves are ergonomically designed and formed around the curvature of our fingers in the riding position. Contoured padding or a leather material on the palms helps reduce vibration and fatigue, stretch panels help with finger mobility and high density padding in the knuckles leads to a beautiful motorcycle glove.
Gloves should fit like a good pair of jeans; snug at the wrists, flexible in the fingers without leaving gaps at the fingertips and comfortable for hours of riding.
Mesh panels are a welcome feature to prevent sweat and increase breathability, without decreasing the amount of protection that the gloves can offer.
What are some of the features of gloves that make them an instant favorite for you? What are some styles of gloves that are flying off the shelves of your dealership? We’d love to hear them, so add your comments below.