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Apparel Pro: New Rider Glove Guide

The widest range of glove options begins with the material. From leather to textile fabrics and a combination of both, each piece of material offers functionality beyond simple styling.

Gloves are probably my favorite piece of riding apparel. There are endless options for fit and style to meet anyone’s preference. For new riders, gearing up for their first ride is essential. With a checklist in hand, they know that they need a pair of gloves, but often don’t know the complexities of why that item is important.

Material

The widest range of glove options begins with the material. From leather to textile fabrics and a combination of both, each piece of material offers functionality beyond simple styling. The choice of materials can help with vibration reduction, ventilation and weatherproofing.

  • Leather – Used for abrasion resistance. Cowhide and goatskin are the most popular leather choices for everyday riders, whereas kangaroo is favored on the racetrack.
  • Textile – Used for comfort and breathability. Textiles are usually accompanied with armor for extra support.
  • Combination – The best of both worlds. Gloves with a combination of leather and textiles offer excellent abrasion resistance and breathability. Leather is often located in the palm and is surrounded by textile fabric throughout the entire glove.

Armor

There is a reason why knights were clad in armor in the Middle Ages: for protection! The same reason stands for why armor is in gloves today. It isn’t bulky, rather, glove armor is made of plastics, carbon fiber and sometimes metal. Armor offers a support system to the glove’s material. It is designed for high impact areas like the knuckles and fingers, often with pre-curved fingers for a natural riding position that won’t strain hands.

Function

The best way to test functionality of a glove is to try it on.

  • Are you able to use electronic devices, like a GPS or phone, without taking off your gloves? Touch screen compatibility is almost a necessity in gloves today, and it is very common to see “SmartTouch” technology located on the index fingers to meet the demand.
  • Are your fingers warm or cold? Each glove offers different layers of material to meet the needs of cold or warm weather riders. Oftentimes, there is not one glove to fit each type of weather, so having multiple options for different seasons will keep riders coming back. Warm weather gloves will have more ventilation to reduce sweating and cold weather gloves will be weatherproof to fend off the cold. Nearly all gloves have waterproofing options to keep hands dry, no matter what the season.
  • How do the gloves fit? Making sure gloves are sized correctly is just as important as helmet fitment. Riders don’t want to be tugging at a short glove that is slipping off their wrist or losing their grip on the handlebars if the glove is too large. Like Cinderella’s glass slipper, make sure your customers are able to try the gloves on to find their perfect fit.

With an influx of new riders this season, make sure your customers don’t leave your dealership empty-handed and are properly fitted with the right gloves for their ride.

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