When you’re looking for a new pair of motocross gloves, the two most important factors to keep in mind are the type of riding you’ll be doing and the weather you’ll be riding in. If you vary your riding in terms of the type of track or the time of year, you’ll want to stock up on a few different pairs of gloves to cover all bases.
Most motocross gloves have leather in the palm. This is a high-wear area, and leather is one of the only materials that won’t wear through too fast. Also, reinforcement around the thumb area prevents blisters that can form from rubbing against the grip while working the throttle.
The tops of motocross gloves are usually made of a vented, stretchy panel. Another way that some glove manufacturers increase airflow and keep you cool is by having moisture-wicking materials between the fingers.
Lastly, a velcro wrist closure is standard, and some cold-weather gloves will have a beefier closure than basic gloves.
A lightweight, minimalist glove is best for warm and hot conditions. Thin material, mesh and venting holes will give you the best airflow possible. However, since warm-weather gloves typically have little padding and protection, you’ll want to wear them on a smoother, non-rocky track. Of course, there are more protective gloves you can wear in warm temperatures; they just won’t be as cool as minimalist gloves.
The lightweight Alpinestars Radar Gloves have spandex uppers and synthetic suede palms, which are comfortable and have a great contact feel. That contact feel is important – it means you’ll get the right amount of feedback to feel like you have total control over your bike. Perforation on the palms increases breathability, the reinforced thumb patches add durability and the short cuffs keep them light.
Cold-weather gloves use different materials from warm-weather gloves to protect you from the elements and make it easier to ride in damp or wet conditions. Longer-than-normal gaiters are normal on cold-weather gloves because they go up the wrist to protect you from the elements. There’s usually silicone on the fingertips for gripping the brake and clutch levers, too. Some gloves have silicone just on the braking fingers, which makes the gloves more movable than if the silicone were on all of the fingers.
The low-profile 100% Brisker Glove is a solid option for cooler, autumn-like weather. These gloves have the perfect amount of insulation to block out cool, damp weather while remaining dexterous and keeping you in control. The soft-shell top is lightly insulated to protect against lower temperatures, and the silicone-printed palm graphics mean better grip when it’s wet out. The interior is made of moisture-wicking microfibre to stop you from overheating while still keeping you warm.
Gloves With Advanced Protection
High-protection motorcycle gloves are typically pricier than more lightweight gloves, but paying extra is worth it for the reliable protection they afford. Let’s say you’re riding in the forest and heavy branches are whipping by you. You’ll need a more durable pair of gloves, preferably with armored knuckles. The Fox Bomber LT Gloves are a top choice.
Unlike many other “armored” gloves, the Fox Bombers don’t just print TPU plastic over the top. TPU can make the gloves slightly more protective, but it also makes them much less comfortable. On the Fox Bomber gloves, there are rigid, individually molded knuckle guards, plus four shields on the fingers.
Getting the Right Fit
Most gloves will have stretchy mesh in key movement areas for a comfortable fit, but European-style motocross gloves typically have a slimmer fit than roomier, American-style gloves. European-style gloves are also longer in the fingers than American-style gloves.
The best way to get the right fit when buying motocross gloves is to measure your fingers and palms, then compare your measurements to the manufacturer’s size chart.
Also, some gloves come pre-molded, like the Fox Bomber gloves, which can give them a broken-in feel before you’ve worn them for even one ride.
Choosing the right pair of motocross gloves is about a lot more than how they look. You want a pair that’s durable enough so you won’t have to replace them after only a few rides, breathable to keep you cool (and maybe insulated to also keep you warm while increasing airflow) and the proper weight depending on the track or trail and time of year. Plus, they have to fit correctly. If they don’t, you won’t just be uncomfortable – you could feel like you don’t have enough control over your bike. Take the time to choose reliable protective gear – you’ll be able to take on any ride with confidence.