Walk into any motorcycle accessory shop, and among the vast displays of boots, helmets and clothing, you will probably see a wall of gloves.
With hundreds of pairs and so much choice, it can quickly get overwhelming.
So, to help you decide, we created this buyer’s guide.
We’ll take a look at what you need to consider when buying a pair of summer gloves and review a range of summer gloves that offer a good balance of value and quality.
If you are looking for warmer gloves, check out our winter glove buying guide.
Summer Motorcycle Glove Reviews
Let’s get into our top choices
Knox Orsa Leather Gloves MkII
Coming in highly rated, the Knox Orsa’s are a quality summer glove combining great venting and breathability with top-class protection.
The styling is ‘in your face’ and strongly inspired by motocross; these gloves are definitely not flying under the radar!
As with all Knox products, the armour reinforcement is top-notch, with protection to all the key areas – knuckles, palm, and scaphoid.
In terms of fit, we love the ratchet tightener on the wrist – dialing it in is a doddle. Also, a special mention for the leather, which is beautifully soft and supple, the gloves easily flex at the fingers and ‘bed in’ nicely after a couple of rides.
- High-quality leather
- Hard armour – scaphoid, knuckles, fingers
- Vented and breathable materials
- Boa closure system
- Sizing is on the small size, may need to size up
Weise Street Fight Glove
If you’re shopping for a pair of sporty-looking summer gloves that give comfort and protection, then the Weise Street Fight Motorcycle Gloves are a good buy.
These short cuffed gloves are equipped with many features, including ventilated PU knuckle armour and tough, durable leather perforated around the fingers allowing your hands to breathe during hot weather.
- Full-grain leather
- TPU shell armour
- Twin layered leather to impact points
- Stretch panels to top of hand and fingers to aid fit and flexibility
- Chamude overlay panel to palm for improved grip
- Adjustable Velcro retained strap to wrist
- Stitching could be stronger in places
- Somewhat cumbersome knuckle protector
Weise Victory Leather Gloves
These are a great mid-range option with that reassuring Weise quality to back them up.
They are relatively cheap yet functional gloves. The quality is great with premium goat leather and decent stitching and fasteners.
While the protection offered is not best in class, it offers a decent compromise at this price point.
- Memory foam knuckle armour
- Soft and supple leather
- Palm panel for enhanced grip
- Hook and loop wrist strap
- Not the best for protection
- May need to size up
- Poor ventilation can result in sweaty hands
Richa Rock Glove
A short cut glove made of very supple leather, these gloves are extremely comfortable with a great fit.
You also get a decent amount of armour for the price, with hard armour to the knuckles and protection for the fingers and scaphoid.
- Supple leather for a great fit
- Impressive armour for the price
- Knuckle, finger and scaphoid protection
- Showerproof, ideal for UK summers
- Venting is not great
- Velcro fastener can be fiddly
Alpinestars Celer Glove
The Celar Glove oozes with the Alpinestar hallmark style and quality.
Crammed into this short cuffed glove is an armoury of protection combining hard PU armour to the knuckles, soft armour to the fingers, and CE level 1 certification.
- Goat hide outer finish
- EVA foam inserts on impact zones
- CE1 certified
- Reinforced hand, thumb and palm protection
- Sizing is on the small side – may be worth ordering a size up
- Need considerable breaking in time
HAWK Summer Motorbike Gloves
These black, sporty, and stylish-looking gloves are technically a short cuffed glove, but their base extends further than most designs affording a little extra coverage around the wrists.
- Knuckle and finger protection
- Lightweight with Velcro fastening
- Air vents for better airflow
- Full leather construction
- Very lightweight so only suitable for warm summer riding
- Small sizing – order one size up
Top considerations before buying.
It is important for new riders to realize just how much damage and inconvenience can result from inadequate hand protection.
Coming off a motorcycle is likely to make us reach out with our hands and shield ourselves from the worst of the impact.
Hands are delicate, a collection of small bones surrounded with skin. Splayed out, it takes very little to break or cut them open when sliding across abrasive road surfaces.
A well-designed glove will allow you both protection and the ability to operate controls. What use would a glove be if its restrictive padding or armour leads to an accident?
Glove designs achieve protection in several ways:
- Palm padding
- Palm sliders
- Knuckle protectors
- Gauntlet style wrist protection
- Kevlar, carbon fibre, or plastic re-enforcement
- Double-stitching and multiple layering
Palm padding puts extra distance between the cheese-grating road surface and the soft skin of your palms.
An accident might still destroy your gloves, but the job of preserving your skin will be done.
The addition of palm sliders, often incorporated as tough plastic studs, can turn a potentially abrasive impact into a harmless soft slide leaving no more than minor scratches to the glove.
Riders may ask why they would need knuckle protection when the more likely area of impact is the palm and the flat of the hand. Birds, insects, flying stones, and wing mirror collisions can all leave a nasty sting across the knuckles, an area of complex bone structure.
With knuckle protection, you’re also more likely to come away on the winning side in the event of unexpected road rage!
Gauntlets offer more protection around the wrist area than short gloves, but some riders may find them hot in the summer months.
Short gloves with the additional airflow will give you a cooler ride and are usually cheaper than gauntlets.
Summer gloves offer less protection than winter gloves. They are lighter and thinner, often lacking the protective accessories of their cold-weather counterparts.
Even in the summer, we may experience an unexpected downpour or a temperature change.
It is also important that our hands receive a nice steady airflow to prevent them from sweating and becoming slippery. With throttles and levers to operate, the last thing we want is a loss of control.
Modern glove designs often incorporate perforations allowing for airflow around the hands while riding.
Also see our guide to riding a motorcycle in hot weather.
Do they fit?
Quite simply… try them on, but when you do, consider several factors.
- Leather gloves are not always waterproof unless aided by additional material, but they stretch over time by around 5%.
- Artificial textures largely remain fixed; they don’t wear or ‘break in.’
- Tight-fitting gloves will restrict blood flow and lead to numbness and a possible loss of feel and control.
- Excessively large gloves may cause your hands to move around and also lose control of the bike.
Most gloves come as either ‘gauntlet’ style or short fit.
Either way, they should both have effective zips or Velcro fasteners to keep them in place.
Sizes may differ depending on whether they’re UK, US or European made, so make sure you know your true hand size.
This video shows how to measure your hand when sizing up for gloves accurately:
Fortunately, there’s a wide selection of gloves to suit all budgets.
Leather is more expensive than textile but generally lasts longer.
Higher prices often reflect quality material and stitching, and fasteners.
The extent and type of built-in protective armour will also affect the price, whether it’s carbon fibre, Kevlar, plastic or cell-foam padding.
When trying on motorcycle gloves, a good idea is to grab hold of the handlebars of your bike or at least one in the showroom. Failing that, improvise with something like a pole to see how the glove sits in the riding position.
I once tried on a pair with so much padding and carbon fibre armour that I could barely grip my handlebars.
Ensure that the glove fits comfortably and allows you to handle your bike and perform tasks such as operating the indicator button, horn, brake, and clutch control levers.
Some gloves incorporate finger-wipes for the visor and also fingers with touch-screen capability.
Once you’ve assessed gloves for function, weather and protection, then let’s not forget how they look.
Most riders love a stylish pair of new motorcycle gloves, especially ones that make them look like a Super Hero (well, maybe!).
Perhaps you prefer something that matches the rest of your clothing and the bike itself.
There’s another advantage to having matching and fashionable gear; if you look more serious and deliberate, projecting an image of experience and mastery, then perhaps you’ll be inspired to ride that way too.
Regardless, like all other selections of motorcycling attire, you probably won’t be at a loss for choices in fashion.
If I were only buying a pair of gloves to keep my hands warm while commuting to work on trains and buses, then I would be happy saving a few pounds on a cheaper pair.
Tripping over in the high street or falling down an escalator in rush hour is unlikely to destroy your hands.
Coming off a bike at speed with inadequate protection… will.
Given the enormous cost and inconvenience of a serious hand injury, I would go straight to the top and choose the Alpinestar for its high-quality protection properties.
Instead of comparing the price to other gloves, compare it to other items of protection like helmets and jackets or even parts of your bike.
So, wear not just your new gloves but two caps when buying them; one for choosing functionality and style and the other for evaluating the glove’s protective characteristics.
Safe and happy riding to all.