Winter motorcycle gloves are essential for the hardy souls who brave the roads at this time of year.
However, with so many different styles and materials to choose from, the choices can be overwhelming.
In this buying guide, we’ll be breaking it down for you.
Firstly, we’ll look at the main things you should consider when buying a pair of winter motorcycling gloves.
Then we’ll review some of the better gloves available to riders this winter.
As always on Begin, we’ve looked at the winter gloves, which offer the best balance between price and quality, although we recommend spending a bit more on your gloves as they are the most crucial piece of safety gear after your helmet.
Our advice would be to spend as much as you can afford on a good quality pair that will last for years rather than buy a cheap pair that will leak water and offer little protection if you drop the bike.
Also worth considering are electrically heated gloves; they tend to be more expensive, but the tech has come a long way in the last few years and is pretty reliable.
Winter Motorcycle Glove Reviews
Let’s dig into our top picks.
Richa Arctic Textile Waterproof Glove
A great all-rounder in the mid-price range. Hard armour to the knuckles and soft armour to the palm, wrist and fingers.
These gloves are extremely warm and have an impressive amount of waterproofing, staying dry even in the grimmest of UK weather.
- Palm, finger and wrist soft armour
- Knuckle hard armour
- Extremely warm
- Best for waterproofing
- Less bulky than most winter gloves
- Visor wipe
- Sizing is on the small side – may be worth ordering a size up
Held Air N Dry Gore-Tex
Built with DuPont Cordura, leather detail, and kangaroo leather in the palm, these are durable gloves.
They also have an unusual feature.
These are a kind of 2-in-1 solution, with a highly breathable section for warm weather and a thermal and Gore-Tex section for wetter, colder conditions.
This is an innovative solution to a single set of gloves for year-round use.
And whilst these aren’t cheap, they are effective in the coldest and warmest UK weather.
The waterproof section is lined with Pique, Push-Pull lining for warmth and a breathable Gore-Tex membrane.
The “airy,” unlined section of each glove is closer to the palm and perforated for maximum comfort.
These are genuinely two pairs of gloves in one and feel comfortable in both configurations.
Protection comes in the form of hard knuckle protection, Superfabric reinforcement at the edge of the hand, and durable kangaroo leather palm.
These are more than a gimmick and a worthy investment.
- Innovative 2-in-1 design
- Excellent waterproofing
- Breathable Gore-Tex membrane
- 5-year warranty
- Expensive (but functions like 2 pairs of gloves)
Richa Cold Protect Gore-Tex Glove
The Cold Protect Gloves from Richa are equipped with a Gore-Tex lining to keep you dry and let your hands breathe. The Tri-fleece lining has been designed to keep your hands warm when riding, and the gloves haven’t sacrificed anything in terms of protection, either.
There is flat PU knuckle protection, abrasion-resistant material for the palm and pinky fingers, as well as hard armour at the finger joints. And a hook-and-loop adjustable closure ensures you get the right fit with your jacket.
In extremely cold conditions, you might find the cold gets through to the very tips of the fingers, which is the one downside. Still, we rarely get such conditions, so unless you live in the Highlands and ride all winter, you should be good to go.
- Good value
- Gore-Tex membrane
- PU knuckle protection
- Tri-fleece thermal lining
- Hard armour inserts at joints
- Adjustable cuff
- Not the best choice for extreme cold
DXR Evasion CE Leather Gloves
The DXR Evasion gloves are lined with a Thinsulate thermal liner for those colder days, and they also have a waterproof membrane for extra protection from the damp.
They are a traditional leather-glove design and will suit any leather riding jacket. Plus, there is an integrated visor wipe on the thumb.
In terms of protection, there is TPU knuckle protection and the calfskin outer construction is abrasion resistant. The leather wears in nicely, despite being stiff at first, and the stretch panels at the palms allow for maximum comfort.
At this price point and with the lack of a Gore-Tex membrane or similar, the waterproof claim should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Richa Carbon Winter Gloves
If you are on a tight budget, this is the cheapest pair of motorcycle gloves we recommend.
They score reasonably well on the three main benchmarks of warmth, waterproofing and protection. Will work best for short commutes. Their limitations will become apparent in heavier weather.
- Palm reinforcement
- Knuckle, finger armour
- Comfort thermal lining
- Solid velcro wrist strap
- Reasonable waterproofing
- Not the warmest
- No hard armour
- Visor wipe doesn’t work well
Spada Enforcer WP Gloves
A warm and comfortable glove at the lower end of mid-range pricing.
These gloves excel in their level of protection, with hard armoured knuckles and soft armour with leather reinforcements on the palm. They also have a convenient plastic visor wipe on the left thumb, and it does a good job of removing rain from your lid.
- Palm armour and reinforcement
- Knuckle, finger hard armour
- Thinsulate lining
- Breathable Hipora waterproof membrane
- Velcro wrist strap adjuster
- Visor wipe on left thumb
- Breathability not great – can get sweaty
- Fairly stiff until worn in
Care, Considerations and Cost
Whilst there are many factors to consider when deciding on which gloves to buy, they all boil down to two things:
- How do they protect me in a crash?
- How do they protect me from the cold, wind and rain?
Let’s have a more detailed look at these factors and decide which ones are the most important.
Leather vs Textile
As a general rule, leather has better abrasion resistance than artificial textiles. In simple terms, if you come off the bike, the leather will protect your hands when in contact with the road surface.
Leather will also fit better as it is more supple than manufactured fabrics and moulds to the fingers more snugly.
Top tip – remember leather stretches as you wear it in so go for a slightly tighter fitting to allow for this.
Whilst leather is the classic choice, manufactured materials have advanced hugely over recent years and can hold some advantages:
- Better weatherproofing
- Sometimes cheaper
- Can be cleaned more easily – often safe to machine wash
As technology has improved, textile gloves have become a serious alternative to leather. Many gloves contain artificial and leather materials to give the best of both worlds.
For a seriously in-depth look at the pros and cons of leather vs textiles in general motorcycle safety gear, see here.
It is essential to get the fit of the gloves correct. This is especially true with winter motorcycling gloves, as the extra thermal padding and waterproofing can be bulky.
You are looking for a snug (not tight) fit that leaves some room for finger movement and allows free use of the bike’s controls.
Too tight, and the gloves could restrict your circulation and create numbness in the fingers – not good for control!
Too loose and the excess baggy material can interfere with the bike’s controls, or even worse, the glove could come off completely in a crash; your expensive hand armour is not much good to you if it’s 100 yards down the road.
Always go for a glove that will stay securely in place if you come off the bike. Look for D-ring or velcro retention straps around the wrist.
Have a look at this article for correct glove sizing information.
Good gloves should offer armour protection for the knuckles, fingers and palms.
All seams should be tightly stitched, and look for double stitching and reinforcement in the high-impact areas of the glove.
Protective armour can be divided into two general categories:
- Soft Armour – typically made from closed cell foams designed to cushion and absorb the energy of an impact
- Hard Armour – typically made from hard plastic or carbon fibre and designed to fit over the soft armour, gives extra impact protection and is an extra line of defence against wear-through.
Palm (scaphoid bone)
Pay particular attention to palm or scaphoid bone protectors, the natural human reaction to a fall or crash is to put the hands out to protect the head.
It is very common for the palms to take the full force of an impact on the road, and many riders have found that palm protection is more important than knuckle armour in the event of a crash.
Knuckles and Fingers
Fingers and knuckles should be protected by hard or soft armour.
Look for long gloves with gauntlets; they will cover and protect the wrists and are also handy for keeping the cold weather out (more on this later).
Also, as previously mentioned but worth repeating, check that the glove has a strong fastening around the wrist to keep it securely in place in an accident.
Both leather and textile motorbike gloves can be effectively waterproofed. This is achieved by bonding a watertight membrane behind the outer fabric or leather. Ideally, the membrane should be breathable; sweaty and clammy hands become irritating very quickly.
There are three broad categories of membrane;
- Gore-Tex – offers the highest quality and is the most breathable membrane. Not surprisingly, it is also the most expensive. You are unlikely to find Gore-Tex in a glove below £100
- Brand-specific membrane – brands such as Alpinestars and Dainese offer their own membranes; these are high quality and close to the level of Gore-Tex
- Others – the most common membrane you will see is Hipora, especially in the cheaper gloves. It is decent for the price but will not perform as well in heavy weather and offers less breathability
Anyone who has ridden in winter knows that wind chill is a serious factor. The cold can cause your hands to become numb and stiff, not good when trying to use the bike’s controls.
Look for a glove with a thermal lining. Most of the cheaper ones will have a Thinsulate lining (the same stuff your regular winter gloves are made of); the more expensive ones may have a three-layered lining which will trap more air and provide more warmth.
Whilst Thinsulate should be adequate in average UK winter temperatures; it may not do the job if it gets very cold. One solution is to wear any extra thin glove inside the motorcycle glove to provide an extra layer.
Some gloves offer extra features which are not essential but can come in handy;
- Visor wipe – some gloves come with either a plastic or suede insert on one of the fingers or thumb, very handy for clearing the rain from your lid
- Touchscreen capability – uses a conductive thread sewn into the fingers. Allows you to use a smartphone without removing the glove
We have two top recommendations for your winter motorcycle gloves.
For the best warmth and weatherproofing, go for Richa’s Arctic gloves.
If you are looking for a premium year-round option, then the Held Air N Dry will make you very happy.
Either set of gloves will perform incredibly well in the UK climate and should give you many years of good service.