Motorcycle Gloves Types: How To Choose The Best Type For Your Riding Style

How to choose the best motorbike gloves for you based on motorcycle gloves type, not style

You will see many gloves advertised by the style of riding they are most suited for, but that isn't all you should pay attention to when buying a new pair. This tells you what the gloves will be for, based on what they look like, not their construction.

Looks are an easy way tell different gloves apart, but optics do not speak about what the gloves do from a functional perspective. Understanding the features behind the styles of different types of motorbike gloves will make sure you ask yourself all the important questions before buying.

What are the different styles of motorcycle gloves?

Racing motorcycle gloves

These are the most technical of motorcycle gloves, and easily recognisable as a result with their pronounced knuckle protection and external wrist protection.

Sport motorcycle gloves

Sports gloves look like they could do the job of a racing glove, but probably should not be taken onto the track. They look similar to racing gloves and these optics make them part of the same sportsbike genre.

Touring motorcycle gloves

Touring gloves are a more traditional looking glove.

Cruiser motorcycle gloves

Cruiser gloves invoke biking heritage and authenticity with their looks and often feature a shorter cuff.

Adventure motorcycle gloves

Adventure gloves bring the spirit of off-road riding and adventure travel.

Protection from the elements: Why you should choose the best motorbike gloves for you based on type of climate protection

A major task of motorbike gloves is to protect you from the elements, whether on a blistering hot day or in a torrential downpour. They deal with rain, windchill, and sweat. It's important that you choose wisely to get the benefits of each type of glove when you need it most.

How motorbike gloves are constructed makes the biggest difference to how they protect you from the ambient climate.

Think about what type of riding you will be using your gloves for, and in what kind of weather. Based on this, should your new gloves maximise airflow, or should they be waterproof and have a climate membrane lining?

In-store, that's what we focus on with you when we recommend motorbike gloves.

The first question to consider: Lined vs. unlined motorbike gloves types

When we say "lining", we aren't talking about the material lining the inside of your glove. What we mean is the climate membrane used in the glove's inner construction.

Lined motorbike gloves: Waterproof motorcycle gloves types

A lined pair of motorbike gloves is constructed with a climate membrane that provides a barrier for rain and wind. Lined gloves offer more warmth and protection from the elements than unlined gloves, but they can be more bulky and less nimble to wear.

General features:

  • Waterproof
  • Windproof

Just waterproof: Your number one pair of gloves

These are the perfect all season gloves. They won't be the warmest, with little to no insulation, but aren't as bulky. Protection from windchill and rain makes all the difference when you're riding to work in the spring or autumn. Some all season gloves will have insulation across the back of the hand, but not enough to protect you in the coldest part of the year.

Waterproof and thermal: Why a proper winter motorcycle glove is important

When the temperature drops significantly, the grips and levers become cold to handle. Changing the gear, breaking, or simply controlling the motorbike cools down your fingers to the point of pain. That's where a good pair of thermal waterproof gloves come in. These will be your winter gloves, with thicker insulation layers so you'll have less dexterity, but it's worth it to avoid freezing fingers!

Unlined motorbike gloves: Dry weather motorcycle gloves types

An unlined pair of motorbike gloves is constructed without such a membrane. They are more lightweight and nimbler to wear, and are more breathable. If it's what you're looking for, unlined gloves usually provide a more direct 'feel' for the bike. However, they offer little to no protection from cold and wet weather.

General features:

  • Thin material improves grip
  • Keep your hands cool

Shorty motorbike gloves

As suggested by the name, these will have a short cuff. Designed for warm weather riding, they're made from lightweight leather or textiles. Because they're unlined, these won't be what you wear when it's raining.

There are many styles on the market, ranging from sporty to retro, so you can be sure to find your ideal summer glove in this category.

Mesh motorbike gloves

A motorcycle glove with a mesh construction will maximise airflow to your hands, actively cooling them when the weather is warm. Like shorty gloves, these are thinner, so you'll be able to enjoy more dexterity.

What materials are used for different motorcycle gloves types?

Leather gloves: Best for warm weather riding

Leather gloves are usually unlined and don't offer any waterproofing beyond what the material naturally does.

Generally speaking, leather gloves are more durable and abrasion-resistant than textile. But that is not to say that they are always more protective. These days, textile gloves are made from abrasion-resistant materials that do compare well to leather.

Of course there is the question of looks. If you want the retro heritage feel, then leather is the way to go, especially in summer. Leather isn't the best option for a winter glove, because they don't usually offer an insulating thermal lining.

Textile gloves: Best for wet and winter riding

Textile motorbike gloves make for a better waterproof option, as specifically designed materials can be incorporated into the construction. They're usually made from breathable abrasion-resistant materials that work to keep your hands comfortable in most weather conditions while also providing protection.

Textile gloves often feature waterproof and thermal linings, making them ideal for colder weather, and they dry out much faster than leather.

What type of motorcycle gloves are each of the different styles?

Although it isn't the best idea to choose your new motorbike gloves based on style alone, there are general assumptions we can make about what type each of them will be:

  • Racing motorcycle gloves will be unlined, to maximise control of the bike
  • Sport motorcycle gloves may look like racing gloves, but often include a waterproof lining
  • Touring motorcycle gloves usually have a climate membrane, and feature leather and textile in their construction
  • Cruiser motorcycle gloves are commonly made of leather and are unlined, making for the perfect retro summer glove
  • Adventure motorcycle gloves are often like a summer version of touring gloves, with thinner construction and a shorter cuff

Important questions you should ask yourself when looking at different motorcycle gloves types

  • What type of riding will I be doing?
  • What climate will i be riding in?
  • Do I need a pair of lined or unlined gloves?
  • Which materials do i prefer?
Back to blog