Making it easier to find the motorcycle gloves that are best for protection
In particular racing gloves require an enhanced set of protection features. Typically, when you mention more highly armoured gloves for motorcycling, bikers think of gloves with palm protection, gloves with knuckle protection, gloves with wrist protection, or all of the above. So, how do you figure out which gloves are best for protection?
Over the years the GetGeared team has selected, advised and stocked thousands of motorcycle racing gloves as well as less performance-oriented variants. We have compared and analysed product performance and biker reviews. The goal was to find a way that makes it easier to define which gloves are best for protection.
We have distilled that knowledge down to a 4-point motorcycle gloves protection system: Throughout the GetGeared website, motorcycle gloves are classified by our unique 4-point check list as well as the effectiveness of their wrist restraint. That way, you can easily compare the protection features between the different gloves your are looking at, and choose the level of armour that is right for you.
4 points of protection essential for motorcycle gloves
Hands are a hugely complex construct of little bones, ligaments and muscles, all working in harmony to make you do extraordinary things including control your motorcycle. There are four areas of your hands that are particularly exposed during a crash. Some are obvious: Your knuckles stick out and most gloves have a level of protection covering those. Then, there are the palms: instinctively we stretch out our hands to break the fall. Lesser known are the areas along the side of your hand, from little finger to the complex Carpal bone structure making sure you can move your wrist.
1. Motorcycle gloves with knuckle protection
To score points in our 4-point protection system, a pair of gloves needs to have a protective shell over the knuckles, backed by an impact absorbing compound such as d3o. This is purely about protection, so the existence of knuckle protection is not a guarantee for comfort. Gloves with knuckle protection have to feature expansion panels over the back of the hand and the fingers as well to accommodate the additional stretch as you clinch your hands over the grips.
2. Motorcycle gloves with palm protection
As we stretch out our hands to break the fall, we expose our Scaphoid bones and the intricate lattice work of ligaments that run under the palm. To score points, we are looking for a Scaphoid impact absorbing pad with abrasion resistant features. A double layer of leather is not enough and even at the lower end of the price scale you should expect additional protection in this area.
3. Motorcycle gloves with wrist protection
Extensive wrist protection tends to be reserved for racing gloves. At the extreme there is a slider and shock absorbing foam to protect the Carpal bones that make up the wrist. Few motorcycle gloves for everyday use feature wrist protection of this type as the armour can interfere with the sleeves of the jacket, in particular when you want to wear the gloves cuff under cuff of the jacket sleeve.
4. Motorcycle gloves with finger protection
In particular, the little digit is exposed in a crash. It is at risk of catching as you slide. Alpinestars feature a patented finger bridge, a fixed connection between the last two fingers on the hand, to strengthen and protect. In addition, we are looking for abrasion resistant padding on the side of the hand.
The wrist strap: Keeping the protection of your motorcycle gloves in place
All of the best protection in a pair of armoured motorcycle gloves comes to nothing, if the armour is not in its right place when needed. In fact, a secure wrist strap is required to ensure that the gloves stay on and the protection stays in place during a spill. Racing gloves often feature a ‘tunnel’ to protect the wrist strap from abrasion.
‘Best for Protection’ Motorcycle Gloves Check List
Knuckle protection: Hard protection for abrasion, backed by impact absorbing material
Palm protection: Abrasion-resistant impact protection to keep your Scaphoids safe
Wrist protection: Abrasion-resistant impact protection to keep your Carpal bones in one piece
Side of Hand protection: Abrasion-resistant impact protection to protect your little fingers
Wrist strap: Keep it all in place with a secure wrist support
How to use the GetGeared 4-point protection system
Knowledge is power, as they say. Protection is clearly a good thing: There is a whole industry in defining and stipulating CE protection levels. Counter-intuitively, motocross athletes want their gloves to almost devoid of protection in order to maximise dexterity and control. However, most of us do not fly through the air to earn our living, so we need to balance looks, price and protection. Use our 4-point protection system to select your next gloves, knowing what protective features your chosen style has or is missing.