With so many different gloves on the market it can be a little overwhelming at times.
Here’s a short list to ask yourself:
a) – What are you looking for (fit and feel)?
b) – What do you desire the most (protection/quality)?
c) – Does it really matter what brand it is – and why?
d) – What’s your riding style (cruiser/street/track day/race)?
e) – Is price your motivation?
Let’s begin with the basics. Gloves are intended to be worn, so they must feel right when you put them on. “Feel right” means that they are comfortable. If they’re not comfortable, chances are you won’t wear them or they will be a distraction while you ride (not good). It’s ok if they’re a little snug, most gloves will break in with time and use. However, you must have the ability to articulate your fingers and also have a snug, but comfortable fit on your palm.
In addition to fit and feel; you need to take a good look at what protective features are included. What type of leather are the constructed of? Ask what kind of leather the gloves are made of (a lot of gloves today use buffalo; goat and other less than desirable materials that will not hold up in a crash). Yes, the type of leather does make a difference! Cowhide (top grain or full grain) is preferred for the overall structure because it is very durable and easy to maintain. So, make sure you look over the gloves thoroughly to understand how they are made as quality control is also an important feature. Other nice features to consider is Kevlar stitching, padding in the palm, composites on knuckle/fingers, extra layers of leather in the palm or even Kevlar panels on the palm or on the pinky (or both). You need to also ask if there is reinforcement in the critical areas to avoid road rash. Also, check the closure system. Is it a Velcro tab or strap? Does it offer a dual enclosure system with a latch, snap or Velcro? You need to make sure the glove is secure when it’s on your hand.
The type of riding you do is also important. For example, riders who just cruise around usually do not stress their gloves a great deal because they are not putting much pressure on the grips. You know what kind of rider you are. If you do general riding, then it’s likely you will not be putting a lot stress onto the glove and enjoy your gloves for many years. However, if you race, then you placing a great deal of stress on the glove due to pressure, temperature, sweat – then repeat. Race gloves take a beating and their life is accelerated by hard use or crashing. An interesting reality of glove “life” is also related to sweat and temperature. Yes, I said sweat! Sweat is either alkaline or acidic; either way both will break down the leather and can accelerate its deterioration. A quick remedy is to rinse your gloves out with water after a ride; let them dry and them apply a quality mink oil (remember, leather is skin; so clean and add moisturizer often for long life).
Surprisingly, a lot of big name brands on the market are using lower grade materials such as nylon vs. Kevlar stitching or buffalo vs. cowhide to shave cost. Keep in mind, we all want a good price; however the fact is that gloves are intended to protect your hand and fingers; after all, you can’t replace them. If they’re badly hurt in a crash because inferior materials were used and failed, chances are high that you’ll never ride again and have to work very hard in physical therapy and spend a lot of money to regain normal function of your hand. This is a reality that most riders never really consider, but happens more often than you would think.
Price – one of the big reasons to purchase. Price is subjective for all consumers. Some people buy because of style or the fact that they perceive it to be a “good deal”. Remember, it’s your hands we’re talking about, so do your homework and know what the gloves are made of and also see if you can find some testimonies on them; YouTube or Google is a good source. After all, it’s your hard earned money – do your homework so you can make in informed decision.
At the very least, research and consider Komodo Gear for your next set of motorcycle gloves. Komodo Gear manufacturers products for all different types of riding and for every budget. Because Komodo Gear is factory direct to the public, their motorcycle gloves are built to the highest standards of quality to meet your needs and do their job – at an affordable price.