Motorcycle gloves fall into three categories, in terms materials: leather, textile, and leather/textile hybrid.
Leather gloves have been popular with motorcyclists since the earliest days of riding, and for good reason. Leather is durable, and it also offers good feel when properly fit. Another of leather’s strengths is its ability to mold to the rider’s hand. That “broken-in” feel is something I really like about my favorite riding gloves. Like motorcycle jackets, leather gloves are usually more expensive than other options, waterproof options are limited, and they are not the best choice for year-round riding. To extend seasonality, look to lined or perforated leather gloves for cold or hot weather, respectively. One more thing: If you’re heading to the track, leather’s the only way to go.
Modern textiles allow manufacturers to create motorcycle gloves for any riding condition. The best waterproof gloves available use textile constructions. If I’m riding into foul weather, extreme heat, or deep cold, I’m reaching for some of the textile options in my closet. Textile gloves will also be the most versatile, so if you need a glove that can be worn for most seasons, consider textile. Be aware that textile doesn’t form to your hand like leather, so the fit from new is how the gloves will continue to feel long-term. Also keep in mind that some of the thermal liners found in cold-weather gloves can feel a bit bulky. Beats cold hands, right?
Leather has its advantages, and so does textile. Why not combine them? A glove utilizing a hybrid construction typically puts leather where slide protection is needed, then adds textile for comfort. This could mean waterproofing, stretch panels, thermal linings, or mesh for high airflow. Hybrid gloves can offer the best of both worlds, so they're definitely worth a look.