Different riding disciplines place different demands on gloves, so you’ll find a wide range of glove types. That’s great news, because you can match your gloves to the riding you intend to do for the best possible experience. Riding glove types break down into five main categories: street, race, touring, ADV, and dirt.
If you’re spending most of your time on a street bike, you’ll want to look at some street gloves. Some are on the sporty side, some more classic, but the overall formula is the same. These gloves usually have short cuffs for comfort, plus some form of impact protection. Touchscreen fingertips are another feature to look for with so many riders using touch-capable devices for navigation and more. Street gloves are made with all three material types.
Race gloves are for track use and aggressive riding. They use leather construction and a full gauntlet design. Gauntlets keep the glove on your hand in the event of a crash, and they might also carry additional protective features. Expect knuckle protection, pinkie reinforcements, and other track-oriented details. They’re usually more expensive than other glove options due to their performance nature.
For touring and other street rides in all conditions, a good touring glove is hard to beat. These gloves usually have a full gauntlet design to maximize protection from the elements, though shorter versions are out there. Typical construction is textile or textile-leather hybrid. Depending on what you opt for, touring gloves can also get expensive with their technical features and materials. It’s all worth it, though, when riding in less-than-fair weather. Even if I’m riding with street gloves on a trip, I’ll keep a pair of warm, waterproof touring gloves in my pack. They’ve saved my hands from misery more than once