Are your summer motorcycle gloves looking a little frayed around the edges?
You may be looking for a new pair that will keep hands protected, well-ventilated, and comfortable on long rides.
But with so many glove choices, how do you know what to look for?
Here are 5 unexpected "must-have" features.
5 Unexpected Ways to Protect Your Paws This Summer
Whether you're spending the days ahead on city cement or country backroads, consider these 5 unexpected yet important features when shopping for your next pair of summer gloves:
- Padded Palms:
The conventional wisdom is that you need full leather gloves with hard knuckles, scaphoid protection, kevlar seams, and other reinforcements, every time you ride.
Unexpected: When it comes to choosing riding gloves, protective palms are the real key. That's because instinct is to put hands out palms first in a fall.
So, while knuckle armor and durable skid pads offer extra assurance ... like these protective and vented gloves ... a simpler mesh construction with padded palm is also an acceptable option.
- Perforated Leather
Most riders turn to mesh and vented gloves in summer ... advanced man-made textiles and cooling vents offer a lot of airflow. But don't discount nature's original cooling feature when it comes to summer gloves.
Unexpected: Before mesh and vents, full leather gloves with perforated leather was the summer "go-to". It should come as no surprise that for many riders, leather is still a preferred material, even in summer.
So, if you prefer leather riding gloves in the summer, look for perforated leather -- like these summer leather gloves with micro perforations, and these perforated leather gloves with knuckle armor and a gel palm.
- Pre-curved Fingers:
Gel palms are a well-known and important feature for comfort. No glove feature is better at mitigating hand numbness and other arm pain.
Unexpected: Precurved fingers are a lesser known feature that adds lots of comfort. When fingers are tailored in the shape of your hand gripping the controls, it cuts down on hand fatigue, especially during longer rides. And, it eliminates the folds and creases that can cause blisters and wear.
With heavier, bulkier winter gloves, precurved is more common. You might not think of it for a spring or summer glove, but it's a nice bonus -- like these pre-curved kangaroo palm gloves, with cooling vents, or these leather "touch screen" gloves.
- Wicking materials:
Truth is, in summer we sweat ... and when it comes to gloves, we need help with that.
The technical term our designers use is "moisture amanagement" -- a fancy name for placing materials next to your skin that have wicking qualities, to help evaporate sweat.
Unexpected: Turns, out, all man-made fabrics -- from lycra and spandex to neoprene and tricot, have this quality! So, as long as your textile gloves are not made of cotton, you're good -- like these cooling and wicking neoprene summer riding gloves, with gel palm and high viz/reflective details ... or this windproof and water resistant style.
- Summer Gauntlets:
Many riders look for a "shorty", wrist length summer glove. So here's a final unexpected tip ...
Unexpected: The exposed skin between the end of your jacket and the cuff of your glove can get a nasty sunburn. Sure, you could wear sunscreen ... but a glove with extra length in the wrists can prevent the rays from hitting your wrist -- so look for extended length in the wrist, like these extended cuff leather sport riding gloves with a gel palm.
Bonus: Summer Riding Tips
There are many things you can do to keep cooler and safer on the road this summer. Learn how to keep your body and mind from blowing a gasket when temperatures climb:
Check out 21 rider-tested tips for keeping cooler in extreme heat ... and read our Summer Survival Guide as well.
Keep cool and ride safe this summer!
P.S. Olympia makes 40 styles of summer motorcycle gloves -- selected styles with free shipping for a limited time. Visit your local dealer, or our online store.
* Photo credit: Gary France