Best Cycling Gloves for a New Level of Comfort

Last updated: March 28, 2020
BEST OVERALL
Windproof, Waterproof and Touchscreen Compatible
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BEST BUDGET
Light Padding and Absorbent Wiping Surface
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BEST FOR SUMMER
Breathable and Smart Finger Loops
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BEST PADLESS
Padless, Breathable and Tight-Fitting
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BEST WATERPROOF
Waterproof and Touchscreen Compatible
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Your guide

Cycling gloves come in all shapes and sizes, and just like cycling shorts need to be tight, so do cycling gloves (without cutting off circulation of course). When trying to choose which gloves are best for you, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. For example, while some people may prefer to feel the full force of their handlebars against their hands, others may want padding to soften the pressure and give them a slightly more comfortable grip.

Due to the variety in types of cycling gloves that you can get, we decided to provide a few categories based on the weather that you might cycle in, as well as some of the specific features of gloves which some people may prefer. This way, you can get the best idea of what will suit you and get the best experience when you choose your own pair of cycling gloves.

Cycling Gloves: Top 5 Picks

While some of you have probably never used cycling gloves in your life, chances are that when you actually do use them, you won’t want to ride without them ever again. They add a new level of comfort to your rides that you may never even have known existed. Just like finding the best bicycle or best helmet, it’s a good idea to find the gloves that suit you best.

hand with glove gripping on the handlebar

Most people probably think of cycling gloves as small, fingerless gloves with padding but the truth is they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Padding or no padding, fingers or fingerless, warm and waterproof or cool and water resistant; you have so much to choose from to find yourself the perfect gloves.

To help you out in your journey to find the best ever cycling gloves for your type of cycling (and the weather that you cycle in), we have searched the web extensively to bring you five categories and five pairs of cycling gloves to choose from.

1. Best Overall - Gore C5

Specifications:

  • Material – Polyamide, elastane, polyester
  • Padding – Foam
  • Strap – Velcro fuff
  • Grip – Silicone

Key Features:

  • Waterproof and windproof
  • Silicone gripping
  • Touchscreen optimized
  • Breathable material

Gore C5 Gore-Tex Gloves Review

While the C5 Gore-Tex Gloves are quite expensive ($79.99 to be exact), you get what you pay for in terms of quality, durability, comfort, and more.

Since we were looking for a type of glove which would cater to as many riding preferences as possible, these gloves have many features which are great for different types of weather, as well as can be used in different ways (e.g. using your cellphone).

Quality and Comfort

These gloves are high quality, as you should expect with the price. They will last a long time whilst remaining comfortable, waterproof and windproof. They are lightweight, keep warm, and still maintain a level of breathability as not to let your hands sweat too much when the weather is warmer.

On the palm, the gloves have extra pads on the pressure points which add comfort for longer rides. These pressure points include the heel of the palm and the underside of the knuckles.

While the Gore C5 Gore-Tex Gloves fit snugly on your hands, the material is slightly stretchy, meaning there is enough flexibility in the gloves so that your movements are not too restricted. This comes in handy for the most part, however, the gloves are a little bulky since they aren’t fingerless, which might cause difficulties if your gear shifter is small.

Waterproofing and Wind Resistance

These gloves are waterproof, so are great to wear in pretty much any conditions. In addition to their waterproofing, their wind resistance adds even more warmth, which can be useful on those icy rides where your fingers usually feel as if they can’t hold anything properly.

Additional Features

Along with all the waterproofing and comfort features, these gloves come with extra features which you will probably appreciate. Firstly, there is a sweat wiping pad on the thumb, which you can use to wipe away sweat or rain from your face.

There are many gloves which come with this, and it’s a great feature to have if you don’t want to carry a small towel with you. Secondly, the strap is a velcro cuff which wraps around the wrist nicely, creating a more streamlined look whilst also adding comfort and assisting with blocking any water from entering on that end of the glove.

Third, there are grippy silicone prints on the thumb, forefingers and palm of the gloves. And lastly, the gloves have been optimized for gloves-on touchscreen use, so you will no longer need to brave cold weather or put in all the effort of taking your gloves off just to use your cellphone.

This optimisation is also particularly useful if you mount your phone while you ride and allows you to answer a call or anything else, without stopping to take your gloves off.

With the Gore C5 Gore-Tex Gloves, it doesn’t come down to just the bare minimum. Although you may find them a little bulky and the price is steep, you get what you pay for, and more.

With a variety of great features, we are sure you can see why they fit into our “Best Overall” category. You are bound to enjoy these gloves and will not be disappointed with their quality, comfort and everything else that makes them what they are.

Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Touchscreen Optimised
  • Breathable
  • Silicone Gripping
Cons
  • Some may find them a little bulky.
  • Expensive.

2. Best Budget - Giro Bravo Gloves

Specifications:

  • Material – Clarino synthetic leather, mesh, and absorbent microfiber
  • Padding – Light gel padding
  • Strap – Low-profile velcro

Key Features:

  • Moisture-wicking material
  • Microfiber wiping surface
  • Gel padding
  • Sonic-welded pull tab

Giro Bravo Gloves Review

With a price range that starts at $6.88, the Giro Bravo cycling gloves are hard to beat in the “Best Budget” category. Aside from this very affordable price, the gloves are great in other aspects as well, such as padding, design, etc. and you will more than likely enjoy them if you are looking for something within this price range.

Comfort & Padding

Let’s start with the comfort of the gloves. The Giro Bravo Gloves come with light optimized gel padding which has been positioned specifically in the palm to enhance comfort. While many will find this padding sufficient, if you are looking for heavily padded gloves, these might not be for you.

The “Super Fit” design includes a three-panel palm which is made to fit more accurately and comfortably and avoid too much movement.

The gloves also have a four-way stretch feature which improves on the comfort and allows them to move more accurately with your hands. There is a sonic-welded pull tab built into the glove to make removal much easier, and a low-profile velcro strap which doesn’t get in the way as well as gives the gloves a sleeker look.

Material

The gloves are made from synthetic leather (which helps with the durability), mesh, and microfiber.

The material has moisture-wicking properties and the mesh makes the gloves breathable so that your hands never get too hot, or overly wet from sweat. The microfiber wiping surface on the back of the glove is highly absorbent and can be used as an easy way to wipe away sweat from your face.

Coming in at such a low price, the Giro Bravo Gloves do not come without their faults. In some cases, people have found the stitching to come undone after a few uses. This has, however been in some cases and not all, so you might be willing to risk this potential fault for the affordable price.

Designs

If you are one to focus a lot on design, the Giro Bravo Gloves come in a variety of colours, ranging from plain black to bright yellow. As mentioned previously, the velcro strap is also low-profile to avoid bulkiness and give the gloves a much sleeker look.

Overall, the Giro Bravo Gloves are pretty good for their price. While you run the risk of receiving a glove with a stitching issue, and you may not be too happy with lightly padded gloves, they look good on your hands and the general comfort is good.

If you don’t have these issues, the gloves are quite durable, so you will be more than happy with them and will save a few bucks in the process.

Pros
  • Breathable fabric
  • Gel padding
  • Four-way stretch
  • Easy removal
Cons
  • Some may find there isn’t enough padding.
  • Stitching might come undone.

3. Best For Summer - LuxoBike

Specifications:

  • Material – Lightweight Lycra, micro suede, elastic
  • Padding – 4-zone shock absorption padding
  • Wrist closure – Streamlined velcro strap and fitted elastic.

Key Features:

  • Smart finger loops
  • Lightweight Lycra
  • Breathable material
  • Fitted elastic wristband

LuxoBike Cycling Gloves Review

When it gets hot and you want to go for a ride, you need cycling gloves that are breathable and cool so that your hands don’t sweat too much. At the same time, you still want something that is comfortable and protects your hands (since that is essentially what cycling gloves are for).

After finding many suitable candidates for the “Best For Summer ” category, we eventually settled on the LuxoBike Cycling Gloves, mainly due to their cool material, comfortable padding, and easy removal.

Comfort & Padding

The gloves feature 4-zone shock-absorption padding, which has been placed strategically on the palm of the gloves for optimum comfort and muscle protection.

This padding is designed to help minimize numbness and absorb road vibrations to make your ride more comfortable for your hands and arms. With this being said, some might find that the padding is not enough for them, but preference in padding really varies a lot for each rider.

On the back side of the gloves, the material is Lycra, meaning they are stretchable and allow your hands to move more freely whilst keeping a snug fit. The palm of the gloves are durable micro suede, which adds grip as well as improves their durability.

Breathability and Size

Being a summer glove, there are a few qualities which these have which assist with the issues that may arise from a summer cycle. One of these issues is heat.

The material of the LuxoBike Cycling Gloves is not only stretchy, as we previously mentioned, but is quite breathable, allowing your hands to feel cooler on those particularly hot days. In addition to this, the finger liners are quick-drying lightweight Lycra which prevents sweat from accumulating and making your hands too wet and uncomfortable.

Some might find that the sizing is a little small compared to American-made gloves, so you may want to order a size a little larger than your usual. There are size directions, so you can just follow these to help you choose.

Additional Features

One of the main additional features of these gloves, which helped us in choosing them as the winner for this category, is the smart finger loops feature. These loops between the fingers make the process of taking the gloves off much easier, which you will appreciate after a long ride.

Some of the other features include an absorbent thumb towel, which allows you to wipe away sweat easily; a streamlined velcro strap which allows you to adjust the tightness at the wrist; and a fitted elastic band around the wrist to prevent slippage and wrist discomfort against the edge of the gloves.

While you may find that the padding of LuxoBike Cycling Gloves isn’t quite enough for you, and the sizing is a little small compared to American sizes, the gloves are great for hot summer cycling.

With a comfortable fit, breathability, quick-drying Lycra, and easy removal, the gloves make those long, hot rides a little easier both during the ride, and afterwards when you just want to take your gear off and jump in the shower or swimming pool.

Pros
  • Breathable fabric
  • Easy removal
  • Stretchy Lycra
  • 4-zone padding
Cons
  • The padding might be too little for some.
  • Sizing could be a little smaller than expected.

4. Best Padless - Giro Zero CS

Specifications:

  • Fabric – Microfiber, Nylon, Spandex, Polyester
  • Padding – None
  • Wrist Closure – Elastane, strapless.

Key Features:

  • Finger pulling tabs
  • 4-way stretch
  • Strapless wrist
  • Streamlined design

Giro Zero CS Gloves Review

Although many people like padding on their cycling gloves, some of you may actually find that you prefer not to have any padding at all and simply want gloves as a precaution to protect your hands when you fall or for sweat removal while using a spin bike.

Some people just find that padded gloves don’t feel right to them and give them a bulky feeling when trying to hold onto the handlebars. Luckily there are in fact gloves made for individuals with these preferences too, called padless gloves.

These gloves can be a little harder to find than padded gloves, but there are some good ones out there, and our chosen ones for the “Best Padless” category are the Giro Zero CS Gloves. 

Fitting and Comfort

The Giro Zero CS Gloves are made to be streamlined and have a lightweight slip-on design. They fit snugly to your hand and are made with a 4-way stretch material so that the gloves do not restrict your movement.

Along with the tight fit to make the gloves more streamlined, they have been made without a strap, and instead use a band on each glove with a high level of elastane to keep the glove in place. Although the gloves have a tight fit, they are very breathable and the material has moisture wicking properties to help your hands stay dry.

The gloves are good quality, but there are some flaws in the design of some, as people have found that the stitching might come undone. This is a risk you will need to decide whether or not you want to take.

Protection

While Giro Zero CS Gloves won’t provide as much protection as gloves that do have padding on the palms, the material in this area is tough enough to add some level of resistance should you happen to fall and will still be better than if you were not wearing any gloves at all.

Additional Features

These gloves also come with a highly absorbent microfiber wiping surface for sweat and rain. While the gloves have a close fit, which would generally make them difficult to get on and off, there is a pulling tab on the palm side of the gloves which makes getting them on and off much easier, as well as finger pulling tabs on the top of the fingers.

People often find that this design is better than the strings which usually go between the fingers as these are out of the way.

All-in-all, the Giro Zero CS Gloves are fairly simple, as you would expect with padless gloves. They give you a feeling which is as close to being barehanded as possible and remain cool whilst giving you some level of protection.

Although there is a risk of stitching coming loose, this doesn’t happen in all instances and you might feel that the gloves are worth it. They feel good on your hands, remain cool, and have features which make them easy to pull on and off, making them convenient to use and giving them the top spot in our “Best Padless” category.

Pros
  • Padless
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Tight-fitting
  • Strapless and streamlined
Cons
  • Not as much protection as padded gloves.
  • Potential risk with stitching coming loose.

5. Best Waterproof - Gorelox

Specifications:

  • Material – PU leather, nylon, fleece
  • Padding – None
  • Closure – Zipper
  • Grip – PU leather

Key Features:

  • Waterproof
  • PU leather gripping
  • Touchscreen optimized
  • Zipper closure

Gorelox Winter Warm Gloves Review

If you are someone who likes to ride in the rain, or you have a mountain bike and have experienced wet hands from riding through puddles or streams, then the Gorelox Winter Warm Gloves are great for you.

Their main feature is, of course, their waterproofing and the other features which these gloves come with added to their case in making it to the number one spot in our “Best Waterproof” category.

Design and Comfort

These gloves are both durable and comfortable in terms of design. They have 3D tailoring which assists in the stretchiness of the gloves, making them more comfortable on your hands. The stitching is also smooth as not to get in the way, whilst adding durability.

Although the material of the glove is waterproof, much like other waterproof gloves, the seams are not, and these should not get wet for too long as water may seep into the glove through these points. This shouldn’t be an issue, since you probably won’t be swimming with the gloves on or putting them underwater.

One of the differences with these gloves, that many gloves don’t have is the zipper closure. This feature makes them slightly more adjustable (as the zipper runs up the hand), as well as avoids the bulkiness that comes with most velcro straps. In addition to this closure, the gloves also have double shirred elastic wrists, to help keep the glove closed more tightly.

Gripping and Features

While these gloves don’t come with padding, they have multiple layers of fleece liner and insulation fabric as well as anti-slip PU leather which adds some level of padding. The PU leather helps a lot in terms of grip, especially on rainy days, helping you to ride more safely without your hands slipping off the handlebars.

The Gorelox Winter Warm Gloves also come with a touchscreen compatible pad on the index finger to allow you to use your cellphone without taking the gloves off which can be useful when trying to make quick calls or complete simple tasks.

Although these gloves advertise their warmth for winter, many individuals have stated that they are not as warm as advertised, so if it is warmth that you are looking for rather than waterproofing, these might not be the right gloves for you.

While the Gorelox Winter Warm Gloves might not be as warm as they advertise, their other features are great and make riding in the rain a much better and safer experience. They may not have much padding, but many people prefer gloves with minimal padding anyway and you might agree.

The features, in addition to their waterproofing, add to the quality and usability of the gloves, making them our number one pick for this category.

Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Touchscreen Compatible
  • Zipper Closure
  • PU Leather Gripping
Cons
  • Might not be as warm as you expect.
  • Not very padded.

Cycling Gloves: Frequently Asked Questions

 

What Are Cycling Gloves Made Of?

While cycling gloves vary in the materials that they are made of, a majority of gloves involve some form of stretchy material such as Lycra or elastane, as well as have some form of gripping on the palm such as synthetic leather, silicone, etc.

Do Cycling Gloves Make a Difference?

Cycling gloves make a difference for a variety of reasons. Many come with padding, which can help in terms of comfort when you are holding the handlebars of your bike. They also often provide extra grip and prevent your hands from slipping off the handlebars. Cycling gloves are even used as a way to wipe the sweat away from your forehead since many come with a sweat-wiping pad.

How Tight Should Cycling Gloves Be?

While cycling gloves should be tight enough that your hands don’t move around too much inside, they shouldn’t be too tight. The best way to look at it is by focusing on the webbing between your fingers. If the glove fits tight enough that there will be no-chafe, while not being so tight that it puts a lot of pressure on your fingers when they are around your handlebars, then the fit is good.

How Can I Make My Gloves Tighter?

To help your gloves fit better, you can press against the “web” area between each finger to pull the glove closer to your hand and lessen the gap at the end of each finger. You can also often adjust the strap on the wrist of the gloves if it is too loose there. When you remove your gloves, try not to stretch them out by pulling them off too quickly, but rather gradually loosen them.

What Should I Look for in Cycling Gloves?

Some common features that you will find in cycling gloves are a sweat pad, to help with wiping away sweat from your face, a closure at the wrist and some form of gripping. You also get gloves with padding while some have no padding. This essentially comes down to personal preference.

Best Cycling Gloves for a New Level of Comfort in 2020 — Bike Hacks