As someone who wants their cycling to become more than a casual hobby, you need the best equipment for the job. The best cycling gloves are an indispensable part of your arsenal. How do you know which gloves are the best? This guide aims to help you figure it out.
Whether you’re looking for the best biking gloves for winter or summer, for the cold or the rain, this itemized review list and buyers guide should help you compare your needs with the aptitudes of the best products out there.
Here’s a list of reviews for the best cycling gloves to buy in 2020, as well as in-depth buyers guide to help you compare their features against your needs so you can buy the equipment that’s best for you.
Castelli Arenberg Gel Bike Gloves
Suede and micromesh
Ozero Men’s Winter Thermal Gloves
Insulated polyester and acrylic
Fox Head Ranger Mountain Bike Gloves
4-way stretch polyester
Fox Racing Ranger Mountain Bike Gloves
4 -Way Stretch Polyester
Giro Bravo Gloves
INBIKE Cycling Gloves
Giro Zero CS Road Bike Gloves
4-way stretch polyester
Pearl IZUMI Men’s Elite Gel Gloves
Peal IZUMI Men’s Select Gloves
Scott Endurance SF Gloves
Span mesh and foam
Review of best cycling gloves you can buy in 2020Castelli Arenberg Bike Gloves
The Italian clothing company Castelli is a big name in signature cycling equipment. The Castelli Arenberg Bike Gloves use all their industry knowledge and technical know-how to give you a quality cycling glove built for toughness, which is why the Castelli bike gloves are the most resistant on this list.
The name Arenberg should be familiar to cycling enthusiasts as the most intense run in the Paris-Roubaix Classic bike race (namely, it’s the forested section). Castelli built their gloves and named them after this part of the course to clue you into how resistant they are. Their large silicone grips should keep you in control even in the muddiest conditions.
The Lycra and micro-mesh construction of the gloves’ topside makes them more breathable on the road. It also features a micro-suede wipe for sweat, more absorbent and gentler than the average material.
These gloves come in sizes ranging from S-2XL so anyone should be able to find a perfect fit. Though these gloves could be easier to take off owing to the somewhat inconvenient pull-tabs on the fabric, the micro-mesh on the top breathes well and the silicone pads on the palm offer a great range of control. When you buy Castelli brand gloves, you expect quality and industry experience and the Arenberg Bike Glove line doesn’t disappoint.
- Comfortable suede palm still has adequate gel texturing for added control
- Resistant micromesh material
- Micro-suede wipe allows you to clean goggles or sweat on the go
- Breathable fabric on top promotes airflow
- The Lycra in front can make these gloves a little hot
These thermal winter gloves by OZERO are the best winter gloves on this list. Their wind and water-resistant fabric forms a hard shell that protects your fingers from snow and rain. Keeping the water out on cold rides is essential to your comfort and control – numbness is one of the most dangerous aspects of winter riding and can be solved with a good pair of insulated thermal gloves.
A grid of gel bumps gives you a tight grip on your handles – they line the palm and between your index finger and thumb to help you hold on tightly and stay in control. As an additional measure to keep out the rain and snow, these OZERO thermal gloves have an elastic cuff that keeps your warmth completely sealed in. They only come in three sizes, but as a snug fit to begin with, you should be able to find one that keeps your hands warm and comfortable.
These gloves’ conductive threads woven into the pointer finger and thumb pads also make them extremely effective at using a touchscreen, even in cold temperatures or inclement weather. If you need to send texts or make calls at 15 degrees, you’ll be thankful for the OZERO winter gloves’ conductive weaving technology, which makes this easy.
- Polyester fabric is completely windproof
- The pads on the fingers are optimized for touchscreen compatibility
- A fabric shell on the topside keeps the gloves water and wind-resistant
- Snug, adjustable elastic cuff
- Budget price
- Not ride ready
Mountain bike gloves are essential, not just for warmth and wind resistance but for control on the uneven mountain terrain. These Fox Head Ranger gloves could be a literal lifesaver.
The reason is in their gelled surfaces – the palms are lined with gel texture that increases your grip and allows you to improve your stability on uneven ground as a result. The gel also protects against abrasions, which is even more important when you’re biking on wooded terrain.
In addition to silicone grips on the fingers and palms, the thumb and forefinger are also woven with conductive thread so you can use touchscreen devices without taking your gloves off.
- TRUGEL texturing improves grip and stability
- The cuffs close tightly to keep dirt and moisture out
- Conductive fingertips are touchscreen compatible
- The fabric provides ventilation on the topside and moisture-wicking in the palms to wipe up sweat
- Some may find the wrist to be too narrow
- Protection is somewhat lacking on the back of the hand
Experienced cyclists will recognize the Fox Head logo on these mountain bike gloves but novice cyclists can benefit from them as well. These are durable polyester gloves with gel pads on the palms for improved grip and protection from scrapes.
The Ranger glove line is defined by its molded cuffs with a compressing seal that makes them fit more securely than most brands. This keeps mud, rain, and other moisture out of your glove. Since the finger pads are made of conductive threads (on the index and thumb), these gloves are also touchscreen compatible.
Comparing this against the Fox Head Ranger glove’s affordable price tag makes these the most versatile gloves on this list. Beginners and professionals can both make great use of these standard-fit, value-priced cycling gloves.
- Perfect for cross-country or biking on trails
- Tight seal on the cuffs keeps moisture out
- The finger pads are compatible with most touchscreens
- These gloves come at a budget price
- 1-year manufacturer warranty
- Due to the short cuffs and tight fit, these gloves aren’t as warm as others on this list
The patented “Super Fit” technology on the Giro Bravo Gloves makes them perfectly suited to conform to the size of your hand for increased comfort. Increased comfort means better performance on the road since it gives you better handling and control in inclement weather or high-speed cycling tournaments.
The synthetic leather palms on the Giro Bravo Gloves keep them breathable between the fingers and thumbs, as well as resistant to scrapes and impacts and water-resistant in rainy weather or damp mornings. The palm is separated into three fabric panels that give the gloves a unique contour, preventing them from bunching up under stress and increasing your ability to grip the handles of your bike.
The back of the gloves is made from stretchy, moisture-absorbing fabric that keeps them breathing in the summer heat but still soft and comfortable. In fact, these are the most comfortable gloves on this list – the paneled palm and moisture-wicking, breathable fabric gives them a perfect fit every time and long-lasting, non-bunching use on the road.
- Synthetic leather is breathable and scrape-resistant
- The contoured fabric panels keep the gloves tight and improve your grip
- The topside is moisture-absorbing and promotes airflow during the summer
- Gel pads give you even more stability
- In high humidity levels, these gloves can become a little wet
These fingerless cycling gloves from INBIKE are structurally unique, which should become apparent as soon as you see them. They have a unique molded palm and pronounced removal tabs, as well as a closure flap that straps over the top much more obviously than on most cycling gloves.
This makes them easier to get on and off in a hurry and to secure even while you’re preoccupied. The synthetic leather of these large components makes them easy to manipulate even on the road.
There’s more gel padding than average as well, which covers the palm, thumb, and the base of the fingers. This gives the gloves extra grip on muddy roads or rainy weather. They also have the added convenience of a terrycloth strip of fabric that helps you clean goggles or wipe sweat and snot while you’re on the road. These add up with the large pull tabs to make the INBIKE Cycling Gloves the most convenient we reviewed.
- Elastic Lycra is breathable and form-fitting
- The molded palm gives you extra stability
- Extra gel padding improves your grip, especially on muddy roads or in the rain
- Adjustable Velcro cuff gives you as much room as you need
- The Velcro flap gets in the way of wiping sweat or snot while riding
These are more cycling gloves from Giro that emphasize a very streamlined design, which is why they’re our pick for the best minimalist gloves on this list. These are professional-level cycling gloves that come with so much breath-ability that they emulate the feeling of riding barehanded, just with some additional protection.
Novice cyclists should be warned however that these gloves don’t provide nearly as much abrasion or crash protection as others and they also get dirtier more quickly. The Giro Zero CS gloves are for those that already know what they’re doing.
Due to their minimalist design, the Giro Zero gloves have no gel inserts, no bulky Velcro straps, and the material isn’t thick enough to bunch up after prolonged cycling. They come in sizes from S-XXL to give any size professional rider the right fit. They have no straps or loops that get in the way of riding and modest scrape protection on the most vulnerable areas of the palm and the inside of the thumb.
For those that want maximum comfort with adequate protection, who are already confident in their cycling abilities and don’t need bulky extra conveniences like gel strips or Velcro straps, the Giro Zero CS Road Bike Gloves are the ones for you.
- Lightweight design promotes breathability
- Minimalist padding leaves nothing to get snagged or torn while riding
- Absorbent microfiber pads
- Multi-paneled contoured design for extra comfort and control
- Due to the low-key design, they have less padding than average
- They get dirty quickly, particularly if ordered in lighter colors
These Pearl IZUMI Elite Gloves are some of the more expensive on the market, which is why they’re our premium choice on this list. The high-quality soft synthetic leather gives a contoured, minimalistic fit that keeps your hands feeling cool while also offering adequate padding in terms of abrasion and scrape-resistance.
Gel padding along the base of the heel, thumb, and fingers gives you grip protection, but there’s no huge gel pad in the middle of the palm as in some of the more beginner-oriented glove models. The Pearl IZUMI gloves are contoured to keep your hands from fatiguing and going numb across the nerves in your palm and wrist but they don’t have bulky crash protection like some of the others on this list.
This doesn’t mean they’re fragile, however: they’re built to last a pro cyclist a long time. The lightweight mesh that surrounds your hands is built for breathing during summer riding. The thumbs also include a conductive weave that helps you wipe sweat and moisture while you’re riding.
Those looking for stylish, minimalistic, high-end gloves need to look no further than our premium pick, the Pearl Elite Gel Glove by IZUMI.
- Vibration-reducing material provides extra protection
- Foam pads support nerves and muscles by fitting perfectly to your hand
- Synthetic leather palm is strong, yet comfortable and soft
- Highly breathable, perfect for summer riding
- Not as much crash protection as some others on this list
On the other end of the price spectrum, these gloves, also by IZUMI, are priced much more cheaply and are therefore much more suited to beginning cyclists. Unlike the Pearl Elite Gloves, the Pearl Select Gloves are heavily padded with gel and foam across the thumb, palm, and the base of the fingers. The synthetic leather grip of these gloves is built to be soft and comfortable on long rides but also to last beginners for a long time, at least until they’re confident enough to find something sleeker.
For people with sensitive hands, who have found that their riding style or experience leads to abrasions or skin irritation, these gloves are for you. They are generously padded but still breathe enough for hot summer riding. The thumbs have a wiping surface just like the pro gloves and the fastener is low profile so it doesn’t get caught on anything.
Most importantly for novice riders, these gloves are on the cheap end of the price range so you can try them out, protect your hands, and eventually upgrade to something nicer. In the meantime, these provide above-average protection as well as the padded comfort of a pro cycling glove.
- These are great beginner’s gloves that won’t set you back more than $50
- The palm is padded with gel and foam that reinforces nerve and muscle support
- The material still breathes in the summer
- A convenient wiping surface lets you easily clean screens and sweat
- Advanced cyclists may want something more minimalistic
Scott Endurance SF Gloves are built on patented bonded frameworks and foam technology, which is what the company calls its breathable, seamless fabric. This fabric has improved ventilation and special bio gel that improves nerve function. Those who are health-conscious or who know that circulation is an issue for them should invest in these gloves.
The gel reduces shock around the ulnar nerve, which helps you maintain blood flow, reduce numbness, and keep control while you’re riding. Visco foam lining helps further reduce vibrations to reinforce your palm, improve your grip, and increase circulation.
The Scott Endurance SF Gloves are our pick for the best health option because of their attention to circulation, reducing nerve compression, and improving vibration-resistance.
- Designed to improve circulation and prevent nerve compression
- Seamless fabric breathes in the summer with improved ventilation technology
- Gel-textured to reduce shock and vibration, which is particularly useful for maintaining stability on uneven terrain
- The palm isn’t as reinforced for wear and tear as some other gloves on this list
To find the best biking gloves for your needs, you need to be able to compare their aptitudes against your experience level as a cyclist, the weather and terrain you plan on riding in, and your physical needs.
To do this, we created this buying guide to emphasize the main features of these cycling gloves so that you know how to shop for what you need.
Many gloves are listed at a size too large to factor in the way the material hugs your skin. In general, you want to find gloves that are form-fitting but somewhat adjustable, especially when you’re just starting as a cyclist.
Gloves with straps or pull tabs are easier to adjust for size than some of the more minimalist options out there, like the Giro gloves. These are designed for riders that want the experience of riding barehanded with just a little more protection, so the size charts for these gloves should be taken more literally.
Waterproof and Windproof
Rain can wreak havoc on cyclists when water gets trapped under their gloves and makes them lose control. This is why gloves that come with tight-sealing cuffs are in high demand: experienced cyclists know the discomfort and danger that can come from wet hands on the road.
In the winter, the wind can also be an issue. If gloves are too breathable, they can allow the wind to cause numbness in the wintertime. Since numb fingers mean a loss of feeling and control on the already dangerous roads, you want to make sure you get thermal gloves or those with an acrylic shell to resist wind in the winter.
Some gloves like those by INBIKE have gel and fabric padding for novice riders to give themselves a barrier between their hands and the scrapes or abrasions that can happen on the open road. However, other gloves, like the Giro Zero Gloves, are extremely minimalist, with a close-fitting, no-frills glove design that’s ideal for professional cyclists.
Also, keep in mind that minimalism does not necessarily equate to cheapness. What that means is that some of the woven mesh fabrics of simple-looking gloves have superior insulation and control and are designed for professional cyclists. Gloves with bulkier gel pads or larger straps may look like they have more features, but they may not be more expensive because of the demands of experienced cyclists to have less padding and more control.
The material of the gloves is a big deal, whether you’re shopping for gloves for reasons of comfort or safety. The type of fabric and the different inlays like leather pads and gel inserts will determine how much control these gloves will give you on the road and what kind of weather they will be suited for.
Suede, leather, polyester, and mesh also have different aptitudes depending on the weather. Make sure you shop for breathable fabric in the summer that promotes airflow and heat-retaining insulating fabric in the winter.
On the other side of the design spectrum, the INBIKE gloves have more gel padding than average on the palm and the bottom of the fingers for those that need added control or have sensitive hands. Your nerves can become an important issue in terms of design as well, with some gloves protecting your nerves and improving circulation in your hand to prevent numbness and fatigue.
If you plan on doing most of your cycling in the summer, you want to find gloves that have moisture-wicking fabric technology like the Giro gloves that will help you deal with sweat and prevent chaffing. Special pads in the material on the ends of your thumb on many of these gloves will help you wipe sweat in the summer months as well since it’s designed to be absorbent for that purpose.
Many of the topsides of these gloves have woven mesh fabric that promotes airflow, keeping your hands cool and further preventing chaffing. Look for this material, especially if you plan on riding in the summer.
Insulation works in two ways. In the summer, gloves need to breathe so that airflow keeps your hands comfortable and prevents your sweat from chaffing. Look for woven mesh fabrics or other breathable materials, particularly on the top side of the gloves.
In the winter, you want thermal materials that keep heat trapped inside and protect your hands from numbness caused by cold and wind. Look for thicker polyester to keep your hands insulated.
If you know that your area gets cold and you plan on taking long cycling trips where you may need to call someone in an emergency, you want to look for gloves made of a material that will allow you to do that.
Conductive threads in the tips of the index finger and thumbs of some of the gloves listed (like the OZERO gloves) make using touchscreen devices while wearing them much easier. In the modern age, this convenience could be a huge help if you need to call someone, especially if you find yourself trapped in snow on the road. You can use your devices without freezing your hands.
One of the best reasons to invest in professional cycling gloves is to improve your safety on the road. Gel pads such as on the INBIKE Cycling Gloves are built for stability by giving you a better grip on your handles without causing scrapes or blisters on your hands.
Some gloves like the Scott Endurance Gloves also have safety features in their material construction designed to improve your nerve function. The nerves in your hand can become irritated on extended biking trips. This is why pads designed specifically to energize those nerves and keep them healthy can be a huge benefit, especially if you’re prone to numbness or fatigue on long rides.
Type of Gloves
There are a few main classifications of gloves. Each has different aptitudes and should be worn under different conditions and different times of the year. Depending on your needs and experience level, you should choose between these designs based on the recommendations below.
Track mitts are favorites for cyclists that enjoy their hobby in the summer months. These are fingerless gloves that are often made of light fabric. They offer an above-average grip owing to their textured palms. Material woven into the palm gives you more protection against scrapes as well.
Full-finger gloves are often used for thermal protection in the winter. However, breathable summer options exist for those looking for the most protection possible while they’re riding on mountain trails.
The advantage of full-finger gloves is that they can be reinforced from top to bottom with a molded plastic protective shell or panels of carbon fiber reinforcement. While casual cyclists probably don’t need such heavy-duty protection, competition or trick bikers will be thankful for the full reinforcement and crash protection on every inch of their hand.
Mountain bike gloves
Mountain biking is some of the more extreme cyclings you could be doing. As such, the gloves you get for the occasion need to have above-average provisions for grip strength and scrape protection. Since the terrain is going to be uneven, you need that much more control – look for gloves studded with gel grip-enhancers or textured pads to protect your palms and improve your stability.
Since you’re more likely to crash on mountain trails as well, you want extra protection on the palms, fingers, and topside of the gloves. If they can stand a beating and protect you from scrapes, you’ll be glad you bought them before setting out.
The key to winter gloves is the insulation required to keep heat in and the right fabric to keep your hands dry. True thermal gloves are made of membranes that give your hand the chance to breathe and sweat but without letting in any cold air or moisture from the driving snow or rain.
Naturally, winter gloves will be heavier than normal models, but since the goal is thermal protection, you want to look for heavier options. It probably means they offer more protection.
Mittens don’t have any separation between the fingers. They are used to protect your hands from driving rain, snow, sleet, or harsh winds while you’re on the road. They are often shelled in acrylic, lightweight, and waterproof. You can pull the cuffs tight with a cord to keep moisture out.
Remember that mittens need to be large enough to wear over your riding gloves and probably can’t substitute for them. They are simply there to give you extra sealing against wind and rain when the weather gets inclement.
Should I get different gloves for summer and winter?
If you plan on doing a lot of winter cycling, the best cycling gloves for winter on this list are the Ozero Men’s Winter Thermal Gloves. These gloves are made of insulated polyester and stretch over your whole hand so you can keep your body heat in and the moisture of the snow out. They also have conductive threads on the tips of the thumb and index finger so that you can easily use phones and devices even in inclement weather and cold temperatures.
In the case of summer, you may not want insulated fabric: you should look for comfy 4-way stretch polyester or micromesh like the top sides of the Castelli Arenberg Gel Bike Gloves, which are designed to breathe in the summer months.
Breathable polyester is better for the summer and full-fingered thermal insulating material is best for the winter. Exposed fingers can be a problem when it gets cold – you don’t want them to go numb on a long winter ride.
How do you measure cycling gloves?
Since the size of the gloves will change the price, and many of the gloves on this list only come in certain sizes, it’s important to know what you’re shopping for before making a purchase. You may be able to weed out some options based on your measurements alone. This is why knowing how exactly you should measure your hand for cycling gloves ensures that you’re getting the same numbers that manufacturers use to designate the sizes.
Start by laying your hand flat. Measure the circumference in inches around your palm where it’s the widest, all the way around your hand but not including your thumb. Then, measure from your middle finger at the tip down to the base of your hand where it meets your wrist.
The larger number in inches is what you should use on glove conversion charts to figure out your size.
Usually, 7.5-8” indicates a small glove, 8.5-9” a medium, and so on increasing in ½ inch intervals up to XXL, if you can find them.
Whether you’re buying cycling gloves for summer or winter, as an experienced cyclist or someone just getting started, this list of reviews and the buying guide should help you sort out your options based on the features you need and get the best bike gloves for you.
There are a few things that any prospective buyer should look for, but you have to know where and at what time of year you’ll be biking first. A good biking glove for winter will be built differently than those made for summer or rain. The best cycling gloves for mountain biking will have extra protection on your palms from abrasions and crashes, while those designed for long summer rides may have moisture-wicking fabric to help you keep your sweat down and prevent chaffing.
Having said that, the Pearl Izumi Men’s Select Gloves are the best overall choice because of their affordable price and generous padding. They’re designed to keep your hands snug on the handles of your bike as well as prevent fatigue, keep moisture out, and maintain good airflow. Professionals and novices alike would benefit from having these in their arsenal.
In the wintertime, however, the best cycling gloves on this list are hands down the Ozero Men’s Winter Thermal Gloves, which are designed for heat retention, moisture reduction, and improved control even in inclement weather. For your safety and comfort on long winter bike rides, you’ll thank yourself for buying the Ozero gloves.
By comparing these features against your needs, you can figure out what your best options are in terms of professional-level cycling gloves. Not only will they keep you comfortable on the road, but by reducing fatigue and increasing your grip control, they will keep you safer as well.