The best cycling gloves don't just complement the rest of your kit; they're there to protect your hands from road rash in the event of a crash, aid with grip, keep the chill off and more.
They come in various guises, from full-finger warmers to half-finger mitts that prevent overheating. Some will have gel or foam padding on the palm to prevent compressed nerves, while others may feature insulation and waterproofing.
With spring very much underway here in the northern hemisphere, it's finally time to store away those winter cycling gloves in favour of the lighter-weight summer gloves and mitts. If you're in the market for a new pair, then we've got you covered here with our guide to the best cycling gloves available today.
Scroll down for our look at our pick of the best cycling gloves for riding during the spring and summer, or – if you're after buying advice – you can skip to our guide on how to choose cycling gloves.
Best cycling gloves
Endura FS260-Pro Aerogel Mitts
Breathable, durable and functional, in a range of colours
Closure: Elastic | Padding: None | Palm: Synthetic leather
With its Pro Aerogel Mitt, Endura set out to create a cycling glove that would actually breathe while also standing the test of time. Dense gel padding is used to absorb some of the shocks from the road, while airflow 'voids' within the pads help your hands to shed heat.
They come with all the standard features you'd expect from a decent road glove, including a terry cloth thumb panel to wipe away sweat, and finger tabs to help with removal.
High-stretch and moisture-wicking fabric is used on the back, making for a comfortable and supportive fit, while the flexible micro-fibre palm with silicone print details offers long-lasting wear and a firm grip on the bars.
A velcro strap closure allows for an adjustable fit, though it's worth bearing in mind that the sizing comes up on the small side, so go a size up if you fall between two options.
Let the wind blow through your gloves
Closure: Elastic | Padding: Foam | Palm: Mesh
An updated version of the Swiss brand's CYC gloves, the Assos summerGloves_s7 is designed to disappear on your hands but still provide a bit of support and protection. The entire glove is made from mesh, including the palm to keep your mitts cool and dry.
The palm also sees a bit of foam padding, which Assos says is carefully placed to absorb 'road chatter', and silicone logos add some extra traction when the road gets bumpy.
Eye-catching minimalist cycling mitts
Closure: Elastic | Padding: None | Palm: Clarino leather
If all you're looking for in a glove is a bit of abrasion-protection in a crash, the SupaCaz SupaG will keep your palms road-rash free and add some style to your wardrobe in the process.
With a snug aero cut, the mesh-backed SupaG gloves are based around lightweight fabrics and use a slip-on design. The palm is made from perforated Clarino leather and sees a silicone SupaCaz logo for added purchase. For the crit racers among us, they also come in a full-finger version for added protection.
Castelli Arenberg Gel 2
Shock-absorbing cycling gloves for rough riders
Closure: Velcro | Padding: Gel | Palm: Synthetic leather
Named after the infamous cobbles in the Forest of Arenberg, Castelli's Arenberg Gel 2 mitts are designed to absorb shock and vibration from rough-and-tumble road surfaces. The palm features Castelli's Dampening System (CDS), with gel padding under the knuckles and the heel of the hand to dampen vibrations from weight-bearing areas of your paws. The gel padding is finished with silicone details to maximise grip, even when your bar tape is saturated.
The top of the glove is a mix of mesh and lycra for wicking and breathability, while the thumb is made using micro suede, so you don't rub your nose raw. Castelli has opted for a velcro closure to ensure a proper fit, and there is a massive pull tab so it's not a wrestling match to get the Arenberg Gel 2 over your hands. They also come in a full-finger version for those after a bit of extra protection.
Giro Siv road glove
Classic mitts brought into the modern age
Closure: Elastic | Padding: Gel | Palm: Microfiber
Roadies have a soft spot for classically styled kit, and the Giro Siv takes the traditional road mitt design and brings it into the modern age.
The nylon-mesh back takes on the classic crocheted look of yesteryear while still using modern materials for wicking and ventilation, and the three-piece microfibre palm is padded and breathes considerably better than leather. The thumb sees a plush nose wipe and, best of all, the price tag won't leave a big dent in your wallet.
GripGrab Aero TT
Best cycling gloves for time trial efforts
Closure: Elastic | Padding: 2mm gel | Palm: Synthetic leather
For those of us looking to the summer ahead and thinking about dusting off the time trial bike, these GripGrab Aero TT short finger gloves will be perfect. With 2mm of gel padding designed specifically for use on the aero bars, these mitts are made for racing.
The long wrist cuff is designed to interact smoothly with your speed suit, and the aero finish will help you slip through the wind with ease.
Leatt DBX 2.0 X-Flow XC MTB gloves
Lightweight XC gloves that are perfect for road riding
Closure: Elastic | Padding: None | Palm: MicronGrip
Yes, we have included a pair of mountain bike gloves in this round-up of road cycling mitts, but hear us out. These cycling gloves from South African outfit Leatt are mesh-backed, and the palm is made from a microfibre material called MicronGrip. The individual fibres are incredibly pliable, wick like the dickens and are thinner than a human hair.
The DBX 2.0 X-Flow gloves are light and comfortable, but still provide a barrier against abrasion should you hit the deck. They started out as our go-to crit racing gloves, but have found their way into the more-regular rotation because they offer as much dexterity as if you weren't wearing gloves at all, as well as unmatched breathability.
La Passione PSN
Minimal, simple and lightweight mitts for summer riding
Closure: Elastic | Padding: Foam | Palm: Synthetic leather
Whether you're looking for something simple and lightweight, or you're the kind of person who has the need for matching kit, La Passione's PSN gloves are designed to match its jersey of the same name, right down to the fabric on the back.
While they are missing some features commonly found on cheaper alternatives, like a nose wipe panel and adjustable velcro closure, the PSN gloves are really comfortable to wear, thanks to the minimal seams across the palm and the light foam insert padding to soak up the bumps without getting in the way.
The PSN gloves are available in a whopping 14 colour options, all designed to perfectly match the jersey in the same shade, with some very nice spring colours newly arrived.
GripGrab ProGel Short glove
Luxurious cycling gloves that use magnets to stay together
Closure: Velcro | Padding: Gel | Palm: Serino leather
GripGrab's ProGel Short gloves are a bit like a La-Z-Boy for your digits. Starting with the luxurious plush Serino leather palm, GripGrab has employed its DoctorGel padding which was developed in collaboration with its sponsored athletes and doctors to help combat what's known as 'Cyclist's palsy' – pins and needles in the fingers caused by nerves being squished between your bars and the bones in your hand for an extended period.
The backside of the glove is made using lycra with reflective logos, and the thumb features a suede nose wipe for when your 'farmer's blow' doesn't go quite according to plan. One of our favourite things about the ProGel gloves has nothing to do with the padding or fit: it's the 'gMagnets' that allow you to stick the gloves together for storage; never again will you need to tear apart your drawers when you're late for a group ride because you can only find one glove.
How to choose the best cycling gloves
Cycling gloves will fit differently depending on their weight, but, generally, look for a snug fit that doesn't inhibit dexterity or inhibit range of motion. Gloves that are too tight may cut off circulation; too loose and the glove can bunch and cause hotspots, or even blisters.
Cycling gloves come with all different levels of padding, with racing mitts offering minimal cushioning all the way to plush gel-padded versions designed to keep your palms comfy for hours on end.
There are a couple of different schools of thought when it comes to padding. Most brands prioritise cushioning the heel of your hand, while other brands like Specialized are placing the padding in the middle of the palm to relieve nerve pressure. What works for you comes down to personal preference and the terrain you're riding – glassy Swiss tarmac won't require padded cycling gloves, while hours of washboard gravel likely does.
Most cycling gloves will have a synthetic leather palm, which breathes well and stands up to general wear, tear and abrasion.
3. Half finger vs long finger
Half-finger cycling gloves - or mitts - are the norm for road riding, and will have a lightweight, breathable material over the back of the hand and a synthetic-leather palm to protect against abrasion. With your fingertips unencumbered, there's no loss in dexterity, and you'll be able to use smartphones and touchscreens with ease.
But half-finger gloves aren't perfect, with reduced protection, comfort, how hard the suckers are to get off your hands, and the resulting tan line being cited as the usual reasons to avoid. We will usually don lightweight full-finger gloves when lining up for a crit, in case of a pile-up, or on a mixed-surface ride.
4. Nose wipe
If you're anything like us, the moment you begin to pedal, your nose also starts to run. Look for cycling gloves with a nose wipe on the thumb that is made from fleece or terry cloth as the material is softer on the skin and provides better camouflage for stowaway boogers.
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