The best women's cycling gloves will not only improve your grip on your handlebars, but protect your hands in the event of a fall. After all, there’s nothing worse than road rash on the palms of your hands.
They come in both half- and full-finger options and feature different levels of padding (if they have any at all). While some are designed for adding comfort, others are claimed to be more aero than your skin. Which type you choose will depend largely on your style of riding and your personal preference.
The weather plays a huge role too. If you're with us in the northern hemisphere, you're probably doing a similar happy dance in your best women's cycling shorts to celebrate the current rise in temperature. Why not pair them with your best women's cycling jersey and head out for some double-digit-degree riding?
Of course, the weather is rarely predictable, which is why it’s useful to have an array of cycling gloves to hand: mitts for the days when the sun powers through, windproof gloves for frosty mornings, waterproof gloves for downpours, and full-on winter gloves for when you need them.
We’ve rounded up our pick of the best women’s cycling gloves for riding year-round, and if you're after some buying advice, jump ahead to our guide on how to choose the best women's cycling gloves.
Best women’s cycling gloves
Liv Passion Women's Long-Finger Gloves
Designed by women, for women
Closure: Velcro | Padding: Gel | Palm: Leather | RRP: £26.99 / $37.00 / AU$44.95
We'd be remiss to not kick off a list of the best women's cycling gloves without mentioning Liv. The sister brand to Giant is one of the few cycling brands run by women, for women. Its products, from its gloves to its bikes, are designed from the ground up with women's bodies and unique anatomy in mind. It's for this reason that, although available in sizes small, medium and large, they generally tend to have a snug fit in the anticipation of women having smaller hands on average than men's.
The Passion Long Finger gloves are a great entry-level women's cycling glove for the between-seasons weather when it's not quite warm enough for mitts, but winter gloves are overkill. The anti-slip leather palm is designed to offer superior grip on the handlebars, even in wet weather, and features plush gel padding to cushion the heel of your hand, enabling you to ride in comfort for longer.
A terry cloth nose-wipe on the thumb and touchscreen-compatible fingertips (though these vary in response rate) make up the final features of these very affordable gloves.
Rapha Classic Gloves
Ideal for cold, crisp and dry days on the bike
Closure: Elasticated | Padding: None | Palm: Leather | RRP: £80.00 / $110.00 / AU$140.00
Rapha's wares are well known and loved by many a road cyclist, mainly due to their premium fabrics and luxury feel. The Classic Gloves are no different, with a soft blend of nylon, polyester and elastane on the main body for unrestricted movement and comfort while gripping, and a durable leather palm that prevents unwanted slipping.
Constructed from as few panels as possible, the minimal seams contribute to a comfortable fit and minimises any risk of chafing. The exterior of the gloves are DWR treated to provide a reasonable level of water resistance, while the outer membrane offers some wind protection to keep the chill at bay.
Available in two colours, Rapha's Classic gloves feel as luxurious as their price tag implies, though we'd advise against taking them out in very heavy rain, as they can become sodden and lose their sleek finish.
Velocio Signature Softshell Gloves
Excellent warmth-to-weight ratio
Closure: Elasticated | Padding: None | Palm: Rubberised | RRP: £65.00 / $79.00 / AU$99.00
When the mercury drops and you need to keep the feeling in your digits, you most often end up reaching for a pair of thick winter gloves to do the job. In some cases, the battle to stay warm culminates with your hands shrouded in bulky materials that can make the minimal movement to shift gears a lot more effort than it needs to be.
Perfecting that sweet spot between warmth and lightweight materials may be a black art, but Velocio's Signature Softshell gloves have pretty much nailed it. Their warmth-to-weight ratio is excellent, withstanding temperatures as they creep toward zero, but feeling lightweight enough to offer the dexterity you need to perform basic tasks on the bike.
The DWR-coated windproof softshell outer keeps the biting chill away from your fingers, while water simply beads and runs off its surface. Inside, it's fleece-backed, for a soft and warm feel against the skin.
Endura Windchill Women’s long finger gloves
Excellent for keeping the biting cold at bay
Closure: Elasticated | Padding: Gel | Palm: PU | RRP: £29.99
Endura's Windchill gloves are designed to block out the cold bite of winter, while retaining much-needed dexterity. Silicone print features on the polyurethane palm and fingertips, while gel padding protects the heel of the hand, under the thumb, and beneath the knuckles.
The stretch cuff is designed to provide a snug fit, while reflective details and bright colour blocks help your hand signals to be seen in low-light.
SupaCaz SupaG Long
Eye-catching minimalist cycling gloves
Closure: Elastic | Padding: None | Palm: Clarino leather | RRP: £41.20
If all you want in a glove is a bit of abrasion-protection in a crash, and perhaps a bit of pizzazz, then the SupaCaz SupaG Long will keep your palms road-rash free and your fingers warm while adding some style to your wardrobe in the process. We particularly love this Oil Slick colouring.
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, while the silicone SupaCaz logo offers added purchase on the controls.
Sealskinz Waterproof Womens All Weather Cycle Gloves
The best women's cycling gloves for winter's worst weather
Closure: Velcro | Padding: Foam | Palm: PU | RRP: £45
These all-weather gloves from Sealskinz are waterproof, windproof and reflective. The three-layer construction promotes warmth, durability and waterproofing, and consists of an outer layer of polyester, polyurethane, nylon and elastane. Meanwhile, the 100 per cent polyurethane membrane in the middle helps to keep water out and the warmth in, and the 100 per cent polyester inner layer feels soft against the skin.
They also feature an anti-slip lining that’s designed to offer control and dexterity, without any bunching or slipping inside. The only downside is that the cuff is pretty thick, which can make it difficult to tuck under a jacket sleeve.
Castelli Perfetto RoS
All-weather protection with neoprene and Gore-Tex Windstopper fabric
Closure: Elasticated | Padding: Foam | Palm: Silicone | RRP: £65
With a combination of Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper fabric and a neoprene stretch cuff, the Perfetto RoS gloves are well equipped to handle most weather conditions. Silicone zones across the palm offer good grip, while Castelli’s women-specific sizing delivers a snug fit that’s easy to pull on and off again.
The gloves feature the Castelli Damping System, which aims to prevent numbness and discomfort caused by gripping the bars for prolonged periods. It combines foam cushioning and protection in key areas of the palm to damp road vibration.
Best women's cycling mitts
Liv Passion Women's Short-Finger Gloves
A summer mitt alternative to the Passions listed above
Closure: Velcro | Padding: Gel | Palm: Leather | RRP: £19.99 / $37.00 / AU$34.95
In a similar vein to the long-fingered version listed above, these fingerless Passion gloves from Liv make an excellent entry-level option to those new to road cycling. Ideal for summer, the Passion mitts share many of the same features with their long-fingered sibling, including the reinforced Amara leather palm and Plush Gel padding to absorb some road chatter and lessen arm fatigue.
The thumb area is pre-shaped to facilitate a comfortable and effortless grip, while the stretchy fabric allows your hand to move freely and doesn't restrict where it's not supposed to.
The only thing to consider, as with the long finger version, is that sizing comes up fairly snug, so you may wish to size up where possible.
Velocio Luxe Gloves
Luxurious fabric meets anti-vibration padding
Closure: Elasticated | Padding: Foam | Palm: Synthetic leather | RRP: £35.00 / $39.00 / AU$54.00
If you're a fan of Velocio's bestselling Luxe bib shorts, then you should know what to expect from the silky smooth fabric that also finds its way onto these mitts. If you've not experienced the Vermont brand's Luxe fabric yet, then trust us when we say the adage 'luxury by name, luxury by nature' rings true here.
Velocio's Luxe fabric, a blend of polyamide and elastane, is durable and lasting while feeling ultra soft against the skin, making for a precise fit that doesn't restrict your movement. The synthetic leather palm features padding in strategic placements to damp vibrations from the road and reduce fatigue. It also offers superb grip to keep you feeling in control at all times.
Since these are designed for use in the summer, it goes without saying that the back panel offers UPF50 sun protection, while mesh panels between the fingers (known as fourchettes) offer breathability and air flow.
Rapha Brevet Mitts
Durable and hard-wearing gloves designed for long-distance riding
Closure: Velcro | Padding: Foam | Palms: Synthetic suede | RRP: £60.00 / $80.00 / AU$105.00
Rapha's Brevet range - named after the timed, long-distance cycling events also known as audax - is designed to cope with long hours (even multiple days) of use. Whether you're attempting your first 100k or taking on the legendary 1,200km Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur event, you want kit that's going to keep up with you and last the long-haul.
Rapha's Brevet mitts are constructed with a high-grade synthetic suede palm originally developed by the US military, to provide all the abrasion resistance you could need. Strategically placed memory foam padding is there to cushion the most nerve-sensitive areas of the palm. Meanwhile, the back panel is bonded rather than stitched to prevent chafing and hold the gloves together after thousands of kilometres' use.
Considering the amount of time your hands will spend rested against the handlebar, and holding your weight during steep climbs out of the saddle, the Rapha Brevet mitts could be the kit choice that makes or breaks your long-distance ride.
Giro Monica II Gel
Fully featured cycling mitts with a classic aesthetic
Closure: Velcro | Padding: Gel | Palm: Pittard leather | RRP: £45
Giro's Monica II gel glove features a supple Pittard leather palm with 3mm Technogel padding over the heel of the hand, under the thumb and behind the crease of your fingers.
Most of the back is made from mesh, with the exception of the suede thumb, which is soft on the bottom of your nose, post-snot rocket. The gloves feature reflective accents, plus a velcro closure at the top and a pull tab on the palm to help you get them over your knuckles.
Sizing is on the small side, so you’d be advised to size-up.
Specialized BG Sport Gel
Women’s Body Geometry fit with gel padding
Closure: Velcro | Padding: Gel | Palm: Synthetic suede | RRP: £22.50
The Specialized BG Sport Gel women’s gloves are comfort and endurance-oriented, with strategically placed gel pads throughout the palm. Additional foam padding is also included in key contact areas.
The breathable upper mesh provides a comfortable fit, while the Microwipe thumb provides a way of brushing away sweat. The Velcro strap wrist closure provides easy adjustment and makes putting the gloves on and taking them off easy and convenient.
GripGrab Women's Rouleur Gloves
Simple all-rounders that look great
Closure: Velcro | Padding: Foam | Palm: Polyurethane | RRP: £25.95
The Rouler gloves from GripGrab are simple all-rounders with foam padding in the synthetic suede palm, while the Velcro wrist closure and pull-off tabs make fitting and removal easy on the go.
The foam padding is ideal for shorter road rides, and would be less suitable for long-distance cycling. Available in an array of colours, they’re a well-priced pair of mitts that look good and do a simple job.
Alé Crono Velocissimo Gloves
High-cuff fingerless aero gloves
Closure: Elastic | Padding: Minimal | Palm: Polyamide | RRP: £35
With their high cuff and elasticated wrist that sits flat against the skin, these Alé Crono Velocissimo Gloves are designed with aerodynamics in mind, and claim to minimise drag as far as possible.
The polyamide palms feature minimal padding on the heel of the hand and under the thumb.
Available in three Fluro colours for high visibility in low-light conditions.
How to choose the best women's cycling gloves
It’s easy to get a little lost while navigating the sheer amount of women’s cycling gloves available, so we’ve made it easier for you to make the decision. Here are several factors to consider, which should help you narrow down your options to something that will truly suit your needs.
Fit can vary massively, especially amongst gloves with vastly different weights. However, you should generally opt for a snug fit that doesn’t restrict your dexterity or range of movement. If gloves are too tight they can cut off circulation, whereas a too loose fit can cause bunching and hotspots, or even blisters.
Women’s cycling gloves come with various levels of padding. Racing mitts, for example, offer minimal cushioning, while more plush gel-padded gloves can keep your palms comfy for hours on end.
When it comes to padding, there are two different schools of thought. Most brands will prioritise cushioning the heel of your hand, while others like Specialized, for example, place the padding in the middle of the palm to alleviate nerve pressure. What works for you will come down to personal preference and the type of terrain you're riding. After all, glassy Swiss tarmac doesn’t require padded cycling gloves, while hours of washboard gravel likely does.
Most cycling gloves tend to have a palm made from synthetic leather, which is both breathable and durable against general wear, tear and abrasion.
3. Half-finger vs long-finger
Half-finger cycling gloves - or mitts - are generally the norm for road riding, especially in the warmer months of the year. They’re usually made from a lightweight and breathable fabric over the back of the hand, while a synthetic-leather palm helps to protect against abrasion. With your fingertips exposed, you have full dexterity and can use smartphones and touchscreen devices with ease.
Full-finger gloves are also available and come into their own during the winter months when the frosty mornings start to nibble away at our digits. These can often include technical materials for windproofing and waterproofing.
4. Nose wipe
If you're anything like us, as soon as you start pedalling, your nose starts to run. Look for cycling gloves with a nose wipe on the thumb, ideally made from fleece or terry cloth, both of which are softer on the skin and provide better camouflage for stowaway bogeys.
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