Choosing the best Dirt Bike gloves for your type of riding, whether MX, trail, or adventure riding is important to ensure you get the most enjoyment out of your ride.
Whether it’s a weekend trail ride, an enduro, or an adventure touring trip, a small thing like your choice of gloves can make or break your riding experience. If your gloves are doing their job, you shouldn’t even be conscious of them.
I have been riding and racing dirt bikes for over 30 years and have worn out more gear than I care to remember. I have used my experience in my selection of 6 of the Best Dirt Bike gloves available today, including the lightweight MX style, through to the more rugged Dual Sport gloves.
You should never treat gloves as an afterthought when purchasing riding gear. No matter what gloves you choose, they should provide breathability, flexibility, and protection from the environment while riding, and from a spill.
Here’s a quick summary of 6 of the Best Dirt Bike gloves reviewed here:
- Fox Head Men’s Bomber – Top Pick Dual Sport Glove
- Fox Racing Dirtpaw Motocross Glove- Best Budget MX Glove
- Alpinestars SMX-1 Air
- Troy Lee Designs Air Glove
- Scorpion Klaw II Leather Gloves
- Alpinestars Highlands Leather Gloves
Top 3 things to consider when choosing your gloves:
- Functionality: Priority number one is to buy the right gloves to suit your riding type.
Do you spend most of your time off-road, or on-road?
Is most of your riding in cold weather, or the warmer months?
Do you do a lot of wet weather riding? If you buy waterproof gloves will these be too hot for the rest of your riding?
- Durability: If you ride off-road mostly and like to ride aggressively, the lighter-weight breathable MX-style gloves will typically be suited to you. The tradeoff is that they don’t last as long, but are much cheaper than the more durable Dual Sport or adventure gloves.
If you ride on the road a lot more to get to the trails, the thought of your hands sliding along the bitumen will make you look at the longer glove with more protection. You lose a bit of breathability, but again that is the tradeoff for the extra protection.
- Value for money: As with anything, you have to weigh up what is the best quality product for your budget. So in this Best Dirt Bike glove list, I have included my top choice for value for money/quality, top-of-the-range gloves, and inexpensive but still quality gloves.
Features to Look for in a Glove:
- Cuff Length: Dirt bike gloves are generally short cuff. They are all about being able to move around. When riding off-road a long cuff can be restricting. For Dual Sport and Adventure riders, it would be a good idea to also carry a long cuff waterproof adventure motorcycle glove in your bag for those long road stretches.
- Abrasion resistance: Lightweight off-road gloves tend to be designed more for comfort and breathability, but if you do a fair bit of riding on the road, the bitumen will make short work of these. Dual Sport and adventure gloves need to be tough enough to protect you during a slide on the pavement, so features like knuckle protection and leather palms are the way to go.
- Flexibility: The Dual Sport glove needs to be the best of both worlds: you need the flexibility and breathability of the dirt bike glove, but also the durability of a street glove. The best Dual Sport gloves will feature stretch materials to allow movement, reinforced leather palms, and some armor for the top of the hand.
- Water Resistance: Off-road gloves are not waterproof. Dual Sport gloves that claim to be waterproof are pretty rare. If you start riding hard off-road in even moderate temperatures, a waterproof membrane will get too warm. Again, it’s a good idea to also carry a long cuff waterproof adventure motorcycle glove in your bag if you do a lot of road riding.
The gloves reviewed include lightweight breathable MX style, heavier duty Dual Sport gloves, through to the higher end Adventure Riding gloves.
1. Fox Head Men’s Bomber Glove
Any dirt bike rider who has ever clipped a tree branch with their hand will appreciate the knuckle protection on these gloves. They are lightweight breathable gloves designed for some aggressive off-road riding, but they also provide all the protection you’ll need for off-road riding.
Because of all the protection on the top of the hand, they may feel a bit too warm for the hottest months, but the breathable stretch fabric around the thumb and between the fingers helps counteract this.
The neoprene rubber wet-suit-type material around the cuff gives good protection to your wrist, which is usually the first place to contact the ground when you drop your bike.
The double-thickness Clarino synthetic suede to the palms is a definite bonus, especially if you are prone to getting blisters on your hands.
The silicone wrapping on the first two fingers helps with that fine brake and clutch level control.
- Pittards perforated leather across the back for ventilation
- Molded Polycarbonate Knuckle pieces for knuckle protection
- Elasticated panels on the back of fingers and hand for flexibility
- Stretch textile between fingers and around the thumb for breathability and comfort
- Double layer Clarino palm with silicone wrapping on middle and index finger for lever control
- Excellent Knuckle protection
- Double-layer leather to the palm
- Flexibility and breathability
- No touch screen ability to fingertips
- Sizing is on the small side. If in doubt, go a size larger
2. Fox Racing Dirtpaw Race Glove
The Fox Racing Dirtpaw is a lightweight high-performing MX glove that comes in at the cost-effective end of the price scale. It has been around for years and has been a firm favorite for MX, enduro, and mountain bike riders because of its durability and reliability.
Fox Racing has been manufacturing off-road gear for years and is a well-known and respected brand, especially in the MX scene.
The Dirtpaw features a padded palm and knuckles and comes with built-in flexibility over the whole glove. It is a warm-weather glove that gives you plenty of breathability and flexibility.
When you sweat through your hands, that is when blisters are likely to start. The padded Clarino to the palm is a moisture-wicking fabric that allows sweat to dry quickly.
It is certainly a glove that gives you ‘bang for your buck’.
- Stretch polyester construction which gives you the maximum flexibility
- Padded single layer Clarino to palms for comfort
- Padded knuckles for extra protection
- Stretch mesh to finger gussets
- Hook and Loop closure at the wrist for a secure fit
- Silicone print on the middle and index finger for lever control
- Excellent hot weather glove with excellent breathability
- Built-in stretch for flexibility and comfort
- Padded palms to reduce the chance of blisters and improve your grip
- Silicone print on first two fingers
- Opening to the glove is quite small. Can be difficult for some to get their hand in
- Sizing is on the small side. If in doubt, go a size larger
3. Alpinestars SMX-1 Air Men’s Glove
The Alpinestars SMX-1 Air is actually a lightweight street glove, but because of the extra protection they have over the average MX glove, and the built-in flexibility and breathability, this makes them excellent for off-road use. They’re really more of a hybrid glove.
Alpinestars is a leader in motorcycle gear, both for on-road and off-road use. You can be assured of a good-looking stylish product made to the highest standards.
The main feature of this glove is the carbon knuckle protection, which is great if you get hit by rocks or branches.
If you are a Dual Sport rider who does a bit of road riding, these are built to withstand a fall on the road, being street gloves.
With this glove, the focus is airflow and comfort, and with the additional reinforcement and protection, you’re getting the best of both worlds: street-bike protection & durability, but with the flexibility and breathability of an off-road glove.
- Molded hard nylon compound knuckle protection
- Heavy Duty goat leather construction with 3D mesh inserts on the top of the hand for airflow and comfort
- Suede reinforcing on the outer hand with foam cushioning for added abrasion resistance
- Stretch inserts between the thumb and index finger, and between the fingers for an improved range of movement
- Thumb and Palm reinforcement gives a greater grip on the controls and better seam protection and durability
- Carbon knuckle protection with padding on the inside, so you hardly feel them
- Built-in stretch fabric for flexibility
- Touchscreen ability on the index finger
- Extra built-in protection on the palm and side of the hand is great in the event of a fall on the road
- No silicone wrapping to fingertips
- Velcro stitching on wrist prone to fraying
4. Troy Lee Designs Air Glove
Troy Lee Designs is a well-known brand in the Dirt Bike world. Troy made his start custom painting helmets for the top riders and now about four decades later offers a wide range of dirt bike gear.
All the gear is researched, designed and meticulously tested before being made available to riders all around the world.
The Air Glove features a compression-molded cuff and a single-layer palm with laser-perforated holes for breathability.
This is a glove that is made for comfort and performance and delivers on both fronts.
- Compression-molded cuff
- Single-layer palm with mapped laser hole perforation
- Micro-mesh for all-over ventilation
- Sonic welded tprs for added protection
- Silicone screen print on first two fingers
- Breathable so great for summer
- Available in a wide color range
- Thin – not the best for durability
- Glove entry is tight – order a size up
5. Scorpion Klaw II Leather Gloves
The Scorpion Klaw II is a short cuff leather glove that is suitable for 3 season riding – Spring/Summer/Fall.
This is a great bang for your buck glove in the sub-sixty dollar price range for the Dual Sport or adventure rider who spends most of their time on the road.
It is pre-curved in design which gives you a comfortable handlebar grip and there is a double layer of leather on the palm with an extra Clarino layer for longevity and to give a tactile grip on the controls.
A new upgrade is the generous TPU knuckle protection and there is also TPR protection on the fingers, with stretch expansion panels to the back of the fingers mid-digit.
There are two dense foam pads at the heel of the hand and the base of the thumb where you need it most for impact protection.
A neoprene panel at the wrist gives you flexibility and the closure is velcro with a TPR strap with a snap fixing to connect it to the other glove.
It is available in Black and White.
- Durable goatskin leather construction
- TPU molded knuckle protection
- Pre-curved palm and fingers for grip comfort
- TPR molded finger protectors
- Rib-stretch knuckle expansion panels for flexibility
- Neoprene wrist relief panel
- Hook and loop wrist closure
- Excellent knuckle protection
- Leather construction
- Sizes run about one size small
- No silicone print on the first two fingers
6. Alpinestars Highlands Leather Gloves
The Alpinestars Highlands Glove is for riders who spend about an equal amount of time on the road as off-road.
It is a 2 season warm weather short glove that gives you the protection you need on the street and the flexibility you need for off-road riding.
On the back of the hand, you have polymer knuckle protection with 3D mesh for airflow and a full-grain leather palm with strategically positioned abrasion-resistant ‘Aramidic’ fiber reinforcements.
There are stretch panels across the back of the fingers and between the thumb and forefinger for a better range of motion.
So you get breathability as well as comfort and you have the touch screen fingertips so that you can operate your electronic devices without having to take your gloves off.
The Highland glove is ready to tackle the toughest off-road riding, and at equally at home cruising the streets.
It also comes in black if brown isn’t your thing.
- Constructed from durable goat leather with a 3D mesh top surface which provides optimized airflow
- An innovative microfiber and PU grip inserts strategically positioned on the palm and thumb for excellent grip control and durability
- Premium full-grain leather palm construction which is durable and offers excellent abrasion resistance
- Ergonomically engineered ‘ARSHIELD’ reinforcements consisting of high abrasion-resistant ‘Aramidic’ fiber and polyamide strategically positioned on the outer hand with padding on landing zones.
- Excellent impact performance is provided by an advanced over-molded polymer knuckle protector.
- Palm and thumb are padded with energy-absorbing EVA foam for additional protection.
- Pre-curved finger construction reduces rider fatigue while offering excellent comfort and fit
- Wrist flap with velcro on the cuff provides a secure closure
- Touchscreen-compatible index fingertip and thumb allow the use of smartphone and GPS systems
- Touch screen ability to index finger and thumb
- Good Knuckle armor
- Sizing is on the small size. If in doubt go one size up
- Seams along each thumb are noticeable at first, but just need some breaking in
All of these gloves are excellent. They all excel in their own way for the use they were designed for. They all have overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon. Click the links to read what others say about them.
Top Pick: Fox Head Men’s Bomber Glove. Best lightweight Dual Sport style glove for its protection, breathability, and value for money
Best Budget MX glove: Fox Racing Dirtpaw Glove. A name-brand MX glove for about $30 that has been a popular choice for years.
Is there a glove you think should be on this list? Please feel free to share your thoughts with readers to help them choose the best glove for them.