As a writer, my hands are very important to me. Consequently, I always make sure to have quality motorcycle gloves in my wardrobe. On the other hand, I don’t want to go over budget on gear.
Luckily, there are plenty of decent, protective motorcycle gloves that are inexpensive. I’ve found six under $50 (at the time of writing) that meet my safety, comfort, and convenience requirements.
Reviews of the Best Motorcycle Gloves Under $50
Joe Rocket Super Moto Gloves
The Joe Rocket Super Moto Gloves seamlessly combines safety with comfort. This is due to the hybrid goatskin leather/polyester design.
Goatskin is a tough material, even more so than cowskin leather, so it protects the vulnerable parts of your hands against abrasion in case of a crash. Meanwhile, the polyester is stretchable, so it’s comfortable and allows agile motion for better control.
The PVC knuckles provide additional security. This is great since the knuckles are one of the places most at risk for injury because the skin gets pulled tight.
These gloves have a lot of extra features too. I love the conductive fingertips that let you use touch screens because I always seem to forget to turn on my music and GPS until I’m already ready to go.
There’s style as well, with a range of five color options to match your bike, jacket, or whatever you want. Plus, the neoprene cuff with hook-and-loop closure keeps your wrists warm even in colder climates. That’s great for commuters.
All things considered, there aren’t many downsides to these Joe Rocket gloves except maybe the price. They’re the most expensive pair on my list, but they are still a bargain at around $50.
For that reason, I’d recommend them for frequent riders, especially commuters who need maximum safety and comfort.
- Goatskin leather for protection
- Stretch polyester for comfort and control
- PVC knuckles
- Conductive fingertips work with touchscreens
- Five color options
- Neoprene cuffs with hook-and-loop closures
- (Relatively) high price
BILT Sprint Gloves
The stand-out feature of the BILT Sprint Gloves is their vented airflow. This includes perforations on the fingers and backs of the hands and vents in the molded TPR knuckles. They’re great gloves for those in warmer climates or summer riders who still want serious hand protection.
On top of the molded knuckles, these gloves are fully made of leather. This provides maximum safety against abrasion while still being comfortable. There are even suede overlays on the palms and fingers, which help with grip and add extra protection.
One thing to watch out for, especially when you first get the gloves, is the dye. In the rain, it can run and potentially stain your clothing. Again, this makes it ideal for those in warm, arid climates than those in rainy climates.
Finally, the hook-and-loop wrist cuffs keep the gloves snug but maneuverable. There are also five styles to choose from with two vibrant red and blue designs.
- Perforated fingers and back of hand
- Vented molded TPR knuckles
- Full leather design with Suede overlays
- Hook-and-loop cuffs
- Five style options
- Dye runs and stains in rain
Icon Anthem 2 CE Gloves
The Icon Anthem 2 CE gloves are my suggestion for summer gloves for those long touring rides. I say this because they feature palms made of goatskin leather, but the back of the hand is made of polyester mesh.
Now, your palms are certainly the most likely to get injured in a crash, and the backs of your hands feel the wind when you’re riding. In this way, the gloves cool your hands in the summer while giving you protection where you need it.
That said, for regular commuters, I’d still go with gloves that have leather over the backs of the hands.
Icon did design the Anthem 2 gloves with great knuckle protection, though. This comes in the form of a D30 knuckle insert that’s comfortably molded.
Extra features include the hook-and-loop neoprene cuffs and the conductive thumbs and index fingers that allow you to use touchscreens, both typing and navigating.
- Goatskin palms for protection
- Mesh backhands for ventilation and comfort
- D30 knuckle inserts
- Hook-and-loop neoprene cuffs
- Conductive thumbs and index fingers for touchscreen use
- Minimal backhand protection
Biltwell Moto Gloves
Biltwell designed these Moto Gloves to be great for both riding motorcycles and working on them. As a result, their main claim to fame is their mobility. They’re made of a simple stretch fiber that’s easy to move in and gives you great control.
Similarly, the grip is great too. This way, you feel secure on your motorcycle or with your tools. This includes your phone because there are traction tips on the first two fingers for the touchscreen. However, because it’s not on the thumbs, typing is difficult.
As for riding, these gloves don’t offer a ton in the way of protection, but they’re super comfortable, especially in the summer or warm weather. That’s due to the highly breathable material and Velcro cuffs that let you adjust how tight they are.
All in all, these gloves don’t have a lot of extra features, but that’s why they’re cheap. With seven cool color designs, they’re a simple yet versatile part of your motorcycle wardrobe.
- Stretch fiber for agile movements
- Great grip for working on your bike
- Traction tips for touchscreens on first two fingers
- Breathable fabric
- Adjustable Velcro cuffs
- Great value
- Few extra features
- Little protection
Icon Twenty-Niner CE Gloves
The Twenty-Niner gloves are Icon’s option for anyone in need of serious protection and security. For example, I’d recommend it for regular highway or interstate commuters who don’t want to risk their hands in a high-speed accident.
The gloves provide this protection through a thick faux-leather palm and faux-leather reinforcement in vulnerable parts of the backhand like knuckles and the backs of the fingertips.
Despite this added protection, the backhands are still mostly ventilated mesh, so they’re still comfortable when it gets warm.
The unique feature is the hook-and-loop wrist cuff that’s secured with molded TPR material. This makes it a little inconvenient to put on and take off, but it sure is snug and gives you confidence knowing the gloves will not come loose.
- Faux-leather palm and reinforced knuckles
- Ventilated mesh for comfort
- TPR hook-and-loop wrist cuff
- No style options
- Difficult to put on and take off
Scorpion EXO Skrub Gloves
If you want protective motorcycle gloves at a great price, the Scorpion EXO Skrub Gloves are a great choice. The main protection is at the knuckles and fingers where the gloves have molded TPR inserts.
Unfortunately, the palms don’t provide as much protection. Instead, they’re more focused on mobility. Made of a nash material that gives you a great grip, they let you control the motorcycle accurately, even with gloves. The palm is padded, though, for some protection.
That’s not where the comfort and mobility end, though. The Lycra-spandex and neoprene stretch panels give you better range of motion. There’s even a two-way stretch panel in the back of the hand.
Despite being a value glove, I should also mention that the EXO Skrubs have a sleek style available in four colors. It goes great with sports bikes and most other motorcycle gear.
- Great value
- Protective TPR inserts
- Nash palms for strong grip
- Stretch panels for mobility
- Cool style available in four colors
- Little protection in the palms
Considerations, Care, and Cost
Quality vs Price
In this list, I’ve included value glove options, around $50 or less. However, it must be remembered that there’s a certain trade-off when it comes to quality and price, just like with most products.
Still, that doesn’t mean value gloves are worthless. Most still provide some protection along with comfort and warmth. Where quality usually suffers is durability. In other words, the seams in value gloves are more likely to come apart with age.
For these reasons, I still recommend these value gloves if you’re looking for protection and comfort. They make especially great options for new riders who are still figuring out what they like or infrequent riders who don’t need to fork out the most expensive gloves.
Further reading: How to choose motorcycle gloves.
Leathers are by far the most protective, that’s because they’re tough and resist abrasion, so it saves your skin if you contact the pavement in an accident. Leathers you’re likely to find in motorcycle gloves include:
- Cowskin leather
- Goatskin leather
- Faux leathers like Loredo
These are all solid options, but goatskin is arguably the most protective. Plus, it’s the most durable and will hold up over time.
Other glove materials like polyester, cotton, and neoprene aren’t as safe. However, with extra layers and padding, they can still provide some protection against impacts.
Knuckle Inserts and Panels
Along with abrasion-resistant materials, many motorcycle gloves have extra protection over the knuckles made of a polymer like PVC or TPR.
Since the skin over your knuckles is usually pulled tight, it’s especially vulnerable to injury in a crash. These polymer inserts protect that skin as well as the bone underneath.
I really like knuckle inserts as a feature because breaking those bones would interfere with both my professional life and hobbies, like motorcycle riding. The same is probably true for you. Just make sure you get gloves with molded inserts that will still be comfortable.
Comfort and Breathability
You need gloves to protect your hands, but in warm weather, they can get uncomfortable. To avoid this, you want breathability. Usually, this means some kind of mesh polyester material that allows airflow. It could also be perforation in certain places, including the knuckle inserts.
You also want gloves that are flexible and give your hands and fingers good range of motion. This doesn’t just make them comfortable but also gives you better control of your motorcycle, which can prevent accidents. For this, look for stretch fabrics like spandex.
Unfortunately, breathable, flexible material tends to be less protective. A good glove will mix breathable polyesters and stretchable fabrics with protective leathers and inserts. This could mean flexible, mesh backhands with leather palms and leather patches over vulnerable areas.
The wrist is an important part of your motorcycle gloves. It should be snug but comfortable with the ability to adjust it as needed. A good cuff will keep the glove correctly positioned so you can move your hands easily while preventing cold air from getting inside.
The easiest cuff solution is hook-and-loop, also known by the brand name Velcro. This is easy to put on and take off and provides easy adjustability without even taking the gloves off.
Some gloves have extra fastening in addition to the hook-and-loop closures like plastic clasps. These make the gloves a lot more snug and keep them from coming loose, but they also make putting the gloves on and taking them off a lot more time-consuming.
I’ve found few things to be more frustrating than getting my motorcycle gloves put on just right, only to have to take them off again to answer a phone call or adjust my Bluetooth headset. These days, many gloves account for this by including conductive or traction fingertips that allow you to use touchscreens with the gloves still on.
If you use your phone a lot while riding, whether it’s GPS or Spotify, I recommend looking for this feature.
When I first got a motorcycle, I tried commuting with my old ski gloves. There was an obvious problem: the gloves tightened when I wrapped them around the handlebars, making it difficult to control the throttle, clutch, and brakes.
On a motorcycle, your hands are in a curled position most of the time. To more easily facilitate this, good motorcycle gloves come “pre-curved,” meaning the fabric has been stretched so that you can comfortably grab the handlebars. This gives you better control, and it’s more comfortable.
Gloves are an important part of your motorcycle gear and something you should be worn year-round to protect the skin and bones of your hands.
For maximum protection, in addition to quality features, I recommend the Joe Rocket Super Moto Gloves. If you need a lighter pair for hot summer weather, the Icon Anthem 2 CE Gloves are also a good choice.