Long gone are the days when ‘old school’ bikers would ride with their palms wrapped in red bandannas during a long ride.

In Part I of our series on choosing fingerless gloves,  we highlighted some key features to look for when it comes to fingerless motorcycle gloves.

But the most popular fingerless gloves for many riders are black leather fingerless gloves — a timeless classic.

 Like any motorcycle glove, there are important differences that you may not notice, as well as different qualities of leather.

Here’s what to look for when choosing a black leather fingerless glove: more

Choosing Black Fingerless Leather Gloves

High quality glove leather:  First and foremost, glove leather should feel soft and supple, and have some give, unlike cheaper leathers that are hard and stiff. 

Note: You can judge the quality of the leather when you put the gloves on your hand, but if buying online, pay attention to the type of leather used.

Unlike cheaper fingerless gloves made of pigskin, look for cowhide, or goat skin — which is tougher, yet supple enough to allow for good freedom of movement, in addition to having better abrasion resistance.

Another note about quality:  riders know about the tendency of some black leather gloves to bleed the black dye onto hands when wet.  We explained the steps Olympia takes to prevent this — with specially treated leather —  here.

Unlined Leather (vs. lined): Lined leather gloves are generally a little warmer than unlined leather gloves — but these gloves are used in the summer, so lined is not necessary. Also, unlined gives the best feel.

Other features for easy wear, comfort and protection:

While choosing fingerless gloves is always a matter of personal preference, here are some features to look for that add comfort and protection:

–  Quick-release loops to make removal easier << Note — without these loops, fingerless gloves can be hard to get on and off.  So while they may look less streamlined, the loops are a great convenience.

Regarding this feature, a recent reviewer of Olympia style 407 Fingerless Gel Gloves said:
“…  I really like the loops to help get them off. They look funky but work really well…”
                                                                                                        — George P., 4/9/14


–  Gel palm padding:  Gel absorbs road shock, and keep hands from “going numb”.  This is your best defense against hand fatigue or numbness that can result from constant engine vibration.

Regarding this feature, rider and reviewer George P. continued:

“… The padding really keeps my hands from going numb and prevents blisters. Once I get them broken in they will fit very well …”– George P., 4/9/14

When they are the right thickness and material, gel or foam pads act like shock absorbers, reducing vibration and help relieve the constant pressure on the median (carpal tunnel) nerves and tendons in the hands.

Note:  you’ll be feeling the vibration without gel cushioned palms after only a few miles, so this is a great feature, and a popular one.
Other key features include:


–  Flexible knuckles, constructed of a material that adds comfort and flexibility as well as discreet protection. for instance, Olympia Style 307 Vented fingerless gloves.

–  Reinforced palms, with palm padding that protects from blisters and abrasion. for instance, Olympia Style 107 Outrider II fingerless gloves

–  Reflective:  Reflective material on the backs of hands are a nice addition for night time riding. For instance, Olympia Style 307 Vented Fingerless gloves.

 Mesh/leather combo:  A leather palm for grip, combined with a mesh back for airflow, and nice-to-have features like a terry sweat wipe on the thumb, is the best of both worlds for many riders. For instance, Olympia Style 757 Airforce Fingerless gel gloves.

We make 4 styles of fingerless gloves, available at our online store or at your local dealer.

Quality Construction: “You Get What You Pay For

If we have a pet peeve, it’s this: cheaply constructed gloves. 

Poorly fitting gloves made of low quality, scrap leathers, with loose, cheaply sewn stitching, thin sub-standard gel pads,  loops that rip at the first tug … these do little to provide either comfort or protection.

For instance, sometimes the loops that you tug to get fingerless gloves off your hands tear, because they get a lot of use. 

Unlike cheaper knock-offs, we “heat cut” the webbing material and then doublestitch it to the gloves prevent fraying and tears, and to make the loops more durable. Seams at all important points of wear should be double-stitched and reinforced for durability.

You actually do get what you pay for. Spend another couple bucks to get gloves that will last, and a company that stands behind their product.

P.S. We make over 70 styles of gloves and some with free shipping. To learn more about our fingerless motorcycle glove styles, visit a local dealer or our online store: 


Find an Olympia Gloves dealer near you