Experienced riders know that you “dress for the ride, not for the slide”

But staying protected is definitely a challenge for riders on a budget. You can find gloves at all price ranges —

— but do you know what to look for when buying a glove? What features are worth the money?  How to tell quality?

Here’s how to save a little green, and get the best value for your money, next time you go glove shopping!

Motorcycle Gear Tradeoff: Safety vs. Comfort vs. Glove Cost

When it comes to choosing motorcycle gear, one rider we know recently said:

” … Safety, comfort, and cost are a tradeoff. Pick two out of the three.


As you gain safety, the cost will increase, but you will sacrifice some level of comfort.

Or you can be comfortable and safe but will pay out your a** for it. Likewise you can be comfortable and spend a lot but won’t be safe (ex: most **sexy brand name** gear).

One good example is my Aerostich suit: comfortable and pretty safe, but expensive. I also have a Fieldsheer waterproof 2 piece suit, it vents terribly and is super hot in the summer but it was cheap and pretty decently armoured.

This isn’t a 100% rule, but in most cases it works out to be true. Two brands off the top of my head that tend to buck that rule at some level are Olympia Gloves and Scorpion Helmets …


Would you agree?  What do you really need to pay for safety and comfort?

What Goes Into the Cost of a Glove?

There’s lot that goes into the cost of a motorcycle glove. Here’s why gloves cost as much — or as little — as they do:


The biggest part of the cost of a glove is materials.

  • Premium quality cowhide will cost 20-25% more than goatskin, for instance … and premium leathers like kangaroo can cost even more. Usually more expensive leathers mean better feel, fit, or durability — but not always.

    Signs of a quality glove: better leather, more padded and protective features, like reinforced seams, so they wont bust in a crash.


  • Name-brand component materials like Gore-Tex,Primaloft, Thinsulate, Thermolite, Windstopper and Kevlar cost more than their generic counterparts. But generics can provide similar function.
  • Comfort and convenience features like gel palms or touchscreen tips add to cost. But you may not need all of these features.
Next comes the glove workmanship details that can be important to the rider, but are not always apparent to the eye.
  • For instance, details like reinforced seams, tacking a waterproof liner to the glove shell, and pre-curved fingers add to comfort, safety and durability. These performance features might not be immediately obvious to the rider.

Finally, marketing and middleman costs can add to the retail price without contributing to hand protection. 

  • the added cost that some brands incur to create awareness and demand gets passed onto the rider, adding little value.


  • distribution for gloves that are imported, or that use a middleman to get them to your local motorcycle dealer, is another expense that can be avoided.


Buyer Tips: Shopping for Top Quality Gloves on a Budget

It’s really value for the money that matters.  The key is to set a budget, and decide on the features that are most important to you.

To save on motorcycle gloves:

  • Weather Protection: Look for descriptive terms like “waterproof“, “breathable” or “windproof“; look for gloves that use generic versions of name brand components that provide similar weather protection. 

    (Some generic terms like “Drilock” and “Aquatex”, and “Wind-Tex” for instance, will provide some of those qualities for less. But generic or branded, breathable waterproof and windproof protection will cost more. Depending on how you ride, it may be worth it).


  • Impact protectionKevlar is the most well-known armor-strength thread, but today you can get the same strength without the brand name.  For that same protection, look for gloves that use “aramid” thread on reinforced seams.

  • Comfort, Fit and Feel: Stick with a brand and style that you know fits you well, or is known for a consistent fit — because the cost of returning an ill-fitting glove (or the cost of not wearing them!) is an expense you can avoid. Check online reviews to see what other riders say.


  • Style and Looks: This is a personal preference.  While you can spend more for the latest euro-styling or colors, going with a classic styles and basic black is likely to be a better deal. That’s because the styles and colers that sell year-in, year-out in larger volumes can be made more efficiently.

Other buyer tips:

  • Only pay for the features that matter to you, not marketing. What features make the most sense for the way you ride? Breathable, waterproof or warmer insulated gloves may be worth the cost … paying for the latest design may not be!
  • Choose a reputable brand, and consult rider reviews to make sure a particular style performs and holds up to the hype …
  • Shop closeout sales to snap up prior season styles, as retailers and brands clear out old inventory to make room for new styles.

What do you look for in motorcycle gear? How do you save money? Leave a comment, below! 

5 Styles for Under $50 Bucks, Closeouts, and More

Olympia makes ove 70 styles of motorcycle gloves, with a wide range of features and prices.