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Phoenix Motorcycle Training LTD

5 Dirt Bike Gloves for Powerful Hand Protection on Trails

When tearing up the trails, your hands lead the charge through challenging terrains. They connect you with the dirt bike and the trail. And they bear the brunt of flying debris, whipping branches and filthy weather. So which dirt bike gloves give you powerful protection and confidence for off-road adventures?

It’s a great question, but not one with a simple answer. Your riding style, typical terrain and the fit and comfort of your trail riding kit all have a role to play in finding the best dirt bike gloves for you. Your hands are precious. They’re the most complex part of your body and they can be difficult to protect.

Wrist sprains and breaks are among the most common dirt biking injuries. Using the best protection will help you avoid becoming a statistic. This blog explores the best way to keep your hands and wrists protected when riding. We’ll uncover the best styles for different riding techniques and finish with the five best dirt bike gloves. Keep your finger on the throttle and your palms on the handlebars as we ride into the world of off-road hand protection.

Exploring hand protection: Dirt bike gloves for off-road riding

Off-road riding is physically demanding. Your protective gear needs to stand up to harsh conditions while keeping you cool, dry and able to apply precise commands to your bike’s controls.

Dirt bike gloves should be lightweight. They are made of lighter fabrics and typically have less armour than road-riding gloves. Road gloves use heavier leather and harder armour because they need to withstand a high-speed impact on the road.

What’s the difference between level 1 and level 2 motorcycle gloves?

Level 1 and 2 motorcycle gloves refer to the CE rating they have achieved for protecting against impact. A CE rating of Level 1 is higher than Level 2. Level 1 shows the gloves can withstand a strike of up to 7 kNs (kilonewtons) while Level 2 gloves can only take 4kNs. These lower-rated gloves are the minimum rating motorcyclists can wear in France.

Motocross gloves

Hand protection for motocross sports tends to be at the lighter end of the dirt bike glove scale. They offer a snug fit for precise control and lean towards mesh, lycra and cooler textiles with moisture-wicking properties and minimal stitching. Lighter suedes for grip and palm protection are used so hands are protected without impairing feedback or finger movement. Because motocross is on a track, there is less call for armoured knuckles and fingertips.

Some brands use silicone grip material for fingers, palms and the disk between your thumb and forefinger. As well as giving better hold on levers, it also adds another layer of padding at essential points to prevent blisters. Less is more when it comes to silicone padding, especially in warmer weather as it lowers the breathability. 

Trail riding gloves

Dirt bike gloves for riding trails are a little sturdier, around the midway mark on our dirt bike glove scale. They’re still light but should include a little more knuckle and finger protection. Impact gel or silicone is a typical material for this as it allows for better movement and ventilation. 

Thin fabrics such as lycra, mesh and spandex are typically used in trail riding gloves. And keeping stitching to a minimum improves your comfort. Lycra gloves give better comfort and flexibility. When riding trails in the UK, it’s wise to choose a glove with insulation along with armour. The gloves we provide for our trail riding days offer great protection and comfort so you can focus on having fun.

“Trail riding means encounters with branches, rocks, and thorny bushes. Invest in gloves with reinforced materials on the back and knuckles. They’ll withstand scrapes and protect your hands.” Sophie, a year-round trail rider in the UK.

Dirt bike gloves for enduro riding

Longer harder trail rides call for beefier and more durable gloves. Enduro dirt bike gloves are at the heaviest end of our dirt bike glove scale. That’s because when you’re riding fist-first through woodland, you want to keep your digits well protected. These gloves are sturdy and should include full articulated finger protection, knuckle guards, shock-absorbing materials and mesh inserts with perforated leather or fabric for ventilation.

Enduro-style trail riding gloves are usually more expensive than motocross or trail riding gloves because of the additional protective materials that are used. Of course, you can opt to use enduro gloves for trail riding too. If you ride a lot through wooded areas with loose gravel, we’d recommend this choice.

Dirt bike gloves don’t always have wrist protection built in. Palm padding goes some way to protecting wrists from vibration, but we’d recommend choosing a longer style with inbuilt wrist protection. Alternatively, you can opt to wear a separate wrist brace to protect from sprains and breaks. Prevention is always better than the cure. Plus it keeps you on your wheels for longer!

The five best gloves for trail riding

Dirt bike gloves are your first defence against the rugged challenges on the trail. We’ve chosen gloves that balance durability with flexibility, protection and comfort, so you can stay focused on each twist and turn. From fortified knuckle guards to breathable fabrics and touchscreen compatibility, this curated list has the perfect glove for any trail rider. Each pair of gloves offers optimal performance and exquisite protection, the numbering is simply a count, not an indicator of ranking. Without further delay, let’s explore our top five trail-riding gloves.

#1 Fox Racing Bomber CE Gloves

Fox Racing’s Bomber CE Gloves are CE Level 1 certified meaning they can withstand 7Kn of force across the knuckles. Made of perforated goat skin with a double layer of AX Suede on the palm for durability, these trail riding gloves are also touchscreen-compatible. Stretch nylon gussets between fingers ensure dexterity of movement and ventilation for fingers. Silicone fingertips improve lever grips. These dirt bike gloves are excellent for off-road riding in warm to mild weather.

#2 Leatt Moto 3.5 Lite v22

Stylish, sturdy and lightweight, the Leatt Moto 3.5 Lite v22 dirt bike gloves are an excellent choice for off-roading. These gloves include moulded impact protection across the knuckles and flexible microngrip palms for enhanced protection. Sizes range from small to XXL, making it easy to find a comfortable fit for most riders. Touchscreen compatibility and all-weather grip make these an excellent choice of hand protection for UK trail riding.

#3 Shift Black Label Flexguard off-road gloves

Shift Black Label Flexguard dirt bike gloves come in racy red, black or grey. Made from double-faced Italian nylon ensures ultimate flexibility and durability where it matters most. They’re lightweight and breathable with articulate side walls and silicone finger grips to make handling bike levers easier. Thermoplastic rubber (TPR) impact protection provides flexible and lightweight shielding for riders’ hands.

#4 Fly Racing Patrol XC 

Patrol XC gloves by Fly Racing are made with four-way stretch lycra for comfort, flexibility and airflow. They’re one of the only off-road styles that have an extra layer of impact foam along with hard knuckle construction for additional protection. The TPR wristband closure offers additional protection and adjustable comfort. A reinforced layer of fabric over the palm and thumb enhances durability, making these gloves a great choice for regular riders.

#5 Fox Racing Recon Off-Road Gloves

We love the longer cuff on these Recon Off-Road gloves as it makes securing an additional wrist brace easier and more comfortable.  Plus it’s a little more protection from roost and branches on trails. The AX suede slim-fleece palm delivers exceptional grip without compromising feedback and feel while riding. These are the only gloves in our selection with a side zipper to secure your fit. Similar to the Bomber CE gloves, the knuckles are reinforced with premium moulded guards and touchscreen compatibility makes it easy to use GPS on your ride.

Preserve your hands for future rides with the right trail riding gloves

Our list of off-road gloves includes diverse features and benefits to enhance protection on any ride. Each pair of gloves combines durability with flexibility and comfort. Any glove listed will give you confidence on the trails and the protection you deserve. And if you’re wondering how to wear your dirt bike gloves, we have a final few tips.

All motorcycle gloves — both on and off-road styles —should fit snuggly. If they’re too tight you’ll lose feeling in your fingers. Too loose and you may lose them in an accident. Wear longer gloves over sleeves and shorter motorcycle gloves under. On warmer days, having your glove sit under the sleeve cuff provides additional ventilation. Happy trail riding and stay safe out there!

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