How Should Motorcycle Gloves Fit? – (2021 Easy Guide)

| Last Updated: December 11, 2020

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Motorcycle riders all have one thing in common, the sense of adventure. To feel the wind on your face and the power at your legs is a rush you aren't soon to forget. With that, safety and protection are a top priority.

In this article, you will learn how to fit your motorcycle gloves properly while avoiding any irritating distraction, hand fatigue, and injury reduction.

How Should Motorcycle Gloves Fit?

For those motorcycle enthusiasts who take to the road, the glove fit is imperative. If an accident were to occur, your hand is the first thing to reach for the ground. Whether you're racing, riding leisurely, or taking it off-road, safety measures start with a perfect fit of a glove.

Motorcycle gloves should nestle directly over your knuckles while not too tight, cutting off the circulation to your hand, causing numbness. Controls are at your fingertips, and movement is critical in operating levers. 

Extra material should never bunch at the palm, and while your phalanges reach the tip of the glove, they should never touch, which prevents skin irritation, calluses, and blisters.

It's essential to avoid a stiff fit because tightness can be dangerous while reaching for controls. Your fingers range of motion is needed to give you complete access to levers without strain. Too tight a fit can be distracting; a loose one is comparable because it would leave the palm, knuckle, and ball of the thumb vulnerable to injury.

How Should a Gauntlet Motorcycle Glove Fit?

Whether textile or leather, the gauntlet motorcycle glove, also known as the racing glove, protects the rider's wrists and hands from an unforeseeable accident. It protects against biting or stinging insects that'll catch a ride along the way, causing a distraction. Tightness around your arms, wrists, and knuckles is imperative while avoiding bunched up clothing, compromising your safety with distractions.

How to Fit Winter Motorcycle Gloves

When fitting winter motorcycle gloves, Gore-Tex is commonly used for a waterproof breathable option. Whether over or under your jacket, a proper seal keeps out frigid temperatures, maintaining functional mobility. 

Avoiding too tight or loosely a fit within the glove is imperative, with seasonal elements that can change your reaction time and irritate the skin based on numbness from the cold. Ratcheting your glove down over your jacket can prevent water runoff from reaching your hands.

How Should Leather Motorcycle Gloves Fit?

If your glove is tight, you can expect leather to stretch around 5%. Leather motorcycle gloves that are too tight can be irritating and distracting. Dexterity in the fingers, wrists, and thumb is the name of the game. While fitting leather motorcycle gloves, finger length doesn't stretch as much as width and palm, where most of the break will happen.

How to Size Your Hand For Motorcycle Gloves

Now that you understand the importance of adequately fitted motorcycle gloves, we can delve into how you correctly measure your hand. Even within the ISO (International Organization for Standardization), sizing can vary between glove manufacturers.

Below are the instructions for motorcycle glove measurements. Don't forget to measure both hands, for they may be slightly different, and use the most expansive size.

Palm Width

1. On a table, place your palm flat on top of an imperial or metric measuring tape. Measure the widest part across your palm just below the knuckles.

2. Once you have that number, refer back to your sizing chart.

3. For most gloves, if you are on the cusp of the next size, remember to size up. Textile gloves don't break-in, so there is no plan for stretching over time.


1)  Pinch the measuring tape with your thumb right below your knuckle.

2)  Wrap around the widest part of your hand below the knuckle

3)  Refer back to the proper sizing chart to find your correct size.

Be sure to refer to the video below for more coverage on sizing information:

How to Size For Leather Motorcycle Gloves

Leather gloves should feel on your hand like a jacket feels on your body, snug. Your fingers should reach the end of the glove without any excess at the tip. When properly fitted, you should be able to stretch your fingers to full capacity while they remain tight. If you can’t stretch fully at the knuckle while spreading your fingers out wide, the glove is too small. 

Motorcycle Glove Sizing Guide

To assure a proper fit, there are a few steps you need to take in order to purchase the perfect pair of gloves. Aside from measuring your palm width and circumference, you'll also want to measure these two things.

Hand Circumference

Hold a tape measure with your thumb and wrap it around behind the knuckles of your hand. Make a loose fist when taking these measurements.

Hand Length

Measure the tip of your middle finger, stopping at the base of your palm. The end should be right at the crease of your wrist. 

Motorcycle Glove Sizing Guide Chart

Once you have the proper measurements, you can use those to determine your fit. Here is a generic guide to motorcycle glove sizes, but always be sure to check the manufacturers sizing guide, as these may differ.


Motorcycle Glove Fit Comparison Overview

Now that you know how to size the gloves, you should have a knowledge of what types of gloves are on the market. Here we will compare different styles to help you find the best fit for your riding.

Leather vs Textile

Textile doesn't form to your hand like leather, nor does it stretch, so make sure you have a spot on fit. More layers give you seasonality; however, leather has a comfortable feel and can mold the individual's hands. It stretches up to 5%, giving it the "broken-in" feel custom to your personal fit.

Racing vs. Touring vs Cold Weather Fit

Racing gloves are for aggressive riders typically on the trail and provide more protection. They are a gauntlet style made for extra security. Touring gloves are more for protection from the weather, making them waterproof and providing comfortability. Cold weather fit is critical to avoid numbness and dexterity issues; therefore, they should remain snug with movement. 

European vs American Cut

American gloves typically are a more ample cut that has a little more room in the palm and fingers. European gloves are long, lean, and narrow. Whichever company you choose to buy from, the basis is to always wear a snug fit all around with no extra bunching of fabric anywhere.

Trouble With Motorcycle Glove Fit - What You Need To Know

If you’re having trouble with your motorcycle glove fit, these guidelines can help.

Are My Gloves Too Tight? 

The answer is simple. Are you cutting off circulation or feeling tight around the knuckle? Leather will stretch, and textiles will not. 

When sizing your hand, were you on the cusp of a size, and if so, did you size up? Sometimes when measuring, people forget that gloves don't shrink.

Do You Wear Gloves On Or Over the Jacket Cuff?

It's a matter of preference. Putting the glove under your jacket allows for water runoff. With a gauntlet, you can do either by synching it down. Some feel putting a gauntlet under your jacket can bulk up your arm, making it restricting.


Now that you are an expert in fitting motorcycle gloves let's recap the importance of what you've learned. First, wear the appropriate gloves for the proper activity. Verify you've measured accurately by referencing the manufacturer's sizing chart. Always remember the three rules of motorcycle gloves, protection, functionality, and style.

People Also Ask

Each individual fits into a precisely sized glove. Even with measuring and guides, fitting problems arise. Below are some questions regarding the difference in fitting men's and women's gloves and the possibility of stretching a glove that is too small. Yes, you can, spoiler alert.

Do Women's Motorcycle Gloves Fit Differently Than Men's?

Women experience the same weather conditions and issues that go along with that. However, they typically have smaller palms and slender, longer fingers, needing gloves made for women versus buying a men's size small.

How to Shrink Fit Motorcycle Gloves

Did you know you can save a pair of gloves from the inevitable donation pile even if you have a wider palm and shorter fingers?  First, it's essential to understand this only works with leather. Take a ride in the rain and ride with them on until they are dry. 

You can also soak the leather gloves in water for 10-15 minutes and then follow the custom of riding with them on until they dry out. This will allow them to size to your hands. The dyes can seep into your skin, so wearing latex gloves underneath help prevent staining. The idea, however, is to fit each glove perfectly, so stretching isn't necessary.

Hi, my name’s Troy. I started riding motorcycles with Clay mid-2020 and soaking up his vast knowledge of bikes. I have been writing for a few years and decided it was a good time to start writing about what I’m passionate about - motorcycles. No matter how bad your day is, a bike will always make you feel better, that’s my motto.