Sombrio Prodigy gloves review

Are tough gloves worth it?

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Vancouver, BC-based Sombrio has been focused on developing some of the most stylish and functional mountain bike clothing since the 80s. Can those two traits coalesce with durability?

The X-Large size had adequate room for my long fingers
The X-Large size had adequate room for my long fingers

Sombrio Prodigy glove features

  • DuPont Kevlar thread construction throughout
  • Ax Suede stretch and recovery chamude palm
  • Silicone breaking fingers for improved modulation
  • Terry moss thumb panel
  • Pull on cuff less, no slip design
  • Pre-curved dexterity

Heavy-duty, but odd stitching

I was initially excited for the Prodigy gloves. The palms are completely one piece, devoid of any superfluous padding or extra material, exactly how I like gloves. The fit, however, dampened my enthusiasm. On my hands, the X-Large size felt about right, but the stitching felt in the wrong place, especially over the first knuckle on my index finger. It was immediately noticeable and didn't subside with wear. 

This knuckle seam didn't get along with my hands
This knuckle seam didn't get along with my hands

I could also feel the stitching at the fingertips, and while it wasn't as bothersome as the knuckle rubbing, it's certainly something I don't look for in gloves. The protruding stitching could be due to the Kevlar thread used. Yep, it's the same stuff bulletproof vests are crafted from. 

The nose/brow wipe is comically small for some reason. I'm a farmers' blow kind of guy, I don't depend on my gloves to wipe my face all that much, but I can't imagine the reasoning behind making the terry cloth so small.

A one-piece palm is crafted from Ax Suede stretch and recovery material
A one-piece palm is crafted from Ax Suede stretch and recovery material

There are silicone prints on the index and middle fingers for enhanced brake lever feel and gripping, and the silicone didn't peel off with the mere thought of use like so many other gloves, but the lack of touchscreen compatible fingertips is a bit of a let down. 

Saved my hands

Yet, despite the excessive stitching, the silly small nose wipe and the sub-average fingertips, the Prodigies were there when I needed them most. I learned early on in my riding career that crashes can happen literally at any time or place, so some sort of hand protection should always be worn, (c'mon, doesn't everyone hate torn-up palms?).

With that sage advice in the back of my head, I was stoked when a mellow, after-dinner ride I found my hands intact after ejecting off the bike and sliding on the dirt. A bloodied shoulder, elbow, and knee combined with a torn jersey, yet my Prodigy-swathed hands, while dirty, came away unscathed. The right Prodigy glove committed the ultimate sacrifice by giving part of its palm for my skin. 

The Prodigy gloves served their duty admirably
The Prodigy gloves served their duty admirably

I've continued to wear the Prodigies after the crash to see if any of the seams would come apart after the stress of the wreck, which is annoyingly common with practically every glove I've ever used. I'm pleased to report all is well: no blown out fingers and the hole in the palm hasn't grown larger. 

Are they for you?

Maybe Sombrio's use of Kevlar thread is genius? Is a bit of compromised fit worth the added durability? Can you actually feel the bulky stitching while pinning it? Are light, flimsy gloves worth replacing more frequently? Do you ride aggressively and does your gear pay the price? Answer these questions and you can probably decide if Sombrio's Prodigy gloves are for you.

Russell Eich

Tech Writer
Russell fell head over heels in love with bikes in the '90s, and has been involved in the bike industry ever since. Between wrenching in bike shops, guiding professionally, and writing about bikes, Russell has honed an appreciation for what works, gained knowledge of what doesn't, and can barely contain his enthusiasm for what comes next. His two-wheeled passion continues in the Rocky Mountains high above Boulder, Colorado.
  • Age: 38
  • Height: 6'3"/190cm
  • Weight: 175lb/79kg
  • Waist: 34in/86cm
  • Chest: 42in / 107cm
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: High altitudes, forgotten singletracks, bike parks, roads without cars
  • Current Bikes: Custom Meriwether steel hardtail, Specialized S-Works Enduro 29, Kona Jake the Snake, Trek 69er, and a bunch more
  • Dream Bike: Yeti SB5c, Intense Tracer 275C, Black Cat custom road
  • Beer of Choice: Gin + Tonic
  • Location: Rollinsville, CO, USA
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