The best cycling gloves will provide extra grip and comfort while protecting your hands.
Some riders forgo gloves, but we would argue they’re an essential accessory when riding your bike.
Many cycling gloves feature padding on the palm for extra comfort, with breathable fabric on the back.
We have tested designs from different price points and assessed them on value for money, quality and fit.
You can read our guide to cycling gloves at the end of this article.
Check out our guide to the best winter cycling gloves if you’re looking for long-fingered gloves to keep your hands warm.
Best cycling gloves 2023, as rated by our expert testers
- £35/$42.20/€41.70/AU$63.10 as tested
The subtle Altura Endurance cycling gloves have second-skin thickness that gives brilliant bar feel, but they’re surprisingly comfortable.
Much of the back consists of highly elastic, heavily perforated Lycra-style mesh fabric for great breathability. The printed fabric is abrasion-resistant.
These cycling gloves have pull tabs to help get them on and off.
Their best feature is the palm, which has thin but effective pads at its heel and top.
A central Lycra-covered split enhances bar grip and helps with cooling, as do the finger perforations.
Assos RS Targa
- £55/$68/€65 as tested
The Assos RS Targa gloves feature a seamless palm construction made from a suede-like material that’s pre-shaped to prevent creasing and irritation.
We found this led to a near-perfect fit, with the offset cuff also helping to keep friction to a minimum.
The high-density pads null vibrations without seeming too bulky, making them more than comfortable on bumpy gravel roads.
The material on the back of the hand wicks moisture fast and has a cooling effect next to your skin on hot days.
Giro Strade Dure Supergel
- £34.99/$42/€45/AU$51 as tested
If you prefer loads of padding on your cycling gloves, the Giro Strade Dure Supergel gloves are great.
They have thick Dual Layer Technogel with Rebound Foam pads at the base of the palm and inner thumb.
Finger tabs help with taking them off, while the Velcro at the back keeps them secure.
These Giro cycling gloves are supremely comfortable, albeit somewhat expensive.
Altura Airstream Mitts
- £20/$25/€25/AU$37 as tested
The Altura Airstream Mitts have good, but not excessive, padding on the palm and the heel of the thumb – complete with memory foam.
Breathable, wicking, perforated palm panels combine to offer decent grip and comfort.
There’s also a large microfibre sweat wipe, handy finger pull tabs and, best of all, a price that you won’t baulk at.
Castelli Icon Race
- £52/$69.99/€49.95 as tested
The Icon mitt is minimal in design, with the lightweight high-stretch fabric used for the whole glove giving it a skin-tight fit.
A second layer is stitched onto the palm with silicone dots for grip and a single CDS (Castelli Damping System) pad on the heel adding cushioning against the bars.
The Icons give a direct connection to the bars, with little in the way of vibration damping, but we didn’t find the minimal padding to be an issue.
The fit of the mitts was excellent and we liked the half-moon terry cloth on the thumb for wiping perspiration.
- £58/$69.99/€54.95 as tested
The Castelli Premio mitts use a thin high-stretch material found on Castelli’s Rosso Corsa shorts, which gives it a superb close and wrinkle-free fit.
A seamless suede-like material is used on the palm, with pads placed using Castelli’s damping system. We found the padding to be well placed, which made the Premio great for rougher rides.
Though the material is comfortable and breathable, the Premio is more substantial than other mitts, making them a good option for cooler days.
Endura FS260 Pro Aerogel
- £39.99/$48.20/€47.70/AU$72 as tested
The Endura FS260 Pro Aerogel gloves provide good grip thanks to their rubbery silicone palms.
These longstanding cycling gloves have thick vented gel pads on the lower palm and a thinner strip at the top.
They have the largest Velcro straps out of the cycling gloves here.
Wipes run along the thumb and the backs have lightweight wicking.
The finger tabs round out a fine package.
Endura Xtract Lite
- £26/$33/€29/AU$43 as tested
The back of the Endura Xtract Lite cycling gloves is covered in a stretchy, closed-mesh panel.
A Lycra band stretches across the strapless wrist, which helps when pulling these on.
A Terry wipe covers most of the back of the thumb, while finger-pull pockets aid removal.
The supple microfibre palm has two slim, perforated gel pads.
Further palm perforations increase cooling and a silicone Endura script adds grip.
The subtle gel layer reduces vibration without generating excess heat.
- £45/$40/€39.90 as tested
The Sportful Air combines multiple lightweight materials to make an airy high-summer mitt that’s comfortable for gravel excursions.
A 3D open-weave material provides impressive airflow on the palm, while substantial ulnar padding keeps vibrations at bay.
There is also a terry knit section for dabbing sweat away on hot days.
Due to its airy nature, the Sportful Air doesn’t offer much in the way of warmth when the temperature drops.
Stolen Goat Blackbeard
- Price: £20/$48/€27/AU$25 as tested
The Stolen Goat Velcro-free Blackbeard mitts are snug-fitting microfibre and cotton cycling gloves with pull tabs under the two middle fingers and plush padding across the palms.
Well-placed seams and padding offer great comfort, although the sweat wipe is pretty small.
Buyer’s guide to summer cycling gloves
Should you wear gloves while cycling?
Wearing gloves when cycling adds comfort but also protection in the event of a crash.
Vibration through the bars can cause hand pain on long rides, leading to numbness and the dreaded ‘white finger’.
The best cycling gloves will feature padding around the contact points of your palm and fingers to isolate your hands from the bar.
Many riders also wear gloves to improve their grip in the summer months, where sweaty hands can lead to slippy bars.
Gloves also reduce injuries to your hands if you fall off, with the sacrificial fabric taking the brunt of any impact instead of your skin.
Cycling gloves sizing
Cycling gloves should be slim-fitting, giving you enough dexterity without feeling you’re cutting off circulation to your fingers.
As with many cycling clothing items, glove size and fit is very personal, with everyone’s hands being slightly different even if they are the same size.
It is best to try cycling gloves before you buy them to see whether they suit your hand shape and size.
Aero gloves will usually be tighter-fitting than regular gloves, but they tend to have in-built stretch around the wrist and knuckles.
Cycling gloves material
Cycling gloves are made from at least two panels, with the back of the hand featuring Lycra and mesh while the palm employs a more durable material such as microfibre or synthetic suede.
Mesh panels on the back of cycling gloves allow heat to escape, helping to regulate temperature.
Some of the best gloves for cycling feature an absorbent wipe on the thumb area. This enables you to sop up sweat from your face.
Cycling gloves padding
Not all cycling gloves feature padding, with some of the lighter-weight designs focusing on fit and breathability.
Cycling mitts with padding will usually have silicone or foam to isolate your hands from the handlebar.
Not all riders have the same pressure points when gripping a bar, so it’s worth trying the gloves on to see if the padding is beneficial or just adding bulk.
How to wash cycling gloves
Washing cycling kit the right way can make it last longer, and cycling gloves are no exception.
Not all cycling gloves are machine washable due to the padding and textiles used in their construction, which can become damaged with too much heat.
The manufacturer label will usually feature washing instructions, but washing your gloves with cool water and a light detergent will usually be enough to get most of the grub off. Just remember to avoid the tumble dryer.
Long-fingered gloves vs fingerless gloves
Apart from the obvious distinction that fingerless mitts enable your digits to breathe, they are usually lighter-weight than long-fingered gloves and are favoured for warmer weather.
Long-fingered cycling gloves offer more protection from the elements in the colder months and the pavement, should you find yourself sliding across it.