Less is More – The Best Enduro & Motocross Dirt Bike Gloves

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When it comes to dirt bike gloves, simple is often best. You really don't need the best dirt bike gloves on the market. You need something that fits good and feels good like these options.
best dirt bike gloves for motocross and enduro

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Best Waterproof Dirt Bike Gloves
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Best Dirt Bike Gloves For Casual Riding
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Best Dirt Bike Gloves For Street Riding
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Best Dirt Bike Gloves For Sand Dunes
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My best advice to finding the right dirt bike gloves is to follow the saying “FITS LIKE A GLOVE”. If it fits good and feels good, you’ve found yourself a winner. Sure, different gloves have different features that can improve your ride quality but the most important aspect really comes down to the way the gloves feel on your hand when you’re gripping the bars.

Since your hands and feet are the most important contact points with your bike, it’s important to make sure they’re comfortable and you’re able to operate the brakes, clutch and throttle with precision. Another age old saying that I’ve found to be particularly true when it comes to finding the best dirt bike gloves is “LESS IS MORE”

I’ve always had issues with Arm pump. If you know, you know, arm pump can ruin a ride at any point. I’ve experimented with all different strategies to keep arm pump at bay and riding with different gloves and handlebar grips has been the biggest factor for me. The other biggest factor that’s helped me to reduce arm pump is proper hydration and making sure my body is loaded with all the right minerals and supplements, well before I wake up and head out to the track.

While my solution may not be a one size fits all strategy, It can’t hurt to experiment and try it out. I’ve found thinner gloves to offer me the most comfort, ventilation and precision. They may not be the most protective, but if you look at any of the top Motocross riders or Enduro riders competing around the world, you won’t see any bulky plastic casing on the outside of their gloves or over their knuckles. There’s a good reason for this. While these types of tactical gloves offer maximum protection, they’re terrible for everything else that you need, comfort, ventilation and precision…

When I shop for a new set of gloves there are a few features I look at.

  1. Silicone grips on the clutch and brake fingers (MUST for all riders)
  2. Wrist fastening strap (My own preference)
  3. Padding on the palm (I prefer little to no padding – keeps the bars feeling thin and more controllable)
  4. Padding on the knuckles (I prefer little to no knuckle padding as it feels restricting)

All of the reviews on the First Checkpoint website are based not only on my own personal experience as an avid enduro rider, but are a combination of the feedback left by riders from various riding disciplines from all around the world. I’ve done the research so you don’t have to.

Best Enduro and Motocross Riding Gloves

Welcome to First Checkpoint and the best dirt bike gloves for enduro and motocross.

1. Fox Racing Dirtpaw Race Gloves

Overall Rating : 4.4
Value For Money : 4.6
Protection & Durability : 3.9
Features : 4.0
Comfort : 4.9
Style : 4.7
Ventilation : 4.3
Fit : True

I’ll use the Fox Dirtpaw gloves as our starting point as these have to be the best dirt bike gloves for the money and a great set of gloves to make comparison to.

Clean and simple. Fox Racing have been involved in the world of two wheels since 1974 and have continued to meet and exceed rider expectations with the quality of their gear.

Their Dirtpaw race gloves are no exception. These are the entry pair of dirt bike gloves by Fox Racing. They’ve kept it simple, just the way dirt bike gloves should be, while still keeping up with technology in the form of creating a super clean glove that’s touchscreen compatible. No need to worry about stopping and taking your gloves off before you grab a quick shot of your buddy struggling in the rocks.

The Dirtpaw tick just about all the boxes. They have the wrist strap which you can tighten to your own preference or keep it loose fitting. They have the silicone grips on the underside of the clutch and brake fingers for a more controlled and precise feeling of your levers. A pair of gloves worthy of being deemed as the best motocross gloves.

The padding on the palm is good. Not too thick, and not too thin. I would have liked to see a little bit of silicone on the palm which I feel gives me an extra sense of safety that my bike’s not going to jump out of my hands.

The padding on the knuckles is also good. It’s not excessive or bulky. Fox actually used the knuckle padding area as an advertising billboard which I’m perfectly OK with when the advert looks this good! The knuckle padding is also stretchy which is perfect. You don’t want your range of movement to be restricted.

Features:

  • Stretch polyester construction
  • Lightly padded palm
  • Adjustable wrist strap
  • Lightly padded knuckles
  • Silicone grip on the lever fingers
  • Touch screen compatible

Overall Rating : 3.8
Value For Money : 3.2
Protection & Durability : 4.0
Features : 4.5
Comfort : 3.5
Style : 4.7
Ventilation : 3.3
Fit : True

At the upper end of the Fox Racing Dirt bike gloves you have the Bomber gloves. Immediately you can see the differences in the technology and features incorporated into the Bomber gloves when compared with the Dirtpaw gloves.

Large chunky knuckle protectors make them look like they’re built as the ultimate street fighting gloves.

Needless to say, the Bomber gloves offer far more protection than the Dirtpaw gloves. Although this extra protection comes with a heavier price tag and a few implications for your riding comfort.

Fox developed the Bomber gloves as the best dirt bike gloves for hard enduro, which I think might be a little bit ironic. Whenever I’ve competed in hard enduro races I want my gloves to be as light and unrestricting as possible. I haven’t personally tested the Bomber gloves but based on the information I’ve gathered from other riders these can feel a bit claustrophobic after a few hours in the saddle.

Ventilation is compromised with all the hard exterior protective features like the polycarbonate knuckles and rubberized fingertip protectors which I think are unnecessary since your fingers are usually wrapped around your bars and tucked away from roost and low hanging branches. Not to mention the small amount of technical difficulty you might face when grasping at your helmet fastener, or the chance of the finger protectors getting caught on pieces of your bike when you’re opening the fuel taps, choke, inspecting the chain etc. etc. It just seems like unnecessary frustration and discomfort.

I also don’t like the leather on top of the glove. Even though it’s perforated, leather will not allow as much airflow into the glove as a simple nylon or polyester would. Good thing the rest of the glove is constructed from nylon and polyester. Leather also tends to heat up much faster and retain the heat much longer than other materials which will result in excessive sweating on your hands. This could be a big problem when you’re trying to hang onto your bars.

What I do like about the Fox Bomber glove is the healthy amount of padding around the thumbs which is usually the first area on a glove to deteriorate. I also find I tend to get blisters on the knuckle of my thumb from rubbing against the lip of the throttle grips. This thumb padding will definitely save me a few plasters.

The silicone grips on the lever fingers are oversized, which is awesome! They extend all the way down past the second knuckle. Unlike the Fox Dirtpaw gloves which only just cover the finger tips in silicone, losing your grip is only a fingertip away.

I also like the super wide customizable wrist strap and cuff protection. I don’t mind getting a couple scratches around my wrists. I actually kind of like it. (Chicks dig scars – or so I was told). If you’re different to me and want to protect your wrists from thorns, long hanging branches, and sharp rocks – the Fox Bomber gloves are for you.


With all the leather and enhanced protection, it’s unlikely you’ll find these gloves on the best enduro riders (as ironic as that sounds) but these would be one of the best dirt bike gloves for tail riding. Particularly for riding in dense forest or jungle like terrain. These would also be one of the best pairs of dirt bike gloves for cross country racing.

Features:

  • Super durable knuckle protection
  • Pittards Perforated Leather
  • Awesome silicone finger grips
  • Neoprene cuff knuckle
  • Reinforced thumb
  • Double layer Clarino palm

Overall Rating : 4.4
Value For Money : 4.2
Protection & Durability : 4.3
Features : 4.7
Comfort : 4.7
Style : 4.5
Ventilation : 4.3
Fit : True

The Fox Racing Legion gloves are a really interesting looking pair of gloves. Fox decided to create a glove that was “born on the track, built for the trail”. They’ve done a really good job at incorporating a track style/feel glove that is tailored towards enduro and hard enduro riders.

The key to the incredible versatility of the Legion glove is the use of various fabrics gathered from around the world. Cordura has been used in the main construction of the glove. “Cordura is a collection of fabric technologies used in a wide array of products including luggage, backpacks, trousers, military wear and performance apparel. Cordura fabrics are durable and resistant to abrasions, tears and scuffs” What this means in simple terms is that this glove is built to handle the abuse you’ll be putting it through.

Since this glove is designed for winter and riding in cold weather, ventilation has been kept to a minimum. Instead, this glove focuses on keeping your hands warm and the dexterity in your fingertips by combining fleece with the cordura material.

The most eye-catching feature on the Legion dirt bike gloves has to be the thermoplastic rubber lining which spans the entire outer side of the glove. Ideal for both protection, wind resistance, and warmth.

Built for extreme cold, the Fox Racing Legion Gloves would claim the title for the best winter dirt bike gloves. Even though they’re designed for the cold, they still tick off most of the boxes you should be looking at in a pair of casual riding dirt bike gloves.

Features:

  • Fleece combined with Cordura for warmth
  • Touch screen compatible
  • Thermoplastic Lycra outer lining
  • Adjustable wrist strap
  • Reinforced palms and thumbs
  • More than enough silicon grip on lever fingers

4. 100% Hydromatic Waterproof Brisker Gloves

Overall Rating : 4.2
Value For Money : 4.3
Protection & Durability : 3.0
Features : 4.3
Comfort : 4.7
Style : 4.3
Ventilation : 5.0
Fit : True

The Water Hydromatic Brisker gloves by 100% are truly a unique pair of dirt bike gloves. I’ve never personally needed waterproof gloves for the climates I ride in. (Although there have been a few water crossings / drownings where waterproof gloves would have been great) There are a good number of riders in the First Checkpoint community that have been asking about waterproof gloves.

The Hydromatic Brisker gloves are a super low profile glove designed to take on mother nature when she’s most upset. They’re proven to keep out both the wet and the cold. They’re designed with a laminated and insulated outer shell with waterproof  inserts. The inserts are incredibly breathable considering they’re waterproof.

I love the low profile nature of the Hydromatic Brisker gloves. They offer outstanding dexterity and precision with the gear and brake levers. 100% have definitely aimed to maximize grip in wet conditions. They’re one of the few gloves that feature extended silicone grip lining on the palm section of the glove which is something I tend to look for in my gloves. The material is fully moisture wicking to further prevent water and sweat from clogging up which makes these a top step contended for the best waterproof motocross gloves.

Protection is very limited on the Hydromatic Brisker gloves, but there has to be a little bit of give and take when the aim of the gloves is to be the best waterproof dirt bike gloves on the market.

Features

  • Dual-layer padding on the palm
  • Insulated soft-shell
  • Silicone palm graphics grip
  • Moisture-wicking microfiber interior
  • Integrated tech-thread for your phone

Overall Rating : 3.7
Value For Money : 4.7
Protection & Durability : 2.0
Features : 2.5
Comfort : 4.4
Style : 4.5
Ventilation : 4.6
Fit : True

The SHIFT White Label Air glove is one of the simplest and cheapest dirt bike gloves on the market. They’re incredibly great value for money and are the ultimate starter pair of gloves for anyone getting involved in dirt bikes. They come in a super wide range of colors which make them very appealing and affordable as a gift. In fact, these would be the best dirt bike gloves for female beginners and the best dirt bike gloves for your girlfriend! They look cool, they’re comfortable, and they’re cheap!

I wouldn’t recommend these as a pair of enduro gloves or desert riding gloves, but they’ll do just fine if you’re into freestyle MX. Although, I’m not a freestyle expert so I’ll leave that call up to you.

Although these gloves are very simple, they tick all the boxes that I like in a glove. Comfort, ventilation, silicone grips on the lever fingers, and adjustable wrist strap. You couldn’t ask for much more at this price point.

Overall Rating : 3.9
Value For Money : 3.7
Protection & Durability : 3.6
Features : 4.2
Comfort : 4.2
Style : 4.4
Ventilation : 3.6
Fit : Small

Klim is a brand that quickly established themselves as leaders in innovation and protection. This is very apparent just by the striking visual features of the Klim Dakar Pro Gloves – as well as their price tag. They’re designed to be one of the most durable leather gloves for off road riding, capable of handling the torture of even the best hard enduro riders.

The exterior features of the glove certainly raise a bit of confusion around the true purpose of the glove. It is in fact designed to a dirt bike / motocross glove, although it resembles the likes of a hardcore adventure touring glove which I think should be it’s real purpose. It might even do well as flat track, hill climbing or supermoto gloves.

It’s built with highly durable perforated leather which helps with ventilation. The back side offers plenty of impact resistant padding along the knuckles and fingers as well as leather around the thumb area which will help prevent blisters once the gloves have been worn in.

I mainly ride hard enduro style trails and this is not a glove I would choose for myself, especially for the price. However with all the protective features that Klim is so well known for, this is a great option if you’re looking for the best dirt bike gloves for highway use or for street riding in general.

Features:

  • Leather on palm and backhand
  • Perforated leather in ventilation zones
  • Leather overlay on back of thumb
  • Poron XRD padding on knuckles, fingers and wrist
  • Adjustable wrist strap

Overall Rating : 4.3
Value For Money : 4.8
Protection & Durability : 3.0
Features : 4.0
Comfort : 4.5
Style : 5.0
Ventilation : 4.7

No dirt bike and motocross glove buying guide would be complete without a pair of Troy Lee Designs. Established in 1981, they’ve been producing top quality riding gear for quite some time, and they’ve definitely kept up with the trends.

The TLDs Air gloves come in an awesome range of eye popping designs and colors. Their gloves have all been tested in extreme conditions and have held up insanely well. TLD are very involved when it comes to research and designing gloves that meet rider expectations.

A few things that make these gloves great for both motocross and enduro riding is the adjustable wrist strap, highly ventilated material construct and my favorite part, the ridiculous amount of silicone grip both on the fingertips and the palms.

With such a wide variety of designs, constructions and even varying levels of protection, the TLD Air gloves are guaranteed to be a good fit for just about any rider. Sure some of you might prefer a bit more protection on the knuckles, but this is really up to your own riding style, comfort and level risk aversion.

The only part of the TLD Air gloves that bugs me is that the Velcro wrist closure sits on top of the wrist. Most other gloves will have the Velcro strap on the underside and I find the TLD Air’s to be a little bit restricting on the range of motion of my wrist. Once you’re riding you barely notice it, unless it gets snagged on a tree or rock.

You’ll often see TLD gloves being used in freestyle motocross but since these gloves offer little protection of the knuckles and fingers, they’re super light and breathable which makes them perfect for hot weather riding in sand dunes. For these reasons I would give the TLD Air MX gloves the title of best dirt bike gloves for sand dunes and desert riding.

Features:

  • Awesome silicone palm grip
  • Super comfortable light and breathable mesh material
  • Rubberized wrist closure

Last Checkpoint

Thanks for stopping by at First Checkpoint! 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this buyer’s guide and it’s helped you on your quest to find the best dirt bike gloves. As an enduro rider, my pick for best enduro dirt bike gloves would have to be the Fox Dirtpaw gloves. These offer all the features I look for while also fitting into my budget. They’re very similar to the Troy Lee Designs, except they offer a bit more protection without restricting the movement in my hands and fingers.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the gloves you currently ride with and which gloves you’ve personally found to be the best for your type of riding. I’m sure your opinion would help other readers out as well.

As always, if you have any questions, feedback, thoughts, or advice for myself and other readers, I encourage you to drop a comment below. 

Stay safe and stay on two wheels!

Sources:
https://www.cordura.com/
https://troyleedesigns.com/
https://www.cordura.com/
https://www.foxracing.com/
https://www.klim.com/
https://www.shiftmx.com/
https://www.100percent.com/

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