While gloves may not prevent a broken thumb or sprained wrist, they do protect you from losing skin, getting deep cuts, and even getting numb hands. This keeps you on your bike for longer and makes riding that bit more enjoyable! We have done all the work and rounded up the best women’s mountain bike gloves on the market today so that the decision will be easier for you!
Firstly, you will want to know what makes a good pair of gloves. Mountain bike gloves are dual purposed. The first is to protect your hands from abrasions when you come off. Preventing gravel rash or sharp sticks in your hands is reason enough to invest in gloves! And the second is to provide comfort while riding. Some are more heavily padded than others, so this is up to personal preference!
What to Look for in MTB Gloves?
There are a few main things to look for; including the amount of padding, how it fits, and material.
Having lots of padding can make bumpy, rutty downhill riding more comfortable. But it can also make gripping onto the handlebars harder and less comfortable. Less padding is the opposite to this- less comfortable downhill but has greater grip.
Having foam padding placed strategically over the palm can also prevent hand numbness. This is particularly the case in long rides, where the compression of the nerves leads to tingly or numb hands. See here for gloves that particularly help with hand numbness, and information on how padding can help!
Fit of the Glove
The second thing you want to look at is the fit. You want the cycling gloves to fit well- not cause your fingers to be cramped at the ends, or the excess material pinching your hands. One way to check to see if you have the right fit, is to make a ‘c’ shape with your hands. If there is excess material bunching, its too big. If its hard to make a C shape, its too tight!
When looking at the fit, consider how the mountain bike glove does up too. Some are velcro (on the top of the wrist or on the underneath), and some don’t do up at all. Personally, I prefer the non-velcro gloves- ones that you just slide on. This is because the velcro tends to unstick, and you are left to try to redo your gloves while riding downhill, which is not a distraction you need!
Lastly, the material is incredibly important. Durable, comfortable, breathable material that suits the climate/season you ride in makes a huge difference to your riding. Thicker, less ventilated materials will be better for winter riding to keep your fingers nice and cozy. While a thinner, better-ventilated material will likely be a bit more comfortable for hotter days.
Full Finger or Half Finger Gloves?
For mountain bikers, we generally don’t recommend wearing half-finger gloves. The chances of coming off while riding is too high, and it is too easy to lose a bit of skin in an encounter with the ground. A full finger glove keeps your hand protected from branches and the like too!
A full-finger glove also helps with grip. Many have silicon grippers on the fingertips which help with braking and requires less grip by you on the handlebars. If you want to know more about when a half finger glove might be appropriate, see here.
Best Womens MTB Gloves
Now we will look at the best of the best womens mountain bike gloves.
Giro La DND review
The Giro La DND is a lightly padded, super lightweight mountain bike glove that is perfect for the female shredder. It doesn’t have a Velcro strap – which I love – and it is super comfortable. The synthetic leather palm provides great grip, as do the silicone grippers. Having a good grip reduces the physical pressure your hands have on the bars, making the ride a lot more comfortable.
They look good and come for a very nice price. The only downside is the limited touchscreen capability. The silicone fingertip, on both the thumb, index and middle fingers, isn’t as effective as it could be. If you are riding somewhere new, we’d advise checking out the route beforehand to reduce the amount of time you have to take your gloves off to use your phone!
If you are after some stylish gloves, with great breathability, and will last you a long time. The Giro La DND have certainly earned their place in the best womens mountain bike gloves category!
Fox Ranger Womens Glove Review
The Fox Ranger glove is a classic glove in the mountain biking scene. It is a mountain bike glove that is minimally padded but very comfortable. The material is light and breathable—ideal for the rider who typically gets pretty warm while riding.
It does have silicone grips, which help with the touch screen. However, the silicon strips do tend to come off over time. This is not specific to the Fox Rangers, though- you do find this with most gloves that have silicon grips.
I personally have a pair and find they are very comfortable. The rangers fit my reasonably short fingers better than the Giro DND glove. It has a velcro strap to do upon the insides of the wrist, which hasn’t come undone while riding yet!
Pearl Izumi Elite Gel Glove Review
The Pearl Izumi is a good quality glove with slightly more gel padding on the palm. The Gel palm protection prevents discomfort and your hand from going numb while riding but protects your palm well in a crash.
The palm is constructed of synthetic leather, as are the thumb and index fingers, to allow touch screen compatibility. The top of the hand has a mesh covering. You need to take care not to catch it on anything as it is prone to tearing.
Again, the fastening system is a Velcro hook and loop closure. The closure system can be found on the outer top side of the glove. I personally find this is sometimes annoying as it often causes the closure system to undo. Then you are left with a piece of material flapping around while you send it downhill, which is sometimes distracting.
Giro Strada Massa Long Finger Review
The Strada Massa is one of Giro’s most popular gloves. It has enough padding to keep you comfortable but not enough to feel bulky and excessive. The Strada Massa is one of the more comfortable gloves when on if you prefer the feel of padding.
The material on the tops of the fingers is light and breathable and is highly absorbent to wipe away any sweat.
The Strada Massa is another glove using the hook and loop system. The clasp is on the top of the wrist, which I find can come undone while riding. This isn’t a major as the gloves aren’t exactly going to fall off, but it is slightly annoying!
Giro Xena Glove Review
The Giro Xena is a lightly padded mountain bike glove. The tops of the hands have a bit of protection which helps in an encounter with a low hanging branch. They are designed more to protect your hands when you come off rather than provide comfort while riding.
The tops of the gloves are slightly thicker than many others, which is great if you pass close by trees or bushes. Otherwise, it is a great all-around glove and has earned its spot in the best womens mountain bike gloves category!
Troy Lee Designs Women’s Ace 2.0 Review
The Troy Lee Designs Ace 2.0 are fairly similar to the Fox Ranger gloves. Minimalist padding, great fit, and silicone grips on the fingers. The difference is that the Troy Lee Ace 2.0 are slip-on gloves, while the Fox Ranger gloves have a velcro hook and loop closure system.
These are brilliant gloves for warmer weather riding. The material on the tops of the hands is light and breathable so that you won’t get too sweaty. The palms are made from synthetic leather and have laser-cut holes to also help with ventilation.
The Trou Lee Designs Ace 2.0 provide better wrist coverage than most, the longer cuffs keep the rain, sweat and debris out of your
Both the thumb and the index finger have touch screen threads, which work reasonably well. Leatt could certainly improve in this area, but for the likes of a quick photo or answering a phone call, it works fine!
But in all, the Troy Lee Designs women’s Ace 2.0 is an excellent glove, worth every penny!
100% RideCamp Review
Again, very similar style to the Fox Ranger and the Troy Lee Designs Ace 2.0, the 100% RideCamp is another very popular glove. With minimal padding, a hook and loop closure system and a great fit, the RideCamp are certainly gloves to consider.
The thumb and index fingers are embroidered with silicon and thread to assist with screen sensitivity. The thumb also has an absorbent material to help wipe away any sweat. The 100% Ridecamp offers breathable materials and gloves that you can easily ride in all day long!
Leatt DBX 1.0 GripR Review
The Leatt DBX 1.0 GripR gloves are a slip-on style, minimalist glove. There isn’t any padding on the palm nor the knuckles, but it does have silicone grips on the fingertips. This helps you keep a good grip on the bars without becoming too tense.
The material is lightweight and breathable, which helps the ventilation over your hands. In all, a great pair of gloves, and the hardest decision will be choosing the colors to suit your kit!
Why are Men’s and Women’s gloves different?
The main difference between men’s and women’s cycling gloves is the sizing scale. For example, I am a size medium women’s gloves, but either an extra small (if they have them) or small in Men’s.
The shape of the fingers tends to be slimmer too. So if you have short, stocky fingers (like myself), often men’s gloves may fit better (if you can find some small enough).
I found that for slimmer, longer fingers, the Giro Gloves are ideal. In particular, the La DND is made for slender fingers. For shorter fingers (such as myself), the Fox Ranger gloves and the Troy Lee Ace 2.0 fit my hands and fingers much better.
While purchasing a pair of mountain biking gloves may not be as simple as you had first thought, we hope that this guide and list of the best women’s mountain bike gloves helps narrow the selection process.
When considering which of the MTB gloves best suits your needs, think about the amount of padding you need, and the temperatures you will be riding in. But most importantly, find one that fits. You don’t want to have your hands crammed into gloves that are too small, or have excess material when you grip the bars.
If you want more information on MTB Gloves, check out do I need gloves for mountain biking?