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Best summer cycling gloves 2024 — mitts made for riding to keep your hands comfy and stylish

A good pair of cycling mitts will look after your hands when the weather warms up without making them hot and sweaty. Here are some of our faves

Fingerless summer cycling gloves — also known as track mitts — are an iconic piece of cycling clothing. In this buyer’s guide we’ll take a look at the functions and features of summer cycling gloves, pick out a selection of the gloves we’ve reviewed and loved over many thousands of miles of riding, and help you buy the best summer cycling gloves.

Fingerless cycling gloves provide protection if you crash, absorb buzz from the handlebar, help with grip and provide somewhere to wipe a runny nose. The cheapest fingerless summer cycling gloves cost about £6; luxury models run over £50.

Aero comes to everything, even gloves: super-snug, Lycra-backed gloves are intended to add a little bit of speed for time trials and triathlons.

The palms of cycling gloves are usually made from leather, either real or synthetic, with backs in a soft, stretchy material

Traditional track mitts had an open section on the back which added a brown blob on the hand to the classic cyclist suntan, but most gloves these days have closed backs so you don’t have to use sunscreen there.

We've also included our favourite summer-weight full-finger gloves because for many riders they're the way to go if you ride a flat-bar bike, or want a bit more protection for gravel bike riding.

The best summer cycling gloves

Let’s take a look at our favourite summer cycling gloves of the last few years. All of these have scored an 4.5 out of 5 from our reviewers, or 4.5 out of 5 for performance.

Best summer cycling gloves overall: Endura FS260-Pro Aerogel Mitt — Buy Now for £27.99 from Endura

2022 Endura FS260-Pro Aerogel Mitt - tab.jpg

These sleek mitts bagged a road.cc Recommends award for their comfort, breathability and grippy feel, featuring plenty of padding without being overwhelming so your hands still stay cool on hot rides. 

Providing all you need and nothing you don't for summer rides, the FS260-Pro gloves will offer some road feel, while damping out the worst impacts from rough roads, bumps, and jolts. Rather than just stitching the pads, Endura has secured the larger pads in place with a thick, plasticky mesh to allow air to flow through them, creating more of an absorbent squidge. 

While they're not cheap, our reviewer praised these impressive mitts for a great fit plus plenty of wicking and breathability, and the padding is just right for road cycling.

Read our review of the Endura FS260-Pro Aerogel Mitt

Best for retro styling: Galibier Campionissimo ll cycling gloves — Buy Now for £29.44 from Galibier

Galibier Campionissimo ll Luxury Mitt.jpg

The Galibier Campionissimo II Luxury Mitts harken back to the era of Fausto Coppi, classic styling matched with first-rate materials and construction. They will fit like – ahem – a glove, for many thousands of miles of fair-weather smiles.

The Campionissimo cycling gloves definitely err towards warmer weather, with hundreds of holes, the back of the hand and each knuckle bare to aid ventilation. That said, if you run warm you may find them more than a fair-weather item.

The feel once on is indeed ‘luxury’. The naturally dyed goatskin leather is supple and soft, and after a few rides begins to take on the natural profile of your hands. I imagine that, like a good leather shoe or watchstrap, they will only fit better over time, unlike a synthetic which tends to stay the dimensions it starts out as.

Read our review of the Galibier Campionissimo ll

Best for padded comfort: Altura Progel cycling gloves — Buy Now for £19.49 from Wiggle

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Altura’s Progel Mitts offer plenty of comfort on the bike. The gel pads are well placed and really do damp vibrations, making them great for rough roads and long days in the saddle.

Altura has removed the seams in the area of the carpal tunnel nerves that older models had, and the interior is really comfy against the hand. The palm side is cleverly cut to the curve of the palm to improve dexterity. They are so super snug and minimal that you won’t be rushing to get them off when you stop; you may forget you have them on, they don’t pinch or rub at all either.

Tester Emma writes: “My testing of mitts for performance is pretty formulaic in comparison to many other bits of clothing: go out with a mitt on one hand and nothing on the other. Doing this with the Progels, you really notice just how much protection the gel is giving; it’s impressive for something that’s actually quite a thin layer. Not everyone will want this level of padding in a mitt – if you like more feedback, these might not be for you – but for me the gel pads are well placed and really damp vibrations.”

Read our review of the Altura Progel 3
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Best full-finger gloves Troy Lee Designs Ace 2.0 — Buy Now for £13.00-£17.49 from Chain Reaction Cycles

Troy Lee Designs Ace 2.0 gloves

The Troy Lee Designs women’s Ace 2.0 glove is a super-thin and light summer mountain bike glove, with a minimalist design we really like. They’re well ventilated, work with a touch screen, and give good feel on your grips thanks to the thin palm. They’re good for drop bars too, as long as you can live with the lack of padding.

The thin synthetic leather palm offers a good feel on the bars and doesn’t bunch at all. It also gets laser-cut holes across the width and up the fingers, to increase ventilation and decrease sweat. The upper is a combination of mesh fabric and smooth elastication at the cuff. The mesh is, as you would expect, well ventilated, making these some of the coolest gloves we’ve worn. Even cooler than the Alpinestars Stella F-Lite gloves, a previous favourite.

Read our review of the Troy Lee Designs Ace 2.0

Giro Supernatural Road Cycling Mitt — Buy Now for £46.99 from eBay

2022 Giro Supernatural Road Cycling Mitt.jpg

While the tech comes at a pretty loft price, the Elastic Interface palm on Giro's Supernatural cycling gloves make them super comfortable according to our reviewer, and a soli option for competitive road cyclists. 

They're also lightweight and low profile, and the palms mould to the shape of your hands to prevent the material bunching. You can get a great grip and feel of the bars, ans as the palms are seamless you don't get any discomfort or irritation.

 If you're happy to spend a bit extra, you'll get some excellent mitts for your money.

Read our review of the Giro Supernatural Road Cycling Mitt

Stolen Goat Nettle Cycling Mitts — Buy Now for £25.00 from Stolen Goat

2020 Stolen Goat Nettle Cycling Mitts 1.jpg

The Stolen Goat Nettle Cycling Mitts are minimalist and extremely light fingerless gloves, and work well either with the official matching jersey or alone. Cost effective, simple and comfortable, about the only thing they lack is an XS size for smaller adults and kids.

Simple fabric tabs under the two middle fingers allow for easy removal, even when your hands are sweaty. A soft towelling nose wipe at the thumb takes care of sniffles.

Exceptionally comfortable straight off, these mitts are ideal for those who prefer minimal bulk. The simple pull-on design means there’s no risk of Velcro attacking expensive jerseys or shorts, and the padding is a great balance of cushioning without bulk; there’s nothing to build up the palm and risk chafing or nerve pressure, as can happen with gel padded mitts.

Read our review of the Stolen Goat Nettle Cycling Mitts

Altura Club mitts — Buy Now for £8.75 from Altura

2020 Altura Club mitt.jpg

At just shy of 20 quid (or much less if you can get them in your size on sale), Altura’s Club Mitts are priced at the entry level end of the market, but you get some decent features for your money, including a memory foam palm and a microfibre sweat-wipe panel that runs alongside the length of the thumb.

Tester Janine writes: “The Clubs serve up a satisfyingly snug fit, certainly aided by the hook and loop (aka Velcro) adjustable closure positioned in just the right spot to sit comfortably without any rubbing in action.

“I tested these gloves during a period of renewed love for my cross bike and the hottest May on record, and can attest to just how comfy they are in sweaty conditions over uneven terrain, and while gripping the brakes far more than is required or justified. The Altura Dry technology which, Altura says, is engineered to move excess moisture away from the skin, wicks well as advertised. My hands were kept pretty sweat-free – as was my brow thanks to the microfibre sweat-wipe panel that runs alongside the length of the thumb, a nifty little feature.”

Read our review of the Altura Club mitts

La Passione Summer Cycling Gloves — Buy Now for ~34.42 from La Passione

2020 La Passione Duo Gloves.jpg

The La Passione Summer Cycling Gloves (known as the Duo when we reviewed them) are simple yet very effective cycling mitts – the lightweight fabric used for the back is breathable and soft while the palm gives excellent comfort.

The design is pretty basic, which isn’t a bad thing. They work perfectly, combining a breathable back with a suede microfibre palm and slim padding. This all gives you plenty of grip on bar tape while also being comfortable on hot days.

Overall, these gloves are comfortable, breathable and good value, plus they look great.

Read our review of the La Passione Duo Gloves

Hirzl Grippp Light SF cycling gloves — Buy Now for £25.99 from BikeInn

hirzl_gripp_light_sf_mitts.jpg

Hirzl’s Grippp Light SF cycling gloves offer fabulous performance. These lightweight summer mitts have the best grip I’ve ever experienced and they back this up with great construction and a perfect fit. And while the price is high, they’re still cheaper than some – we reckon they’re worth every penny.

Grip (or even Grippp) is Hirzl’s USP, but I was still surprised by just how grippy they are. It’s not marketing hype, these work as they’re claimed to. Contrary to most cycling gloves I’ve tried, these are grippier than my bare hands in the dry. Move to wet weather and they are still incredible, easily outperforming everything else I’ve tried.

That grip provided by a very supple kangaroo leather palm that’s been subjected to what Hirzl calls an “extensive tanning procedure”. This Light version goes without padding which is a feature I really like, so you get a nice natural feel for the bars. Hirzl does also make these in a Comfort version with some thin padding, if that’s what you prefer.

Read our review of the Hirzl Grippp Light SF

Santini Brisk cycling gloves — Buy Now for £20.99 from BikeInn

santini_brisk_race_mitt.jpg

Santini’s Brisk Race Mitts are a very comfortable set of low-bulk mitts that give a natural feel of the handlebar while providing just enough cushioning. The back is highly breathable and the price beats many for value.

The Brisk cycling gloves are really well thought out. The design is very simple and the fit is spot on. A mesh back is well stitched to a palm that has a little bit of gel under a grippy surface. And personally, I’m glad Santini has chosen to use some small pull tabs instead of a Velcro strap to aid getting the mitts on and off.

The mesh back is made from ‘Spider Micromesh’. This hasn’t made my hands too hot and it dries very quickly. In fact, these gloves have been perfect for the hot summer months, allowing the air to quickly dry the sweat wicked by the Spider-Mesh. The fabric is also soft and has stayed that way through many washes.

Read our review of the Santini Brisk

Hirzl Grippp Tour SF cycling gloves — Buy Now for £31.49 from BikeInn

hirzl_gripp_tour_sf.jpg

The Hirzl Grippp Tour SF gloves certainly live up to their name as the tacky nature of the leather palm gives you unbelievable grip on even the wettest and shiniest of bar tapes. Minimal padding means plenty of feel can come through the handlebar too, in a good way.

The palm is made from kangaroo leather, often praised for its suppleness, and it really is a great material for glove use. I’ve owned cow leather mitts in the past and after wet or sweaty rides the palms can harden and need softening up again on your next ride, but you don’t get any of that here.

The finish to the palm has a slightly sticky feel to it, which comes from the Grippp polymer that is added. This gives excellent grip levels on either the bar tape or the hoods. I wore these on some seriously wet rides and no matter how many bumps or whatever you hit, they aren’t going to slip.

Off-road on the gravel bike I’m testing, hitting tree roots and potholes never saw me lose grip on the hoods or drops even in the wet; the grip levels are really impressive.

Read our review of the Hirzl Grippp Tour SF

Everything you need to know about fingerless cycling gloves for summer riding

Summer cycling gloves have a number of jobs: they help grip the handlebar, they protect your hands if you fall, they can prevent numbness by absorbing buzz and vibration from the road, they protect the backs of your hand from the sun... and, it doesn’t hurt if they look good of course!

Materials

lusso_summer_mitts_-_terrain_red_-_palm.jpg
Gloves almost always have palms made from genuine or synthetic leather

You’ll usually find a palm made from either genuine leather or a synthetic leather of some sort and a back made of a stretchy fabric to keep the gloves snug on your hands. But as with so much in cycling there are many variations on those two themes, especially when it comes to the back of cycling gloves, which might be made from leather or crocheted cotton mesh instead of Lycra.

Somewhere on the back you’ll almost always find a patch of towelling to wipe your face with.

Sizing

The standard way of sizing gloves is to measure in inches around the palm of your hand. If that measurement is, say, 9 inches, then you’re a size 9 in gloves.

Of course, the bike industry doesn’t do this, instead generally using Extra Small to Extra Large size designations that vary between brands and even within the same brand. For example, I’m a Pearl Izumi Large, a Galibier Extra Large and last year I was a Decathlon XXL in their winter gloves, though I’m an XL the latest version.

Given the bike industry can’t even agree on what sort of bottom bracket bikes should have (or make most of the various standards work properly) it’s obviously too much to hope for that they’d manage a consistent sizing system for summer cycling gloves...

Padding

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Gel padding to absorb road buzz is a common feature

Some cycling gloves have padding on the palms in the form of slabs of gel under the leather, others don’t. Whether you need this is entirely down to you. Unpadded cycling gloves give a very direct connection to the handlebar and that’s a feel many riders prefer, but if you’re prone to numb hands from the pressure of the handlebar or road buzz, you might want some gel to absorb impacts.

Closure

Galibier Campionissimo ll Luxury Mitt - back.jpg
An unusual closure on Galibier’s Campionissimo ll gloves — press-studs

To keep them snug around your wrist, summer cycling gloves either have a Velcro closure, or nothing at all, relying on the stretch of an elasticated cuff or back to keep them tight. Velcro cuffs usually make for a cycling glove that’s easier to get on and off, simply because they provide a bigger opening to put your hand in, but there’s a pleasing minimalism about gloves without a flap to keep them closed.

Cost

The very cheapest summer cycling gloves cost about six quid, the most expensive about ten times that. Back in 2005 Rapha offered an £80 pair made from African hair sheep leather and manufactured in the UK. They were lovely, but the price was obviously a bit startling.

Back on planet earth, and a decent pair of summer cycling gloves will cost you £20-£40, which is cheap enough that you can have several pairs to match different outfits, or just plump for goes-with-anything black.

Glove care

Gloves with synthetic palms can be chucked in the washing machine on gentle cycle with the rest of your sports kit, and even tumble-dried, especially if your drier has a low-hot setting. Don’t do that with leather-palmed gloves though, it’ll destroy them. Instead, wash them with soap and water while you’re wearing them, rinse them thoroughly and hang them out to dry gently.

Fingers

Most summer gloves are fingerless or, if you want to be pedantic, short-fingered. But if you’re riding off-road and want a bit more protection for the backs of your fingers, take a look at the lightweight gloves aimed at mountain bikers. They’re especially handy for gravel riding where the hand positions on the hoods and drops expose the backs of your hands to bushes, nettles and brambles.

About road.cc Buyer's Guides

The aim of road.cc buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.

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road.cc buyer's guides are maintained by the road.cc tech team. Email us with comments, corrections or queries.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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8 comments

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Zermattjohn | 6 months ago
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Genuine question - what really is the point of mitts with padding when there are plenty of bar tape options which do the job of dealing with discomfort/sweat?

If you're just after something to offer protection when if you hit the deck, then anything will do won't it -  and likely they'll be far less costly to replace if ripped?

Avatar
Left_is_for_Losers replied to Zermattjohn | 6 months ago
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I don't usually wear mitts, or gloves even, only when it's cold enough for them. 

If I was to wear mitts, it would be in case of crashing, but I'm yet to have an issue with hands and crashing, so until then, I will probably not wear them...

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Secret_squirrel replied to Zermattjohn | 6 months ago
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Try getting a zap from your ulnar nerve - then you'll understand what padding is all about.  Besides different folks require different amounts.  Sometimes more is better than less.

Ive had a set of the fs260's for years and use them both for road and gravel.  They are the business and seem to be super hardwearing.

Avatar
Paul J replied to Zermattjohn | 6 months ago
1 like

The padding on your mitts is always there, regardless of where you place your hands.

Just the better place for padding.

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JMcL_Ireland | 6 months ago
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One curious side-effect I got with leather Galibier gloves (I'd been tempted by the Campionissmo, but went with the Liberte gloves in the end) was on the first major spin I had with them. Mid ride I kept getting Strava notifications on the Garmin Edge that my ride had been uploaded to Strava, which was a head scratcher as the computer was still happily recording. I eventually figured that the stiff leather on the back of the gloves was triggering the button on my Garmin watch. Swapped watch to right arm - problem solved.

That aside, they're very comfortable. Against all usual advice I was debuting them on a 200km audax route, but they performed flawlessly (and I do tend to suffer from numbness). The did start out a bit stiff but were moulding themselves to my hands after about half an hour

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Surreyrider | 6 months ago
1 like

A strange round-up of mitts that steers clear of all the most popular gloves.

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Paul J | 6 months ago
1 like

Real leather is by far the best material. It has some give to it, which synthetics do not, making real leather a bit more comfortable on longer rides. Real leather will also rot away when the gloves are done.

Cycling brand real leather gloves generally are expensive unfortunately. Though these Galibier ones look a good price.

There are however quite cheap leather + cotton crochet mitts on eBay and Amazon, of varying degrees of styling and fit-quality. Cheap enough to not be bothered by less-than-great cut and loose fit, and use day to day (commuting). Aside from velcro, these are almost entirely leather and cotton.

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Paul J replied to Paul J | 6 months ago
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Style wise, these suede gloves look the business:
https://www.ebay.ie/itm/334740778160

I don't quite have these ones, but I do have an extremely similar pair from someone else, and they're my favourite mitts in terms of style, fit and feel - the only issue is on the ones I got the stitching is weak and quickly broke along a thumb, but still wearable (and have kept doing so for years). Whether these would be better, I don't know. Current ones are getting really grimy, so maybe time to try these.

The £5 cotton-back ones on eBay/Amazon tend to much sturdier, but low-quality fit (but hey, they still work).

One downside with leather: If they get soaked the leather will shrink and harden. You can wear them back in to fit though.

The suede ones are bit easier to wear back in, as they're much thinner. Though, they get slippier when wet.

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