The 5 Best MTB Gloves – [2021 Reviews & Guide]

Protect your hands and maintain a good grip, we break down this year's top MTB gloves

Our Editors independently research, test, and rate what we feel are the best products. We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

After a helmet, a pair of gloves is the most important safety equipment that you should own. Having the best mountain bike gloves will help you keep skin on your palms if you crash and give you better grip.

In summer, sweaty palms and rubber grips can be a slippery combination. Gloves maintain a good grip on the bar and move sweat away from your skin. In winter, a good pair of gloves will keep your hands warm and dry.

There are hundreds of gloves available, with different styles and features. To help you decide which top rated MTB gloves are right for you, we have made a selection of the best and summarized their features.

Best Mountain Bike Gloves

 Fox Racing Ranger Gel GloveAlpinestars Moab Cycling Gloves Giro Blaze Gloves
editors choice
Finger Length:Full fingerFull fingerFull finger
Features:Stretchable air mesh upper for ventilation.Synthetic leather reinforced with Kevlar for hand protectionMicrofiber thumb panels for touchscreen compatibility
Made From:Polyamide Nylon and Polyester
Mesh/spandex for comfort and ventilationClarino synthetic leather silicone with moisture-wicking synthetic

For more of my MTB gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: MTB Helmets, MTB Shorts, MTB Shoes.

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated MTB Gloves For 2021

  1. Fox Racing Ranger Gel Glove
  2. Alpinestars Moab MTB Gloves
  3. Giro Blaze Mountain Biking Gloves
  4. Dakine Cross-X Bike Gloves
  5. Troy Lee Designs Moto/Mountain Bike Gloves

Our reviews of the top MTB gloves with a comparison table and buyers guide will help you choose the right gloves for you.

MTB Gloves Reviews

#1 Fox Racing Ranger Gel Short MTB Glove

Fox Racing Ranger Gel Glove at a Glance:

  • Material4-way stretch polyester
  • Length: Full Finger
  • Padding: TruGel
  • Touch Screen Compatible: Not needed – half finger

Offering much more ventilation but far less protection, these short finger Fox MTB gloves are guaranteed to let your hands stay as cool as possible on the warmest days.

The stretchable air mesh upper allows air flow and wicks away moisture from sweat. The double layer synthetic leather palm ensures grip regardless of how much you are sweating and you can use the suede on the thumb to wipe off sweat from your face.

Despite the double layer there is not any padding on the palm. They will protect your hands in a crash but not absorb any vibrations.

Any roadies reading this beware! Overall I think the FOX Rangers are the best mountain bike gloves, especially in the hot summer months!

Alpinestars Moab MTB Gloves at a Glance:

  • Material: Mesh/spandex
  • Length: Full Finger
  • Padding: Shock absorption foam
  • Touch Screen Compatible: No

Moab is a mountain biking mecca in Utah, famous for its dry and rocky landscape. These gloves have been designed to be comfortable to wear on all day missions as well as protect your hand from the occasional strike against a tree or boulder, as can often happen in Moab.

The palm is made from synthetic leather and is reinforced with Kevlar in the areas that will get scraped in a crash. Padded sections over the knuckles allow you to gently punch any boulders that you don’t like, and silicone fingertips keep your fingers on place on the brake levers.

There is some ventilation to keep your hands cool, but the added padding does make these gloves warmer than models with less padding. For when the going gets sweaty, there is a section of toweling for wiping off sweat.

Some bikers have had issues with the durability. However I think Alpinestars have addressed these concerns and the Moabs are some of the best MTB gloves you can buy.

Giro Blaze Gloves

Giro Blaze Mountain Biking Gloves at a Glance:

  • Material: Soft shell with an AGrid thermal fleece
  • Length: Full Finger
  • Padding: None
  • Touch Screen Compatible: Yes

Unless you want to ride in sustained periods of rain, or sub-freezing temperatures, these gloves are great winter choice.

The upper is water resistant enough to keep out light showers and thick enough to keep your hands warm in cooler temperatures. There is also wind resistance too and if your hands do get warm, sweat will be wicked away from your skin.

Unlike other winter gloves, the synthetic leather palm is thin enough to allow feedback through the handlebars. Silicone fingertips allow grip when braking and shifting gears.

There are also some other features to keep you happy when it’s cold outside.

Microfiber detailing on the fingers means you do not have to take the gloves off to use your smartphone and reflective detailing helps you get seen by other road users on the way back from the trails.

Dakine Cross-X Glove at a Glance:

  • Material: Airmesh, foam
  • Length: Full Finger
  • Padding: Knuckle Guards
  • Touch Screen Compatible: Yes

If you’d like to take your bike on a gnarly downhill course and need a glove that will protect your hands, the Dakine Cross-X Bike Glove is the solution.

The stand out feature of these gloves is the rubber knuckle guards. Feel free to take a swing at a tree in these and your hands will come out completely unharmed.

With silicone finger grips and a 3 mm foam pad at the palm, they are designed to cushion your hands from even the most rugged trails.

Better yet, they are even touchscreen compatible. This is a pair of gloves you won’t regret buying.

Troy Lee Designs Moto/Mountain Bike Gloves at a Glance:

  • Material: Spandex / Synthetic leather
  • Length: Full Finger
  • Padding: None
  • Touch Screen Compatible: No

These gloves are a favorite among Troy Lee Designs’ sponsored riders. Not only are they lightweight and extremely well ventilated, they are incredibly durable and versatile as well.

The spandex upper stretches snug around your hand and lets air pass through to keep them cool. Any sweat is moved to the outer layers where it evaporates quickly.

The palm is made of synthetic leather that is very hard wearing, even standing up to multiple abrasions from crashes.

The logo over the knuckles is made out of silicone and supposedly is armor, but realistically it is not going to protect you from too much. Likewise, the thickness of the material does not keep out any passing bushes or thorns.

If you do not need protection on the top of your hands, then these gloves are perfect. The fit and ventilation makes you forget that your are wearing a pair of gloves, allowing you to concentrate on more important things.

There is even a women’s version available and a huge range of colors and designs on offer.

Mountain Bike Gloves Comparison Table

MTB Gloves Finger LengthFeaturesMaterialRating
Fox Racing Ranger Gel GloveFull fingerStretchable air mesh upper for ventilationPolyamide Nylon & Polyester4.3 / 5.0
Alpinestars Moab MTB GlovesFull fingerSynthetic leather reinforced with Kevlar for hand protectionMesh/spandex3.8 / 5.0
Giro Blaze Mountain Biking GlovesFull fingerMicrofiber thumb panels for touchscreen compatibilitySynthetic Leather 3.5 / 5.0
Dakine Cross-X Bike GloveFull fingerRubber knuckle guards, touch screen compatibleAirmesh, Foam 4.8 / 5.0
Troy Lee Designs Moto/Mountain Bike GlovesFull fingerVentilated Spandex body for hot weather ridingSynthetic leather palm / Spandex4.2 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best MTB Gloves – Buyers Guide

Best MTB Gloves
The following guide will give you a good idea of what you need to look out for in a good pair of mountain biking gloves.

Riding Environment

The time of year and the conditions where you ride are your two most important considerations. Are you riding in open terrain or through brush where your hands will will hitting sticks and possibly thorns? If so have full finger protection will be paramount.

For summer riding, find a glove with good ventilation but no compromise on the level of protection that you need.

Time of year and temperature will also need to be considered.  If your riding in winter or cold weather, an insulated, preferably water resistant/waterproof glove full finger will be your best option.

Full or Half Finger

Full finger gloves provide more complete protection and, obviously, winter gloves need to be full length.

Half finger gloves are more ventilated and tend to be used by road cyclists and XC racers, although as XC courses are becoming more technical and hazardous, more and more racers are wearing full finger models.

Mountain Bike Gloves Full Finger vs Half Finger


Good fitting gloves are critical. Small gloves will be uncomfortable to wear whereas gloves that are too big will let your hands move around inside them, actually decreasing the grip that you have on the handlebars.

Riding Style

More aggressive riders will want a glove with more protection than casual riders. If you do downhill racing you will need even more protection, the Leatt DBX gloves are your best bet.


MTB Gloves Knuckle Armor

  • Knuckle Armor: Some gloves have rubber, plastic or silicone armor over the knuckles to protect hands from scraping past bushes and the occasions when a tree gets a little bit too close.
  • Wipe: A section of toweling on your gloves can be used to wipe off sweat in summer or a running nose in winter!
  • Gel Padding: If you suffer from numb hands, the culprit is probably your bike setup. However, some people will get numb hands anyway so some gloves have padding on the palms to take some of the pressure.
  • Silicon Fingertips: These allow the fingers to grip the brake levers better.
  • Smartphone Compatible: If you really need to use your phone while riding, you will need gloves that work with touchscreens.


The material the MTB gloves are made from needs to be considered. Most gloves are made from either leather or synthetic leather in the palms for grip and durability.

While the fingers and top of the glove should be made of a spandex for good fit and moisture wicking properties. If you plan on riding in cold weather, make sure the gloves have some insulation to keep your hands warm.


If you plan on riding where there are bushes and trees next to the trails you will want padding/armour on the knuckles of the gloves for the inevitable brushes against them. The Leatt DBX 4.0 are a good example of this style of glove.

Caring For your Gloves

Like anything you wear you wash your gloves to get the mud and dirt off they maintain their wicking properties. Most synthetic gloves are machine washable so they won’t shrink but verify before throwing them in the washing machine. If you have water and wind resistant gloves, periodic treatment may be necessary to maintain it.

I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best mountain bike gloves to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a pair of gloves I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.

Have fun and be safe out there!

How We Researched

To come up with the top mountain biking gloves, we researched a variety of sources for reviews such as Competitivecyclist, JensenUSA, REI, EVO along with our own personal experience.

We also consulted online magazines for product research and reviews to get as much unbiased information as we could. To help weed out fake reviews we used to make sure we only looked at genuine reviews.

With so much quality gear available, we had to narrow it down based on what we felt were the best options were for the price. The author, Richard Bailey has a wide background in mountain biking in a variety of countries, terrain types and bike packing for weeks on end.

The author has decades of experience and is eager to share his knowledge with readers.

To help narrow down the selection we used personal experiences along with recommendations from fellow MTB bikers, bloggers and bike shops.

After extensive research, we came up with our list to help you choose the right one for you.


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Richard Bailey

Richard is a freelance content writer specializing in cycling and mountain biking who originates from the UK. He works as a professional mountain bike guide and writes expert cycling articles for outside adventure and bike-focused websites such as RAD Season and Bike Exchange. When Richard is not guiding adventurers around mountains, he is traveling the world with his bike. It is his mission to ride in as many places as possible. Richard is happiest when he is on a bike and loves to share his experiences with others on Instagram.

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