Best summer cycling gloves and mitts 2022: a buyer's guide

The best summer cycling gloves will add comfort and grip without excess warmth

The best fingerless cycling gloves and mitts
(Image credit: Getty Images / Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno )

Wearing the best summer cycling gloves while riding in warm weather is just as important as a pair of winter gloves for cold weather rides.

The benefits may be less obvious, but the best summer cycling gloves - sometimes called mitts if they are fingerless - feature padded and textured palms, helping you to grip the bars better while providing cushioning. They'll also help absorb sweat, so that your palms stay drier and more comfortable.

Should you fall, mitts or gloves will also help to protect your palms from cuts and abrasions.

As when buying a pair of the best winter cycling gloves, an ideal pair of summer cycling gloves will have a close and comfortable fit. Too tight, and they will dig in over longer rides and can potentially cause pins and needles if circulation is affected; too loose and you'll lose the benefit of the grip, and in the case of fingered gloves, find changing gear a challenge.

We've included more on what to look for when choosing the perfect pair of summer cycling gloves below, but first here are a few of our favourites.

Our pick of the best summer cycling gloves and mitts

Altura Progel mitts

(Image credit: Future)
Best for padding on a budget

Specifications

Weight: Not specified
Colours: Four
Sizes: XS - 2XL

Reasons to buy

+
Well padded
+
Low profile on the wrist

Reasons to avoid

-
May wear quickly

Altura's latest iteration of its popular Progel mitts has been redesigned to reduce seams in the palms and up the level of gel padding for additional bar comfort. 

There's a synthetic suede palm, well placed padding and a silicone print for grip and a mix of bonded and sewn seams and a stretch lycra upper. The cuff sits quite low on the wrist.

The Progel mitts sit towards the lower end of the market, but they're comfortable and well made, although we did find some threads had come loose after a few wearings.

You can read our full review of the Altura Progel mitts here.

De Marchi Revo Gloves

(Image credit: Future)
Bst for Italian style with palm comfort

Specifications

Weight: 38g (pair, size large)
Colours: One
Sizes: XS - XL

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent impact absorption
+
Grippy

Reasons to avoid

-
Rather bulky padding around the thumb

The De Marchi Revo gloves use super-high density foam inserts in the palms made by Elastic Interface, who are better known for their highly-rated seat pads for cycling shorts. We really rated the impact protection in the palms, although we found the padding around the thumbs a little too bulky. Grip is really good on the majority of bar tapes we tried. 

You don't get any straps to close the gloves and keep them in place, making for a minimalist design, while the mesh back is highly breathable, keeping your hands cooler in hot weather.

Read our full review of the De Marchi Revo gloves for more detail.

Castelli Arenberg Gel 2 Gloves

(Image credit: Wiggle)

Castelli Arenberg Gel 2 gloves

Best summer cycling gloves for rough roads

Specifications

Weight: 45g (claimed)
Colours : Five
Size : XS - XL

Reasons to buy

+
Gel padding
+
Nose wipe
+
Breathable
+
Adjustable wrist
+
Mitts and long finger options available

Reasons to avoid

-
Older model
-
Looks 
-
Bulky

Named after the hardest section of pavé in the Paris-Roubaix Spring Classic road race, Castelli's Arenberg Gel 2 gloves are made for making keeping your hands as protected as possible.

Castelli says that these are the most heavily padded summer gloves that they offer, and feature gel inserts on the palm, which it calls the Castelli Damping System (CDS).

Also found on some of the brand's higher end ranges, CDS is designed not only for comfort and greater control of the handlebars in tough terrain, but to help prevent damaging the main padding on your hand (pronator teres muscle), which, when subjected to prolonged and excessive impact, can compress the median nerve, often know as the labourer's nerve.

There are long and short finger versions available. Both use a mesh backing to help maximise breathability, and have a microsuede nose wipe on the thumb to prevent soreness.

The long fingered version is increasingly popular and offers whole finger protection, helping to improve shifting and brake grip in dusty and wet conditions, so great for gravel and slightly cooler weather too.

The mostly black gloves do come with some primary colour and high viz accents to choose from along with traditional full black.

Giro Monaco II Gel mitts

(Image credit: Future)
Best summer cycling glove with a high quality palm

Specifications

Weight: 58g (Size medium)
Colours : Four
Size: XS - XXL

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable
+
High quality
+
Leather palms

Reasons to avoid

-
White leather will mark
-
Tricky to wash
-
Difficult to remove

Made using top-notch sheep leather, on a test of the unisex version of the Monaco II Gel mitts we found the palm to be incredibly comfortable and soft, and it moulded well to the hand, with small holes over the centre of the palm for ventilation.

The Giro Technogel padding delivered very good pressure distribution, impact absorption and durability, which makes these great summer cycling gloves for lots of long days in the saddle.

A lightweight mesh, nose wipe and velcro strap finish the Giro Monica II Gel Mitts off nicely, the only downsides are that the white leather can soon look grubby and they are tricky to wash.

There are multiple sizes and colour choices in both unisex and women's specific versions.

100% Sling short finger gloves

(Image credit: 100%)

100% Sling short finger gloves

Best minimal summer cycling glove

Specifications

Weight: TBC
Colours : Three
Sizes: SM - XL

Reasons to buy

+
Ultra lightweight
+
Low profile
+
Mesh fingers

Reasons to avoid

-
No padding
-
No wrist closure adjustment
-
No sweat wipe

The 100% Brisker gloves (opens in new tab) were so highly rated by our MBR siblings that we had to take a look at what the brand was up to on the road cycling side.

The Sling is a super-lightweight minimal option, the perfect summer cycling glove for riders looking to retain maximum road feedback, but improve bar grip.

There are long and short finger versions available, and both, according to the brand, feel like you are not wearing gloves.

With no padding, these aren't going to be for riders who suffer from bar discomfort, but will be music to the ears of road cyclists who like a low profile grip and want to ensure they maintain as much radial grip as possible.

Giro Siv

(Image credit: Giro)

Giro Siv glove

Best summer cycling glove for retro looks

Specifications

Weight: TBC
Colours: Three
Size: XS - XXL

Reasons to buy

+
Retro looks
+
Breathable
+
Nose wipe
+
Microfibre padded palm

Reasons to avoid

-
Looser fit
-
Minimal technical attributes

The unisex Giro Siv gloves have combined retro looks with more modern fabrics, meaning that these string back looking gloves actually use a nylon mesh upper and a microfibre palm.

As well as easy washing, this modern twist on a classic looking glove means that they also come with a four-way-stretch and sweat wicking capabilities.

While they will be a better fit than the old school cotton and leather versions, the Giro Siv use a more relaxed fit design, so don't expect any watt saving assistance.

There are three to four colours to choose from,  and despite these being a unisex fit they come with a big size range from XS to XXL, meaning that these are a great summer cycling glove option for anyone wanting to get classic looks with more modern fabrics.

Supacaz SupaG

(Image credit: Supercaz )

Supacaz SupaG

Best summer cycling glove for standing out

Specifications

Weight: 35g (Claimed)
Colours: Two
Sizes: S-XXL

Reasons to buy

+
Originality
+
Aerodynamic
+
Reflective
+
Long and short finger versions

Reasons to avoid

-
Size and colours limited
-
Minimal padding

The shiny side of us absolutely loves the amazing summer cycling gloves from Supacaz. The 'oil slick' colour option certainly draws attention to the very unique design of the SupaG gloves.

Available in both long and short fingers, Supacaz says that these are functional in all weather and terrain conditions.

There's minimal padding, which will be great for those wanting to keep road feedback and radial grip on the bars, but not so much for anyone wanting palm cushioning on long rides.

There is a more practical black colourway option, but with the smallest sizes measuring 9.1cm across the palm, these are going to rule a lot of riders out on size.

Assos Summer Gloves S7

Assos Summer Gloves S7

Best summer cycling glove for crash replacement and warranty

Specifications

Weight: TBC
Colours : Two
Sizes: XS - XLG

Reasons to buy

+
Aerodynamic
+
Padding
+
Crash replacement
+
2 year warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Price
-
Colour options

Assos says that the main aim behind the design of the Summer Gloves S7  was to allow riders to maintain grip and control while protecting their palms.

Available in black or white, the palm uses what Assos call 'intelligent padding' to help dampen vibrations, while mesh inserts between fingers aim to keep the gloves lightweight with a flexible fit to avoid pinching or too much bulk.

The stretchy back of the gloves should have a close aerodynamic fit, but with no adjustable wrist closure it's vital that you get the right size.

While we haven't road tested these, it's safe to say that coming from the house of Assos you will get a known quality of product, and to confirm it the brand gives these gloves a two year warranty.

Should you have the misfortune of testing the gloves in a more aggressive manner than you would prefer, it's good to know that the Summer Gloves S7 also include a crash policy, with Assos repairing them free of charge if possible, or replacing them at a discounted price if written off within the first three months of purchase.

Sportful Giara glove

(Image credit: Saddleback)

Sportful Giara glove

Best summer cycling glove for gravel riding

Specifications

Weight: TBC
Colours: One
Sizes: XS - XXL

Reasons to buy

+
Gravel Specific 
+
Gel inserts
+
Adjustable wrist closure
+
Nose wipe

Reasons to avoid

-
Neither long nor short
-
Black only 

This rather bizarre looking pair are the ideal summer cycling gloves for gravel riders who are looking for max trigger finger grip in all terrains. 

The long thumb and first two fingers are designed to assist riders with confidence in braking and shifting gear, while the uncovered fingers help in maintaining hand temperature regulation and overall hand flexibility and dexterity.

Grip comes from a duo of gel inserts and silicone print on the palm, designed for comfort on rough stuff, on and off road.

Mesh palm inserts should also help keep sweat build up low on hotter days, while a simple Velcro-like wrist closure allows for an exacting fit.

With sizes from XS to XXL, most riders should be catered for, as long as you're ok with just the colour black.

AEROLITE INSIDEGRIP SHORT FINGER GLOVES

(Image credit: Gripgrab)

GripGrab Aerolite InsideGrip gloves

Best for bar grip

Specifications

Weight: Not specified
Colours: Five
Sizes: S - XXL

Reasons to buy

+
Extra grippy
+
Aerodynamic design

Reasons to avoid

-
Not padded

GripGrab uses its unique InsideGrip design in these lightweight gloves. It places silicone grippers on the inside surface of the gloves, so they won't slip around on your hands while you're riding. There's no padding, minimal seams and soft artificial suede palms in these mitts, so they're designed to enhance your bar feel.

As with many aero cycling gloves, there's no closure to get in the way of airflow - you just pull your hands through the stretchy cuff. You do get reflective details on the little finger though.

Best summer cycling gloves: what to look for

What features should I look for in the best summer cycling gloves?

First of all, look for good closure systems, typically a Velcro strap, or a close fit on the wrist to ensure that your glove will stay in place well and not slip around between your hands and the bars.

A nose wipe is really useful. It's the soft piece of fabric, often on the back of the thumb, which is designed to either wipe away sweat, a runny nose or wet lenses on the best cycling glasses, depending on your needs.

Ideally try before you buy to get the size right. Check they are comfortable or ensure there is a good returns policy when making a purchase. As with all cycling clothing, sizing is often inconsistent between brands.

Often the backs of summer cycling gloves are made of lightweight mesh, so they won't protect your hands from the sun. If your summer cycling gloves don't have a SPF rating or have gaps behind the closure strap, make sure you apply one of the best cycling sunscreens here. Your hands will get little shade on a ride, so it's important to apply sunscreen before you pull on a pair.

Do the best summer cycling gloves make a difference?

As one of only three touchpoints on your bike, keeping your hands comfortable and protected is vital to ensure enjoyable riding.

While gloves won't protect your hands from every eventuality, they can lower the risk of damage from a silly tumble, or gravel rash, which can otherwise mean days or even weeks off the bike for your palms to heal.

The best summer cycling gloves will also help wick away sweat, assist with grip and provide a handy wipe for your nose/ brow, as well as providing additional handlebar comfort.

Do summer cycling gloves come with padding?

Some of the best summer cycling gloves are padded, others are more minimalist. 

Unpadded summer cycling gloves may just come with silicone grip areas on the palms to help with gripping the bars in all weather and road conditions. Even this single layer of fabric will act as some form of protection from any crashes, as well as helping to prevent sweaty palms from slipping on the bars.

Padding in other gloves ranges from a thin leather pad to full-on gel padding, designed for the toughest and longest of rides.

Hand protection from repeated impact is vital on long rides which include lots of gravel or cobbles as this can cause nerve compression and damage over time.

How much padding to choose is down to personal choice. It's worth noting though that riders with smaller hands can suffer from too much padding interfering with their radial grip on the bars, so don't just assume maximum padding is best for you.

What are the loops on summer cycling gloves for?

Loops and extra long tabs at the wrist, or fabric rings on the middle fingers on cycling gloves can give them an odd appearance. These are there to help the wearer remove the gloves at the end of a ride by giving them something to pull on.

Trying to remove a small, damp, tight fitting glove otherwise can be a bit of a challenge.

Do pro cyclists wear summer cycling gloves?

Again, it's a personal choice. Some teams enforce the wearing of gloves to prevent unnecessary time off due to a hand injury that could have otherwise been prevented by using mitts or gloves.

That said, some riders have free rein and would rather have total road feedback, helping them be at one between the bike and road. 

Strade Bianche 2021

Mathieu van der Poel attacks during Strade Bianche 2021 without mitts (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

It is important to remember that mitts and gloves are not for everyone, and it really is a personal choice. Tom Boonen, now retired, famously didn't use them, even when riding on cobbles. That's true too of many other great and good riders.

It's worth noting that modern bar tape is very comfortable and can add a lot of grip and shock absorption for your hands. So an alternative may be to increase the padding on your bars by adding some of the best handlebar tape

Tom Boonen

Tom Boonen famously wore no mitts even over the cobbles

(Image credit: Cycling Weekly )

What's best, fingerless mitts or full-finger gloves?

Lightweight full-finger gloves may provide a bit of extra protection against the elements and abrasion. MTB riders typically use full-finger gloves and they're a useful option for gravel riding where your hands might bash against undergrowth.

Lightweight summer full-finger gloves feature significantly less insulation than a dedicated winter glove, so your hands shouldn't get too sweaty. They can also be useful to keep the wind off your hands on cold summer days.

Stefan Bissegger

Stefan Bissegger on stage three of Paris-Nice 2021 with extra long fingerless gloves (Photo by Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

Fingerless mitts tend to be favoured by road cyclists, as they are that bit cooler and there's less chance of them interfering with use of your controls. 

You can also buy aero cycling mitts that are lightweight and feature fabrics offering lower drag coefficient than bare skin. They typically feature less padding and minimalist construction with plenty of stretch to the fabric and no closures to catch the wind, with a cuff that extends over your wrist.

These are intended for racing and time trialling and are often designed to be used in conjunction with a skin suit or one of the best aero helmets.

Hannah Bussey
Hannah Bussey

Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.


Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.


For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas. 


She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.