It's designed for the gravel bike movement, but can the Sportful Giara glove offer refinement as well as a bit of rough?
With gravel-road popularity growing, Sportful has responded to a call for more relaxed clothing with its Giara range and corresponding accessories, which are designed for riders seeking adventure over aero.
Having been designed specifically for rougher roads and gravel, Sportful says the Giara glove offers additional padding over a standard road mitt with three foam pads on the heel and outer side, thumb pad and upper palm.
The three padded sections on the Sportful Giara glove vary in foam densities but all have a printed silicone grip. Perforations have been added to the nylon/polyurethane palm in both the central non-padded area and fingers to offer an element of ventilation.
Up on top the mixed synthetic palm, made using fabric known for its robust qualities, has been extended to include a wraparound thumb and forefinger. A soft polyester sweat wipe stretches the length of the thumb and the polyester/elastane upper is colour coded to match the corresponding Giara outfit, as well as including reflective detailing.
The glove is finished off with a standard hem at the wrist and below first knuckles, with the inclusion of a simple fabric web between middle and ring finger to assist in the glove removal.
Having small hands, finding gloves that offer a good balance of padding without impacting on radial grip is always a challenge. So I was really pleased to discover upon donning the Sportful Giara glove that not only did they fit really well, the extra padding didn’t interfere with my grip on the handlebars.
The extra padding does dull road feedback, which is exactly what it’s been designed to do, but only to the point of offering hand/nerve protection and still allowed me to judge road and track surfaces sufficiently. This is probably in part due to keeping the actual grip element minimal by using just printed silicone – which was really effective in terms of maintaining a secure grip no matter how wet or sweaty my hands got.
The reflective detailing on the back of the hand is a nice touch, especially when signalling to turn.
It’s clear the Sportful Giara glove has come from a house with a background of making high-level race kit as even with the gravel road label they deliver on point.
Price wise, they seem to be at the upper end of average, but as they use fabrics known for their durability you should get plenty of life out of them.
My only nag is that the rest of the corresponding Giara kit isn’t unisex or available in all colours for both sexes. With colour coding pretty important to all riders, this means the the Coral Fluo colourway is limited to just women.
Designed for off-road adventures, the fit and form is so spot-on with a great balance of padding and grippiness, making the Sportful Giara glove more than adequate for any sort of bike ride.