MATERIALS Leather is the number-one choice for versatility, protection, grip, and comfort. Look for carbon fiber or plastic armor in the knuckles and the heel of the palm. Thin gloves give less protection, but better control feel. Strap closures help keep the gloves on your hands in a crash. Deer- or elkskin stays supple after getting wet. Interior seams should be placed where they don't chafe. Going cheap? Hardware-store leather work gloves can be a good value, and if you have heated grips you can use thinner gloves.