by Bill C. for webBikeWorld.com
Summer Glove Comparison (2007):
▪ Summer Glove Comparison Home
▪ Alpinestars Sledge Gloves
▪ Joe Rocket Atomic 2.0 Gloves
▪ Joe Rocket Phoenix 3.0 Gloves
▪ REV'IT! Monster Gloves
▪ Teknic Road Iron Gloves
Not the favorite pair in this comparison
The Alpinestars Sledge Street Sport Riding Gloves are one of many different styles of motorcycle gloves offered by Alpinestars.
The "Sledge" model is new for 2007; apparently, it's so new, it hasn't even shown up on their website as this article was published.
The Sledge gloves feature leather in the palms with Clarino synthetic leather used in a few places.
I think the Clarino is used in a patch that covers the inside of the thumb and continues across the top of the palm.
The palm is probably the highest wear area on motorcycle gloves because it's where the rider's hand meets the handlebar grips.
The Sledge gloves also have a cool hidden knuckle protector underneath the leather.
It's molded to fit the shape of the knuckles and it includes some padding sewn underneath the knuckle protector on the inside of the glove. I didn't even realize the gloves had a knuckle protector until I put them on for the first time.
The gloves are fully lined, although the lining is missing from a few areas inside, like the "web" at the base of the fingers. Lycra darts are sewn into the fingers at the flex points.
The Sledge gloves appear to have a much higher level of quality than other summer motorcycle gloves I've encountered recently.
For example, the stitching and detail at the base of the thumb and the wedge-shaped sections of Lycra fabric sewn into the sides of the fingers at the middle joint are very well done.
The outer sections of the fingers and thumb include padded sections of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) closed-cell foam, which is a fancy name for your basic squishy foam padding. My guess is that this doesn't add anything to the protective qualities of the gloves but hey -- it looks good!
The fingers are shaped in a tapered box section, which is more costly and time consuming to manufacture but which normally provides higher levels of comfort to the wearer.
The problem is that the fingers seem to be tapered a bit too much towards the tips, and I can feel the seams and threads catching under my fingernails, which is annoying.
The Alpinestars Sledge gloves have everything going for them on paper, but I've noticed the same problem with them that I've noticed on several pairs of gloves recently: the gloves just don't seem to have enough room inside.
The knuckle protector underneath the leather may give the gloves a sleeker look, but the top of the gloves doesn't flex enough over the protector to make them comfortable.
These are a men's size large, which normally fits me, but the gloves seem tight and although the fingers are the correct length, the gloves just don't have enough room for my hands to expand when my weight bears down on the grips and this makes them less comfortable than any of the other summer motorcycle gloves in this comparison.
Also, even with all the perforations, I feel less air flowing through the Sledge gloves than any of the other three summer gloves.
All of this makes the Sledge gloves the most uncomfortable, in my opinion. I rate them last out of the four pair for comfort; in fact, after about 15 minutes of wearing them, I can't wait to take them off.
They haven't broken in the way I expected -- I think the design may prevent them from stretching the way they should or could. This leaves me feeling like I have less feel for the controls than I do with other gloves.
It's too bad, because if the Alpinestars Sledge gloves performed as good as they looked, they'd probably be the winner.