Good looking street and sport gloves with better than average protection compared to other women's gloves.
I guess I'm the last again, as usual!
Because this is the final installment of the five-part webBikeWorld series on Eska gloves.
This one took slightly longer, so my apologies for the delay but I can now present my review of the Eska "Squadrato" women's gloves.
"Squadrato" is an interesting name for a pair of gloves so I had to do a little research and discovered that it means "squared" in Italian. I'm not sure what the word "squared" has to do with women's motorcycle gloves, other than the small gray square print that can be seen on the gauntlet of the Squadrato gloves.
It took me a while to figure out the connection between the name and the pattern. Then I realized that the squares look just like the pattern on a grandmother's 1950's Formica kitchen tabletop. I think they look good on these gloves and the pattern is the only thing I can connect to the Italian word "Squadrato", so that must be the reason for the name. Not a problem with that -- I like the name and after thinking about it, Squadrato would be a good name for a pet too!
I haven't worn the other Eska gloves that were reviewed in the series, of course, but I have seen them and discussed their features with the other reviewers and we also talked about the Eska brand and it's always nice to have another choice in women's motorcycle gloves.
The Squadrato gloves follow what seems to be the same Eska pattern of looking like a familiar glove but with a twist by providing a combination of features that make them different from other brands.
These gloves come in either an all-black or the white and silver shown here. The white and silver gloves have a more stylish look I think, but they still have a race-glove or sporty style.
It's not easy to find women's motorcycle gloves that have true performance features. Most ladies gloves seem to be more biased to looking good rather than protecting. I think these do both, although the overall weight and feel of the Squadrato gloves is lighter than the heavier Eska men's racing gloves.
The Squadrato gloves should be better at protection than the dress gloves that are usually sold for women though, and they have the same types of protective areas of the men's gloves only scaled down in some ways.
The Squadrato gloves are 90% leather and 10% mesh, according to Eska. The mesh areas appear to be used as styling highlights on the back of the first finger and on the back of the thumb. Combined with the light weight leather used in the gloves, the Squadrato gloves feel cool, or I can at least feel the air coming through riding in warmer temperatures.
These gloves aren't made for riding in winter weather, but Eska has lined women's gloves for doing that and they have added the men's and women's winter gloves to their website during the time I have been wearing the Squadrato gloves.
I would say that these gloves can be worn in temperatures from about the hottest you would ride in, say 95 degrees, down to about 55 degrees but probably not much lower than that. That is meant as a compliment, because you'd want dedicated winter riding gloves or waterproof gloves for riding in cooler weather anyway.
The Squadratos are lined with white mesh that is mostly separate from the leather. There are a few bunched rows of stitches inside that I can feel, but they aren't raw edges, so the gloves are pretty comfortable although maybe not as comfortable as silk-lined dress gloves.
Also, one of the things that makes the Squadrato gloves seem lighter weight than the Eska men's gloves and also that helps the airflow is that the fingers use a stretchy textile material on the sides. So the tops and bottoms (the palm side and the top side) are leather, while the sides of the fingers are the textile. This seems to definitely allow me to curl my hands on the grips with less strain than other gloves I've worn.
The fingers then look like they are made and stitched just like the other men's Eska gloves, which also makes them seem more serious than some of the lightweight motorcycle gloves sold for women. When it comes to gloves, serious is better, because in the end, they are supposed to protect. No one cares what you look like while you're crashing!
The palm of the Squadrato gloves are made from leather that looks like suede. They have extra sections of suede then sewn on to the palm and up the thumb, again just like the men's version. The slightly rougher suede feels like it gives more grip than some of the shiny or slick dressier women's motorcycle gloves and it has been wearing well.
The gauntlet is also large enough to fit over a sleeve and it has the double layer hook-loop fabric attachment at the back, along with a wrist strap attachment under the wrist, also just like the Eska men's gloves. This is something that also isn't found on a lot of women's motorcycle gloves but it is surely a good safety feature.
The Squadrato gloves have a silver carbon fiber knuckle protector on the main knuckles. Even the Squadrato gloves in black have silver carbon fiber over the knuckles.
I didn't know carbon fiber came in silver but I have seen a few pairs of women's motorcycle gloves with either black carbon fiber or metal protectors. So this is one of those features that shouts "serious" to me, although the Squadrato gloves are probably not quite as serious as women's racing gloves -- although those are not easy to find.
The knuckles at the tips of the first three fingers have protectors also, they look like carbon fiber to match the bigger knuckle protector, but look closely at the photos below and you can see it looks like metal screen material is embedded in the resin. The rest of the gloves have extra pieces of leather for their protection, for example on the outer part of the pinky fingers and over the forefinger.
Extra leather is used also in strips covering the tops of the fingers and this is what holds the finger knuckle protectors in place; this can also be seen in the photo directly below.
It's my understanding that all of the Eska gloves that were reviewed are CE-approved, including the Squadrato gloves. This is another good feature and not all women's gloves are CE-approved, so this is a plus. Eska didn't list the Squadrato gloves as having Kevlar thread used for the stitches, however.
This pair are a women's size 8 and they are also marked as an "M" for medium. This is the same size as my other gloves and these fit just as the others, so I'll have to say they run true to size. They have a good amount of room in the fingers and fingertips which is needed when curling your hands around the handgrips -- this is important and one of the first things I try with a new pair of gloves.
One other feature I didn't mention is that the gloves also have large
sections of pleated leather on either side of the wrist. This gives the
gloves excellent flexibility at the wrist, both for up and down and side
to side motion. There is a small section of the pleated leather material
also at the base of the thumb, which also helps. So all of this adds up
to a very comfortable glove that also feels like it will protect.
The Eska Squadrato gloves for women are comfortable, stylish and provide protection at the same time. The white and silver color looks great but the white does get dirty pretty fast so the black version may be a better choice although the white and silver look more stylish, that's for sure!
It's not easy to find a good pair of women's motorcycle gloves that are really designed more for protection than style. I think Eska struck a good balance with the Squadrato gloves and I think that probably there isn't that much of a call for 100% women's motorcycle racing gloves, although I still think someone could come up with a pair that has all of the same protection as men's racing gloves but without looking too masculine.
In the meantime, these are just fine and for street use, I don't know of anything better!
Buying Eska Gloves: Due to the strong response from the webBikeWorld reviews, Eska is now taking email orders for gloves shipped worldwide, directly from the factory. They said that an online purchasing system with shopping cart will also become available soon! For more information, contact Eska directly through their website.
|wBW Review: Eska Squadrato Gloves|
|Manufacturer: ESKA Lederhandschuhfabrik||List Price: €79.00|
|Colors: Black or White/Silver.||Made In: Unknown|
|Sizes: Women’s 6 to 9||Review Date: September 2010|
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