by Carmen B. for webBikeWorld.com
The Racer "High Racer" motorcycle gloves are very protective.
These are a sport-type racing glove, with nearly identical features made in sizes for both women and men.
They are designed for the track or street rider looking for a high level of protection.
The gloves are loaded with protective features but also designed for good feel and comfort.
If you have been following the motorcycle glove reviews here on webBikeWorld.com for longer than even few months, you’ll no doubt have heard of Racer Gloves.
It’s not hard to have a lot of reviews of Racer brand gloves, as the company offers quite a wide range for both men and women.
Racer Gloves USA is the U.S. division of Racer Outdoor GmbH and they have a nice variety of the motorcycle gloves for both men and women from the parent company in Austria.
However, there are more varieties of gloves for men than there are for women. Hopefully this will change in the future though as more women riders become interested in good quality gloves for riding.
That being said, Racer Gloves USA currently has 8 different women’s gloves on offer and that's a pretty good selection.
The women’s glove range runs from lightweight short-cuff gloves to waterproof touring gloves and track level protection gloves and some of the women's gloves are identical to the men's except for sizing and for a difference in the scaphoid slider material (see below).
Across the board, Racer Gloves USA claims their gloves are “The Best Fitting Motorcycle Gloves You Can Buy”. Is that true?
Let's find out how that claim applies to the High Racer Gloves in this review, which should also apply to the men's version.
Sometimes gloves with “Racer” in the name are “racer” in looks only. But in the case of the High Racer Gloves, the name really is appropriate.
The High Racer gloves include comprehensive protection features needed for use on the track or for any street rider looking for a high level of protection.
These gloves are clearly not a fashion accessory, and that is welcome.
Personally, I’ve grown a bit tired of the pink panels and flowery stitches that adorn a lot of women’s motorcycle gear. I like seeing protective gear that looks tough and durable.
It’s confidence-inspiring and the protective features need to be more than just skin deep. The design of the women’s glove is based on the men’s version but the cut of the shell is designed for women’s hands. So how well do they fit? Read on and see.
Available in a white/black scheme (which is mostly white) in the women's version, with an option of all black in the men's version, the High Racer gloves are made from leather with kangaroo leather palms.
The gloves are also sprinkled with several carbon fiber knuckle protectors.
The leather material isn't specified other than the kangaroo leather used on the underside of the fingers and the palm. The grain and texture of the other leather suggests it is likely goat, cowhide, or a combination of both.
The High Racer gloves are the long gauntlet style, with a thin strap that cinches the inside of the wrist, as well as a large strap below the wrist that cinches starting 1.75 inches (4.5 cm) below the wrist.
The thin strap fastens with a hook-and-loop fastener after passing through a plastic D-ring. This end of the strap is shaped in a way that reduces the risk of the strap from slipping out of the D-ring when taking off the glove.
On the outside facing side of the gauntlet is one of those carbon fiber protectors mentioned above with a Racer Gloves logo stuck on top. Next to it is another bit of branding where “RACER” is screen printed on the black leather panel on the back of the wrist.
“RACER” is also printed repeatedly along the welt around the gauntlet opening.
Moving up the back of the wrist and hand is a panel of perforated white leather which contains more carbon fiber protectors. We’ll go over all the various protectors in just a bit.
Further up the back of the hand are more panels of white leather surrounding the knuckle protector and more panels making up upper portion of the finger boxes.
Moving to the underside of the fingers, kangaroo leather is used and runs down to the center of the palms. Kangaroo leather is great for motorcycle gloves, as it is strong and thin so it offers an excellent combination of protection and feel.
In addition, at the end of the index and middle fingers as well as across the base of the fingers and the underside of the thumb are strips of silicone that add extra “grip” to the kangaroo surface. These silicone spots really generate traction between the hand and the throttle.
This extra grip allows me to keep the throttle where I want without having to grip it as tightly. For me this allows for longer riding with less fatigue.
But back to the construction... Moving on to the heel of the hand, this area is covered by an extra layer of white leather over the kangaroo with more carbon fiber protectors. There also another flap of leather with “RACER” embossed on it.
The interior of the gloves is lined within the gauntlet with a polyester material. This material also lines the top of the hand and fingers, but leaves the palm and underside of the fingers exposed to the kangaroo leather panel for better feel.
The overall construction is at once rather complex, with the various panels that make up the shell, but also has a very solid feel that still flexes well.
Many of the areas are double-stitched for extra durability, including the palm, the pinky finger and other areas where extra protection has been attached. The stitching overall looks neat and even. I did not find any loose threads.
A separate review could probably be written on the protective features alone, but let me try to condense it down starting with the carbon fiber knuckle protectors.
In the usual place on top of the main knuckles is a large shaped protector backed with foam inside a leather panel. The protector is of the floating variety, so the panel it is attached to slides over the perforated panel beneath.
Another rectangular (more rhomboid really) carbon fiber piece sits just under and behind the knuckle protector providing impact protection for the top of the hand.
This protector and all the others on the gloves are also backed with foam like the knuckles with thick padding.
Further up the wrist over the pisiform bone is another round protector and even further back is the aforementioned triangle shaped piece with the Racer graphic.
This gets us up to only four out of the fourteen pieces of carbon fiber on these gloves.
Note that the only difference between the men's and women's versions is that the men's has a Knox scaphoid palm slider while the women's glove gets the carbon fiber slider.
The next six pieces are rather small and are located on the backs of the first three fingers, while the little finger gets by with extra leather patches that bind it to the ring finger.
The joined technique is used on a lot of racing gloves to prevent “finger-roll”, by adding the strength of the adjoining finger to resist this roll effect in a slide.
But wait, there’s more!
The thumb has two more bits of carbon fiber on the top and finally, the heel palm has two small pieces rounding out the fourteen protectors on the High Racer gloves.
I don’t know that they could have placed more of these hard protectors on the gloves and still keep them flexible.
All of these protective features add up to the High racer gloves receiving CE certification for protection. The implications of this certification can be a bit ambiguous so for more clarity on what this can mean, so check out our article CE "Certified" vs. "Approved" to learn more.
However you look at them, these gloves feel very protective and durable, but are they comfortable?
Racer touts the High Racer as "the most popular glove in the Road Race line” and the individual consumer reviews found on their website related to these gloves are very positive.
The gloves do provide good feel, with the protective bits positioned in the right areas once the glove is on.
The complex construction using multiple panels adds time and cost to production, but the result is a shell shape that conforms closely to the shape of the hand. In this case, the gloves fit a bit too closely.
Finding a pair of the High Racer gloves that fit my hand was a bit of a challenge. I tried a medium sized pair to start out with (I wear medium sizes for most everything gear related) and found them to be extremely tight. I moved up in size to a large and still find the glove very snug.
I would have to break in these gloves for a time to get them to feel more comfortable.
I was a little disappointed in the sizing issue, since I recently reviewed the Racer Traveller gloves and they fit in size medium in the same way the High Racer gloves fit in size large. Hopefully, Racer will work on bringing some parity across the various styles for sizing.
The website does offer a sizing chart along with a phone number and email address to make inquiries to assist in getting the correct size for your hands.
Racer Gloves in general claims that they “are the best fitting gloves you can buy” and therefor if your gloves don’t fit correctly they are willing to work with you.
The gauntlet is what I call “medium” in size. Closing the gauntlet around a mesh jacket sleeve was easy enough; however, closing the gauntlet around the sleeve of my leather jacket was more difficult and a bit of a stretch.
I mentioned the perforated panel on the back of the hand earlier and was expecting some nice ventilation in this spot, however these perforations don’t flow a lot of air.
The liner may be responsible for blocking some of the air flow, so the tradeoff for some of the nice interior feel is reduced ventilation.
There are also some perforations located between the fingers that provide decent -- but not great -- ventilation. Very hot summer days may not be the ideal place for the High Racer gloves when street riding, but otherwise they are comfortable enough for street and commuting duties or maybe even longer rides.
Of course, on the track, the sessions are usually shorter than the afternoon street ride, so the ventilation shouldn’t be an issue for track riding. Plus, fewer holes in the glove shell can mean that the gloves may hold up better in a crash.
The women’s High Racer gloves are what I would consider a bargain for the track day or club racer enthusiast.
There are not a lot of choices out there for women when it comes to gear at the motorcycle racing level.
For example, I looked at one popular online dealer that offered forty-six “racing” gloves for men. Women had a choice of six.
Even though the High Racer gloves are more expensive than the six I found, they still appear to offer more protective features as well as features like the kangaroo leather for improved feel and durability.
Combine that with their generous return/exchange policy and you should be able to end up with an excellent pair of gloves for the track or sport.
Street riders looking for maximum protection while still maintaining comfort needed for longer rides would be wise to consider spending the money also.
To paraphrase what they say about helmets, how much are your hands worth to you?