Short-cuffed leather gloves with integrated knuckle armor and reinforced palms for extra protection.
Every motorcyclist needs a variety of gloves depending on the riding conditions she (or he) will be in.
That means warm or cold, longer gauntlet or short cuffs and leather vs. mesh or textile.
I love having choices and was excited to get a new pair of gloves.
My other two pairs of leather gloves have gauntlets, so I was curious if Iíd like a short-cuffed leather glove as much. Iíll admit I was skeptical as I slipped my hands into the Shift Dynasty Womenís Gloves and took off for an afternoon ride...
I normally wear women's size large motorcycle gloves, so I chose the Shift Dynasty Womenís Gloves in a large (For tips on fitting gloves see my Alpinestars Stella SP-3 Gloves review).
When I first slipped them on -- more like tugged them on -- I thought they were too small compared to the size large Shift RPM Womenís Gloves (watch for an upcoming review), which slide on easily.
I decided to exchange the size large Dynasty Gloves for an extra-large until I noticed that large is the biggest size available. So the gloves were initially very tight and I was convinced theyíd hurt my hands when I went riding.
Over the next few days I tried the gloves on several times and contemplated whether or not theyíd work for me, and I decided to give them a try. It seems that as I wear them more often, the fit becomes more comfortable and they're easier to put on. Unlike textile gloves, leather gloves will stretch and "give" over time to fit your hands.
When buying gloves, it's important to remember to try them while sitting on a motorcycle. When I make a fist, the Dynasty gloves are uncomfortable, but obviously no one rides with their hands this way. When I wrap my hands around the grips, the gloves feel snug, but not binding.
I was surprised on my first ride that I didnít have any issues with the gloves causing numbness from being so snug. Then after just two rides, the gloves started to feel pretty comfortable.
My only nit-pick is the thumbs are a little short for me and the seams inside the tips of the thumbs can be bothersome. The seams donít press into my thumbs enough to cause numbness, but they're just big enough for me to notice they are there.
The first thing that caught my eye on the Dynasty gloves is the integrated knuckle armor, which potentially gives an added measure of protection and abrasion resistance in an impact. The armor is secured with double stitching and the gloves also include padding on the back of the fingers and thumbs.
The shell of the gloves is made from goatskin leather with anti-slip reinforcements on the palms, which also provides added protection in a slide. The heels of the palms are lightly padded and the reinforcements extend to the outsides of the palms. Hook-and-loop tape secures the gloves at the wrist.
The Shift Dynasty Womenís Gloves are designed for warm weather, with perforations on the back of the thumb and the bottom of the fingers for venting. Something called "Airprene" is used underneath and on the outside of the hand to help the gloves stretch and conform to the wrist, providing comfort and a close fit, while also allowing the skin to breathe through the fabric.
The cuffs are approximately an inch (2.5 cm) long, but are slightly longer on the outside of the wrist. The cuffs extend just past my wrist bones and fit closely enough to fit under most jacket sleeves.
These gloves are cut specifically for womenís hands, which are usually more slender through the palm and fingers than menís hands. Pre-curved fingers prevent bunching and make the gloves more comfortable during a ride.
The seams are on the inside of the Dynasty gloves, so there is potential for irritation to the fingers. The only place this is evident to me though is on the tips of the thumbs as mentioned above. Inside the gloves, the top of the hand and fingers are lined, while the palm and bottom of the fingers are not.
Embroidered "Shift" logos in gray and lines on the back of the wrists provide tasteful design to the black leather. These gloves are not only protective, they look good, too!
Here in Northwestern Montana it is still not very warm -- and no where even close to hot -- so Iíve only worn the Shift Dynasty Gloves in 65-70 degree (18-21 Celsius) temperatures. My hands were comfortable and didnít get chilled even at 75 MPH (120 KPH) freeway speeds.
Iím not sure how the few perforations under the fingers help with cooling, since that part of the hand is wrapped around the handlebar grips. Perhaps perforations between the fingers might have been more functional? The only place to really get some air flow is on the top of the thumb.
The gloves provide a good grip and are comfortable to wear on my Ninja 500. As usual, Iíd like to see leather reinforcements on the outside of the pinkies, but for fifty bucks, these gloves are made very well and provide extra protection over the knuckles and palms.
While initially the Shift Dynasty Womenís Gloves seemed to fit on the small side for a size large, they broke in quickly and were comfortable to ride in.
These armored, leather gloves are protective and stylish. What more could a girl want?
|wBW Review: Shift Dynasty Women's Motorcycle Gloves|
|Manufacturer: Shift Racing||List Price (2010): $49.99|
|Colors: Black||Made In: China|
|Review Date: June 2010||Sizes: XS to L|