Road cycling mitts are sometimes seen as a "nice to have" - the sort of item you'll pick up on your way out if they happen to be right in front of you, but could just as easily leave nestled in a draw somewhere.
[related_articles]However, mitts do serve multiple purposes, and they're well worth remembering next time you go for a ride:
- Mitts provide a layer of padding to protect you from fatigue and numbness caused by road vibrations
- They provide a handy 'sweat wipe' when the going gets tough (and a snot wipe if you're suffering from the dreaded hayfever).
- They also save your skin from handlebar incurred blisters and road rash if you happen to be unlucky enough to tumble - we know it's rare but trying to go about life with skinned palms is surprisingly difficult, so worth consideration.
Here are some of our favourite pairs...
Louis Garneau Women 1 Calory Glove
Mitts don't need to cost the earth - and these from Louis Garneau at Evans Cycles are only £9.99.
Durable and breathable foam padding creates a comfortable platform for your hands on the bars, and the minimal black design should mean they match with almost anything.
The upper is made from a stretchy spandex, and there are air flow vents on the palm, plus finger pullers to make removal easy.
Altura Classic Womens Mitts
Altura have come over all vintage on us here, with these classic mitts. The heritage styling doesn't compromise performance, however- a stretchy, breathable lycra is used on the top and foam and synthetic leather provide shock absorption.
Specialized Body Geometry Sport Women's Glove
Specialized have shown a real commitment to making kit that is genuinely women's specific in the past, and these mitts are no exception.
The design has been created with care and attention to the proportional sizing of women's palm width and finger length. The gel padding reduces numbness and relieves pressure on the nerves which can be affected in cycling.
There's an absorbent microfibre thumb surface for wiping sweat, and a reflective strip for a little added visibility.
Check them out here, for £20 at Sigma Sport.
Castelli Women's Tesoro Short Finger Gloves
No one wants hot, sweaty hands - and these Castelli mitts are created with breathability at front of mind. The open-mesh design means you'll be cool, whilst padded palms keep vibrations at bay.
These are available in a fresh peach colour, as well as black and white, with contrast details on the palm.
Check them out at Chain Reaction Cycles, for £21.99.
Maloja Women's MengiaM Bike Gloves
We know not all women want pink and flowery designs - but some absolutely love them - and these will definitely tick their boxes!
Not just a pretty pattern, these are designed to provide protection and comfort, with padded palms, whilst a breathable mesh on the body helps to keep hands cool.
These are £24 from Wiggle.
Lizard Skins La Sal 1.0 Short Finger Gloves
Traditionally known for their amazing, sticky bar tape, Lizard Skin also have a line in gloves. These are top end creations, made using premium leather, with micro suede thumbs for moisture wiping.
The padded palms are dotted with tiny ventilation holes, and velcro cuff is size adjustable. We found them at Wiggle, for £26.99.
Veeka Levitan Leather Cycling Gloves
We're a little bit in love with these classic leather gloves. They feature all the modern day features we've come to expect - silicone printed palms and wrist-tabs for quick removal, but with a stunningly traditional design.
The lining is soft and cotton, and a velcro closure keeps them snug, whilst quick-drying synthetic suede panels sit over the padded areas.
These are available for £30 at VeloVixen.
Rapha Women's GT Gloves
Before we tell you how much they cost, we'll tell you how beautiful they are...
Handmade in England, these are constructed from African Hair Sheep leather (these gloves are well traveled!) - a super soft material that is breathable and wicks sweat quickly.
The padding is distributed for road cyclists - with extra attention around the thumb and forefinger, whilst double stitching at key wear points ensures durability.
A contrast leather trim completes the look, with an embossed Rapha logo. These are a treat buy, at £130 from Rapha.