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Essential Auto & Moto Gear

Motorcycle Gloves

How to Break In Your New Motorcycle Gloves Safely and Effectively

Ever bought a brand new pair of motorcycle gloves, only to find they feel stiff and uncomfortable? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. New motorcycle gloves, especially those made of leather, often require a break-in period to conform to the unique shape of your hands. This ensures they provide a snug, comfortable fit that offers optimal dexterity and protection while riding.

This guide will equip you with everything you need to know on how to break in new motorcycle gloves. We’ll explore various methods, offer valuable tips, and address common myths to ensure a smooth and successful break-in process.

Why Break-In New Motorcycle Gloves?

Motorcycle gloves are vital safety equipment. They shield your hands from abrasions, impacts, and the elements during a ride. A properly broken-in glove offers several advantages:

Breaking In New Gloves

  • Enhanced Comfort: Stiff leather can cause pinching, rubbing, and blisters. Breaking them in softens the material and molds them to your hand shape, promoting a natural and comfortable fit.
  • Improved Dexterity: Stiff gloves can hinder your ability to grip the handlebars and operate motorcycle controls effectively. Breaking them in allows for better finger and hand movement, crucial for safe riding.
  • Increased Safety: A comfortable glove you can easily manipulate enhances your overall control of the motorcycle. This translates to quicker reaction times and improved safety on the road.

Breaking In Your New Motorcycle Gloves: Top Methods

There are several effective methods to break in your new motorcycle gloves. Here are the most popular techniques:

1. Gradual Wear and Ride

This is the simplest and most natural way to break in your gloves. Simply wear them for short periods around the house or while running errands. Gradually increase the wear time as the gloves soften and become more comfortable. Take them on short rides to expedite the process.


  • Simple and straightforward
  • Requires no additional equipment


  • Can be a slow process

2. Warm Water Soak and Wear

This method involves softening the leather with warm water to accelerate the break-in process. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Fill a sink or basin with warm water (not hot).
  2. Submerge your gloves completely for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove the gloves, wring out excess water, and put them on your hands.
  4. Wear the gloves until they dry completely, flexing your hands and fingers regularly to promote even break-in.


  • Faster break-in time compared to gradual wear


  • May not be suitable for all types of leather
  • Improper drying can cause the leather to shrink or crack

Safety Tip: Always allow your gloves to air dry completely out of direct sunlight or heat sources.

3. Leather Conditioner Treatment

Leather conditioner helps soften and nourish the leather, accelerating the break-in process while promoting long-term glove care. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Choose a high-quality leather conditioner specifically designed for motorcycle gloves.
  2. Apply a small amount of conditioner to a clean cloth.
  3. Gently rub the conditioner into the leather of your gloves, focusing on areas that feel stiff or tight.
  4. Allow the conditioner to dry completely before wearing the gloves.


  • Softens leather and promotes a more comfortable fit
  • Contributes to long-term glove maintenance


  • May not be as effective as other methods on its own

Remember: When using a leather conditioner, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times.

Additional Tips for Breaking In Your Motorcycle Gloves

Here are some additional tips to ensure a successful and comfortable break-in experience:

Breaking In New Gloves

  • Choose the right size glove: It’s crucial to select gloves that fit snugly but comfortably when new. Avoid gloves that feel too loose, as they won’t provide proper protection even after breaking in.
  • Wear thin liners: Wearing thin liners under your gloves during the break-in period can absorb moisture and prevent blisters.
  • Focus on tight spots: Pay particular attention to areas of the glove that feel stiff or tight, such as the palm, fingers, and knuckles. Flex these areas frequently while wearing the gloves.
  • Take breaks: Don’t push yourself to wear uncomfortable gloves for extended periods. Take breaks to allow your hands to rest and prevent irritation.
  • Be patient: Breaking in new motorcycle gloves takes time. The exact duration depends on the leather type, thickness, and the methods used.

Gear Up for the Ride: Essential Considerations When Breaking In Your Gloves

While the core methods and tips provide a solid foundation, breaking in your motorcycle gloves requires careful consideration of several factors. Here’s a breakdown of essential elements to ensure a successful process:

Identifying Your Glove Material

The type of leather used in your gloves significantly impacts the break-in approach. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Full-Grain Leather: The most common and durable type of leather for motorcycle gloves. It requires a longer break-in period but offers superior protection and comfort once conformed.
  • Top-Grain Leather: A slightly softer leather with a shorter break-in time compared to full-grain. It may not offer the same level of long-term durability.
  • Split Leather: The least expensive option, but may not be as abrasion-resistant and can break in very quickly.

Consult your glove’s care instructions for specific recommendations based on the leather type.

Understanding Glove Construction

The design and features of your gloves can also influence the break-in process. Consider these factors:

  • Pre-Curved Fingers: Gloves with pre-curved fingers often require less break-in time as they already somewhat mimic the natural curve of your hand.
  • Armor and Padding: The presence of armor plates or padding in certain areas may require additional focus during break-in to ensure these areas conform comfortably to your hand.
  • Wrist Closures: Velcro or zippered wrist closures can impact the overall fit and flexibility of the glove. Experiment with adjusting the tightness for optimal comfort during break-in.

Advanced Techniques for Stubborn Gloves

If your gloves prove particularly stiff or stubborn, consider these additional techniques:

  • Heat Treatment: A carefully applied heat treatment can further soften the leather. Use a hairdryer on a low heat setting and hold it a safe distance from the gloves while flexing them frequently. Caution: Applying too much heat can damage the leather.
  • Baseball Therapy: This method involves placing a baseball inside each glove and securing the wrist closure. Leave them overnight to allow the ball to gently stretch the leather.

Only use these advanced techniques if the basic methods haven’t yielded satisfactory results. It’s crucial to exercise caution to avoid damaging your gloves.

Maintaining Your Broken-In Gloves for Long-Lasting Performance

Once your gloves are comfortably broken in, proper care ensures they continue to perform optimally for years to come. Here are some key maintenance practices:

Breaking In New Gloves

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your gloves with a leather cleaner designed for motorcycle gear. This removes dirt, sweat, and grime that can degrade the leather over time.
  • Conditioning: Apply a leather conditioner periodically to maintain the leather’s suppleness and prevent it from drying out and cracking.
  • Proper Storage: Store your gloves in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight when not in use. Stuff them with crumpled paper to help them retain their shape.

By following these simple maintenance practices, you’ll extend the lifespan of your broken-in gloves and ensure they continue to provide the comfort and protection you deserve on every ride.

Finding the Perfect Fit: The Final Gear Up

Throughout this guide, we’ve explored various methods, tips, and considerations for breaking in your new motorcycle gloves. Remember, a properly broken-in glove becomes an extension of your hand, offering superior comfort, dexterity, and protection. By following these steps and finding the technique that works best for your specific gloves, you’ll be well on your way to a safe and enjoyable riding experience.