The Best Karting Gloves For Advanced Drivers

For those of you out there who’ve been racing for a long time and are really looking for ways to take your game to the next level, gloves are the best way to achieve that extra edge on your competition. In this article, I’ll be exploring the best gloves for advanced and experienced drivers!

So, what is the best pair of karting gloves for an advanced driver? When it comes to gloves that I always recommend for my fellow experienced kart drivers, the magical pair is certainly ONE EVO manufactured by OMP. They combine cutting-edge race technology and durability.

One of the amazing things about the karting industry is the sheer variety of brands that are now available on the market. I’ll go over the sorts of gloves you should be buying if you’re an advanced kart driver, and even look at ways to achieve competitive driving without spending a fortune.

Protective/Endurance Gloves

When you get right down to it, all karting gloves are designed with protection in mind. All good pairs will come with an FIA certificate of safety attached, which states that the fabric of the gloves was tested and found to be fireproof and abrasion proof; absolute necessities in terms of safety.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Not only that, but all pairs above $30 at the very least should have some kind of palm and finger grips to reduce fatigue over long periods of time. The effectiveness of these features will depend on many factors, but first and foremost, looking at the most prominent kart racing brands is a surefire way to be assured of great quality.

If you’re looking for a pair of more ‘rugged’ gloves, always look for fabric which reflects that. Gloves such as the TECHINA EVO by OMP, LAP RG-5 by Sparco and ZR50 by ZAMP are all made of a somewhat hardened fabric that will feel stiffer to the touch.

This sort of feeling is ideal for higher protection gloves due to the extra rigidity, and similarly if you’re in endurance races, that extra structure will keep your hands feeling more supported when compared to the lightweight racing glove varieties.

Stitches will be exposed and on the glove’s exterior to add extra durability and allow for yet more comfort. You will often be able to find gloves that have silicone or leather inserts that will sit around your wrists, adding yet more support over long periods of time.

These kinds of gloves are an absolute must for endurance races when your hands and body will be taking the most prolonged punishment. Prices will vary, but typically expect these more protective, hardened gloves to be within the $60 and $120 range.

Lightweight Gloves

If you’re looking to be taking part in short, sweet sprint races, you’ll need a certain element of lightness on your side for extra speed and every edge you can find! For these sprints, you can afford to peel back some of the all-singing, all-dancing layers on high-end gloves for the barebones deal: Good wheel grip without heavy leather or extra pads weighing you down.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Different manufacturers will have various ways of achieving this effect in their products, so it’s worth researching loads of different types of gloves before really knuckling under for a pair of lightweight gloves that won’t hurt your hands!

Some of the best I found include the Radar Flight UltraLight gloves by Alpinestars, Flex by K1 and New Rally by OMP. The common theme between all of these gloves is the lightweight composition, whether it be with a special spandex fitting like the UltraLight pair, or K1’s choice of Nomex fabric that can be 2-layer bonded without extra weight.

Aside from being lightweight and therefore not weighing down your kart overall, having a pair of lighter gloves at your disposal is great for optimum feeling and control of the steering wheel. In dry conditions, this can sometimes be better than a more expensive pair!

Because of how simplistic these gloves can be, they definitely won’t be breaking the bank. You can expect price ranges to vary between $30 at the lowest and $120 at the absolute highest. In short, it’s pretty worth the price you’ll pay to get that extra edge!

Seasonal Gloves

Now, let me stop you before you start assuming that I’ll be saying you need different gloves for every season in the year! While I was racing karts competitively, I had two pairs of go-to gloves which changed depending on whether I was racing in Autumn/Winter or Spring/Summer.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The last thing you want is numb fingers if you’re using lightweight gloves in cold weather and sweaty hands if you’re using heavy gloves in hot weather, let me tell you. Anything that lessens your ability to control the kart is an absolute no-go.

Something else which ties into this category of seasonally-dependent gloves is that constantly changing variable: wet weather.

Karts generally detest rain and it’s a total nightmare changing to wet weather tires plus you’ve got your waterproof over-suit on and it can be pretty miserable. Not as miserable as soaking wet hands inside your gloves, let me tell you!

Quite a few manufacturers offer specific wet-weather gear for that occasion, such as OMP’s Advanced RainProof pair or Alpinestars’ Multipurpose Tempest pair. They’re specifically designed with water-repellent fabrics and the rubber palm pads are treated in the same way, using compounds that remain grippy even in torrential downpour.

Alpinestars’ gloves specifically are also designed to help a driver in colder seasons due to the full fleece lining you’ll find on the inside. Sparco offers a set of gloves called the CRW Winter Glove; very cost-effective, waterproof and with thermal fabric coating the insides.

As long as you aren’t wearing gloves like those during hot races and instead pick up a pair of lightweight ones, you’ll be fine. It’s primarily cold weather that you need to watch out for, especially with rain involved!

Expect to find most of these specialized wet and cold weather gloves for between $40 and $70; surprisingly affordable when you consider their worth and value on the track.

Good Budget Options

Truthfully, every big manufacturer of karting gear will offer budget gloves that do the job almost as nicely as their premium pairs. Sparco has their vintage-designed LAND gloves, something they describe as the perfect entry-level glove that performs well in most conditions, and OMP have the KS3 or KS4 budget options that’ll only set you back by $50 or less.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If you’re looking for general budget alternatives, look no further than brands such as K1 or RaceQuip. Sure, they might not be as stylish as the big manufacturers, but the gloves that they produce will get the job done just as well!

K1 especially has a wide range of gloves for every budget and purpose, meaning you can buy multiple pairs and switch between them without breaking the metaphorical bank. Otherwise, I’ll always recommend Alpinestars as a go-to cheaper brand that’s also well-known and well-loved in the karting sphere.

I mean, where else can you get a pair of lightweight sprint gloves for $35 brand-new? There aren’t many brands who can offer that kind of quality and value rolled into one package.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there’s such a huge variety of kart gloves out there for literally any situation you can imagine. Being able to switch between pairs of gloves is something really invaluable for an experienced kart driver due to the distinct advantages that they can provide, and it means you’ll be far more prepared for almost anything the track will throw at you.

It’s the middle of winter but the temperatures are making you think of summer? No problem, just throw on your standard pair of gloves instead of your cold weather ones. No rain was forecast yet it’s pouring when you arrive to drive? Just whip out your handy pair of wet weather gloves and you’ll be totally fine.

Having the choice and variety to choose from will really enhance your racing potential, and picking out great gloves that’ll give you phenomenal grip on the wheel will make you fall in love with karting all over again.