Racing gloves are a very important part of your sim racing setup. While the correct footwear can help you perform better with your pedals, racing gloves will help you tremendously in the steering wheel department. But it can be tough to know which are the best cheap sim racing gloves.
The 5 cheapest sim racing gloves are:
These gloves offer spectacular quality and grip at reasonable prices that will suit beginner sim racers. Make sure to read below where we go into more detail about each of our top picks, before then also discussing how to choose the right sim racing gloves.
The 5 Cheapest Sim Racing Gloves
1. Cycling Gloves
Cycling gloves may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “sim racing,” but trust me when I say that these are the absolute best money-to-performance option out there on the market. Cycling gloves are far cheaper than most racing-centric gloves on the market, yet they have quality features that are a part of any good pair of racing gloves.
They are lightweight and breathable, so you won’t feel as restricted in these gloves, and your hands won’t get sweaty while racing. They often have padding on the palm area and in between the thumb and index finger so that when you grip the handlebars, or in this case, a steering wheel, your hands are well protected.
The padding isn’t as chunky as other racing gloves, so the tactile feedback of the wheel in your hands is not compromised, and neither is the padding on the glove. They are, of course, not FIA certified, so you won’t be able to use them at real motorsports events, but that’s not why you’re here!
They Get The Job Done
In terms of grip, there are certainly better options out there, but for the price, which is very often below the $10 mark, they offer an incredibly enticing set of features for those on a budget. I would highly recommend these for racers looking for the cheapest option that offers exactly what you need for sim racing.
- Lightweight and breathable materials
- Very cheap
- Just enough padding
- Not as much grip as other options
- Not that immersive
2. Mechanic Gloves
Mechanics’ gloves are also a great option as they are relatively inexpensive and offer intense amounts of grip due to the rubber or nitrile coating that covers the entire hand. While they are an excellent pair of gloves for their grip performance and cheap price, they do come with a few drawbacks.
First of all, it should be noted that these gloves are some of the lightest gloves you can buy for sim racing. Unfortunately, in order to reach this light weight, there are some compromising features that might be a deal-breaker for some of you. In terms of padding, there often isn’t any, and this can be a good thing or a terrible thing, depending on what you are looking for as a sim racer.
Grip And Comfort
In terms of tactile feedback and sensitivity, you won’t get better than these, as the lack of padding on most mechanic gloves means that there is only a small layer of material between your hand and the wheel, which results in much better control of the wheel at the cost of comfort during prolonged use.
The grip offered by these gloves is very good, offering some of the best grip available. You won’t have to worry about the wheel slipping out of your hand with this pair. However, due to the lack of padding and the looser fit, your hands will certainly be more prone to injuries such as blisters and other friction-related injuries.
Sadly, it is fairly common for these to rip over a short period of time, so while they cost next to nothing, if you plan on racing with a pair of these gloves frequently, the costs may add up over time.
- Very inexpensive
- Impressive grip
- Not durable and may need replaced frequently
- No padding
- Not very immersive
3. Sparco Hypergrip
Sparco’s Hypergrip gloves are a pair of sim racing gloves through and through. The Hypergrip range of gloves is stylish, well ventilated, and packed with features that will help boost your sim racing experience. A Velcro strap is used to secure the gloves to your wrist to ensure they won’t slip or move about while wearing them.
The Hypergrip gloves have touch-sensitive pads on the index finger and thumb so that if you need to use a tablet in tandem with your sim or you simply want to check your phone without having to take the gloves off, you can do that no problem.
Lightweight & Breathable
The gloves are very lightweight and breathable, making longer sessions far more appealing. The padding placement, thickness, and grip have all been tailored with steering wheels in mind. If you measure your glove size using the method I explain below, the gloves offer a tight fit that allows you to have a very sensitive and tactile hold of the wheel.
Overall, Sparco offers us a racing-focused pair of gloves in the Sparco Hypergrip at a fairly inexpensive price and is not only functional but incredibly stylish too. If you are looking for a more immersive pair of racing gloves on a budget, albeit with no gauntlet, these are just the pair for you.
- Touch-sensitive index finger and thumb tips
- Excellent grip and well-padded
- Lightweight and well ventilated
- Velcro strip will wear down over time
- There are cheaper options available with similar features
4. OMP Karting Gloves
OMP Karting gloves are made of high-quality materials and are very durable. These gloves, in particular, excel at providing tactile feedback and good sensitivity when handling the wheel. Their silicon grips meet the standard of other high-end racing gloves. It should be noted that these gloves while being made for karting, are often not FIA approved.
That said, due to the slightly longer wrist cuff featured on these gloves, they do offer more safety than the previous gloves on our list. The gloves themselves are made of a stretchy material that ensures a tight fit. As a result, your hands can heat up fast, and I didn’t find the ventilation to really be enough for longer sessions.
The general grip performance from the silicone grips is excellent, and any slips and friction-related injuries can be avoided with this pair. However, it should be noted that there isn’t a lot of padding apart from the small increase in thickness where the grip is inlaid to the palm.
This means you get good grip and solid tactile feedback at the cost of some comfort. The OMP lineup of karting gloves can be purchased in a variety of colors, so be sure to get a pair that suits your style.
- Immersive racing gloves
- Excellent grip and tactile feedback
- Secure and tight-fitting gloves
- Not enough padding for long sessions
- Poor ventilation leads to sweaty hands
5. IMB LSG-1 Long Sim Racing Gloves
IMB’s lines of LSG-1 gloves are high-quality sim racing gloves purposefully designed as such and are excellent for the price. This line of long sim racing gloves has a gauntlet-like cuff that extends about halfway up the forearm. Not only does this make them look far more immersive, but it also ensures a tight fit and that they won’t slip.
The materials are lightweight and breathable, making them very maneuverable, despite the gauntlet design, and ideal for longer sessions or endurance racing. Another impressive feature these gloves have is the touch screen friendly patches located on the index finger and thumb of each glove.
If you are using a tablet to view real-time telemetry data or just want to go on your phone while at the wheel, these touch screen friendly patches are a great addition. Uniquely, IMB allows you to customize the look of the gloves by adding your name onto the gloves themselves, along with a custom logo.
While the gloves come in all sorts of designs, if you wish to fully customize your gloves, you can do so by purchasing their set of fully custom gloves. Naturally, as the most expensive on the list, they offer the best performance, but they’re still cheaper than a lot of other options out there with poorer features, so it’s good value for money here.
- Very customizable
- Immersive gauntlet design
- Lightweight and breathable with touch-sensitive fingertips
- More expensive than other options on our list
- Style may not be to your liking
Summary Of The Cheapest Sim Racing Gloves
|Cycling gloves||Those looking for the absolute cheapest choice that don’t need sim racing specific gloves|
|Mechanic gloves||Anyone on a budget looking for a decent balance between grip and weight|
|Sparco Hypergrip||Those looking for racing specific gloves that offer excellent grip|
|OMP Karting Gloves||Sim racers after a pair of immersive and grippy gloves|
|IMB LSG-1 Long Sim Racing Gloves||Anyone with a bigger budget looking for gauntlet style sim racing gloves|
Are Sim Racing Gloves Worth It?
Sim racing gloves are absolutely worth it as they offer more grip, protect against injuries such as blisters, protect your wheel from damage, and make long sessions far more comfortable. Racing with racing gloves on is much better than without gloves, and the biggest reason is the added grip.
While turning down the force feedback strength is an option, it can make the sim racing experience far less immersive, and a better thing to do would be to simply purchase some racing gloves that make it so keeping hold of the wheel at such high torque is manageable, and you are still immersed in the sim.
Blisters are a very common injury when sim racing, and while they aren’t medical emergencies, they are incredibly frustrating to have as it stops you from going on the wheel for a few days as you recover.
With direct drive sim racing wheels, the torque produced can be particularly violent. The injuries that can result from rare glitches or even improper configuration are awful, and wearing a good pair of racing gloves can alleviate a lot of the pain one might go through in such an instance.
Well-fitted racing gloves will also largely eliminate the issue of blisters meaning that longer sessions don’t end in pain, and you can get right back to it the next day with nothing slowing you down. Racing gloves, especially a pair with good padding and ventilation, can make your sim racing experience far more comfortable.
Protects Your Hardware Too
If you are a beginner, a lot of cheaper, budget, sim racing wheels are made of rougher materials and aren’t so comfortable to handle for hours on end. Gloves can make a huge difference in comfort. Similarly, you may be wary of damaging your high-end equipment with skin oils or friction as it can damage Alcantara finishes on wheels that have them.
Sim racing gloves are a great option for those worried about damaging their expensive equipment. It should also be noted that racing with gloves initially will not feel like a natural experience. It can take time to adapt to racing with the extra padding and material, and it may feel, in the beginning, like a less tactile experience. But the benefits of wearing gloves far outweigh the negatives.
KEY POINTS• Sim racing gloves bring many benefits, with the main one being increased grip
• They can also help prevent blisters and other minor injuries
• Sim racing gloves also go a long way to preserving your wheel
How To Choose Sim Racing Gloves
Make Sure They Fit
The first thing you should do before even looking at gloves to buy is measuring your hand’s circumference. By measuring your hand circumference with a measuring tape and wrapping it around your hand just behind your knuckles, not including your thumb, you can accurately get your glove size.
This is incredibly important for a number of reasons. Firstly, to avoid any injuries caused by the friction between the glove and your hand, a tight-fitting pair of gloves is a must. Blisters are a fairly common injury in real racing and sim racing alike but they can be easily avoided by wearing a pair of well-padded and well-fitted gloves that don’t move about when you’re wearing them.
Getting the appropriate grip needed on a steering wheel is also made difficult when you have loosely fitting gloves. Not only will this cause you to have poor grip on the wheel, but it can cause intense friction-burn the longer you stick with the loose gloves.
Do You Need Gauntlets?
Gauntlets are vital in real-world motorsports as they offer great protection in case of a fire and protect against any exposure to heat that may damage your wrists and forearms. Of course, this is not a concern when sim racing, and in terms of practical use from the comfort of your home, there isn’t any.
The Palm Grip
There are a variety of grips out there to choose from, but all of them are trying to achieve the same goal: to offer you the best possible grip. In terms of comfort, padded palm grips will be your best bet. Padded palm grips are especially helpful during longer endurance races.
Leather palm grips are also a good choice as they offer a decent level of grip on the wheel, but they are often more expensive because of the higher quality materials. More often than not, modern racing gloves will feature silicone-printed grip panels that are lightweight and offer great grip. These silicone grips are extremely lightweight and flexible and are a good choice for all-around racing.
Cycling gloves offer an impressive list of features and offer the best price for performance, and there are plenty of different styles available to choose from. But for those with a larger budget that want a more immersive racing experience, the Sparco Hypergrip gloves are an excellent choice.
I created and have been writing on this site since 2019, collaborating with drivers, coaches, engineers and manufacturers to provide you with the most reliable information about motorsport. Find out more about me here.