Held Race-Tex Gloves

Editor Score: 94.75%
Aesthetics 9.5/10
Protection 9.5/10
Value 9.0/10
Comfort/Fit 10/10
Quality/Design 10/10
Weight 9.25/10
Options/Selection 8.5/10
Innovation 9.75/10
Weather Suitability 10/10
Desirable/Cool Factor 9.25/10
Overall Score94.75/100

It took a while to fully test Held’s Race-Tex gloves because we’ve been waiting for an opportunity to wear them in the rain. When the rain finally arrived, not only did the Race-Tex gloves prove to be impenetrable to falling water from the sky but also, as a follow-up test, to the direct torrent of water from the kitchen faucet. The Gore-Tex lining did its job of maintaining a dry interior while also keeping claminess to a minimum due to its breathability. Sometimes, name brands such as Gore-Tex are worth the extra cost of ownership.

It may seem as though the glove’s perforation is counterproductive to being waterproof, but the holes in the outer cowhide on the back of the glove and between the fingers, as well as the air ducts on the middle finger, knuckles and wrist, actually increase the breathability of Gore-Tex, and, on warmer days, provide a cooling effect.

Even with the perforation and air ducts, the Race-Tex gloves are perfect for the spring and fall seasons – the Gore-Tex lining adding the right amount of warmth during cooler temperatures. Once temps climb above 85°F or dip below 55°F, more specific gloves will probably be needed. If you’re piloting a bike with heated grips or off-road-type handguards, you’ll be able to continue wearing the Race-Tex gloves well into colder temperatures.

Comfort is a key aspect of Held’s Race-Tex gloves. The hard plastic knuckle protectors do not chafe or cause pressure points on the knuckles, and in a year’s time not a single stitch has come loose – issues we’ve occasionally experienced with competing, reputable glove manufacturers.

Comfort is a key aspect of Held’s Race-Tex gloves. The hard plastic knuckle protectors do not chafe or cause pressure points on the knuckles, and in a year’s time not a single stitch has come loose – issues we’ve occasionally experienced with competing, reputable glove manufacturers.

Probably the most distinctive quality of these gloves is the dexterity and tactility provided by Held’s X-TRAFIT technology. In a nutshell, X-TRAFIT combines the insulating and watertight layers into a single layer, reducing the thickness and weight of the glove, making it feel like only a single layer exists between the outer shell and interior liner. The Race-Tex gloves are fractionally heavier and thicker than non-Gore-Tex racing gloves, but their versatility is worth the minor increases. They provide excellent feel at the handlebars and levers, as well maintaining the flexibility/dexterity of a thinner glove.

In addition to Gore-Tex, the Race-Tex gloves are manufactured from a kangaroo leather palm, cowhide back, polyester lining, Kevlar on the back of the glove with hard plastic protection for the knuckles and outer wrist, SuperFabric on the palm and knuckles, and Velcro straps at the wrist and cuffs. A nice feature for an all-weather glove is the visor wiper on the left index finger.

SuperFabric materials are constructed with armor plates that are bonded to the fibers of the base fabric. SuperFabric claims its product is four times more abrasion resistant than Kevlar.

SuperFabric materials are constructed with armor plates that are bonded to the fibers of the base fabric. SuperFabric claims its product is four times more abrasion resistant than Kevlar.

Crash protection remains the utmost importance in a quality pair of riding gloves, and while we (thankfully) weren’t awarded any opportunities to crash test the Race-Tex gloves, if it were to happen, we’re confident the Race-Tex would perform as well in this capacity as they’ve done protecting our paws from the elements and being extremely comfortable.

For the really hot and cold months of summer and winter, you’d want something more appropriate, but otherwise, the Held Race-Tex gloves could be the only other gloves you need. From cooler track days aboard the fastest sportbikes to some off-road ADV-bike riding, I’ve come to reach for these gloves by default. At $265, the Race-Tex gloves aren’t crazy expensive, nor could they be considered cheap, but if these gloves endure for as long as other Held gloves I’ve owned in the past, you’ll get your money’s worth out of owning the Race-Tex and then some.

According to Held, each pair of gloves require 90 minutes of sewing time by a machinist. See more about Held’s production process here.

According to Held, each pair of gloves are said to require 90 minutes of sewing time. See more about Held’s production process here.

If you’re looking for an all-weather performance glove, look no further than Held’s Rece-Tex gloves. Every Held glove I’ve ever owned has been my favorite glove ever, so I believe you just can’t go wrong with Held gloves. The Race-Tex as well as Held’s entire apparel line can be viewed at HeldUSA.com.

Colors: Black, Black/White
Sizes: 7-12
Price: $265

  • mugwump

    Thanks, thanks a lot, don’t you know that I suffer from Emeldamarcosis.

    • Old MOron

      Ha ha, that’s kind of a blast from the past. I think most of us wind up with more kit than we need.

  • FreelancerMG

    The only issue I had with Held gloves is that their sizing ratio for the fingers are a little off. The ring finger and pinkie on the gloves are a bit longer than normal. In the picture the ring finger is nearly the same size as the middle finger and is a known “issue” for them. I had a pair of Held Airstream II and they barely lasted a year. Even with leather treatments and protector, the thinner leather of the roo palm wore through right at the seam where the kangaroo leather and regular leather meet on the index finger. The raised area from the stitching focused much of the wear and tear right on that area and the leather wore right through.

    While they’re a relatively comfortable glove and breath very well, at least from the one sample I had, they don’t seem to hold up very well and have a very odd, non-standard cut for the finger lengths.

    • http://motorcycle.com/ Tom Roderick

      Held offers some glove models in Long and Short sizing, which could account for, or rectify, your finger sizing issue. Not sure about your longevity complaint, but I’ve owned some Held gloves in the past that lasted longer than some of the motorcycles I’ve owned.

      • FreelancerMG

        Holding the airstream II glove in front of me compared to my A* Archer and I can clearly see that the ring finger is slightly longer on the Held and the pinkie quite a bit longer on the Held’s. Not a huge issue but is a slight letdown for the relative cost of the gloves. Looking at reviews for this and other Held gloves on Revzilla and it’s a common comment. The short and long sizes just stretches out or shrinks all of the fingers which isn’t my fitment issue with them as it’s only glaring bad in the pinkie for me.

        They’re very comfortable glove otherwise with some smart looking protection and excellent feel. The durability issue for me could have been that the Airstream series is a relatively new glove line for Held and the kangaroo palm on them is very thin compared to the roo palm on my old Knox gloves and what was felt on the Phantoms and Titans. Kangaroo in my experience holds up well in a crash but doesn’t do well with sweat. Even with constant washing, treatment and conditioning of the leather, sweat in the summer seems to really do a number on the kangaroo leather. Especially in high focus areas where the seams of the fingers creates a focal point of the heavier and thicker goat/cowhide pushing in on the kangaroo leather. On both my Knox and Held gloves, the kangaroo leather failed right along the seam just under the stitching. My Cortech Vice gloves are still going strong with its 100% cowhide. Some of the surface finish of the leather has worn in some areas but it hasn’t worn completely through at any parts of the glove.

    • mugwump

      I was fortunate enough to be present when there was Held booth at Mid-Ohio one year. They were able to fit me perfectly. That pair fits me better than my other pairs of Steve’s. I missed the second generation having a pair of the 1st and 3rd generation. I was able to do a fitting with the Parks booth at Indy too wear the allowed the breaking up of pairs so that each hand was fit properly. In a perfect world glove manufactures would attend events were riders gather. But that obviously isn’t economic, sad.

      Oh and I went down wear a pair of Steves, the palm rivets saved my hands and they remained in good enough shape to still be worn today. I haven’t worn Airstreams so I can’t say much about that. Disappointing to hear that a pair of Held’s didn’t hold up.

  • Ian Parkes

    “…Dexterity and tactility provided by xtrafit technology…”? Oh dear. ‘Fraid I tuned out there. Do you mean it is supple and has the feel of a light glove?

    One of the things I appreciate about M.com is it’s usually free of PR speak.

  • 12er

    Just got delivered my Air N Dry version with the gortex glove within a glove. Less bulky than my winter gloves, but more so than my previous summer. Only sat in the garage making vroom vroom sounds as thankfully El Nino has been busy. Cant wait to break them in.