MO Tested: Held Race-Tex Gloves

Tom Roderick
by Tom Roderick

One glove to rule them all

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.

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 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.

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.

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 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

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

Tom Roderick
Tom Roderick

A former staffer who has gone on to greener pastures, Tom Roderick still can't get the motorcycle bug out of his system. And honestly, we still miss having him around. Tom is now a regular freelance writer and tester for when his schedule allows, and his experience, riding ability, writing talent, and quick wit are still a joy to have – even if we don't get to experience it as much as we used to.

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2 of 8 comments
  • Ian Parkes Ian Parkes on Jan 18, 2016

    "...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 is it's usually free of PR speak.

  • 12er 12er on Jan 19, 2016

    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.