MO Tested: Racer High Racer Glove Review

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan

When it comes to any kind of riding gear, comfort is key. This is especially true when it comes to gloves. Since your hands are pretty darn important to riding, if a glove doesn’t fit well, it doesn’t matter what sort of advanced materials or techno-farkles it has. It’ll just sit on the shelf, anyway. Now, there are plenty of comfortable gloves out there, but as far as race gloves go, I’ve never worn a pair that were instantly as comfortable as the High Racer Glove from Racer. Forget the old baseball analogy, now when I hear “it fits like a glove,” the High Racer is what I’m talking about.

On the surface, the recipe for such comfortable gloves isn’t a secret. The kangaroo leather palm is the big ingredient, as it’s generally more supple than cow leather, meaning it breaks-in quicker – they felt perfect by the end of one trackday. I’ve worn kangaroo-palmed gloves before but they weren’t this instantly comfortable, so Racer must have secret sauce to make these feel even more supple. Additionally, Knox SPS palm sliders help the hand slide instead of catch on the pavement should you fall down, and carbon fiber knuckle, finger, and wrist armor is also there to protect your digits from impact. The knuckle armor “floats” above the rest of the glove, allowing the hand full articulation without bunching or feeling tight, especially when gripping the bars.

The kangaroo leather in the palm is one of the big keys to the High Racer’s instant comfort. It also allows for excellent feel at the controls.

Speaking of gripping the bars, silicone inserts across the palm and first two fingers help provide a little extra stiction to the grips, but honestly, I couldn’t tell a difference from my non-silicone-lined gloves. As for the rest of the glove, you’ll find standard bovine leather, perforated across the top of the hand for a little extra airflow (I couldn’t really tell a difference). An elastic wrist band helps keep the glove tight, while dual velcro closures keep the glove secure. To keep with the comfort and articulation theme, accordion paneling across the first fingers allow the fingers to bend as they should. Stitching is kept to the outside of the fingers so you don’t feel any seams while wearing the glove. And as is the norm on race gloves, the ring and little finger are connected to help prevent finger roll.

Putting Them To Use

While that’s all well and good, the highlight of the High Racer is its immediate comfort, backed by the fact that it features all the safety features you could want in a race glove. Now, I’ll admit when I first received the glove it was a little tight. I wore it around the house some, and while it was comfortable, without the body’s natural sweat acting as a loosening agent, it didn’t entirely feel like “my” glove. At least not yet.

The floating knuckle protection means the hand can still move through its natural range of motion without any restrictions.

This all changed after one trackday. Typically when receiving new gloves, I bring a backup pair – a known entity – just in case the new ones don’t fit for some reason. With the High Racer, my backup pair just sat in my bag. While a smidge stiff during the first session, they weren’t hindering my hands in any way, and after that, things just got better and better. It was remarkable experiencing the difference once some sweat built-up; the High Racer seemingly conformed to my hand.

Another benefit of kangaroo leather is its ability to require less material than cow skin to achieve the same abrasion resistance. This means a thinner piece of material, which ultimately translates to excellent feeling between your digits and the motorcycle’s controls – an attribute I can attest to.

This view gives a detailed look at the silicone strips used to provide a little extra grip at the bars. The Knox palm sliders and one of the two velcro wrist closures are also visible.

Ultimately when you’re racing, you don’t need any distractions keeping you from the task at hand. Especially if they’re related to your hands. Racer’s High Racer gloves make the perfect sidekick – they’ll do their job when they need to, but otherwise, you don’t even know it’s there. Of course, the High Racer’s comfort and protective features don’t need to be confined to racetrack duty. They’re rugged enough to be worn every day if a robust pair of street gloves is on your radar.

At $229.99, the High Racers are a great deal as far as race gloves go, though someone who may never see the track may think twice. Now, I realize this may seem like a love letter to a pair of gloves, but being at the racetrack as much as I am, I’ve never heard anyone say anything but stellar comments about Racer gloves. This is backed by nearly 60 reviews of the gloves on the Racer site – all of them five-stars.

Available in either black or the black/white seen here, they are available in Small-3XL.

Shop for the High Racer glove here

Troy Siahaan
Troy Siahaan

Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.

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3 of 4 comments
  • Paulevalence Paulevalence on Apr 30, 2019

    You mentioned that you couldn't really feel the airflow from the perforation; are there any serious track gloves that are good for hot, hot, hot weather?

    Maximum protection + Maximum airflow?

    • TroySiahaan TroySiahaan on Apr 30, 2019

      In my experience, I haven't come across a glove that flows like I'm not wearing a glove at all. I've just come to accept that hot, sweaty hands are the price we pay for maximum protection.

  • Gabe Ets-Hokin Gabe Ets-Hokin on May 01, 2019

    I've gotten LOTS of gloves over the years for editorial review and product placement, and my Racers are the only ones (besides Lee Parks, of course) that I wear holes in from riding with them. Great company, great designs and as Trizz sayeth, comfy right out of the box.