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What are Fingerless Gloves?

R. Kayne
R. Kayne

Fingerless gloves resemble standard gloves except that the fingers are only one-quarter to one-half length, allowing the fingertips to be exposed. This retains dexterity while protecting the hands. Fingerless gloves are popular in a number of sports, in certain fashion circles, and for simply keeping warm while doing work that requires a good grip or the ability to feel with the fingertips.

Fingerless gloves used in motorcycling are commonly made of leather and padded in the palms, while the backs might be made of netted mesh. Riding gloves of this type allow a solid grip on the hand controls while absorbing some of the vibration of the road, protecting the palms, and making the ride more comfortable. Typically the backs are made with Velcro for easy placement and removal.

Similar styles of fingerless gloves are used for weightlifting. Here again, padded palms protect the hands from chaffing or pinching while hoisting or rolling barbells and dumbbells.

Some bicyclists wear fingerless gloves.
Some bicyclists wear fingerless gloves.

Many bicyclists also find fingerless gloves a welcome addition to their cycling uniform. Bicycle gloves come in many styles and varieties made from different materials ranging from synthetic elastics and leather to polyester mesh and foam. Often palms are gel packed for extra comfort. Skateboarders and inline skaters also sport fingerless gloves for the extra protection they provide.

Fingerless gloves were popular among some performers of punk and rock music.
Fingerless gloves were popular among some performers of punk and rock music.

In the winter months, knitted fingerless mittens or fingerless gloves can be perfect for wearing around the house, particularly for those with poor circulation in the hands. These gloves will keep your hands toasty while allowing you to do everything from using a keyboard to reading a book or doing housework. If you want to save on heating bills, fingerless mittens or gloves can make a house that is a degree or two cooler feel as cozy as a bumped thermostat.

Leather fingerless gloves are also great for yard work. Get a better grip on rocks, bricks and wood while protecting your hands. You can also trim hedges or prune thorny bushes with greater ease using fingerless gloves, while maintaining most of the protection that standard garden gloves provide.

Aside from the many practical uses, fingerless gloves are also worn as a fashion statement. Goth, rock, and to a lesser extent hip hop or rap enthusiasts sometimes wear fingerless gloves for their tough, rebellious look. Punk rocker Billy Idol is probably best known for making fingerless gloves a fashion statement in the 1980s, when he performed hard-hitting punk anthems like, White Wedding and Rebel Yell sporting classic black leather fingerless gloves.

Fingerless gloves are available from a variety of outlets from home improvement centers to motorcycle chops, cyclist stores, sports outlets and leather shops. Knitted fingerless mittens are available seasonally from many department stores.

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    • Some bicyclists wear fingerless gloves.
      By: pershing
      Some bicyclists wear fingerless gloves.
    • Fingerless gloves were popular among some performers of punk and rock music.
      By: iofoto
      Fingerless gloves were popular among some performers of punk and rock music.