Our Favorite Biking Gloves for Toddlers to Tweens
Do kids need bike gloves?
Cycling gloves serve different purposes depending on age and riding environment. Gloves with padded palms are great for balance bike riders because those little ones tend to fall hands first. As a result, gloves often provide more protection from bumps and scrapes for balance bike riders than knee or elbow pads. For older riders, gloves can help to minimize the impact from the road and trails, improve grip for sweaty hands, and ease the overall strain on hands from the constant grip on the handlebars. Often times, kids just really love the look and wear gloves more as an accessory.
And what about half-finger or full-finger gloves?
For little toddler and preschool fingers, we almost always prefer half-finger because they’re easier to get on and are much less sweaty! Since little ones tend to fall on the palms on their hands, their fingertips generally don’t need any added protection. During colder months, however, full-fingered gloves are worth the hassle of getting all those wiggly fingers into the right finger holes.
For older riders, half-finger or full-finger is usually a personal preference. Full-fingers gloves are more common as older kids, like adults, prefer the added comfort, padding, and grip the gloves provide for their entire hand. While riding, older kids grip with their full hand, wrapping all the way around the handlebar grip. As a result, the added protection a full-fingered glove offers is beneficial. During hot weather, however, half-fingered gloves can help prevent sweaty hands.
Check out our short list of the best cycling gloves for kids!
Best for Toddlers and Preschoolers
SIZES AVAILABLE: 4 sizes, for kids 1 to 8-years-old (in half-finger and full-finger)
FULL REVIEW: Zippyrooz Gloves
With ample padding along the base of the palm, a soft and absorbent nose wipe, and super-easy pull loops at the end of fingers, Zippyrooz gloves are perfect for the smallest riders! The half-finger gloves feature more padding than the full-finger gloves, making them perfect for balance bike riders who tend to fall (often!) hands first. Half-finger gloves are also much easier to get on, which is a huge win for fidgety kids. And as far as getting them off? With sewn in finger-loops on the palm of each glove, our testers quickly, easily, and independently were able to remove their gloves. Top it off with a nose wipe pad for snotty noses, and we’re officially in love with Zippyrooz.PROS
- With sewn-in finger-loops on the palm of each glove, kids can easily remove gloves on their own
- Top fabric is breathable and stretchy
- Pad palms are soft and pliable
- Nose wipe pad!
- Available in full-finger or half-finger
- Adorable designs for boys and girls
- Great price
Best for Little Groms
SIZES AVAILABLE: Small (ages 1 to 3), Large (ages 4 t0 6)
For those littlest groms who want the look of big-kid gloves, Strider’s gloves are the perfect match. Skipping on the colorful cuteness factor and emphasizing the “small and mighty” big-kid look, Strider’s gloves not only look professional, they perform great for little riders as well. Perfectly proportioned to fit the smallest hands (they even fit our 1-year-old tester), Strider’s gloves are available in two different sizes and styles.
The small is only available in half-fingered and best fit ages 1 to 3. The small-sized gloves are 2.5″ wide across the top of the knuckles and 3.75″ from the cut to the top of the glove. The large is available in full or half-finger and best fit ages 4 to 6. While we don’t have the measurements for the large glove, we recommend them for hands larger than 2.5″ across the knuckles. In addition to a great fit, Strider’s gloves feature a wide Velcro opening for easy on and offs.
For additional protection, Strider also offers a quality protective pad set that is designed specifically to fit toddlers and pre-schoolers. A small and a large set of pads can be used as elbow and knee pads for pre-schoolers. For toddlers and smaller kids, the smaller set of pads can actually be used as knee pads first, and then as elbow pads as children grow bigger.PROS
- Comfortably fit the smallest riders (a rare feature!)
- Velcro opening for easy on and off
- Available in half-finger or full-finger
- Big-kid styling
- Only available in white
- Palm doesn’t have much padding to cushion falls
Best for Experienced Young Riders
SIZES AVAILABLE: 3 sizes (ages 4 to 12) Our almost-7-year-old boy tester fits snuggly in the size XS (5), and our 10-year-old girl tester has comfortably been wearing the S/M (6) for a year. Her 8-year-old brother also fits well in the S/M.
As the least bulky gloves on our list, our testers loved how light WOOM gloves felt, while providing just enough padding and grip to prevent hand fatigue. Available in five different colors that match the colors of WOOM bikes, WOOM gloves look sleek and are super comfortable. The gloves feature minimal padding for better hand dexterity, but extra padding where kids need it most – between the thumb and first finger, and on the outer edge of the palm that rests most heavily on the handlebar grip. This style of padding makes these gloves best suited for kids who won’t be falling much, as they won’t do much to cushion a fall.PROS
- Comfortable, stretchy lycra material
- Faux leather interior has no stitching for best comfort
- Stretchy material provides a snug fit without the need for velcro
- Silicon print on palms provides extra grip
- Soft, thicker thumb area can be used to wipe dripping noses or sweaty foreheads
- Available in 5 colors
- Only available in full-finger
- Small opening can make getting them on and off more difficult for the smallest riders
Best for Experienced Riders
SIZES AVAILABLE: 4 sizes (ages 4 to 12)
For experienced riders who want a miniature version of an adult glove, look no further than the Giro DND Jr. (full-fingered) and the Youth Bravo (half-fingered). The DND gloves are ideal for the more aggressive rider who needs extra gripping power and protection while fully gripping the handlebar while shifting, braking, or simply holding on! The DND also features a small pad at the base of the palm beneath the pinky. The Bravo gloves are half-fingered and offer more padding than the DND. Gel padding sections are at the base of the fingers and along the base of the palm below the finger and the thumb. With the extra padding, the Bravo are a great fit for older balance bike riders as well.PROS
- Synthetic leather palm is soft and pliable
- Moisture-wicking, 4-way stretch, breathable mesh upper is comfortable and more durable than other brands
- Velcro closure for easy on and offs
- Absorbent terry cloth wipe on the thumb for runny noses
- Tab on bottom of palm to help pull gloves down
- Thicker inner seams can be “itchy” for some kids
Best for Cold Weather
SIZES AVAILABLE: 3 sizes (ages 4 to 12) Our 8-year-old boy tester fits in the Large (7) with enough room to grow and use next year. The Large fit perfectly on our 10-year-old girl tester.
If you live in Alaska, Alberta, or Nebraska, you probably have bike mitts to get you through your fat bike snow adventures. But if you live in a place with a bit more mild winters, WOOM’s winter gloves are top notch. Breathable, but with protection against wind, rain/snow, and cold, these gloves are also a great option for those cold fall rides. Our testers loved how they kept their hands warm, but not sweaty. They especially appreciated how easy it still was to shift and brake because the gloves are padded for warmth, but not too bulky. They also look so cool our kids wanted to wear them to school. Really!PROS
- Soft and comfortable
- Keep hands warm without being too bulky
- Elastic wrist band and leather pull strap for easy on and off
- Added padding between thumb and forefinger for extra support where hand fatigue is worst
- Thumb and forefinger pads are touchscreen-friendly
- Reflective woom logo on back of hands for better visibility
- Limited availability
How to Teach a Child to Ride a Balance Bike: For help teaching your child to ride their new balance bike
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