10 Best Go-Kart Racing Gloves in 2021

Equipping yourself with racing gloves is one of the most important safety precautions you must do in any racing sport, particularly go-karting. Vibrations on the steering wheel and tight corners on the track can cause you to easily lose grip. 

Finding and deciding on the best karting gloves can be a challenge with so many brands and glove types in the market. Let’s take a look at the best racing gloves for go-karting! Please note that I have included some affiliate links below, which greatly helps me in keeping this site up and running. Thanks for reading!

Go-Kart Racing Glove Reviews

I have reviewed 10 of the best go-kart racing gloves below. Each review has a summary, features, criteria rating and total rating section that gives you all relevant information so that you can make an informed purchase decision. Here is a quick summary:

  1. Alpinestars Tech 1
  2. Sparco Lap RG-5
  3. Alpinestars Tech 1-ZX V2
  4. Oakley FR Nomex
  5. K1 Race Gear RS1
  6. OMP First Evo
  7. Alpinestars Tech 1-K
  8. Alpinestars Tech 1 Start V2
  9. OMP KS-3
  10. RaceQuip 355 Series

1. Alpinestars Tech 1


Features

  • Elastic wrist bands
  • Poly-foam padded knuckles
  • FIA & SFI certification

Alpinestars TECH 1 Race Gloves are the best karting gloves in the market and are a great pick as they strike a perfect balance between comfort, grip and durability. These gloves are certified to FIA 8856-200 and SFI 3.3 standards, which makes them great for professional or recreational for go-kart racing. 

They feature a full gauntlet design and are also equipped with fire resistant lining. The single panel construction gives it extra durability and firmness. It also features pre-curved fingers ensuring that the gloves fit ergonomically and allow you to always maintain a strong grip on your go-kart’s steering wheel. Its elasticized wrist band ensures a good fit, especially when twisting your wrist in different positions. Overall, the Alpinestar TECH 1 Race Gloves are well worth its price for all the benefits it offers.

Alpinestars Tech 1 Specifications:

  • Material: Nomex
  • Type: Indoor & Outdoor
  • Certification: FIA & SFI
  • Brand: Alpinestars
  • Designs: 6 Variants
  • Adjustability: Elastic Bands

2. Sparco Lap RG-5


Features

  • Great build quality
  • High-quality materials
  • FIA & SFI certified

The Sparco Lap RG-5 is our premium pick for this list, as it features premium materials with extremely refined build quality. The fine stitches around the fingers are done on the inside and on the outside, to give the gloves more durability. 

These go-kart racing gloves are contoured in a way that reflects your natural hand and finger positions. The gloves also have pre-curved fingers that easily wrap around your steering wheel. This makes it extremely ergonomic and comfortable to wear on the race track. 

Upon wearing the Sparco Lap RG-5 it becomes evident that these gloves feel very premium. It’s noteworthy to mention that they are also FIA & SFI rated. 

Sparco Lap RG-5 Specifications:

  • Material: Nomex
  • Type: Indoor & Outdoor
  • Certification: FIA & SFI
  • Brand: Sparco
  • Designs: 5 Variants
  • Adjustability: Elastic Cuffs

3. Alpinestars Tech 1-ZX V2


Features

  • Flame-resistant material
  • Ergonomic design
  • FIA & SFI certification

Alpinestars Tech 1-ZX V2 Gloves are another fantastic pair of gloves for go-karting. These gloves are compliant with the most recent FIA 8856-2000 homologation standards, as all other Alpinestars gloves are. 

Besides being made with Nomex, a flame resistant material, it’s also fitted with adequate padding that provides racers with great comfort on the track. It also features a newly designed grip technology with a silicone surface to further improve grip on the steering wheel. This come is handy when turning into tight corners. The pre-curved fingers make the gloves extremely ergonomic as it takes shape of your natural hand curvature. 

There is definitely a premium feel to this go-kart racing gloves and you will definitely be able to feel the comfort difference between the Alpinestars Tech 1-ZX V2 and other racing gloves with similar build quality. 

Alpinestars Tech 1-ZX Specifications:

  • Material: Nomex
  • Type: Indoor & Outdoor
  • Certification: FIA & SFI
  • Brand: Alpinestars
  • Designs: 8 Variants
  • Adjustability: Elastic Bands

4. Oakley FR Nomex


Features

  • Premium build quality
  • Fourchettes for robustness
  • FIA & SFI certified

Oakley FR Nomex Racing Gloves are extremely high quality and made with twin layers, giving it extra strength and comfort. The Nomex material ensures that the glove is fire and heat resistant.

They’re also FIA and SFI certified making them ideal for professional go-kart racing. The inner palm area features silicone print zones that provide great grip on the steering wheel. Additionally, they are equipped with a unique fourchettes, which are side panels on each side of the fingers. This makes these racing gloves extremely robust and long lasting. 

Overall Oakley’s FR Nomex Racing Gloves are great for professional racing. They are made of high-quality materials and therefore have a premium feel with regards to the build quality.

Oakley FR Nomex Specifications:

  • Material: Nomex
  • Type: Indoor & Outdoor
  • Certification: FIA & SFI
  • Brand: Oakley
  • Designs: 1 Variant
  • Adjustability: Elastic Bands

5. K1 Race Gear RS1


Features

  • Absorbs vibrations
  • Very comfortable
  • Reversed stitching

The K1 Race Gear RS1 gloves are great for any go-karting experience. It features lightweight materials with reverse stitching that fits on the hand comfortably. The first thing that is noticeable are the stitches on the outside, compared to how it’s traditionally sewn on the inside. This makes the K1 Race Gear RS1 gloves extremely comfortable to wear. 

The inside of the gloves feature a special material that not only dampens the vibrations during a race, but also provides a good grip on the steering wheel. These karting gloves are also relatively affordable, making it great for novices and professionals.

These gloves can be used for indoor and outdoor go-kart racing making them extremely versatile. 

K1 Race Gear GT-1​ Specifications:

  • Material: Blended
  • Type: Indoor & Outdoor
  • Certification: –
  • Brand: K1
  • Designs: 5 Variants
  • Adjustability: Elastic Bands

6. OMP First Evo


Features

  • Great build quality
  • Silicone palm coating
  • FIA 8856-2000 certified

OMP First Evo Race Gloves are very high-quality gloves that are made with light weight and durable material. They come in four different colors and sizes and are FIA 8856-2000 certified.

These gloves are entirely made in Italy and are great for go-karting as the finger sections feature leather reinforcements for extra durability. The silicone palm coating ensures that you also ways have a good grip on your steering wheel. What’s also noticeable is the elastic band around the wrist. This comes in handy, especially when turning into sharp corners. 

When wearing the OMP First Evo racing gloves, you’ll notice that you have quite a good amount of gripping power around the steering wheel and that you still have good flexibility on your wrists. 

OMP First Evo Specifications:

  • Material: Blended
  • Type: Indoor & Outdoor
  • Certification: FIA
  • Brand: OMP
  • Designs: 4 Variants
  • Adjustability: Elastic Bands

7. Alpinestars Tech 1-K


Features

  • Pre-curved fingers
  • Ergonomic design
  • FIA & SFI certification

Alpinestars TECH 1-K Race Gloves are made of nylon cotton which make it extremely lightweight. As with all Alpinestars gloves, they feature a very ergonomic grip and feel extremely extremely comfortable on your hand and fingers. 

The material around the fingers is made of lycra giving them increased elasticity, which make it ideal for steering your go-kart. You’ll notice that you can easily bend all on your fingers around your steering wheel, regardless it its circumference. Unfortunately, they are only meant for casual usage, as they are not FIA & SFI certified. Overall, the Alpinestars Tech 1-K gloves feel great, while providing adequate amounts of durability, flexibility and grip.

Alpinestars Tech 1-K Specifications:

  • Material: Nylon Cotton
  • Type: Indoor & Outdoor
  • Certification: None
  • Brand: Alpinestars
  • Designs: 8 Variants
  • Adjustability: Elastic Bands

8. Alpinestars Tech 1 Start V2


Features

  • Pre-curved fingers
  • Ergonomic design
  • FIA & SFI certification

Alpinestars TECH 1 Start V2 Gloves are as the name already suggests a more entry level pair of gloves. But make no mistake on the build quality, comfort and grip it provides. These were my first pair and are my go-to gloves for casual go-karting.

The gloves are naturally curved which makes it extremely ergonomic. There are also suede inserts on palm, finger and thumb areas to ensure a firm grip. The increased flexibility is instantly noticeable. 

I really enjoy using these gloves as they have an excellent ratio between quality and price. I would recommend the Alpinestars Tech 1 Start V2 karting gloves to people who are starting out and even for racing as they are SFI certified.

Alpinestars Tech 1 Start Gloves Specifications:

  • Material: Blended
  • Type: Indoor & Outdoor
  • Certification: SFI
  • Brand: Alpinestars
  • Designs: 4 Variants
  • Adjustability: Elastic Bands

9. OMP KS-3


Features

  • Great build quality
  • Silicone palm coating
  • FIA 8856-2000 certified

The OMP KS-3 are FIA certified gloves that are made of a stretch fit fabric. Certain areas of the glove are made of synthetic leather. The palm areas have an anti-skid rubber finishing for increased grip on the steering wheel. 

The knuckle area features a protective layer for extra durability and the elastic bands around the wrist ensure that you have enough flexibility when maneuvering your go-kart. 

These go-kart racing gloves are meant for entry-level drivers and are a good pick if you are getting into go-kart racing. If you plan to compete on a national or international level, you should be looking for a more premium alternative. 

OMP KS-3 Specifications:

  • Material: Blended
  • Type: Indoor & Outdoor
  • Certification: FIA
  • Brand: OMP
  • Designs: 4 Variants
  • Adjustability: Elastic Bands

10. RaceQuip 355 Series​


Features

  • Good entry-level gloves
  • Soft material
  • Velcro strap

RaceQuip 355 Series gloves are the last addition to the list and features a two-layer Nomex construction making them very durable. They feel firm on your hands and the suede leather reinforced palm section emphasizes this. 

They may not be the best looking gloves but they surely tick all the boxes in terms of comfort and grip. Compared to the other gloves, the RaceQuip 355 series uses a Velcro adjuster strap as opposed to an elastic band or staps. Some people prefer the elastic band but the Velcro strap can give you a tighter fit, if that is your preference. 

I personally prefer elastic bands, as the Velcro straps cone sometimes get in the way. All-in-all, the RaceQuip 355 Series racing gloves are great for entry-level or indoor go-kart racing. 

RaceQuip 355 Series​ Specifications:

  • Material: Blended
  • Type: Indoor
  • Certification: SFI
  • Brand: RaceQuip
  • Designs: 1 Variant
  • Adjustability: Velcro Strap

Buying Guide: How to Choose Go-Kart Racing Gloves

Getting the right pair of racing gloves for go-karting can be difficult, especially when the product offerings are in the hundreds.  It’s important to stress that finding a good pair of go-kart racing gloves is extremely crucial and they directly affect your driving performance and overall safety.

After having tried many racing gloves I have ranked the top list according to comfort, grip and durability. There are of course other factors that you may want to consider such as price and design. The goal is to give you as much vital information as possible, so that you can make an informed decision of which is the best for you. Let’s take a closer look at the criteria.

Grip

Arguably the most important criteria are the amount of grip your gloves give you on the steering wheel. Heavy vibrations and sharp turns on the race track can easily cause you lose your grip. This can be very dangerous as you don’t have full control over your go-kart, which can cause a crash.

Make sure that your go-kart racing gloves have a coated surface on the palm area (usually layered with silicone or suede). This ensures that you always have the ability to keep a tight grip on the steering wheel without slippage.

Comfort

If you already have a couple of races behind you, you would come to the conclusion that comfort is one of the most important criteria in the glove selection process. The reason why comfort is so important is because go-karting is all about having fun on the race track. 

It really defeats the purpose if you are racing and your gloves are uncomfortable to wear. You also tend to get hand strains due to the vibrations, which can really wear you out (very critical for professional racing). Make sure that before buying your go-kart racing gloves, you check for the correct size and material. 

Features

As there are different grades of go-kart racing gloves and it’s very common that the more premium range of racing gloves have more features. Depending on your requirements or how involved you are with go-kart racing, you may want to look out for additional features.

racing gloves with velcro strap
Karting Gloves with Velcro Straps
Karting Gloves with Pre-Curved Fingers

Additional Racing Glove Features

  • Wrist elasticity
  • Anti-skid palm inserts
  • Pre-curved fingers
  • Ergonomic fit
  • Flame-resistant materials
  • FIA & SFI certification
  • Inner & outer stitching

Durability

You should also consider how well-built your racing gloves are. The sturdiest gloves are made with high quality materials such as Nomex or leather. These two materials are very durable and also have a high heat and fire tolerance. 

It’s also good to consider two layer racing gloves compared to a single layer racing glove. They will last longer, provide more protection and usually feel more comfortable to wear. Conversely, single layer gloves have the tendency to be flimsy and wear out faster. 

Price

Depending on your budget, affordability can have an influence of your purchase decision. What has worked before me is to find a good balance between price and quality. 

I would recommend to go for the racing gloves that give you the most value. This value can be based on the criteria that you choose. Then you can compare if the price is reasonable and justifies your selection. 

Design

The way your gloves look is also important, but design is always subjective. People have different preferences on color and appearance. It goes without saying that the design of your gloves can be important to you. It’s always good to pick something “cool” that suits your personality, but you should definitely pass on them if the gloves lack in quality and safety features. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about go-kart racing gloves. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for below, simply leave a comment with your question. I will answer it and add it to this list.

Why Do I Need Gloves for Go-Karting?

Using go-kart racing gloves is extremely important and they affect the way you control your kart. They also contribute to your safety while racing. All professional races make it mandatory to wear certified racing gloves (FIA & SFI). Unfortunately not all go-kart racing tracks enforce this rule and you’ll see that most casual go-kart drivers use their bare hands. 

This can be dangerous as the vibrations on the track can give you wrist strains and make your driving experience unpleasant. In some instances you may even experience abrasions or blisters as your palms and fingers move around on the steering wheel. 

Sweaty hands often don’t allow for a firm grip at times, making slippage a real issue on the track. Some accidents are unpredictable and you should never play with your safety. If the go-kart track you go to doesn’t provide gloves, it’s recommended you get a pair of your own. I would always recommend getting your own pair, as it’s more hygienic and you get to choose the one that suits you the best. 

How Do I Clean Go-Kart Racing Gloves?

Unfortunately, most racing gloves do not come with washing/care instructions. I’ve received several emails asking about the proper way to wash go-kart gloves. Firstly, you don’t need to wash your karting gloves very frequently if you expose them to air and let them dry naturally after each use. You only really need to wash them about once every year. 

When you spend a day on the race track, sweat, grease, oils and acids get in and on your racing gloves. Letting them dry usually gets rid of most of the dirt and smell. If you do decide to wash them, it’s advisable not to machine wash as it will wear your gloves out faster. 

The best way to wash or clean your go-kart racing gloves is to simply prepare a bucket of water with mild detergent and apply that to the inside and the outside of your gloves. Make sure that you do not apply detergents directly onto your gloves and that you rinse them with water immediately after. 

Dry them by simply placing them onto a dry surface in the open and ensure that they don’t make contact with direct sunlight (letting them air dry seems to work the best).

Dos

  • Hand wash them once in a while
  • Let them air dry
  • Rinse them with water thoroughly

Dont’s

  • Machine wash them
  • Wring your gloves
  • Dry them in direct sunlight

Do My Go-Kart Racing Gloves Need to Be Certified?

This answer depends on your own requirements. If you are an entry-level go-kart racer or if you race go-karts leisurely, then you can skip any certification requirements. In fact, you are better off getting yourself entry-level racing gloves.

However, if you plan to enter events or want to race go-karts competitively, you should ensure that they are FIA or SFI certified. Some FIA-sanctioned events even insist on certified equipment as a requirement for participation. However, it never hurts equipping yourself with a pair of high-quality go-kart racing gloves.

When Do I Need to Get a New Pair of Go-Kart Racing Gloves?

When you see any signs of tear or you feel the structural integrity of your go-kart racing gloves is compromised, you should get yourself a new pair. Usually, racing gloves can last you up to a few years, depending on your usage. However, ensure that they are fully functional and in good condition.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that getting the right pair of go-kart racing gloves is important. They’re necessary to ensure that you have a firm grip on your steering wheel and increase your safety on the race track.

Finding the perfect racing gloves should be done by assessing grip, comfort, durability, price and design. This list should give you a good idea on what you should look out for during your selection process. Remember to properly maintain your karting gloves and be safe on the race track!

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