MXA Team tested: Leatt GPX 4.5 Lite Glove:
WHAT IS IT? The Leatt GPX 4.5 glove is different from other offerings on the market. This high-end glove offers durability and protection with a minimalistic feel.
WHAT’S IT COST? $54.99.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Leatt GPX 4.5 Lite glove.
(1) Build. The Leatt GPX 4.5 glove is one of the most technologically advanced gloves on the market. What is so advanced about this glove? It all starts with the materials. The palm of the glove is made of a Nano grip material, which is a fancy way of saying it is made of thin polyester. How thin? One thread is 1000 times thinner than a strand of human hair. This is important, as the thin material makes for an extremely flexible palm that is gentle on the skin. The thin fibers also increase the vaporization area, which makes the sweat from your palm absorb much faster than normal. How sensitive are the gloves? You can use the touchscreen on your phone with the glove on, although your hand must be warm in order for it to work.
(2) Armourgel. In the early days of motocross, gear companies made gloves that had rubber strips on the knuckles to protect the top of the hand from roost. In the late 1980s, these simple rubber strips were replaced by injection-molded plastic pads, some even in the shape of scoops to get more air into the glove. Up until the beginning of the last decade, gloves were considered to be protection for your knuckles as much as for the palms of your hands. All that has changed in recent years. Wearing modern gloves is like wearing silk stockings on your hands. No protection for your knuckles—just a light, airy feel. Leatt wants to bring protection back. Leatt’s entire glove line has a protective material called Armourgel across the knuckles. This resilient material absorbs the impact of anything that comes its way.
(3) Comfort. The Leatt GPX 4.5 runs a size big. Our testers normally wear size large but wore a medium in the Leatt glove. The gloves feel on the snug side at first, but within a few laps they break in. The bottom of the palm has an extra layer of the Nano grip material stitched from the inside to provide added comfort. The material is thin and plush. Most testers did not feel the Armourgel knuckle padding when riding. The few who did notice it did not like the feel, but they liked the protection. The cuff of the glove rests below the wrist, which we like. There is also a tab on the cuff that comes in handy when putting the glove on. This is truly a minimalistic glove that is built for protection and durability.
(4) Options. Leatt offers an array of colors that match just about any set of gear. They also make three other types of gloves to suit your needs. Two of them offer increased Armourgel protection and one of them is wind-resistant for those cold winter days. The other offers Armourgel protection only on the knuckles, along with a few other changes.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Two quibbles. (1) It is on the expensive side for a glove. (2) The Armourgel protection needs to be imperceptible for minimalist riders to make the switch.
MXA RATING: Will protective motocross gloves make a comeback? The Leatt GPX 4.5 glove is the first step in that direction. It is comfortable, durable and protects your hands from roost.