SHIPPING CREDIT OVER £200
SHIPPING CREDIT OVER £200
Motorcycle gloves should have a tight fit for optimal comfort and safety, but what if they're too tight? Maybe they shrunk over time from heat and water exposure, or the gloves are a gift that were just a bit too small.
Thankfully there are steps you can take to stretch your leather gloves out. If you just need a bit more give in the fingers or the palms, then you've come to the right place. However, if the gloves are three sizes too small then you're shit out of luck, and it's time to buy a new pair.
We've put together an easy step-by-step guide for leather stretching, but there's plenty of in-depth advice here as well.
First up you'll need to get your hands on a spray that's specialised for leather stretching. A leather shoe stretcher spray is a good option.
If your gloves do not have interior lining, turn them inside out and spray the interior surface, using a microfibre cloth to evenly distribute the solution. If your gloves do have an inner lining, then don't worry about this part.
Turn the gloves back the right way out and give them a once over with the spray bottle, as described above for the interior.
If you can't get your hands on a leather spray, an alternative is soaking them in lukewarm water for 3-5 minutes. Once this is done, give them a gentle squeeze to remove excess water but don't wring the water out entirely.
If you use the water method, make sure to follow the next steps or those gloves will shrink even more.
The best way to stretch out your leather gloves so they conform to your hand size is to wear them. If they still don't fit at this point, try repeating step one.
Your gloves will start stretching during the drying process. It's important to keep them on until they're dry for the best possible result. If the excess moisture is making this uncomfortable, try putting on some latex/plastic gloves first.
Wearing gloves while you ride is a good way to speed up the drying process. You can also stuff each leather glove with newspaper instead of putting them on, which is especially ideal if your goal is to stretch the gloves' wrists.
Once the gloves are completely dry it's time for step three.
Now grab some leather conditioner and coat the outside of the gloves. Use a microfibre cloth to evenly spread the conditioner with some gentle, circular motions.
If you soaked the gloves in water during step one, this phase is especially important. The leather conditioner will help the gloves keep their natural oils and moisture, otherwise they'll turn stiff and brittle.
If you used a leather stretching product in step one, remove any excess solution with a dry, microfibre cloth before you apply any conditioner.
Once you've finished all these steps, keep your gloves in a dry, cool environment. To maintain their shape, try not to go through long periods without wearing them, even if you just throw them on for five minutes.
If you're not a fan of the above process for whatever reason, don't sweat it. We'll run through some alternative methods below.
It's the most time-consuming method, but you can stretch leather motorcycle gloves naturally by just wearing them over time. Try to wear them as much as possible, 2-3 hours a day if you can manage it, while flexing your fingers.
If you can't manage that many hours, even wearing them for short periods still helps. You can even stuff them with something like newspaper to stretch them out.
Plain old water is an old school technique that's perfect if you don't have any leather products lying around. This can be done with either ice, straight water, or newspaper.
Ice expands as it freezes, which can be used to stretch out your leathers. You'll need two zip-lock or plastic bags that can be reliably sealed shut for this method.
If you want to avoid using ice that's understandable. Using water is a much faster and more comfortable process.
If you have some old newspaper lying around, that's all you'll need for this method (except a sink).
If you want to avoid using liquids on your gloves, heating them with a hair dryer also works.
Using methylated spirits or rubbing alcohol is one of the most straightforward stretching methods. You can use a spray bottle or cotton wool to apply either alcohol to your gloves.
Using a spray bottle
Using cotton wool
A little-known way of stretching any leather is to throw it in the dryer. The combination of heat and spinning softens the leather material while stretching it out.
Set the heat to the lowest setting and let it run for about 10 minutes. For faster results, you can put some other clothing in with the gloves to act as obstacles.
Weight is a straightforward approach that can still be useful. You'll need a bar to clip your gloves onto, then simply attach a small weight to a glove finger to stretch it out.
Anything from a water bottle to a bar of soap can be used, depending on how much stretching you require. Try not to go much heavier to avoid overstretching.
An hour or two will give the glove finger a very good stretch, but you might only need 3-5 minutes for a small adjustment. Make sure to check the gloves regularly when using this method.
You can stretch leather quickly by using the above methods, but if you're looking to speed up the process then wear them as much as possible.
Wearing them for 2-3 hours a day while regularly flexing your fingers will help them conform to your hands, but that would take some serious commitment. Putting the gloves on for an hour here or there is a bit more realistic.
So how do I expand my gloves? Wearing new gloves as much as possible is the best way to make sure they fit around your hands. But if the gloves are simply too small, any of the above methods will help stretch them out.
Like most riding gear, leather gloves should be tight. The key is having a nice, snug fit without compromising your hand movement or cutting off blood circulation.
Leather motorcycle gloves should never be so tight that you can't comfortably operate the controls and turn signals.
Leather gloves stretch over time with wear, so they might even require some shrinking from time to time using water. It's just a natural part of how leather fabric works.
A sure way to know if gloves are too small is if they're cutting off blood circulation or restricting your range of movement.
While riding gloves should fit snugly, if you can't move your hands freely it's not only very uncomfortable but dangerous. The last thing you need on the road is tight-fitting gloves that make operating the controls and turn signals difficult.
If you need a new pair of motorcycle gloves, check SA1NT's Adventure Gloves to keep your hands cool and protected no matter the terrain.