Whenever I am buying gloves for either street riding or racing, this is a case of the latter, my main objectives are to find a glove with ample protection and limited movement intrusions. Pretty simple standards right? It was until I ran the gambit of actually picking one up for road racing this season. My tried and true Alpinestar SP2 gloves has served me on numerous street rides as well as lasting ALMOST an entire race season. It was the epitome of ample protection with limited movement intrusion in my eyes. But a las it didn’t last long and was at the end of its life span.
I wish the search for new gloves, and race leathers to be a matter of fact (more on this later), was a long and strenuous one but I would be lying. My eyes were already set upon another famous Italian brand of race protection and it just so happened that a more than famous Italian road racer adorns their gear, enter the Dainese Druids ST:
In the aesthetically pleasing department I would give these gloves a solid 8 out of 10. Only made better the fact that they are in all black with white highlights, notice the demon logo on the pointing finger. The glove itself has subtle cues all around letting you know of the quality and watchful eye that it was put under while being developed and created. Most if not the entire glove is safety stitched to allow for better cohesion in the case of a slide. Meaning the glove won’t spontaneously combust if you find yourself rolling 100 mph down the asphalt after tucking the front of that Turn 5 there.
The demon logo is prominent on the opisthenard of the hand, while the distinct DAINESE text is emblazoned on the carbon recessed knuckles.
Remember when I said I am looking for ample protection and limited movement intrusion? Well the Druids ST being somewhat of an entry full gauntlet for either street or track riding provides protection that can be on par with some of the more expensive juggernauts.
Take for example their version of a pinky protector. On other gloves the main level of protection for this little delicate digit is simply to sew that digit to that of the ring finger, virtually binding them together with a seam. Here Dainese incorporates its DCP Distortion Control technology to accomplish the same thing without having the pinky digit be fused together with the ring digit. It might look like it won’t do much at first glance, heck even I had my doubts, but after trying on the glove and pinning my pinky backwards I assured myself that DCP will aid in saving my little pinky.
Even here they have placed carbon sliders on the metacarpals and proximal phalanges to allow for smoother sailing if you find yourself sailing off of your motorcycle. Notice the double layers of leather? I did too. They added double the amount of leather in areas that would be prone to heavy damage in the event of a slide. Good thinking Dainese!
The index and middle finger, if you can see above, also have accordion stretch panels to them to allow for full function of the two when riding. I’m a two finger clutch and brake person myself so this was an added plus that now these two digits have more range in its motion than with my previous gloves.
The wrist closure, as it is a gauntlet, is reinforced with padding to protect both palm side and back side of the wrist. My only gripe here is that the gauntlet portion itself was not reinforced with a sturdier material like say kevlar to avoid deformation if that part of the hand finds the ground first.
In addition to the protection they also added a palm slider. This is to help prevent scaphoid injuries as more often than not we almost always put our hands out first when anticipating a fall. These sliders are strategically placed to minimize damage for when that doe happen.
Speaking of palm here you can see Dainese added a much grippier stretch of fabric going from the index finger all the way to the thumb. This area actually sees quite of bit of action when your either hard on the gas grabbing a fistful of throttle or closing it in equally fast manner to grab yourself some brake. Durability will not be an issue here. On the middle and ring finger you can also see they have added yet an almost velcro-esque material to offer more grip in the hand controls.
For the features it offers it’s targeted price point isn’t too bad: $219.95 at last Google search. You really can’t fault this glove for its price point and its feature packed list, probably why I picked this up over other brands within the same price range. Of course you can always step up with the Full Metal RS/D1 that Dainese offers, but this fit my budget with my motto of ample protection with limited movement intrusion.
When the weather becomes warmer do expect a ride review on how these truly perform!