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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them









Product Review: Make a Statement in Leopard-Print Riding Gloves

Strong and protective—and no fluff!

By Genevieve Schmitt, Editor
7/2/2013

I’ll admit I’ve bought in to the leopard-print craze that seems to have pervaded everything from bed sheets to duct tape. So when I saw the new Women's Catwalk Leopard Gloves from the Icon 1000 collection, I just had to have them.
 
Icon Catwalk Gloves Review
The Icon 1000 Catwalk gloves are a nice addition to my riding outfit, which includes all protective gear. Shown here is the Alpinestars Paddock jacket with armor, the Arai SZ Ram III helmet (which I spray-painted to match my bike's paint job), leather chaps, and new women’s riding sunglasses from 7eye (review on those coming soon).

Icon Catwalk Leopard Gloves Review
The Catwalk gloves are a great choice for those who don't like "matchy-matchy" riding gear. Check out how the gloves work with my gear as I'm test riding a Ducati Monster 696—makes a statement! I’m also wearing a Joe Rocket Cleo 2.2 mesh jacket, along with a Shoei helmet and Slider jeans with Kevlar and armor from Competition Accessories (review coming soon).

The Catwalk gloves are made of soft, unlined calfskin leather that’s on the thicker side, which I like. These are not your standard thin fashion gloves. The imitation fur along the gloves' top and fingers feels like the real thing—running your hand over it, you can feel the fine fibers of "hair." Although I like that the leopard pattern isn't printed on felt or polyester, I wouldn’t want to get caught wearing these gloves in the rain, as I'm not sure how the imitation fur would hold up. 

Leopard Leather Riding Gloves
A perforated leather panel is located on the palm of each glove, allowing air to flow through. The gloves also feature integrated knuckle armor and an expandable panel on the wrist for flexibility of fit.

Icon Catwalk Gloves Review Armor
Armor for the fingers comes by way of these sturdy metal strips, each engraved with a letter from "Icon." Here you can also see the soft, stretchy material used between the fingers, which improves the comfort and keeps the gloves from feeling bulky.

The Catwalk gloves are comfortable to wear, and the more I wear them, the more they break in. I have long fingers and thin, boney hands, so these gloves don't hug my hands very tightly. I can easily slip my hands into them, which I prefer, as it allows for some breathing room when my fingers swell in the heat and when I grip the motorcycle handgrip. I find really tight gloves can be restricting and may actually fatigue your hands. 

Icon Catwalk Gloves Review Gauntlet
As if these gloves weren’t stylish enough, Icon added a strip of pink satin to the gauntlet to up the "glam" factor. Note the “I” (for "Icon") on the zipper pull, which besides the lettering on the knuckle armor is the only logo on the gloves.

Two snaps and a zipper widen the gauntlet and reveal a sassy panel of pink satin. Although I rarely need to undo those snaps and zipper (thanks to my thin wrists), the wider opening would be great for slipping the glove over bulky jacket sleeves.

Icon Catwalk Zebra Short Gloves
A shorter version of the Catwalk gloves is available in a zebra pattern (these gloves include a pink satin gauntlet, too).

The sizing on the Catwalk gloves runs a bit small. I normally wear a size large in women’s motorcycle riding gloves, but when I measured my hand and used Icon’s sizing chart, it indicated I should order an XL—and I’m glad I did. While I might have sacrificed that tight, huggy “fits like a glove” feeling by choosing the XL, the length of the fingers fits me perfectly, and that’s what’s important. Plus, having a little more room in the gloves allows my hands to breathe in what would otherwise be a hot leather glove. 

Icon Catwalk Leather Gloves Review
The Catwalk gloves fit me comfortably and left me feel confident that my hands would be protected in the event of an accident.

So far, I’ve had the chance to wear the Catwalk gloves only on short day rides, so I can't say how they would hold up after long days in the saddle exposed to the sun and elements. I wanted to get this review posted sooner rather than later, however, as I’ve already had a lot of women asking me where I got them! I will say that while the leather is sturdy, the “fur” might shed, and the zipper seems a bit flimsy. I may decide not to wear these gloves on long rides and just save them for those shorter jaunts where I care more about looking stylish and making a statement.

The price for the Icon 1000 Women's Catwalk Leopard Gloves is $95, while the short zebra-print style costs $75. Visit RideIcon.com to find a dealer near you.

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