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Waterproof leather

By Walt Lumpkin

Seamless Rider Glove ($35)

Classic Lined Glove ($49)

Hugger Gloves

www.huggergloves.com
859.245.8445

“You don’t have to get wet to enjoy them, but you can.”

Back in December 2006 I was attending the BigTwin West industry show in Las Vegas where I met an intriguing fellow named Steve Craft. He was manning a small unassuming booth with a casually displayed line of leather gloves. My basic knowledge of gloves is limited to four long fingers and one short one, usually leather or some synthetic fabric. Steve, however, was determined to educate me and anyone else within earshot with insider info concerning his unique product, waterproof real leather gloves for bikers.

I know some of you are saying to yourselves, “But I don’t ride in the rain.” If you ride any farther than the corner store you will ride in the rain at

some point. You may not like it and you may not want to do so, but you will get wet and your normal leather gloves will get soggy and have to be dried out over a couple of days. Not so with Hugger gloves. The leather used in their products has been impregnated with a special, generations-old chemical process that repels water and will not let it penetrate the skin. Only top grade cowhides are used in Hugger products and they are military spec’d to ensure you will get long life, and a snug fit.

After the patented Technaline process is applied, all skins are subjected to 60 hours of water torture before they are cut to make a glove. This is to ensure that they will not absorb water when you ride through that unexpected deluge on your way to grandma’s house. Hugger painstakingly matches the grain of each glove and this assures that each pair will have the maximum flexibility possible.

While in Vegas Steve was challenged by one onlooker about his waterproof claim. He was told to take a pair of Hugger gloves across the hall to the men’s room and soak them for five minutes if he disputed the claim. The onlooker passed but I used this challenge to test the gloves myself. I put the gauntlet gloves underwater in a sink for 20 minutes. I was sure the seams would let in at least some moisture, but lo and behold, the lining was as dry as a freshly powdered baby’s butt. Since that quick test I have ridden in temps below freezing, heat stroke-inducing temperatures in the triple digits and five-hour rainstorms. The Hugger gloves exceeded any expectations I could possibly have had.

The gauntlet gloves are lined with a thin layer of Hipora to protect you from the cold to the near freezing level. This lighter lining and the thin but tough high-grade leather leave you with a close fitting glove that not only keeps your hands dry and warm but is not thick and bulky. You can still feel the grips and levers, unlike some other cold-weather products. The only problem I encountered with the Classic Lined Glove was that the gauntlet circumference was a tad small to accommodate the mesh jacket I was wearing. This problem has been addressed with the newest version, with a 2″ to 3″ longer cuff, thereby increasing the size of the gauntlet. The newest version of their lined gloves has an upgraded version of Hipora called Wonder Dry only 2mm thick.

The Seamless Rider Glove could be sold at Neiman Marcus or Saks. The supple quality and look are superior to most products on the motorcycle apparel market and remind you of driving gloves worn by those jet-setting, Ferrari-wheeling, butt-pinching Italian playboys in the movies. The fit and comfort was superior to any glove that I have ever used. I could even retrieve pocket money and keys from my jeans without removing the glove—something I can’t do even with fingerless gloves. Another plus is that I experienced none of the dye-stained digits characteristic of most unlined gloves during their initial break-in period. Even after 350 continuous miles and six hours of riding, my hands were as clean as the Board of Health.

The seamless gloves have become my favorite of the two pair I tested. When twisting the throttle they look and feel like a second skin. I’m sure they will give you plenty of protection when the aforementioned playboy rolls his high-dollar sports car into your rear tire at a stoplight and you casually step back to his car and extract him through his window to see if you can render first aid. I have every confidence they will protect your knuckles and leave no DNA or fingerprints.

Hugger has a number of new products on the market including waterproof leather jackets and chaps. The website has a dealer locator and online store embedded to make your shopping experience as easy and simple as possible. You don’t have to ride in the rain to enjoy the quality and fit of Hugger products, but it is nice to know your gloves and jacket will not get soggy and fall apart if you do.

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