Your favorite gloves. You just can’t ride anywhere without them. When they finally wear out, it feels like you’ve lost a friend. Made of natural tan medium to heavy weight elkskin, they are thicker, stronger and more abrasion resistant than deerhide and they’ll last much longer.
Built for cowboy and ag work, they’re tough enough for barbed wire fencing, yet sensitive enough to accurately handle a lariat. The snap cuff will slightly gauntlet over most jackets or close to let wind in your sleeves on a hot day. The left thumb is equipped with a visor squeegee made of resilient squeegee material.
All California Highway Patrol Motorcycle Officers (and many other depts.) wear Elkskin gloves 8-10 hours a day, week in and week out. You too will experience how right they are the minute you put them on and grab the clutch lever. These are the best gloves for serious combat touring adventures you’ll ever wear. Full and half sizes 7-13 (sizes 11.5 and 12.5 not available) Black may bleed slightly when wet.
- Sizing Guide - Glove Fitting - A fast, easy and accurate way to measure. You will always get a precise, comfortable and correct glove fit.
Mr. Subjective on Breaking in New Aerostich Gear
One of the unusual aspects of most Aerostich gear (in today's world of conveniently pre-digested, artificially-aged items) is there's usually a lengthy old fashioned 'break in' period. The time and distance needed varies from a few hundred miles to a few years, depending on how much one rides, and how sensitive the wearer is. It’s also a bit different for different items…boots, gloves, helmets, shirts or riding suits. For me, a new Aerostich suit or jacket feels acceptably comfortable after a few hundred miles and then reaches it's best after a couple of years of use and wear. By the third and forth season it's about perfect (ironically this happens just as similar gear may start feeling worn-out).
That may seem an unusually long time by today's standards, but with much of my most-favorite stuff, from boots to jeans to you-name-it, it's always been this way. We email a newsletter to riders interested in Aerostich products and sales, and a recent one titled "For the Long Ride" has several nice stories about this. You’ll find it here http://www.aerostich.com/long-service-model
Beyond general long-break-in periods and long-service stories, actually breaking in stiff new gear remains very much a pain in the ass: It is uncomfortable, and I always feel a bit more awkward wearing brand-new sparkly gear than well-worn examples. A bit of wear and patina can be almost as important as a product’s design, materials and functionality, partly because it silently tells a useful story which testifies to one’s long experience (without being overly proud of it, though).
It’s always the same. When I was a kid I usually hated the brand-new back-to-school school clothing my mother provided each fall, and being forced to give up old familiar things which were only a bit too small but clearly worn-out. Today I sometimes still feel this way, so even breaking in a brand-new (and much nicer) helmet can be awkward and uncomfortable. It’s odd to complain about this from an economic standpoint but in some ways good ‘new’ and unfamiliar stuff must always be endured for at least a little while before it becomes ‘old’, comfortable and familiar. This is always worth it though, because new things are improved in real ways which matter over the long run. New is good…and new-and-broken-in is even better.
It’s impossible to not prefer (for example) a comparatively newer and lower mileage rental car and many other newer and less-worn things, but for many other things this isn’t such a simple a decision. And even with today's popular pre-aged and faked-old items (like pre-washed jeans, pre-distressed whatevers) simultaneously offering both the worst-of-both-worlds (inauthentic and already partly worn out), and the best of both worlds (experienced-looking and requiring less uncomfortable breaking-in), the choice actually comes down mostly to your perspectives and not the functional qualities of the item. In the end what matters most is finding stuff which best meets your needs. Whatever they are.
Here is an authentic (albeit nonsensical) way to fairly quickly break in your stiff brand-new Aerostich Darien Jacket, pant or riding suit:
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Customer Reviews (100)
- Elkskin RopersReview by Paul
- I'm very happy with the initial fit and feel of the gloves. The high quality work that went into them is evident. (Posted on 11/13/16)
- Great gloves for everyday ridingReview by Billy
I just ordered another pair of elkskin ropers natural. I've been riding in Aerostich Elkskin Ropers for over 15 years. I ride almost every day (commuting) and weekend rides. Because of my riding distances, a pair of gloves only lasts about 3 to 4 years before holes are worn in them. I have a basket of gloves that didn't work. No Aerostich glove has ever seen the basket. About 80% of my riding is in the Elkskin Ropers. About 15% of my riding is in Competition Elkskin Ropers (cold weather). The rest is in Gerbing heated gloves. But, I stay in the Elkskin's as long as I can maintain enough heat to my hands. Why? They simply work. From hot summer days to about 35 degrees, I can get a combination of Elkskins, silk liners (the cheap ones from Sportsmans Guide) and heated grips that works. Below that, the Gerbings fill the role. I only wear natural gloves if they are available because I don't like black hands.
If you are looking for some gloves that have withstood the test, these are the ones. And, they are the most comfortable glove I have ever worn - after break in. It does take some time for the gloves to take the curved shape of a motorcyclists hands. Once they do that, they are very comfortable.
Billy (Posted on 10/24/16)
- Aerostich Elkskin RopersReview by Guy
I recently bought another pair of these excellent gloves to replace a pair I lost at the Eurotunnel terminal on my way to Portugal. I was gutted and had to make do with some HD gloves I bought from a dealership in Boulogne.
I'd had my previous Elkskin Ropers for 10 years. Truly the best gloves for motorcycling I've had in 46 years on the road. (Posted on 10/10/16)
- Great GlovesReview by Jon-Marc
- I bought these gloves and have been using them for about a month now. So far they are great. There was no break in period at all. They are soft and supple right out of the package. They are very comfortable. The little wiper on the left thumb seems kind of silly at first but really works well. They have stretched a little since I got them but still fit nicely. (I don't like loose gloves). (Posted on 8/10/16)
- Great glovesReview by John
- I purchased a pair of Elkskin Ropers over 10 years ago and have used them on 3 bikes and for over 150K miles. They have gotten old and it's time for new ones. The old ones still have some life left and they are now my favorite garden gloves. I don't know how Aerostich makes any money selling products that last this long. I recommend these gloves to anyone. (Posted on 7/31/16)
- Aerostich Customer ServiceReview by customerservice
if you would like to treat your Elkskin gloves with a leather treatment product, there are many good options available to apply in order to enhance and maintain the leather. However, Elkskin gloves are also washable. The following is from the care guide included with each pair of Aerostich Elkskin and Deerskin gloves:
Elk and deerskin can be safely hand washed using warm water and a mild soap. This removes accumulated dirt, oils, and stains and will help the gloves last longer and feel nicer. After rinsing thoroughly to remove residual soap,
gloves should be gently wrung damp and allowed to dry gradually at room temperature. DO NOT apply
direct heat. Gloves will shrink slightly when they dry, but will stretch-to-fit during wear. Note: Black gloves
will bleed dye when wet. This diminishes after several wet and dry cycles. (Posted on 7/8/16)
- Ropers are Great!Review by Mark
Tested these out along with the insulated gauntlets on a long ride recently. I measured out as 11&1/2 size, but ordered all three pair I ordered as 12. My gloves are soft, supple, fit nicely, look good, and feel good. I am completely happy with my ropers. I prefer my gloves slightly looser fitting and not tight, thus my inclination to order .5 size larger. These gloves are great, and seems like they can get wet or sweated through without the seems pulling apart as in the armored gloves that I've tried.
They broke in immediately, they've already begun to mold to my hands, in just a few hours.
One thing I can't figure out: do I need to treat this leather? I won't if I don't need to. Aerostitch? (Posted on 7/8/16)
- Ropes they areReview by Leonard
- Very heavy leather, well constructed but bulky, gathers in palm of hand while riding. Not curved. Gauntlet prevents airflow into sleeve of jacket. May be better during cool weather. Disappointed. (Posted on 7/5/16)
- Roper glovesReview by Mackers
- Very well made and comfortable. They're not really suitable as motorcycle gloves because it's not possible to secure them tightly around the wrist. In an accident, they're likely to peel off. (Posted on 5/5/16)
- Just the thingReview by Sequestris
- My husband loves the gloves. The workmanship and quality are excellent. The fit is a little off - some of the fingers are a little long, and the wrist snap doesn't really secure the glove as the wrists are too wide. As others have said, best to order a size smaller than what you normally get. My husband wears an XXL usually and the 10.5 are very loose. (Posted on 3/5/16)
- Nice GloveReview by Glenn
Buttery soft heavy duty glove. Unfortunately I had to return for half size smaller as I prefer a snugger fit for riding. Measure carefully as the sizes are dead on.
Still waiting on my exchange return or shipping confirmation email. (Posted on 12/9/15)
- Last and lastReview by Ernie
- I got my ropers 21 years ago and after tailoring- my hands are long,not wide- they were a perfect two season glove and traveled over 100,000 miles with me. Early this year one thumb wore through,so they are now my fingerless summer gloves. Next, gauntlets. (Posted on 12/5/15)
- Elkskin Roper vs Competition RoperReview by Pete
Finally I ordered the classic trooper m.c glove the Aerostich Elkskin Roper. I like them a lot!
Break-in is quick, molding to my hands, new colour is fading quickly allowing for the worn in look, sizing is accurate. Elkskin continues to amaze warm even when wet, use regularly to sweep off wet seat (don't need no stinkin' towel ~when I've got Elskin). Very similar to the Elkskin Competition (just shorter cuff) like them BOTH. A fine USA made product. Look like work gloves 'cause they do WORK!!!!
Pete (Posted on 9/23/14)
- Best glove everReview by John C
- I just recently bought my second pair of these. Got ten years of service out of the first pair. Would have gotten more but got careless and left out in the yard under some dirt for about a month a couple years back. They weren't quite the same after that ;). They were covered with mold and mildew but still were usable for another year or so after that unbelievable. (Posted on 7/30/14)
- Excellent gloves.Review by Patrick
- These gloves are so much better than the hardware store work gloves I have been wearing and the thicker leather gives me confidence that they will hold up better in a slide. The gloves felt broken-in after only a few rides. I would recommend these to a friend. (Posted on 7/19/14)
- ExcellentReview by RawFlyer
Love the gloves so far… just got my elkskin ropers a couple of weeks ago and am very happy with them. I'll report back in a year or two and let you know how well they've held up.
thanks again Aerostich!! (Posted on 5/29/14)
- Elkskin Ropers #42-440Review by David
- First impression of gloves upon receipt; high quality skins, stitching, no nonsense all business work gloves. Nothings suggests "motorcycle", that's what I expected. Fit is excellent, measured and ordered according to fit chart. First ride, a little stiff, not unexpected for new gloves, generally comfortable, windproof, gauntlet a little tight, but functional with my mesh jacket. Leather wants to "bunch" in palm of glove, may improve as gloves "break in". Too early to tell long term functionality and likeability. At this point, just OK. Will post "long term" review at some point. (Posted on 5/14/14)
- Initial impression - mixedReview by pJarhead
Nothing about these gloves, except perhaps the snap in the cuff and the thumb-wiper blade, give the impression of 'motorcycle gear.' No lining, no gel pads in the palm, just bare leather, with no pre-curve to the fingers. Looking at them, you could easily confuse with leather work gloves from the local hardware store. Now, not any hardware store, mind you - and definitely not a big-box store, the leather IS high-quality, good thickness with no imperfections, and solid stitching - so the old-style mom-and-pop hardware store that cared about quality over quantity.
Also note, sizes are perhaps a bit larger than expected. Most motorcycle gloves I've bought have had to be in the XL or XXL to get the fingers big enough. Not so with these - again reminding me of regular work gloves there’s lots of room. So much so that I'll use mine with thin ski-glove liners as a mid-temp glove, and weight-lifting gloves for palm comfort in hotter weather - there's that much room.
Will have to see how they hold up after a couple seasons and check back, and order a size smaller if these ever wear out. (Posted on 4/17/14)
- A great gloveReview by Mike
- I bought both these Elkskin Roper Gloves and the Deerskin gloves. Elkskin for Florida winters, and Deerskin for the rest of the year. Both of these are prime examples of the excellent workmanship in all Aerostich products. The gloves are soft and fit extremelly well. I have recommended them to many of my riding friends. (Posted on 3/31/14)
- Third Pair of Elkskin Roper GlovesReview by Theodore
- Although this is my third pair of your Elkskin Roper Goves, it's my first pair of your black dyed ones. I have over eight pairs of motorcycle gloves that I don't use anymore because these Elkskin Ropers are my favorites. They're well made and well thought out for motorcycle riders. I like the way the snap is positioned and the rubber squeegee. I didn't exactly wear out my first pair of Elkskin Ropers, but after three or four years of daily use, they were looking pretty "country" so I decided I'd like to have a new pair of my favorite gloves in the natural finish. Well, I started wearing black boots and helmet, so I figured I might as well get black gloves too. There was never any doubt that the choice would be the Aerostitch Black Elkskin Ropers. Now depending on which boots I wear, I have gloves to match. (Posted on 1/8/14)
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|Orders||Eco Saver||Surface||Priority/3day||2 Day*||1 Day*||International Air***|
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|$ 201-$ 400||N/A||$16-$21||$25-$31||$36-$42||$50-$58||$ 40.95-$ 120.95|
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“All of the elkskin glove models are cut and sewn on the exact same patterns so they fit similarly from model to model, but there are slight variations from glove to glove because each glove is hand made and each section of elkhide is a little different. A great way to quickly custom-fit a new pair is to fully wet-saturate on a warm day when you know you'll be riding continuously for several hours, then let them dry and conform to the shape of your hands during that ride.
Elkskin and deerskin can be safely washed using warm water and mild soap. This removes accumulated dirt, oils and stains and will help gloves last longer and feel nicer. After rinsing to remove residual soap, gloves should be gently wrung damp and allowed to dry gradually at room temperature. Do not apply direct heat when drying. They shrink slightly but will stretch to fit during wear.”
Which Elk Glove?
Thanks for your question. I wear both versions of the Elk glove. About 90% of the time I grab either the regular or competition Elkskin Ropers. The gauntleted version is also available, but I seldom take it. Probably only because I don’t have a sport bike option like your VFR.
The gauntlet on the unininsulated version of the gauntleted ropers is not lined, so the suede-ish backside of the leather does drag slightly against the sleeve of a textile jacket, but it’s not enough (to me) to be an issue. Also, as the gloves break in the suede-ishness wears a way slightly so the drag seems even less after a few hundred miles.
The gauntleted models are slightly more to deal with in subtle, nuanced ways. There are just ‘more glove’. The fastest and most unconscious pull-on-and-go is the regular roper. You just snap the wrist snap without thinking and go. Perfect for everyday short-hop, on-and-off-the-bike riding. Next fastest/easiest is the competition model. The wrist strap is much more secure than the snap, but it takes a nano-more of consciousness to manipulate it. For all-day riding, though, I usually pick this one. The gauntlet models add another nano-bit of rigamarole, but for a sport bike rider are probably a better option. These shades of ease-of-use distinction are very slight.
When I travel I normally take two pair of gloves -- usually a pair of competition ropers for wear most of the time, and the insulated gauntleted ropers or Luxury Cowhide. And the triple digit raincovers.
Last November I rode around Lake Superior with some friends on Gold Wings. I was riding my unfaired bike which has heated grips, but is without hand guards (wind protectors). Temps every morning were about 30ºf and the high each day was about 45ºf. I had both of the above and switched multiple times for comparison and evaluation. In the end I liked the insulated elk ones slightly better, but it was very close.
Since that trip (and as a result my experiences on it…) we have slightly increased the insulation thickness of the wind barrier hidden within the backside of the hands and fingers on the insulated elk ropers. Before it was a layer of windproof fabric placed between the wool liner and the elkskin outer. Now it’s a layer of thin windproof fleece (fleece laminated to a layer of wind blocking coated fabric).
The elk gloves are sized by glove sizes, not s,m,l, xl, etc. Basically there are twice as many sizes. For example, both a size 9 and a 9.5 are ‘m’ graded. So you end up with a more precise fit. A good-fitting glove is as important as a good-fitting shoe. It’s the only real difference between an ok glove and a great glove.
-- Mr. Subjective