Dane Nigra review | Short-cuff motorcycle gloves tested


Date reviewed: June 2023 | Tested by: Duncan Sutcliffe, BikeSocial Test Team | Price: £85 | saltflatsclothing.co.uk


The Dane Nigra is a perforated goatskin and cowhide short-cuff glove, with a lightweight feel and minimum fuss. I’ve worn it in dry weather for around 2,500 miles in town and on European B-roads on a Triumph Street Scrambler and a BMW R1250GS Adventure.


Pros & Cons

  • Extremely soft and supple
  • Well restrained without feeling tight
  • Excellent cooling
  • Can feel a little short, though fit is subjective
  • Some stitching can be felt inside
  • Prone to dye leaching


Fit and feel

Made of an exceptionally soft, supple cow hide and goatskin, the Dane Nigra gloves need only a bit of a wiggle of your fingers to pull smoothly over the hand. They’re immediately comfortable to ride in as they have no plastic inserts or stiff stitching and the leather’s at the thinner end of what you’ll generally find in bike gloves. I’m usually a large size for gloves and these fit me really well for width around the hand, but I’d have liked a few more millimetres of length on the fingers. As it is, they can feel a little short when my hands are gripping a lever although it’s not so noticeable when cruising, and fit is of course subjective.

There are small accordion panels at the base of each finger but they don’t seem to add much extra stretch, so I think they’re as much for looks as practicality.

Once the Nigras are on and fastened, the gloves stay put very well. I can’t pull them off without undoing the strap which gives me confidence they’d remain in place in a crash, but they don’t feel tight around the wrist at all.



The stitching on the fingers is unusual. On the back of the hand, all the fingers are sewn with an internal stitch which can unfortunately be felt around the fingertips. On the front, the thumb and forefinger have internal stitching but the other three have an external stitch giving them a boxy appearance. This seems to be part of the gloves’ aesthetic rather than serving any practical purpose.

Internally, the CE label is sewn onto one of the ‘vertical’ seams and occasionally feels a bit scratchy. You could snip it out if it annoyed you, although technically that would make them illegal to wear in France if that’s a concern.

Externally there’s a Dane logo stencilled onto the forefinger in grey reflective paint, although it’s so small I’m not sure it would be particularly noticeable. There’s also a little Danish flag sewn into the outside wrist which provides a flash of red on what is otherwise a very plain black glove.

I should say that I do still finish each ride with black palms and fingers where the dye has leached out of the leather.


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Protection and certification

The Dane Nigra gloves are certified to CE Level 1 with knuckle protection under EN 13594:2015. That’s the only level that a short-cuff glove can reach so unfortunately it only proves the gloves have met the requirements of a standard test, not how far they might have exceeded it by or how many additional protective features they offer.

Looking at the Danes, they have a small cushion-like pad at the base of the palm, a soft pad across the knuckles on the back of the hand and a tiny pad on the back of the second and third fingers.

There are no plastic armoured parts and no Kevlar-type reinforcements or sliders on the palms, so they might not offer the same confidence to some as a more sport-focussed glove, but while they have a modern edge, they’re still more of a retro/urban style.

All motorcycle clothing sold in the UK and Europe is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This is a good thing for riders as it can help them choose kit that has provable levels of safety as to meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. To fully understand the labels found in all bike kit, click here.


Warm and cold weather use

Firmly a summer only glove, the Nigras are perforated on the back of the hand, the thumb and three of the fingers. The perforations are open through the leather and allow air flow onto your skin for a reasonable cooling effect. I’ve worn these on long days with temperatures rising to the 30°C mark and they’re about as cool as you’ll get outside of a mesh glove.

Of course, that means they don’t provide much warmth: riding through the shaded valleys of Luxembourg early in the morning with the bike showing around 10°C, I had to put my heated grips on to feel comfortable. The Dane Nigras are ideal for long hot days, but if you tend to start rides before the sun’s really got going, you’ll probably want to have a warmer glove with you.


Wet weather use

There’s no weather protection at all so in anything other than a shower, expect the gloves to soak through very fast. Leave them somewhere with a bit of air circulating, though, and they’d dry quite quickly as they’re so thin.


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The Nigras are secured with a hook-and-loop fastening on a strap on the inside of the wrist with a good amount of variation in the tightness you can safely achieve. The strap has a flare at the end to keep it from pulling out of the metal loop, and that loop has a little sleeve roller that should keep the strap from wearing or fraying.

I never had any concerns at all that the gloves were at risk of coming off once done up, and they don’t feel in any way uncomfortable on the wrists. On lots of gloves I find I need to pull the straps tighter than the amount of Velcro safely supports, but the Nigras felt just right. It’s a very simple fastener system but it’s implemented well.


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These Dane gloves are part-lined with a mesh polyester material that covers the back of the hand and backs of the fingers, but not the palm. The inner wrist has a strip of suede lining, which prevents the glove from rubbing against the skin under the fastening strap.


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Touchscreen compatibility

The thumb and forefinger of both gloves have a flat leather patch at the fingertip, which gives just enough touchscreen resistance to let my phone recognise input most of the time. Like most gloves, interacting with a phone is pretty clumsy while wearing them but it’s good enough to hit the ‘go now’ button on Waze or similar. They work perfectly with my Garmin Zumo XT, though.


Three alternatives to the Dane Nigra gloves

There’s a vast choice of short cuff gloves available – here are just a few…

  • The Goldtop Predators have a more retro design and a lovely silk lining. Virtually the same price as the Danes, they have slightly more robust-feeling knuckle and palm protectors, but they do feel a bit warmer. Read the full review of the Goldtop Predators here.
  • The Spidi X-Force is another summer-only glove, with a more funky design. It’s 50% more expensive than the Nigra but it’s a largely mesh-construction for even more airflow. Read the full review of the Spidi X-Force gloves here.
  • The £129.99 BKS Summer gloves (sold by BKS Made to Measure) are ideal if you’re looking for some serious safety features, being the choice of many police riders (not to be confused with BKS gloves sold by J&S or on Amazon/eBay). Read the full review of the BKS Summer Gloves here.

These are just three of many alternatives – you can find all the motorcycle gloves we’ve tested here and be sure to regularly check for the discounts available through Bikesocial membership.


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Dane Nigra gloves review: verdict

When touring you’ll certainly want a back-up pair of warmer and maybe even waterproof gloves tucked away in your luggage, but as a hot-weather glove (especially in the city), the Dane Nigra gloves work well. Their simple and unfussy design fits great with a leather jacket and jeans, they offer plenty of feel for the controls, and their perforated construction helps keep your hands cool. Despite a couple of personal reservations about finger size, they feel comfortable to wear and are well put together.