These Merlin Icon street-style gloves look stylish with their mix of denim and leather, but they don’t offer fashion at the total expense of protection.
Merlin Maple gloves
The $79 Icon gloves come in either grey or blue denim with black leather in sizes small to XXXL.
Despite having denim on the backs of the gloves, that is only a covering.
Underneath is perforated leather, so the combination with denim means you get slightly more abrasion protection as well as plenty of flow-through ventilation.
There are also hard thermoplastic polyurethane protectors across the knuckles and a padded protector on the “heel” of your palm which often contacts the ground first in a fall.
Like all Merlin gear, the Icon gloves are double-stitched everywhere, with extra layers of leather on the palms and down the outside of your hands.
They aren’t made for MotoGP riders, but for street riders who need comfort and fashion as well as urban-speed crash protection.
I’ve also felt confident enough in their protection to wear them on tour.
I found they remained comfortable all day long which is a primary safety issue.
Mind the gap
One of the usual problems with short gloves is that when you reach forward to the bars, your jacket sleeves ride up, leaving your wrists exposed to sunburn.
These short gloves have an extra long cuff so they don’t leave a gap.
The cuffs also have an oversized velcro area for maximum range of fit on the fattest and skinniest wrists.
Another benefit of the soft denim covering is that it acts as a visor wiper when it showers, although the gloves are not waterproof.
Unlike most summer gloves, they have a lining. It’s made of a soft polyester microfleece that is stitched in so you don’t annoyingly pull it out when you take your gloves off.
In these days of touchscreen phones and GPS units, I would have liked the fingertips to have touchscreen-sensitive material.
However, I’ve simply added $US20 Farkle Fingers on the thumb and forefinger so I can use my phone to take photos when I stop without having to remove the gloves.