Buying Guides, Karting, Kartwear, Motorsport, Racing, Safety, Sim Racing

Gloves & Underwear Buying Guide

The cover of a Buying Guide for racing and karting gloves and underwear, showing a racing driver with his race suit tied around his waist

Why is it important to get the right gloves?

Racing gloves are made from a Nomex material that will provide protection from heat and fire. Karting gloves don’t have this fire protection, but they are made from abrasion-resistant materials that offer protection is the driver is flipped over on the track.

What is the homologation for gloves?

Gloves are mandatory for all motorsport and must comply with the FIA 8856-2018 standard.

What are the benefits of more expensive gloves?

In summary, feel, comfort and functionality. An entry level option will typically have the stitching on the inside of the glove, which will press into the fingers and palms and be less comfortable and offer less feel than a better glove where the stitching is on the outside.

Entry level gloves have little or no elastication around the wrists, meaning that there is more scope for movement in the glove and less solid grip on the steering wheel. They will also have leather palms and grips, whereas the more expensive options will have silicone grips that offer a superior performance.

Finally, the better gloves are more breathable improving comfort, reducing heat and sweating and improving grip.

Do I need specific underwear?

Yes, you do if you are driving in any Motorsport UK events as they require Nomex underwear to be worn under your race suit. Nomex offers fire protection and an additional layer will significantly improve a drivers’ chances of escaping a fire without serious injury.

What underwear do I need?

You need Nomex bottoms, tops, socks and a balaclava.

For track days Nomex underwear is not compulsory, but GPR recommends that you should always wear it to maximise your protection and personal safety.

Are their benefits other than safety?

Racing underwear is specifically designed for the job, so you’ll find it fits better, is more comfortable and is breathable to allow heat to escape. This is particularly beneficial in Karting where heat can be a significant issue.