We may still be in the tight grips of winter here in the great white north, but it doesn’t mean we can’t start looking forward to the green grass of spring, when we can start to de-layer and have far more choices of what to wear in the saddle. In the spirit of thinking towards spring (and wishing I was somewhere warm), I’m taking a look at Samshield’s line of V-Skin gloves.
Here are the factors I’m considering in this review:
How do they fit?
What are they made of? How well do they grip?
Do they stand up to everyday wear and tear?
What are the options? Are they good for schooling, showing, or both?
How much? How does it compare to other brands?
When I first started riding, many years ago, there weren’t a lot of glove options on the market, SSG seemed to have pretty much cornered the market in most local tack stores, so that was the glove brand I honestly swore by. More recently, a lot of new brands have popped up and some existing ones have taken a leap into the glove market – and one of these is Samshield. The company is well known for its helmets, and I didn’t even realize it made gloves until I ended up with a pair about a year ago. I’ve since then been exclusively wearing Samshield V-skin gloves as my summer riding gloves, and thought it was time to give them a review.
Hands down, these are one of the better fitting pairs of gloves I’ve come across. I have long and narrow fingers, so I typically have a hard time finding gloves that are long enough but also narrow enough that I can move around in them, but they aren’t so loose that my hands are sliding around (or there’s extra fabric at the ends).
The pair I have, which were a gift, are a size larger then I generally wear, they still fit surprisingly well. The only thing I have against the fit is the thumb size, which seems to be a disproportionate to the rest of the fingers on the glove in size – it’s the only part of the glove that’s way too big for me (maybe I just have small thumbs …).
The Velcro closure at the back is solid and handy, as I can adjust to fit snugly on my very narrow wrists, while also adjusting for when I am wearing a watch or any jewelry (e.g. bracelet).
The base of the glove, like most, is made of stretchy material (in this case Lycra), so over time I have found they’ve stretched out a bit. The fit is still good, but because they were a size to large when I got them, I tend to have to fasten the Velcro tighter to keep them in place these days.
The Samshield V-skin is made up of four different materials that work together to create its unique look and style. The gloves are a combination of perforated lambskin, silicone printed suede, Lycra, and spandex, and come in four different colours: black, brown, blue, dark grey, and white.
The leather on the back is nice and soft with a bit of stretch, while the palms are stretchy with a good amount of grip. The silicone printed suede is a nice touch on the palms, which offers too materials for added grip and quite the unique look. I like that the suede/silicone palm material carriers over the side to the top of the index finger, as I often find that area gets a fair amount of wear and tear, and when it’s made of leather or other thin materials it wears out pretty fast. The materials make them a pretty lightweight glove, which makes them great in the summer (not so much the winter), and they are fairly breathable on most days. Like any glove with a suede palm (I’ve learned over the years, suede really doesn’t breath), the palm of your hand is going to sweat – especially on really hot days – but the perforated lambskin backing does help allow some airflow at least.
The colours offered are fairly standard basic tones, but there is some variety in case you like to change it up (or require one colour for showing and another for schooling). Just a heads up, the dark blue can bleed onto the skin on particularly warm days (when your hands are sweating a lot) – so if you want your hands to look less smurf like, pick another colour (the bleed becomes less over time, but it can be really bad at the start when the gloves are new).
Like everything, it’s a case of the more you use them, the more likely they are to wear out. I currently only ride once a week and don’t show, so my pair has held up pretty well. There are currently no tears in any of the fabric, and the suede on the palms hasn’t worn off yet. I typically tear through the index finger and thumb of most gloves pretty quickly (not sure why) and thankfully this hasn’t happened yet with these gloves. I also tend to tear through the seams between the thumb and index finger, and at the base of the pinky and ring finger, which also hasn’t happened yet – so that’s a positive for these gloves in my opinion. The areas that typically see the most wear are still intact, which is always a plus.
While I can’t attest first hand to how they hold up performance wise when riding and showing daily, I do have a friend who is a full time rider and trainer who rides in these gloves in the summer. While they definitely show more wear than mine, they seem to be holding up with no tears and the suede of the palms still intact.
These gloves are definitely outside the box when it comes to style. While they don’t offer the same variety and options like the wide range of SSG gloves on the market, they definitely have a unique look that sets them apart from the competition.
At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of the unique styling with all the lines and the stripy silicone palms, but it’s grown on me. I think most of the style choices are for function, to allow maximum breathability, grip, and stretch, so I get it, and honestly they’ve grown on me over time.
Samshield does go a little heavy handed on the branding though (compared to other brands), with their logo on the wrist closure, and their name and logo printed on the pinky and all along the bottom seam.
As far as price goes, Samshield gloves are definitely on the high side. The basic V-Skin glove will, depending on your retailer, run around $60-65 USD. Compared to SSG and Roeckl, which retail around $25 – 40 USD and $44 – 60 USD, respectively, the Samshield definitely comes out on top, so for regular riders who burn through gloves – this likely isn’t an option for you. If you are looking for a solid pair of gloves for showing, or schooling if you’re only an occasional rider, these gloves are a solid option.
- Unique Style
- Good fit and grip
- Quality Materials
- High Price
- Excessive Branding
- Colour Bleed (for Blue only)