For the past few years, I've gone without gloves when I mountain bike. The palms of gloves I've owned wear out quickly, and I'm left with blisters and calluses on my hands. When I started volunteering for trail-work days, gloves became a necessity once again, so I was glad to see Pearl Izumi's Pulaski model hit the market. To the naked eye, they look like traditional riding gloves, but the palms are made of synthetic leather for bikers who do as much work off the bike as on it. The synthetic leather allows the glove to remain lightweight and breathable while you're riding, but tough and durable while digging. $45; pearlizumi.com.