Sombio has been around since the days of Lycra-clad warriors throwing themselves down the gnarly slopes of Vancouver's North Shore. The company has always pushed the boundaries of making functional and aesthetically pleasing gear. The Prodigy glove has been around for a few years, becoming a favorite of riders who prefer minimalist gloves that can still hold up to plenty of abuse. It's evident that Sombrio put a lot of thought into the Prodigy: smart design elements such as a dedicated tab for pulling the glove on, a strategically placed terry-cloth pad, and extra material in the high-wear zone between the thumb and index finger make for a glove that promises both comfort and longevity.
The first time I slipped the Prodigy on, it felt custom tailored. The glove is pre-curved, and due to its highly stretchable material, the Prodigy seemed to conform to the contours of my hand. There weren't any misplaced seams or tight finger joints; Sombrio truly hit the nail on the head with fit. On long all-day epics it can make a huge difference to have a glove that will keep your hands comfortable and blister free, and I have yet to experience any discomfort while wearing the Prodigy.
The palm panel is built from Ax Suede, a material used in a variety of athletic and even military applications. It is both abrasion resistant and durable, while still remaining soft and stretchable for a high degree of comfort. On many gloves, the palm bunches up and folds, especially when things get wet and soggy, but not on the Prodigy. Even on 4-plus-hour rides in the rain where everything was soaked, the palm stayed flat and felt surprisingly dry. The spongy, slimy feeling that some gloves get when wet was absent, so that even on the wettest rides I wasn’t slipping around on my grips. Even though Sombrio doesn't market the Prodigy gloves as touchscreen compatible, I've had no issues using my phone with them. In fact, they work better than some of the gloves I have that are designed to be touchscreen compatible.
Details: Sombrio Prodigy Gloves
Kevlar thread construction throughout
Multi-panel Ax Suede stretch & recovery chamude palm
Kevlar-corded nylon and 3D-vented Lycra mesh panels
Terry moss thumb panel
Capped fingers for durability
Silicone braking fingers for lever traction
I've stretched, pulled, yanked and in every way tried to make the Prodigy give up it's weaknesses, but after two months of riding the gloves are mostly wear free. The few signs of abuse are on the braking fingertips where the silicone grip pads have ripped off, and some of the stitching on the cuff has gotten a little torn up from an encounter with brambles. The palm shows no signs of abrasion from gripping the bars for hours on end, and despite many encounters with thorns, branches and other trail-side attractions, the back panels are tear-free. The pull-tab on the cuff, which often develop tears on slip-on gloves, has remained solid.
The only design quip I have is the size of the terry cloth pad on the back of each thumb. It’s in a great location for wiping your nose, but after one particularly wet use it becomes rather saturated and ineffectual. It would be nice to have a larger pad for multiple uses.
There's no doubt that there are many outstanding gloves on the market right now that suit every style of riding in every condition possible. At $40, you get a lot of bang for you buck with the Prodigy. It's comfortable, well designed and, most importantly, will last through many months of hard riding.