This article is an exploration of the humble tactical glove. An item that has been a huge benefit to many shooters from hunters to law enforcement and military professionals to people who don’t shoot or hunt at all. The benefits of finding the best tactical gloves can be substantial. This article will take you through understanding the build of tactical gloves and help you to find some of the best tactical gloves currently in production, because sometimes finding an often-misunderstood product can be quite difficult.
Almost all the best innovations in the tactical gear marketplace started out as value-add products in standard operational gear marketplaces for military and law enforcement. This market was bigger than anyone expected but it should have been known very early on, that the tactical gear market potential is massive; based on utility and versatility alone. The average consumer wants gear that helps them accomplish their tasks better and last a long time under crazy conditions.
Tactical gloves are an acquired taste, but they say that about beer and wine too. That says something. Most people who don’t use tactical gloves don’t know what they are missing and once they experience using them (with high quality, well made gloves) they realize how important a tool they could be utilizing. The most important thing that needs to be stated is this: the first pair of tactical gloves you buy/use need to be a very good set of tactical gloves, because if it isn’t, you might not have a good enough experience – and you’d be tainted on the experience. This might cause you to avoid glove use in general in the future.
NOTE: The author used to be ANTI-GLOVE. It’s true. Dexterity and bulkiness was the main concern. He overcame that difficulty while on a cold weather hunting trip that changed his mind completely. Now for even the most mundane tasks (aside from basic range use, etc., he almost always wears quality gloves to shoot or train.
Quick Pick – Top 3 Tactical Gloves
Why Tactical Gloves?
There are hundreds of reasons why using tactical gloves makes sense. Below is a list of situations where tactical gloves will be a huge help to your experience and capabilities:
- Law Enforcement or military use
- Cold weather shooting
- Bad wind conditions or conditions where debris are picked up in the wind
- Conditions like rescue operations offer
- Situations when you will be carrying a large about of heavy items or where you will be constantly picking up and putting down equipment
- Situations where you might come in contact with sharp edges
- Close quarter combat
- Hand to hand fighting scenarios
- Training classes where you are exposed to varying drills which include cover or using the ground for tactical conditioning
- In preparation for difficult future tactical encounters – to get comfortable with the gloves
- Where you may encounter an attacker with a knife
- Wet conditions – where touch/feel is degraded
- Where a high level of abrasives exist, including use in sandy/desert/beach conditions
- Protection against heat for long range sessions or for changing parts in a weapon that has been firing a lot of ammunition
These examples may not all fit for you. But the use of gloves can be very different for each individual and the above list is by no means exhaustive.
Tactical gloves are good for the fact that they protect the hands and guarantee a more consistent performance index, it’s the main reason most tactical operators and police offices and law enforcement agents use gloves almost full time. The consistency of performance, and the protection against abrasion and sharp objects are also a number one reason for choosing tactical gloves.
Police officers; corrections officers and other law enforcement come in contact with bodily fluids, knives, hypodermic needles, and other threats on a regular basis. Without specialty gloves, their jobs would be far riskier. That may not apply to you, but if you think hard enough for a few minutes, we are sure you can find application by way of these concepts, in your own situation. The point again is that consistency is important, if you plan on using the gloves in a future scenario you should be training with them in most situations.
What materials make the most sense for tactical gloves?
There are two schools of thought on this topic – the natural and the synthetic options. Either way, you will need to determine your use cases, so you can determine which side makes the most sense for you. That said: most of the best tactical gloves are hybridized designs that include some natural and some synthetic materials to give you a glove experience that compensates the best for shortcomings from both sides of the playing field.
Benefits of a synthetic material:
- Use of high performance fabrics
- Lighter weight generally
- More protection against the elements usually
- Cheaper in cost to build/buy
Benefit of a Natural material:
- They will wear out at the appropriate time, to indicate when the service life is over for the most demanding situations (believe it or not, that can be a very valuable benefit of insight)
- They can generally have a better tactile value – they feel better to the touch when the right material is used
- Dexterity can be heightened on the right builds
- Generally made to a higher quality of finish
When it comes down to performance, note: you will always want to find the durable versions of the best shooting glove or tactical hand wear. That doesn’t mean that you should suffer through a product that degrades over time. You should also be aware of the value of gloves that are capable of being used to their fullest capacity, which means you may have to “retire” a pair of gloves to use for yardwork every now and then. New gloves are an important thing to understand: you need to be able to rely on your gloves to do the work you are enlisting them to do.
If your gloves are considerably degraded you’d be best served to get a new pair. Plain and simple. And don’t be afraid to buy a new pair. If you need your gloves, you need your gloves functioning a the highest level.
Finger dexterity is easily the most important part of going from no-gloves to gloves; or moving on to a new set of gloves. You need to be able to utilize your fingers as though they were not covered. This is particularly important for precision shooting and for those who will be actively moving, as you cannot sometimes feel your fingers make movements as you are moving quickly, and this can lead to safety concerns, even with the best trigger discipline and proper safety considerations.
Simply put, your fingers need to be able to feel what they are doing as though you didn’t have gloves on. Yes, that is an overstatement of possibility: of course, an ungloved hand will have more finger dexterity, but you are shooting for the highest level of touch sensitivity as you can get.
Most of these gloves utilize a very high finger dexterity, even with the ones that are more insulated. But they will take some getting used to.
Trigger control in a shooting glove can be the difference between life and death for those who do this for a living, at best it is an inconvenience; at worst for those who are not law enforcement, military or some other tactical professional shooter, it can be a safety concern. Many shooters prefer to have modified trigger finger gloves or fingerless gloves. We won’t advocate for it one way or the other and believe you can achieve a fine balance between dexterity and insulation; protection and suppleness, etc. The best shooting gloves will allow you to feel every nuance of the firearm you are working with.
Sometimes you will see the synthetic gloves make more sense than the natural products as a result of the finger dexterity requirement, because the thinness of the synthetic materials is significantly better than some natural leathers or cloths.
Weight and Stiffness of Gloves – how does this affect their use?
Some gloves are very bulky and heavy. This can be a detriment to the needs of a shooter in tactical scenarios. The stiffness of the palm and the back of the glove can also have important impacts on your comfort level. Note: there are different types of gloves for different things, and we suggest you find the glove that best fits your use case to the micro-level.
If you are a peace officer who comes in contact with drug addicts and the potential for needle sticks while patting down someone, you would want a puncture resistant glove that has a bulkier layer of outer material.
The opposite is true for a shooter who would be using the gloves to take a single shot on a cold day in a hunting stand or blind, where the primary concern is insulation of the fingers and the ability to ensure good trigger finger dexterity.
A completely other type of tactical glove would be needed for those who are sliding around in the dirt, or those in wet environments. Every use case is different, and every use case requires absolute attention to details to ensure you are getting what you need accomplished without compromising the level of “feel” you need.
Having the right fit, materials and use case specificity is important when trying to buy the best tactical gloves. Below you will find our list of the best 12 tactical glove sets and the reasons we love them so much.
Magpul Industries Patrol Gloves
- Excellent comfort, dexterity and protection
- One piece palm construction with soft and durable premium leather
- Corded Nylon stretch fabric on back of hand with contour cut design
- Adjustable wrist for a custom, snug fit
- Thumb and forefinger "gun gusset" designed for better durability and comfort when shooting pistol gripped firearms
Magpul Industries Patrol Gloves are literally made for patrol usage. They are not a particularly great shooting glove, but they can be used for shooting. They are not a great tactical glove, unless you are using the word tactical to describe a tactical fit for a specific use case and that use case is patrol wear.
These gloves are OK for normal use in any activity, but they excel for pat downs, basic handling of equipment and general police field duty work. They are exactly that, and even then, there are some better purpose-built gloves for certain beats (like one with a lot of drug users).
The thing that makes these Magpul gloves great is that that can do well at many different things, but they are really built for patrol work. So, use them for patrol work.
- Leather palm; slim fit for leather gloves
- Not excellent at anything but general police use
WHY IT IS RECOMMENDED: Because it’s hard to find good quality, comfortable (dare we say leather is breathable?) gloves for use in basic administrative and other non-tactical police work. Magpul Industries Patrol Gloves offer good protection in a glove that can reasonably be worn an entire shift.
Mechanix Wear - M-Pact Covert Tactical Gloves
- Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) knuckle guard and finger guards protect against impact.
- Dual-layer internal fingertip reinforcement provides added durability.
- D3O palm padding absorbs and dissipates high-impact energy through the palm.
- Nylon web loop provides convenient storage.
- Machine washable.
Mechanix Wear is another great multi-purpose glove that is best for a single activity. In this case these are great for high impact shooter training where you may be running up against cover and shooting.
They are amazing for small impacts, and avoidance of abrasions and heat for shooting and tactical training work.
They aren’t amazing at much else, though they do have pretty good trigger finger dexterity for a glove that is so heavily laden with additional materials.
The palm may be a bit bulky for handgun use, but for most rifles and carbines, they work nicely.
- Offer decent padding and recoil absorption at the palm area
- Good abrasion protection for active shooting drills
- Decent knuckle protection for clumsy shooters
- May be slightly bulky in the palm region for some handguns or for people with small hands
WHY IT IS RECOMMENDED: Mechanix Wear is a well-known brand, good quality mix of materials and the fact that these are very good for training purposes, where an injury can throw off an expensive training class for days. They are a fantastic preemptive measure against difficulties in training sessions.
JIUSY Tactical Military Hard Knuckle Full Finger Gloves
- Molded hard knuckle, double stitching for heavy duty, protection hands from impact and abrasion.
- Increasing the friendly touching function to three fingers part of glove, so you can touch your phone screen sensitively and use it conveniently.
- Hard knuckle gloves is made of durable microfiber leather material Wear-resistant, anti-slip, lightweight ,fast drying and also perfect.
- The palm reinforcement, protects hands from impact and abrasion. Adjustable wrist design provide sense of snug and support when working outdoor sport.
- High performance gear as army military gloves, hard knuckle tactical gloves, combat gloves, assault gloves, shooting gloves, airsoft gloves, paintball gloves and hunting gloves.
JIUSY Tactical Military Gloves are excellent quality airsoft and paintball gloves where you are being very physical, and you can get some annoying injuries or welts from getting hit in the hand often.
These have a hard structure on the knuckle that can protect against those types of issues. The stitching and build quality may be a little light for legitimate hardcore use, but the design is very good and the glove, while a bit stiff is still suitable for most gun use.
- Great design for airsoft and paintball to protect against injuries to exposed hands.
- A bit stiff
- Stitching can be a bit “unfinished” in areas like between fingers
WHY IT IS RECOMMENDED: It’s hard to find truly protective airsoft and paintball gloves that will protect properly without being ridiculous to wear. JIUSY Tactical Military Gloves fit that bill to a “T”. Great for any place where your hands are exposed to threats of airsoft pellets or paintballs.
Mechanix Wear - Specialty Vent Coyote Tactical Gloves
- Lightweight mesh allows cool air to circulate throughout the glove.
- Anatomical stitch darts conform to the natural curvature of the hand to create a precision fit.
- Ventilated 0.6mm high-dexterity palm provides evaporate cooling.
- 360° touchscreen capable palm.
- Machine washable.
Mechanix Wear – Specialty Vent Gloves are one of the best shooting gloves sets that are available today. The material is supple, easy to use when sweaty and offers great grip despite not having a rubberized texture.
The minimalist glove offers all the stuff you need, and none of the frivolous stuff you don’t. Decent protection from the different hazards that might come up during a shooting session or a hunt but made more for light protection and great dexterity which makes these an extension of your body.
- Good breathability for use with those who have sweaty hands
- Great grip considering it’s not rubberized or added upon
- Somewhat pricey for the life span expectation
WHY IT IS RECOMMENDED: Truly feels like a second skin, this glove set is excellent for long term use, especially for those who get hot on their hands or sweat a lot. The material selection sees no real degradation of the material properties due to excess sweat, which makes this glove very good for high stress situations. The finger dexterity is second to none with the Mechanix Wear – Specialty Vent Gloves.
Magpul Industries Technical Gloves
- Lightweight, durable glove without compromising dexterity
- Tough synthetic suede palm and inner finger construction for wet or dry grip on all firearms
- Narrow, minimalistic forefinger for easy access and better Control of firearms triggers
- Terrycloth backed thumb area to quickly Remove fogging on hunting optics and glasses
- Elastic wrist closure keeps out debris
Magpul Industries Technical Gloves are a great choice for those who want a synthetic glove with a minimalist build style.
This is a pair of gloves that will do well for hot weather shooting, that doesn’t need a ton of back hand protection.
Great to run some training courses with and great for fast shooting or movement while shooting. The style allows decent finger dexterity.
- Minimalist – simple in a good way
- May be a bit on the weaker side durability wise
WHY IT IS RECOMMENDED: Great for hot weather drills, or for when you need a glove to combat sweaty hands, but don’t want to lose all feeling in your trigger finger. The Magpul Industries brand name is excellent, and they know what they are doing.
Oakley Mens Factory Pilot Glove
- Full-grain leather palm
- Premium leather and durable synthetics with flexible articulated construction
- Protective knuckle to guard against impact
- Mesh zones and rubber exhaust ports for comfortable breathability
- Unobtainium surfacing on palms and fingers for a secure grip, plus textured pull for easy donning.
If we lived in a warzone or were professional soldiers, the Oakley SI Assault Glove would be high on our list.
It has many features that just make sense for combat and quick fitting into your gloves. The quick pull on tab makes it surprisingly easier to pull the gloves on.
The hard knuckle protects against impact damage to your hands in stressful situations. The quality is high.
- Hard knuckle is legit protections
- The pull-on tab genuinely helps out
WHY IT IS RECOMMENDED: The Oakley SI Assault Glove is the type of glove we’d choose if we were fighting daily in the sand. The interesting part is how many guys were using these gloves fighting in the sandboxes that made up our last couple of conflicts for the U.S. Military.
FREETOO Tactical Gloves
- HEAVY DUTY GLOVES to protect your hands from abrasion and scratching in sports and activities demanding both protection and dexterity.
- FIT SNUGGLY into palm and all fingers, wrap tightly around wrist with adjustable wrist Velcro, not stiff, not bulky, allow movement and dexterity.
- BREATHABLE COMFORT achieved by odor-free breathable materials and functional vent design, comfortable to use in hot weather as well as in mild winter seasons.
- EXCELLENT GRIP with dual-layer synthetic leather palm featured by anti-skid gridding.
- RUGGED BUILD with reinforced palm, knuckle padding and double stitching, intended for heavy use as tactical gloves, work gloves, camping, hunting, shooting and other outdoor gloves. Quality guaranteed by at least 3 months warranty.
Freetoo Tactical Gloves can be used for most shooting scenarios and some tactical purposes, but the sweet spot for these gloves is at paintball or airsoft where an exposed hand will be a painful target to get hit on. The durability is decent, but the warranty is excellent.
- Knuckle protection is very good
- Option for a fingerless glove
- Not sure how easy it is to use the warranty – though it looks great on the surface
WHY IT IS RECOMMENDED: The Freetoo Tactical Gloves are an epic airsoft glove that gives good quality construction to shooters who actually need a legitimate knuckle guard and yet, need to have a breathable glove too.
Mechanix Wear - Tactical Specialty Gloves
- Thermoplastic rubber closure provides a secure fit to the wrist
- Comfortable stretch spandex conforms to the back of the hand
- High-dexterity 0.6mm hair sheep leather palm provides optimal tactile control
- Touchscreen capable hair sheep leather palm
- Dedicated flex points improve finger mobility
Goat skin is excellent for fine work and fingertip needs. The problem with most goatskin products is they need to be all goatskin to maintain the right amount of durability. The Mechanix Wear – Tactical Specialty Gloves can suffer a bit at the seams. But if you can handle replacing them, these will serve you very well for their immediate lifespan.
- High level of control in this glove
- Excellent well thought out design
- Exceptional fit
- They will need to be replaced regularly – goat skin just doesn’t have the same thickness as cow leather.
WHY IT IS RECOMMENDED: Awesome for a little while, and if you live or die by your gloves and need a natural product palm these are the ones. Excellent design except that they incorporate too much synthetic material and the seams simply cannot hold up to extended use. If you can handle the price tag of the Mechanix Wear – Tactical Specialty Gloves and hassle of throwing out gloves pretty often, but the benefit of having new gloves often, is big enough; then these are the gloves.
Fuyuanda Half Finger Outdoor Gloves
- Half Finger Outdoor Tactical Glove: PC knuckles protective glove with anti-skid PU material in the palm together with nylon webbing to fix your wrist will not fall off
- PC Knuckles Protector: Great PC knuckle protector to prevent your hands from enemy fire and brush, ideal for tactical outdoor sports for shooting, paintball, airsoft, cycling and mountain hiking
- Sweat & Anti-skid palm reinforce: Adopts micro fiber breathable stretch for sweat while shooting, and the palm is made of artificial leather padded which is the best grip material in any condition and wear-resistant
- Adjustable Wrist Strap: Adjustable nylon strap with hook and loop closure to protect your wrists better when shooting batting riding cycling and other outdoor activities
- What you receive: 1 pair half finger outdoor protective gloves with 12 months manufacturer warranty and lifetime customer services
Fuyuanda Gloves are the most durable half finger gloves on the market at the price point. These are an excellent glove for those who will not allow the finger to be covered up during shooting, but they do offer a bit of bulk that can be annoying during certain activities.
The quality of build is generally high, for that you compromise by allowing the glove to feel a bit big and a bit clumsy. That said, if you want long lasting gloves and you can compromise on the fingers (i.e. you live in a warm environment).
- Half finger design
- Great durability
- Decent color options
- Durability comes at the cost of bulkiness on the hand
WHY IT IS RECOMMENDED: This is built well and can handle some decent abuse. The half finger design can be perfect or long-range precision shooters that may also be doing physical work. The padding and anti-slip palm material makes the Fuyuanda Gloves good for carrying items too like heavy guns or ammo cans or water jugs with a handle.
PIG Full Dexterity Tactical
- SPECIAL OPERATIONS PROVEN- PIG FDT Delta Gloves have been proven in combat by US Special Operations soldiers who require MAXIMUM dexterity for fast & accurate shooting with Rifle AND Handgun! The PIG FDT Delta (minimalist), Alpha (original) and Bravo (FR) Gloves have ALL been fielded by Special Operations Soldiers & Units. We even offer women's specific versions (Charlie & Echo models).
- BAREHAND SHOOTING FEEL- Single Layer Multi-Piece Palm - Designed specifically so that only one layer of material contacts your shooting grip. The thinnest available material goes specifically on the trigger finger for ultimate sensitivity. Knuckle padding is thin enough to reach into your pockets- try doing that with your hard knuckle gloves- #nope
- OPERATE YOUR TOUCH SCREEN- Touch Screen Conductive Thumb and Trigger Finger material - Maximum reliability for Touch Screen use without losing tactile dexterity.
- COMFORTABLE & DRY HANDS- Roll-over fingertip design means no more jammed seams under your fingernails! The venting material on the inner fourschettes are ventilated for maximum wicking.
- TIE YOUR SHOELACES- Not trying to be facetious... This is a great test for dexterity. Most "tactical gloves" or "shooting gloves" don't come close to the dexterity needed to shoot your Handguns fast and accurately, much less accomplish a complicated task like tying your shoelaces. PIG FDT Gloves provide you with the dexterity to do just that!
PIG Full Dexterity Tactical offer the best tactile feel and response in a fabric glove. Period. These are known for offering great dexterity quick muscle memory and prominent tactility.
They offer a great responsive shooting finger experience. The fabric is robust but still thin and lightweight. The fingers work well on touchscreens and the design is simple and proven to work well.
- Ultimate in dexterity and tactile feedback
- Comfortable for sweaty shooters
- Simple design that doesn’t add a ton of bulk
- Maybe the best shooting gloves on the planet for shooters who don’t like gloves
- All fabric means they can get dirty easily and they will have durability issues after some time
WHY IT IS RECOMMENDED: Hands down, the PIG Full Dexterity Gloves are the best gloves for people who hate wearing gloves while shooting. They will outperform any other glove for those who dislike gloves. Period. There is not another option if you are already reluctant to get a pair of shooting gloves.
Outdoor Research Halberd Gloves
- Reinforced at High Abrasion Point
- Moisture Wicking
- Ultra Tactile
- Touch-screen Sensitive Index Fingertip
- Lightweight, Breathable Polyester Stretch Mesh Back of Hand
A producer that is famous for making ice climbing gloves that are suitable for frozen waterfall climbing with handheld ice picks. They understand a thing or two about finger manipulation, grip and fit.
The Outdoor Research Halberd Gloves are excellent gloves in those aspects. They offer the best synthetic grip; the premium finger manipulation and they fit exceptionally well.
As OR has grown, the quality control has suffered a bit, and you are paying for a premium product with a major brand recognition (one of the best-known glove brands on this list), so you’ll need to factor that into the decision.
- Best gripping surface on the list
- Very good tactility and dexterity on the fingers and tips
- Quality construction
WHY IT IS RECOMMENDED: If we had to buy a single set of tactical gloves based on reputation alone, these would be the first choice. OR is a serious and proven manufacturer of some of the best gloves in the world, though admittedly they are from the outdoor sports segment, and not the shooting segment of the market. That said, the Outdoor Research Halberd Gloves are excellent, and they are worth every penny if you are already sold on using gloves and want the best grip in the game.
Hatch FM2000 Friskmaster Glove W/Honeywell Spectral
- Hatch Ergo-Cut floating thumb offers great dexterity
- Constructed of premium leather
- Short elastic cuffs for a snug fit
- 100% Honeywell Spectra knit liner protects from sharp objects
- Constructed of water resistant premium leather
Cops on the tweaker beat need the Hatch Friskmaster gloves. There is not a better glove on the market for a patrol officer who may come in contact with a needle. That’s what these are for.
That said, they are also great for sue with suppressors, high heat AR pistols and for those that can handle not having the best dexterity in the world in exchange for abrasion resistance and long life of the glove.
- Sufficient protection for needle sticks
- Good knife cut resistance
- Heavy even though they have high durability, they are still hard to justify if needing top tier dexterity and tactility at the fingers
WHY IT IS RECOMMENDED: For those who need abrasion and cut resistance or want the absolute most durability you can find in a simple glove that is sufficient for most balanced needs while shooting or performing police work, the Hatch Friskmaster set of gloves in excellent.
There are a lot of good gloves out there, but you have to have the ones that fit for what you plan on using them for. If you don’t pick the right gloves the first time you will be systematically less likely to adopt a tactical glove in the future, and that will truly be your loss. The best tactical gloves offer good durability, but more importantly they offer a pristine functionality in the tight range of the job they were bought to perform.
That is: if you frisk people for a living and you work the drug beat, you get the Hatch Spectra gloves that’s the best bet.
If you shoot in desert conditions you look at a breathable mostly fabric glove like the Pig.
You MUST find the right glove for the job; then and only then will you be able to say you have gotten he most out of the tactical glove. Sure, it’s a booming marketplace, but if your needs aren’t being served properly what’s the point? We think you’ve got enough information in this list of the best shooting gloves, administrative police work gloves and tactical gloves to make an informed decision.
Best Tactical Gloves
There are many different needs and uses for tactical gloves. Whether you have come for something specific or just looking for an all round glove the reviews have got you covered!