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.
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.
The 12 Best Tactical Gloves
- Lightweight construction with one-piece, premium leather palm and reinforcement in all the right places for rugged comfort with the refinement of touchscreen capability
- Excellent comfort, dexterity and protection
- Corded nylon stretch fabric on back of hand with contour cut design
- Lightweight cut and impact protection with comfortable, padded neoprene backing
- Thumb and forefinger "gun gusset" Designed for better durability and comfort when shooting pistol gripped firearms
The Magpul’s 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 they 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’s 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 Core offers good protection in a glove that can reasonably be worn an entire shift.
- 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’s Recommended
Mechanix Wear is a well-known brand, a 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.
- Anatomically shaped one-piece Thermal Rubber provides impact resistance. There thick enough to protect your hands.
- Increasing the friendly touching function to three fingers part of glove, so you can touch your phone screen sensitively and use it conveniently.
- The gloves is made of Durable Microfiber Artificial Leather and breathable stretch nylon material, Wear-resistant, lightweight and fast drying. The palm reinforcement, protects hands from impact and abrasion.
- Nicely stitched,durable and lightweight material, breathable and comfortable,and adjustable wrist design provide sense of snug and support when working outdoor sport.
- Great for multi outdoor sports activity: Motorcycle, Cycling, ATV Bike, Dirtbike, Riding, Off Road, Climbing, Camping, Hiking and etc. Also suitable for some kinds of work, such as lumbering and heavy industry.
WTACFUL 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 maybe 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’s Recommended
It’s hard to find truly protective airsoft and paintball gloves that will protect properly without being ridiculous to wear. WTACFUL fits that bill to a “T”. Great for any place where your hands are exposed to threats of airsoft pellets or paintballs.
- Glove Size: Large - Finger Length: 5. 43-5. 71 inches, Palm Width: 3. 35-3. 86 inches / Low-profile Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) closure provides a secure fit to the wrist.
- Lightweight mesh allows cool air to circulate throughout the glove. / Ventilated trigger finger / Ventilated finger couchettes
- Micro-fleece sweat wipe / Anatomical stitch darts conform to the natural curvature of the hand to create a precision fit / Expandable flex joints improve overall finger mobility.
- Ventilated 0. 6mm high-dexterity palm provides evaporate cooling / Touchscreen capable palm and fingers
- Nylon Carrier Loops / Machine washable
Mechanix Specialty is 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 make 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’s 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 Specialty.
- Durable synthetic construction for a second-skin fit with terry backed thumbs and touch screen capability that provide protection for active hands with minimum impact on fine motor skills
- Tough synthetic suede palm and inner finger construction for wet or dry grip on all firearms
- Terrycloth backed thumb area to quickly remove fogging on hunting optics and glasses
- Narrow, minimalistic forefinger for easy access and better control of firearms triggers
- Lightweight, durable glove without compromising dexterity
Magpul technicals 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 backhand 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
- Maybe a bit on the weaker side durability wise
Why It’s 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 Technicals brand name is excellent, and they know what they are doing.
Oakley Mens Factory Pilot
$49.95 in stock
- 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 Pilot 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’s Recommended
The Oakley Pilot 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.
- Full Protection to Your Hand: You are offered protection against cuts, burns, scrapes, and even injuries due to vibrations with the FREETOO tactical gloves which are equipped with the composite PVC padded knuckle and thermal plastic rubber finger panels
- More Durable & Better Grip: This military gloves tactical is sewed with Double-layer sewing process and imported leather，make sure your glove works two times longer than other gloves, the Microfiber leather on the palm increase more friction for better grip during climbing motorcycling workout
- Good Fit as a Gloves: FREETOO shotting gloves adopts the high elastic mesh fabric on the finger part to make sure the finger tips are not too loose or reinforced and they are available in size of small large X-Large and XX-Large which helps give you a good flexibility tactical feel and easily feel the trigger on your pistol, rifle or shotgun during shooting
- Keep Your Hands Dry and Clean: The breathable vents design on the finger and the padded mesh material can nicely reduce hand sweat, so you can keep your hands dry and clean on hot summer outdoor activities with the airsoft gloves on
- 180-day Refund Warranty: This gloves works well for men women and kids, please check on the picture to choose the best size for your hand, if you have any sizing or product issues with this tactical rubber gloves, contact us and a new replacement or refund will be promised.
Freetoo 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’s Recommended
The Freetoo’s 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.
- 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
Goatskin 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 Recon 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’s 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 Recon 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
- Half Finger Outdoor Glove: protective glove with anti-skid PU material in the palm together with nylon webbing to fix your wrist will not fall off
- PC Protector: Great PC knuckle protector to prevent your hands from enemy fire and brush, ideal for outdoor sports for cycling and mountain hiking
- Sweat & Anti-skid palm reinforce: Adopts micro fiber breathable stretch for sweat , 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 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
The Fuyuanda’s 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’s 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 make the Fuyuanda’s good for carrying items too like heavy guns or ammo cans or water jugs with a handle.
PIG Full Dexterity
- 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 offers 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’s Recommended
Hands down, the PIG Full Dexterity 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
- Reinforced at High Abrasion Point
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 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 major brand recognition (one of the best-known glove brands on this list), so you’ll need to factor that into the decision.
- The best gripping surface on the list
- Very good tactility and dexterity on the fingers and tips
- Quality construction
Why It’s 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 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
$35.48 in stock
- The FM2000 is a premium leather duty glove that features a full Honeywell Spectra inner-liner for enhanced cut-resistance
- Premium goat leather construction
- Hatch Ergo-Cut floating thumb offers great dexterity
- Short, elasticized cuff for easy on/off
- FM2000 (ITEM# 1011054) Large
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 use 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’s 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.
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 a 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
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 the 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 an 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 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 synthetic material
- Use of high-performance fabrics
- Lighter weight generally
- More protection against the elements usually
- Cheaper in cost to build/buy
Benefits of 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 handwear. 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 yard work 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 the insulation of the fingers and the ability to ensure good trigger finger dexterity.
A completely different 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 to accomplish without compromising the level of “feel” you need.
There are a lot of good gloves out there, but you have to have ones that fit 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 need to get the Hatch Spectra gloves.
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 the 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?
Check out all the other tactical gear articles put together by the expert team at Guns & Safety Reviews below;
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!
- Magpul Core
- Mechanix Wear
- Mechanix Specialty
- Magpul Tech
- Oakley Mens Factory Pilot
- Mechanix Wear
- Fuyuanda Half Finger
- PIG Full Dexterity
- Outdoor Research Halberd
- Hatch FM2000 Friskmaster