Any man or woman in law enforcement or military uses their hands as much as their head and knows the importance of protecting both.
Seriously, we use our hands for most of our working day and in that line of work, it’s easy to damage them. So this guide outlines the best tactical gloves and covers the basic ins and outs of using them. We go over commonly asked questions and even have a guide at the bottom on how to clean your tactical gloves.
Do Tactical Gloves offer other benefits aside from protection against cuts and bruises? YES!
Tactical gloves will keep your hands warm in cold environments. Tactical gloves will give you the peace of mind of not worrying about splinters and minor cuts. They will give you protection against heat from dealing with things like the campfire. And they protect you from infections and keep your hands clean.
And if that’s not enough, they can even improve your accuracy when shooting a gun!
The Best Tactical Gloves
1 – Mechanix M-Pact 3 Covert Combat Gloves
These Mechanix M-Pact 3 Covert Combat gloves are great for keeping your hands protected. They feature an impact absorbing knuckle guard which offers great protection to your knuckles if you ever get into a scuffle.
It also has EVA padding which helps protect the outside of your fingers from any damage. The reinforced palm and fingertips go down really well actually, plus they provide a much better grip in the field.
If you’re using these for labour purposes, you might find them a bit annoying. These are intended to be tactical or fighting gloves. Use these to defend yourself but get labour gloves for your other requirements.
One thing I didn’t like was the dye came off when my hands were sweaty. This is obviously going to disappear after a couple of washes.
These gloves are relatively cheap to be fair and for the price, I’d say they were worth it. You will get sufficient padding and protection without it hampering your dexterity.
2 – PIG Full Dexterity Tactical Gloves
These PIG Full Dexterity Tactical Delta Utility Gloves are perfect for somebody doing a bit of everything. These gloves could be used while shooting, fighting or general protection gloves.
They offer a single layer of protection, this also makes the gloves feel less thick and gives you a bare hand shooting feel. This also gives you the sensitivity you would like to stay connected to your weapon.
I was disappointed with how quickly the stitching came undone on these gloves. It’s a real shame because they work flawlessly. They also do a poor job at retaining heat. I know it’s a struggle to balance a thin glove for shooting sensitivity and heat retention.
It will keep your hands warm enough to maneuver your weapon but if you think you’re getting warmth like the kind provided by a ski glove, think again.
3 – Mechanix Wear TAA Original Convert
These gloves are far from expensive yet they provide solid protection for your hands without sacrificing the dexterity required to maneuver a rifle. This mil-spec stealth variant of the original all-black covert version is well worth the money.
Used by law enforcement and service members, a great deal of trust goes into Mechanix. These gloves will provide you with the protection needed against common field injuries and skin abrasions.
4 – 5.11 Tactical Hard Time Gloves
If you want some kevlar protection for your hands, these are well worth considering. 5.11 is one of my favourite brands, their backpacks are fantastic. Can they build something of the same quality with tactical gloves, however?
Honestly, yes. These gloves have thermoplastic plating to give you added protection. Built to be mission-ready, you can put your trust into these gloves helping you get home safely. They have been designed to withstand the harshest weather conditions, so no need to worry about where you’re using them.
The rugged knuckle plating helps if you ever get into a fistfight. While they are not perfect, they still help. The goatskin leather provides warmth and protection against abrasions etc.
It’s safe to say, I’m a fan.
5 – Glove Station – Combat Knuckle Tactical Gloves
Like most shooters, I bought these gloves to stop my hands from getting cold at the range. Now with shooting gloves, you don’t want to have a lot of bulk added to your fingers. This will impact your shooting.
These gloves from Glove Station are pretty good, they help me grip my pistol much better than my bare hands. They are pretty decent in terms of warmth too. Plus any glove is good just because it shields your hands from the wind.
The rubber knuckle guards are good and will keep them protected from any damage when in the field. It’s made with fiberglass – so you can be sure it’ll take a good hit or two.
The fit is a little small, so bear that in mind.
I’m a big fan of the leather patched fingertips too.
6 – Oakley SI Assault Gloves
If you’re looking to get combat-ready, the Oakley SI Assault gloves are a great purchase. These gloves give you the support you need to maneuver your rifle in the field. It gives you a better grip fo your rifle/pistol and will protect your fingers from the harsh winds / cold air. Thus making sure your fingers don’t stiffen up and affect your shooting sensitivity.
The gloves absorb shock perfectly, trust me you’ll notice the effects when you test these in the range.
These are military-grade tactical gloves.
How thick are the gloves though? They are exactly what you’d imagine, they will NOT affect your sensitivity in the range.
The caustic dye is rather annoying though, you’ll notice that when you take these off your hands will be covered in dye. This is because the sweat from your hands rubs off on the dye and causes it to bleed.
After a few washes, this disappears though.
I tested these after a recommendation from a marine friend who used these on tour in Afghanistan. He swore by them!
7 – Outdoor Research Ironsight Gloves
These Outdoor Research Ironsight Gloves are surprisingly really good! I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t expecting much. I think it’s because Outdoor Research is an outdoor brand that focuses on camping and hiking.
Could they produce a quality pair of tactical gloves? Well, the grip on these is fantastic. This is down to the durable synthetic leather construction the gloves have and the silicon grip pads.
The gloves are light and not too thick.
8 – Under Armour Tactical Duty Gloves
Under Armour are a well-known brand for producing sport and outdoor gear but can they produce tactical duty gloves with the quality we need?
Well, Under Armour has been dabbling in the tactical industry for a few years now. And they are doing pretty well with it.
When a pair of gloves is pretty much always out of stock, it makes you wonder. I suspect it’s due to the demand and quality of these gloves. They are well sought after.
These gloves offer a really comfortable fit.
9 – Camelbak Magnum Force Tactical Gloves
I’m impressed by the durability of these Camelbak Magnum Force Tactical Gloves. I have read reviews about them lasting around 13 months before consumers had to buy a new pair.
Personally I’ve tested them by carrying wood, chopping wood, target shooting, and doing general work around the garden.
Personally I’d recommend them for general use as opposed to tactical use but they could still function like that. The carbon knuckles keep your knuckles protected as they absorb a lot of impacts.
10 – Freetoo Rubber Knuckle Tactical Gloves
We had to give these FREETOO Tactical gloves the best value tag because they are so cheap yet still amaze us! The rubber knuckles keep them well protected without hampering your mobility. The velcro grips are extremely sturdy.
These gloves will give you proper protection against burns, scrapes, cuts, and more. The Anti-slip wear-resistant PU coated leather helps you get a good solid grip on your rifle.
The stitching is excellent, for something so cheap I’m genuinely impressed with the build quality.
11 – VERTX FR Breacher Gloves
So where do we start with the VERTX FR Breacher gloves? Well, the first thing you’ll notice is the tightness of these gloves. They are designed this way to minimise the loss of dexterity. I kind of like it but
These fit so tight(as they should) and the loss of dexterity is minimum for gloves. They are comfortable and I am extremely happy with them. If you have big hands, be cautious with these. Some reviews have mentioned that the gloves are too tight and after a while the stitching burst.
The manufacturing is actually the reason these are last on the list. On the first inspection, you will come to the conclusion that these gloves are pretty well thought out. They have conductive fingers so that you can use them with touch screens. There are armoured knuckles and even a pull loop to help with donning.
The issue is, the stretchable material that the gloves are constructed with is absolutely bloody rubbish!
Tactical Gloves Buy Guide & FAQs
So you may have a few questions before buying your best tactical gloves. Luckily, we’re here to help answer them. There seems to be a major lack of information online that’s all collected in one place regarding Tactical Gloves.
We’ve gone through and answered the most common questions on tactical gloves.
Q: Who uses Tactical Gloves and What For?
Tactical gloves are primarily used to catch criminals and fight wars. They are used by Marines, Paratroopers, SWAT agents, the navy, and many more.
Tactical gloves were designed to protect the users from puncture wounds to dog bites. When you’re in the line of fire you’re likely to cut yourself, graze your hand, or worse. You can protect your hands by simply wearing a pair of protective tactical gloves.
Over the years these gloves have become popular with a number of different groups, these are:
Airsoft has been growing over the years and has a really big community these days. This activity has its dangers though – you’re often playing in arenas that try to replicate the sort of environment a real soldier would find himself in.
This means you’re exposed to smashed-up cars, splinters from wood or even being shot on the finger. Some of these guns fire at an FPS between 300-500, if that hits the joint on your finger or your nail, you can bet it will sting.
Similar to airsoft, getting shot on the fingers can hurt. Plus the fields are often outside – so your fingers will get cold.
You should look for motorcycle gloves but a lot of riders will just use their shooting / tactical gloves. Tactical gloves improve your grip on the bike, protect your hands from the cold and will protect your hands if you fall off. If you fall your hands will naturally be forced in front of you to reduce the impact of the fall.
The issue with this is there is a lot of small bones in the hand. A scaphoid break for example could take months to repair. Plus even if you don’t break a bone – your hands are prone to losing skin much more easily than other areas.
If you’re out and about during the winter months, you’ll want something that keeps your hands nice and warm. Ever had to walk the dog on a cold frosty morning? Your hands don’t half get cold! While Tactical Gloves are designed for soldiers and law enforcement, you can use these to keep your hands nice and warm.
Q: How Important Is It To Find The Right Fit For Tactical Gloves?
Finding the right fit is extremely important because if the gloves are too tight then you will have extreme hand fatigue and muscle soreness. Your hand is made up of loads of tiny bones, tendons, and muscles.
Think about what happens when you hurt your funny bone, you can feel the discomfort all the way up to the pinky finger. Your hands are extremely fragile and you want to look after them.
You use them every day and if you’ve ever experienced repetitive strain injury then you’ll know how discomforting it is to have sore hands. So ensure you have the right fit for your tactical gloves and you’ll reduce any tendon flare-ups, repetitive strain, etc.
Plus if you already have any problems already like arthritis or repetitive strain then it’s even more important to get the right fit.
On the flip side – you do not want a pair of tactical gloves that are too loose either. If it’s too loose you will have a poorer grip.
Q: Why is there padding on the knuckles?
The knuckle padding is there so that your knuckles get some additional protection that doesn’t hamper your range of motion. Knuckle padding encases your knuckles to keep them safe from impact, abrasions and lacerations that you might find when in a tactical situation.
Your knuckles tend to get damaged if you get into a fistfight, so if you’re a soldier or police officer that might find themselves in a hand to hand combat situation, these will be useful.
Q: Do Tactical Gloves Work On Touchscreens?
It depends on the pair of gloves you buy. Some will work on screens and some won’t.
Q: How long should my gloves last for?
You will generally see combat gloves having warranties that range from 3 to 12 months. This doesn’t necessarily mean they will die at this time, I guess it just depends on how much abuse you put them through.
If you use your gloves every weekend you could probably get about two years of usage out of them. If you use them for work on a daily basis as a soldier or SWAT agent, for example, you’ll likely only get anywhere between 6-12 months out of them if you look after them.
Q: How much protection do Tactical Gloves Provide?
Tactical Gloves provide enough protection to keep your fingers safe from the day to day cuts, bruises, and lacerations that they may find in a military or police enforcement role.
Q: Will Combat Gloves Help Improve My Gun Accuracy?
They probably will, combat / tactical gloves help keep your hands warm. They also soak up some of the recoils from the glove too. Another thing that may help is the padded joints – this will potentially improve the reaction time too.
You might think gloves will do the opposite because there thick but tactical gloves are usually thin enough that they won’t affect your dexterity in any way.
Q: What Are Common Issues With Combat Gloves After Extended Use?
Generally, your gloves will last you a fairly long time. If you paid a decent amount for them, it makes sense that you don’t want them wasted after a few weeks. Most manufacturers spend a lot of money on testing gloves and have created a formula to produce gloves that can function in a warzone – so I’m confident all of the items on this list will meet your expectations.
The main problems to watch out for are:
- Loose stitching / stitches that come out
- Fungal Growth inside the gloves that occurs when the gloves haven’t been getting cleaned properly.
- Fingertip wear and tear / rips.
Most of the problems can be avoided if you look after the gloves properly.
How to Clean Your Tactical Gloves
There are a few things to know before washing your gloves. By now you should know the importance of looking after them.
1 – Know your material
Before you get started you should know the material your gloves are made of. Check the manufacturing details because fabrics like Gore-Tex and leather are completely different. This will give you a better idea on how to wash your gloves. The manufacturer’s website will have instructions on them tailored to the gloves.
2 – Wash most gloves in cold water
While hot water is great for the dishes, it’s better to wash gloves in cold water. Coldwater is less likely to cause the material to shrink or alter the fit of the glove in any way.
3 – Avoid bleach or heavy-duty detergents
Bleach will zap the color from your gloves plus it will cause significant damage to the material itself. Stay clear from heavy-duty detergents and use gentler ones instead.
4 – Allow them to air dry
Let your gloves air dry rather than putting them in the tumble dryer. Some gloves will say you can do this (on a low setting) but I personally think hanging them out on the dryer is a much better option. It’s just a gentler way of drying them and will likely improve the lifespan of the gloves.