Like most tactical products, tactical gloves were designed with the police force and military service in mind. Designed to protect the wearer from harm while maintaining crucial dexterity and grip, these gloves won’t let you down in a crisis.
In fact, they’re so useful that many civilians are now turning to tactical for gloves for that bit of added protection – whether it’s for self-defense as you make your way home at night, or to stop the recoil on your handgun giving you blisters, you can be sure that these gloves will come in super handy.
There are lots of options currently on the market, but we’ve managed to whittle it down to a list of our top choices. Plus, if you’re still struggling to make up your mind, we’ve added a few things to look out for when you’re shopping around and highlighted or top three picks – enjoy!
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Mechanix Wear is a trusted brand amongst mechanics, construction workers, technicians, and military professionals alike, and, looking at the Mechanix M-Pact 3 gloves, it’s easy to see why.
These gloves have ergonomically designed thermal plastic rubber knuckle guards to protect you from high-impact collisions during combat.
Your fingertips will be kept safe too, thanks to the 3mm EVA padding, plus the reinforcement on the outside of the fingertips and palms not only adds extra protection but also provides grip to stop your possessions from taking any tumbles.
One thing to note, however, is that if you’ll use your gloves alongside a firearm, the padding is so thick it might actually get in the way.
The shape of the knuckle guard alongside the discrete closure strap will ensure both a snug fit and freedom of movement. Plus, these gloves come with a web loop so you can hang them by the door – there’s no excuse for forgetting them now.
One minor gripe with these gloves is the location of the tag – it’s on the outside of the hand just up from the wrist and may be prone to catching on things.
However, if you’re after maximum protection without a compromise on dexterity, these gloves are the way to go and are ideal for use in combat or with heavy machinery.
The PIG Full Dexterity Tactical Gloves have, as the name suggests, been designed to provide you with maximum dexterity.
This is largely due to the tight fit and thin feel, which makes these gloves feel like a second skin.
In fact, PIG boasts that you can even tie your shoelaces in these gloves! This makes them an excellent choice for anyone that needs as much freedom of movement as possible in order to make fast and accurate shots.
Plus, these gloves are compatible with both rifles and handguns, so you won’t have to choose a favorite!
We love the roll-over fingertips design, which means that your fingernails won’t jam in the seals and slow you down. And, on top of that, you can switch between your gun and phone in an instant thanks to the touch screen conductive thumb and trigger finger.
Mesh-like vents on the sides of the gloves will stop your hands from getting sweaty but bear in mind that water can enter through these points too. And, as with the Mechanix M-Pact 3 gloves, the PIG tag location is a little irritating – but nothing that a little snip can’t fix.
The padding on these isn’t excessive, and they aren’t the best gloves for combat. However, if you’re after that barehand shooting feel, then these really are some of the best gloves out there!
Surprise surprise, another entry from Mechanix Wear. We just couldn’t help it… the Mechanix Recon Gloves is not only super stylish, but they’re also great for shooting.
We love the flex points running up the sides of the fingers as they allow for excellent mobility, plus the rubber closure will keep the gloves nice and secure. The spandex along the back of the hand will sculpt to the shape of your hand with time, giving you a super snug fit.
Despite this, they aren’t quite as ‘skin-like’ as the PIG gloves, but this does mean they offer a bit more protection. And we love the use of super durable goatskin on the palms and thumbs.
These gloves have useful storage loops and are also touch screen compatible, allowing you to make those emergency calls as soon as quickly as possible.
One thing to watch out for with these gloves is that they tend to stain your hands, so make sure you wash them as soon as you can, but don’t worry, this does go away with time. And, as with the other gloves we’ve seen so far, the position of the tag is a bit annoying.
Also, if you’re into colorful gloves, we’re sorry, but these are only available in black.
If you’re after shooting gloves these are a great option, however, you could use these tactical gloves for other types of purposes.
The Glove Station Tactical Gloves are another fantastic option for use in combat or with heavy machinery.
These are solid tactical gloves that have been built to last, with double-stitched seams plus a lifetime warranty. The reinforced rubber knuckle protection will absorb serious impacts, but one of the major selling points of these gloves is how comfy the inner lining is.
In fact, they’re so comfortable you might not even want to take them off to dial 911 – so it’s a good thing they’re touchscreen compatible too.
As well as being super soft, the inner lining is also textured for extra grip – just in case the synthetic leather, PU-coated palm, and fingertips weren’t enough already.
This soft lining and excellent grip, alongside an excellent ventilation system that combines padded mesh and rubber aero vents, means you’ll stay comfortable, sweat-free, and you’ll never lose your grasp on things.
One thing to watch out for is that the palm protection isn’t as solid as with some other tactical gloves, plus the sizes run a little bit small. However, if you’re after something serious protect your hands, as well as having great comfort, you aren’t going to find much better,
Introducing the first pair of tactical gloves on our list without a tag in an annoying spot, the Oakley Pilot Gloves – well done Oakley! But this is by no means the only reason why we absolutely love these gloves.
Firstly, just look at them – these have to be some of the best-looking gloves on the market. The all-black leather and synthetic design gives these gloves a super sleek appearance but means that they’re incredibly durable too.
The synthetic material on the wrists and backs is a mixture of different fabrics to allow for maximum stretch, and the mesh areas and rubber valves mean your heads will be exceptionally well ventilated too.
Padding-wise, these tactical gloves are pretty mid-range – you’ll be able to feel your trigger but will also have some protection, just not against super sharp objects, making them a versatile bit of gear.
The rubber valves on the fingers also protect your hands against impacts, complimenting the protective knuckle guard. The grip is great too, thanks to the unobtanium surfaces on the fingers and palms.
We also love the lack of velcro on these gloves (which can be itchy if not perfectly fastened) – instead, simply give the textured pull a tug and you’re sorted!
Unfortunately, these gloves aren’t screen compatible, so you will have to remove them to use your phone, or police watch, but at least taking them on and off is super simple.
These gloves are a little more expensive than your average ones, but if you’re looking for a high-quality and stylish layer of extra protection that won’t let your hands get sweaty, then these gloves are definitely worth the investment.
The Vertx Breacher Gloves really were designed with difficult missions in mind. In fact, they’ve even been tested and recommended by the National Tactical Officers Association – if that doesn’t scream high-quality then nothing does!
These heavy-duty gloves can keep you safe during a range of operations – they’ll protect your hands from hammer bite when shooting, they’re resistant to flames thanks to the NOMAX strands and Kevlar threading, and the knuckle armor can handle some serious impact.
We also love the use of goat hide mimics to recreate that glove-free sense of touch, and the fingers have been carefully pre-curved to maintain dexterity.
Plus these gloves are touchscreen compatible so you don’t have to keep taking them on and off – in fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if you forget that you’re wearing them at all. One minor drawback is the slight lack of padding on the palm, although we think it’s probably worth it for a skin-like feel.
Thanks to their incredible protective mechanisms, these tactical gloves are great for personnel working in the military, security, or special forces. However, anyone dealing with rogue animals, fires, or even heavy machinery will probably be interested too.
These shooting gloves are a little on the pricey side, but given how durable, versatile, and protective they are, we think that they’re worth every penny.
If you’re looking for some affordable, everyday tactical gloves, then we’d definitely recommend the TitanOPS Gloves.
These tactical gloves are odor-free, dry super quickly, and are machine washable, making them a great choice for daily adventures like riding your motorcycle and tactical training.
However, the knuckle protection and overall padding also make them a good choice for more serious missions, such as self-defense and combat.
The thermal protection will keep your hands warm, stopping any of those pesky shakes, yet patches of breathable fabric will ensure that you don’t overheat.
These patches also allow freedom of movement, while the Velcro strap ensures that your gloves stay put – just watch out, the strap is a little bit fiddly and when fastened incorrectly you might end up with some scratches.
The quality of the fabrics isn’t the same as you’d expect from higher-end tactical gloves, but they’re by no means poor quality, and unfortunately, they aren’t touchscreen compatible either.
However, if you’re on the hunt for that added layer of protection that won’t break the bank, then these are a solid, heavy-duty option.
The FREETOO Tactical Gloves have to be one of the best, affordable options out there for use in conjunction with firearms.
The double-stitched seams and wear-resistant microfiber leather means that these gloves can stand some wear and tear, plus the textured leather makes these especially grippy – great for climbing as well as holding firearms.
They also have a mesh weave design on the back of the hand and fingers, and rubber vents on the fingers to make sure that you stay well-ventilated.
The flexible neoprene patches on the fingertips enable freedom of movement, as do the mesh panels on the side, meaning you can get a good hold on any weapon. The knuckle protection is a pretty heavy duty too, and the study wrist strap provides added support.
Unfortunately, these tactical gloves aren’t touchscreen compatible and they might stain your hands at first but, overall, we were pleasantly surprised to see some high-end features without a high-end price tag.
There you have it, our selection of the best tactical gloves currently on the market. But what exactly should you look for when you’re shopping around?
We think the things that set apart the best tactical gloves from all the average ones out there are: grip, protection, and free movement.
Don’t underestimate how important the grip is on your new pair of tactical gloves. If you’ll be using them alongside a firearm, the last thing you want is to miss your shot because your gloves let it slip at the crucial moment.
There are fingerless options out there that let you keep close contact with the trigger, but if your hands get cold you’ll shiver and end up missing your mark anyway… so instead we strongly recommend making sure your tactical gloves have a decent grip on the fingers.
Plus, having a good grip is essential for urban use too – you don’t want your phone slipping out your hand or having to fumble with your wallet every time you hit up the subway. It’s also crucial for weightlifting, climbing, motorbike riding, and heaps of other activities, so you really do want to keep your eye on this one.
If you’ll be using your tactical gloves in combat or when operating heavy machinery, then the level of protection your gloves can offer should be one of the first things you look at.
You’ll almost certainly want a pair of gloves with a knuckle guard, but there are other things to look for too.
Some gloves come with added padding on the fingertips and palms. Although this is great for combat, if you’ll be using these as shooting gloves, you might actually prefer less of this so you can get a better feel of your firearm.
Plus, the added padding can make your hands warmer, so if it’s heavy on the padding you’ll want a good ventilation system too.
Some of the higher-end gloves offer additional protection simply by using high-grade materials – we’ve even looked at a pair that uses fire-resistant fabric (the Vertx Breacher Gloves ) – and double-stitching ensures your gloves won’t fall apart and leave you exposed.
Finally, freedom of movement or, as many tactical workers prefer to say, dexterity. Again, how important this is will depend on what you’ll use your gloves for, but a certain level of dexterity is always needed.
This can be achieved in various ways, but the most common features are panels of stretchy fabric along the sides of the fingers and other patches of stretchy material.
If you’ll be using complex machinery or want to make fast and precise shots, then dexterity will be key. However, if you just want some padding for combat, you might not need it so much, especially as the stretchy parts generally offer less protection against impact and can let water in.
And just in case you still can’t decide, here are our best budget, all-round, and absolute favorite pairs of tactical gloves:
If you’re on the hunt for an affordable layer of added protection, then we recommend picking up a pair of FREETOO Tactical Gloves.
Not only do they offer excellent grip and ventilation at a fraction of the usual price, but they also provide enough protection to be used in combat and enough dexterity to be used with a firearm – what more could you possibly ask for at this price?!
Our best allrounder has to be the Oakley Pilot Gloves. Not only are they super stylish, but they’re made of high-quality materials too – who says you can’t have it all?
With a solid knuckle guard to protect you from impacts, alongside super stretchy fabrics, these tactical gloves are great for combat, shooting, and everything in between.
Cleverly designed to keep your hands cool and comfortable, and casual enough to wear on the streets, we promise that you won’t regret picking yourself up a pair of these!
And now for our top pick, the crème de la crème of tactical gloves… it’s the Vertx Breacher Gloves.
We just can’t get enough of these bad boys. Whether you’re mission through raging fires, battling dangerous beasts, or using a firearm – these gloves have you covered.
We love the extra touches, such as the fire-resistant fabric and seams, that make it clear these gloves were designed for the toughest of operations. And don’t just take our word for it – ask the experts at the National Tactical Officers Association if you don’t believe us!
If you want maximum protection over a huge range of activities, these tactical gloves really are the way to go.