A good pair of tactical gloves will create a barrier between your hands and the environment surrounding them. Not only can tactical gloves protect your hands from cuts and other injuries, but they are also designed to improve your grip and absorb palm sweat.
While many tactical gloves were designed for military and law enforcement applications, they are available to civilians and can be used for a variety of outdoor activities.
Whether you are looking for a pair of reliable gloves to wear to the shooting range or you are an avid dirt bike enthusiast, a pair of tactical gloves can protect your hands and improve your grip.
How Can We Help?
To help you find the perfect pair of tactical gloves, we have reviewed some of the best options on the market today. We will start by going over some key features you should look out for when you are in the market for a new pair of tactical gloves.
After we have explored some tips to help you find the perfect pair for your specific needs, we will take an in-depth look at some of the best tactical gloves out there.
From there, we will answer some questions people have about tactical gloves and explain some common uses for them.
Our buyer’s guide will explain everything you need to know about the specific details of some of the best tactical gloves you can buy. Avoid low-quality options and allow us to point you in the direction of tactical gloves that offer effective protection and superior levels of grip.
What to Look Out for When Buying a New Pair of Tactical Gloves
Unfortunately, the market is flooded with low-quality gloves that are billed as tactical items. You can avoid these substandard options and purchase a high-quality pair if you keep an eye out for the following features:
Comfort and Temperature Rating
You should be able to wear a set of tactical gloves for an extended period of time without having to worry about discomfort. Actual tactical gloves are designed to be worn by military and law enforcement personnel for long periods of time, so they are almost always made from breathable yet durable materials. Look for gloves that have comfortable and padded interiors as well as adjustable wrist bands that will not impede blood circulation to your hands.
Choose a pair that meets your specific needs. If you plan on wearing your new tactical gloves during the summer, you may want to prioritize breathability and other features that will prevent overheating.
But if you are buying a pair of tactical gloves to keep your fingers warm during the colder seasons, keep an eye out for pairs that feature inner liners that are made from warm materials. Most manufacturers will list the temperature rating of their gloves, so you will have an idea about the types of weather conditions they are suitable for.
Hand and Finger Protection
One of the most important functions of tactical gloves is protecting your fingers, knuckles, and palms. A good pair of tactical gloves will be made from durable materials that offer significant levels of protection without sacrificing comfort and functionality.
You will find tactical gloves that are designed to allow the wearer to handle high-temperature items without suffering from burns and discomfort. Some will also feature reinforced knuckle armor and padding. Some of the higher-end tactical gloves are cut-proof, which protects the wearer’s hands and fingers from cuts and punctures while they handle sharp objects.
Consider what sort of protection you need and choose a pair of tactical gloves that are capable of meeting those needs.
Flexibility and Dexterity
While hand protection is incredibly important, you still need to be able to use your hands while wearing the gloves. This is why the best tactical gloves are designed for a snug fit that actually hugs your palms and fingers. They are also flexible, which means you can still perform regular tasks without having to worry about your gloves preventing you from moving properly.
Remember, the best tactical gloves find the perfect balance between protection and dexterity. While wearing your new tactical gloves, your hands should be completely protected and you should still have full dexterity and the ability to grasp and grip equipment. Whether you are shooting at targets or riding a motorcycle, your tactical gloves should not interfere with your ability to use your hands.
Depending on your specific needs, there are a number of extra features you should look out for. Rubber wrist closures will give your gloves the perfect fit, while reinforced knuckle armor will give you the same level of hand protection law enforcement officers rely upon in the field.
Some of the higher-end tactical gloves will even feature touchscreen-sensitive fingers, which means you will be able to use your touch screen mobile devices without having to remove your gloves.
Whether you are using a smartphone for communication or a touchscreen GPS unit to track your location, having the ability to use these mobile devices while wearing your tactical gloves is a major advantage as it will save your time and prevent frustration.
The Best Tactical Gloves
Now that you know a little bit more about what to look for in a pair of tactical gloves, we can look at some of the best options on the market. Each pair of tactical gloves was chosen because it offers a significant degree of protection while remaining comfortable and flexible enough to be worn for long stretches of time.
Read through our top picks and find the perfect pair of gloves for your needs!
1. The Best Overall Tactical Gloves – Oakley – Factory Pilot Gloves
Over the years, the Oakley brand has built a strong reputation for offering high-end sportswear and sporting equipment. Its Factory Pilot line of tactical gloves lives up to the brand’s impressive reputation by offering wearers high-performance gloves that are constructed from the best possible materials.
The gloves feature a full-grain leather palm, which is much more durable and flexible than the faux-leather alternatives some of the cheaper gloves use. What we liked the most about these gloves is how flexible and comfortable they are. While a protective knuckle guard protects the wearer’s knuckles from impact injuries, the real leather exterior protects against cuts without reducing dexterity.
The textured palms and fingers allow for a much more secure grip than you get with lower-quality gloves. We also liked that Oakley used protected mesh zones and rubber exhaust ports to increase breathability and reduce palm sweat.
Four-way stretch materials and Oakley’s unique “Airprene” joint panels ensure a superior fit and give the gloves an unparalleled level of flexibility. A textured pull-point on the cuffs of the gloves makes it easier to pull them on and off.
In addition to real leather, Oakley manufactured these gloves with a unique blend of synthetic materials, which were chosen for their durability and flexibility. For the non-leather segments of the gloves, Oakley used 53% nylon, 19% polyester, 12% elastane, 11% neoprene, and 5% polyurethane.
On top of everything else, these gloves really catch the eye. They have the same stylish and seamless appearance we have come to expect from the rest of Oakley’s impressive product line. The company’s aggressive design and the high level of hand and finger protection ensure these gloves are durable enough for everything from military applications to construction work.
- Non-restrictive mid-height cuff with secure Velcro closure ensures a secure fit
- Discrete and protected micro air vents
- Raised neoprene finger ridges
- Built-in carbon fiber knuckle protection
- Made from full-grain leather
- Incredible flexibility and sonic-welded joints allow for full finger dexterity and wrist movement
- Expensive compared to some of the other options
2. The Runner Up – Glove Station – Tactical Rubber Knuckle Gloves
Glove Station is a relatively new brand, but its affordable, high-performance tactical gloves are gaining a significant amount of attention. The Tactical Rubber Knuckle Gloves are one of its most popular items, which is no surprise given the level of protection and durability they offer for the price.
The first thing you will notice about these gloves is the reinforced knuckle protection. Glove Station used machine-molded rubber knuckle guards to give the wearer a significant amount of protection against impacts without having to worry about the gloves being overly heavy and uncomfortable.
In terms of comfort, padded mesh and rubber aero vents on the back of the hand encourage heat dissipation without sacrificing the level of hand protection the wearer has. Padded mesh also runs throughout the entire glove, which encourages airflow and makes for a much more comfortable experience for the wearer.
Each pair of gloves features meticulously crafted, double-stitch seams, which ensures the gloves can stand up to regular use in rugged environments. Glove Station is so confident that its tactical gloves are durable enough to last that it backed each pair with a no-worry lifetime warranty. If you have any concerns about the quality or if your gloves begin to show any significant signs of wear and tear, Glove Station will offer a refund or replace the gloves to make sure you are 100% satisfied with your purchase.
The underside of the glove is made from a high-quality, textured Syntech PU leather, which offers protection against potential cuts, while the fingers feature enhanced grip points. The fingertips use a touchscreen-friendly material, so you can operate touchscreen devices without having to remove the gloves.
Overall, these are durable tactical gloves that are available at an affordable price. Buyers can choose from four colors and each pair comes with a soft plastic carrying case that fits into any gear bag.
- Double-stitched seams throughout the entire glove for added durability
- Textured palm and fingers increase grip
- Rubberized aero vents and full-length padded mesh run throughout the gloves to increase breathability and air circulation
- Molded knuckle plates protect the wearer’s hands while making a fist
- Touchscreen fingertips allow wearers to operate their mobile devices
- The faux leather used for the palms does not feel as rugged as real leather
3. The Best Camouflage Tactical Gloves – Mechanix Wear – M-Pact MultiCam Tactical Gloves
Mechanix Wear designed these tactical gloves so the wearer could protect their hands while blending into their environment. The unique MultiCam camouflage pattern was developed to confuse the human eye and help the gloves blend into a natural environment.
While their various camouflage patterns are a practical choice for military personnel, they also work well for those that are looking to use tactical gloves for paintball and airsoft. In terms of performance, the gloves feature thermoplastic rubber knuckle and finger guards, which offer outstanding impact resistance.
The form-fitting TrekDry construction conforms to the back of the hand and helps keep the gloves feeling cool and comfortable. Best of all, the breathable TrekDry exterior will not negatively impact the level of protection the wearer has. Dual-layer internal fingertip reinforcement provides extra protection for the fingers, which are often left susceptible to injury with cheaper gloves.
We also liked that Mechanix Wear added D30 padding to the palms, as this helps dissipate impact energy and protects against cuts when grabbing potentially sharp objects. The outsides of the palms are covered with a seamless 0.8mm synthetic leather, which provides the perfect combination of dexterity and durability.
Each glove features a dense and adjustable TPR closure, which protects the wrist from impact and abrasion injuries while providing the perfect fit. The gloves are also fully machine washable, so you can keep them feeling and smelling as good as new without worrying the seams will loosen in the wash.
- Mechanix Wear gloves are used by military and law enforcement personnel, as well as a variety of other professionals that require superior hand protection
- The thermoplastic rubber knuckle guards offer solid protection
- D30 palm padding helps with impact absorption
- Form-fitting TrekDry exterior ensures a snug and comfortable fit
- Fully machine washable
- Available in several camouflage patterns, as well as solid black, grey, and tan colors
- The gloves have an unpleasant chemical smell when they are first purchased, but it will fade, especially after they have been washed
4. The Best Tactical Gloves for Cut Resistance – TAC9ER – Kevlar Lined Tactical Gloves
If you are looking for the highest level of protection out there, you cannot go wrong with the TAC9ER tactical gloves. They feature a highly durable Kevlar lining, which offers an incredible level of protection against both cuts and impact damage.
Not only do they protect the wearer’s hands from puncture wounds and cuts, the Kevlar interior also provides protection against burns caused by accidentally touching high-temperature materials. The top of the hand is also protected with durable knuckle protectors.
We liked that TAC9ER reinforced the palms with a durable material and added an effective anti-slip exterior to improve the wearer’s grip. The gloves are warm during the winter yet breathable enough to be worn comfortably on hot days.
In terms of comfort, the gloves feature a flexible neoprene wristband, which can be adjusted for the perfect fit. The interior lining feels soft and comfortable, while the cut-resistant Kevlar layer keeps the hands safe.
As an added bonus, the gloves feature touchscreen-sensitive pads on the thumbs as well as the tips of the index and middle fingers. Having the ability to use your touchscreen devices while wearing the gloves makes them that much more convenient to wear.
Overall, these gloves offer an outstanding level of protection, especially against cuts and puncture wounds, which makes them an excellent choice for everyone from motorcycle riders to construction workers.
- Woven Kevlar lining protects the hands from cuts and gives the gloves excellent temperature resistance
- Gloves feature a comfortable interior that is weather and wind resistant
- Raised knuckle protection helps prevent impact-related injuries
- Touchscreen-sensitive fingertips
- Anti-slip exterior allows the wearer to have a stronger grip
- Takes a few wears to properly break the gloves in
5. The Best Fingerless Tactical Gloves – Glove Station – The Combat Fingerless Tactical Gloves
If you are looking for the breathability you get with a pair of fingerless gloves but you do not want to sacrifice hand protection, the Combat Fingerless Tactical Gloves from Glove Station could be just what you are looking for.
While the finger tips are left exposed so the wearer has full finger sensitivity and dexterity, the rest of the hands are fully protected. Reinforced knuckle protection helps protect the top of the hand and upper fingers from impact damage.
Every seam has been double-stitched, which adds to the durability and makes sure they will not fall apart after they have been used in harsh conditions.
Padded mesh and rubber aero vents help with heat dissipation. Combined with the fingerless design, these vents make this the perfect tactical glove to wear in hot weather. The gloves also afford the wearer an excellent grip, as the PU leather palm and half-finger design really let you grab a hold of objects.
The gloves are available in four color options and come backed with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee.
- Molded knuckle plates protect the knuckles from impact damage
- Padded neoprene joints permit an unhindered range of motion for the wearer
- Breathable and padded mesh fabrics protect the hands while encouraging airflow and breathability
- Double-stitched seams ensure the gloves are tough and will last in any conditions
- Fingerless design is great for finger dexterity and sensitivity. Also allows for unobstructed use of touch screen devices
- As with any fingerless tactical gloves, the fingers are left exposed and are completely unprotected
6. The Best Budget-friendly Tactical Gloves – WTACTFUL – Touchscreen Military Tactical Gloves
If you are looking for a high-quality pair of tactical gloves that will not break the bank, you should take a serious look at what WTACTFUL has to offer. Its highly protective Touchscreen Military Tactical Gloves offer an incredible degree of impact resistance and are available at an affordable price.
The gloves protect the top of the wearer’s hands with a hard thermal rubber guard that follows the natural contours of the human hand. The palms also feature extra cushioning, which protects the underside of the hand from impact damage.
The gloves themselves feature careful stitchwork and they are made from a durable yet breathable material. The wrists can be adjusted and are designed to sit snuggly and prevent the glove from sliding up and down the wearer’s hand. To secure the gloves in place, the wrist features a basic hook-and-loop closure.
The interior lining of the gloves is made from a soft and comfortable microfiber blend. As the name suggests, the index and middle fingers also have a touchscreen-friendly padding, so wearers can use their portable electronic devices without having to remove one or both of the gloves.
Overall, these gloves offer many of the same features you would get with an expensive pair of tactical gloves, but they are available at a price that is easy on the wallet. They make an excellent choice for any sort of outdoor activity or workplace where hand protection is necessary.
- Available at an affordable price
- Anatomically shaped one-piece thermal rubber knuckle protection
- Touchscreen padding on the index and middle fingers of each glove
- Made from a breathable material that will not cause overheating or excessive sweating
- Palms are padded and feature a gripped exterior
- Fingertips are bulkier than some of the more expensive pairs, which can impede dexterity while working with small objects
Which Hobbies and Professions are Tactical Gloves Useful For?
Tactical gloves are designed for functionality, meaning they protect the wearer’s hands and improve grip. This explains why they are such a popular choice among military personnel and law enforcement officers.
If you are not an active member of the military or a law enforcement agency but you are still wondering if you could benefit from a pair of tactical gloves, consider the following potential uses:
- Range Sports (Target Shooting and Archery) – Tactical gloves protect the hands and can offer the wearer a much better grip than if they were bare-handed. Whether you are at a gun range or archery range, this added grip and extra level of safety can give you a competitive edge.
- Hunting and Fishing – Hunters and fishers can benefit from the cut-resistance and knuckle protection a good pair of tactical gloves can offer.
- Paintball and Airsoft – Both paintball and airsoft enthusiasts can benefit from the use of tactical gloves for the same reasons they help law enforcement and military personnel. They protect the hands and fingers from impact injuries and help with grip in all sorts of environments.
- Motorsports (ATV Riding, Dirt Biking, and Motorcycle Riding) – Padded tactical gloves can protect the hands in the event of a fall, which is always a concern when riding on rough and uneven terrain. The temperature resistance of certain tactical gloves can also prevent burns from accidental contact with hot surfaces, like exhaust pipes.
- Mountain Biking – The added grip and knuckle protection you get with tactical gloves can be beneficial for mountain biking enthusiasts. This is particularly true during downhill rides over rocky terrain.
How Long do Tactical Gloves Last?
How long your tactical gloves will last depends on how you use them and their overall quality. The best gloves feature double-stitched seams and are designed to withstand regular abuse.
You will also notice that most pairs will have a work rating attached to them. While some are rated for daily use in the harshest conditions, others are designed for more casual use and focus more on comfort than durability.
The best thing you can do to protect your gloves is keep an eye out for loose threads, which should be cut and clipped. You should also wash them regularly, which will maintain their grip.
If you want a pair of tactical gloves you can rely on for years to come, it is worth spending the extra money to make sure you are buying a high-quality pair. Any of the gloves we reviewed above are made to last and should be up to any challenge you can throw at them.