tactical gloves from Petzl posed for product image on white background

When it comes to unmatched protection, mobility, and agility, tactical gloves excel at each—when you have the right pair. Used by military members, LEO, expert and professional shooters, hunters, survivalists, and extreme sports or outdoor hobby enthusiasts, tactical gloves offer the ultimate abrasion or impact protection. Purchase the wrong set of gloves, however, and you'll find not only have you wasted precious money, but you might lower your precision and subject yourself to costly mistakes due to decreased range of movement.

Our tactical experts want to ensure that you find the right pair of tactical gloves that work for you, so we've gathered the intel to help you make an informed decision.

How to Choose the Best Tactical Gloves for Protection and Dexterity

There are many options regarding tactical glove features, including prices, how the gloves fit, and what function they serve. The main components of what to look for in a pair of great gloves can be broken down into five categories:
  1. Hand Protection
    Constantly patching up hands with cuts, scraped, or split knuckles? Maybe your hands are subject to heavy impacts all day. The first thing you'll want to have in a good pair of gloves for you is a cut-resistant material and reinforced knuckles and palms. Consider finding a pair that utilizes a Kevlar lining with thermoplastic finger and knuckle guards.

    If you're a climber, you'll want something to protect your skin on belays and rappels and any sharp rocks or debris you might have to climb through. Especially useful for long objectives involving jumaring or aid climbing, tactical gloves can also offer some fantastic insulation during chilly weather. Look for a glove that provides at least two layers of protective materials like leather with extra coverage for high-wear areas like the thumb and forefinger. If the price point is an issue, synthetic leathers can be as tough and durable at more affordable prices without sacrificing finger dexterity.

  2. Adjustability
    There's no such thing as 'One size fits all.' Everybody's a little or a lot different. When it comes to a great pair of gloves, the better they fit you, the more comfortable, more agile, and more tactile your gloves will be.

    Tactical hand protection tends to stretch with time and use, so look for a snug yet comfortable fit when breaking in a new pair. The sensation you want is as natural as possible, not too tight. Other features to look for and ensure your new gloves will have are hooks and loop Velcro wrist straps. Not only do these adjust the fit of the gloves, but they also make it easier to put them on or remove them in a hurry.

  3. Breathability
    Ever tried to grip something with sweaty hands? Breathability is another essential point for a fantastic pair of gloves, especially when you need a pair for hot and humid or hot and arid climates. Look for gloves marked as breathable and moisture-wicking to keep your hands cool and dry.

  4. Insulation
    If you live in an area with winter seasons or a frigid and snowy climate, you'll want a pair of gloves that also come with good insulation. Materials that are natural thermal insulations are fur and Merino wool, and some examples of suitable synthetic thermal insulator materials are microfleece and G-Loft, Polartec, and Climashield.

  5. Materials
    Before choosing the primary material for your new tactical gloves, the essential detail to know and understand is how they will be used and under what conditions. Once you know exactly where you'll be using your gloves the most, you can further pinpoint suitable materials that will work for you and your needs.

    Some of the material choices available are:
    • Kevlar – Slash and cut resistant and often the go-to material for LEO and the military
    • Leather – Comfortable, rugged, and water resistant; however, it can become slippery when damp or wet
    • Neoprene – Water resistant, as the material is the same used in wetsuits, and also an excellent insulator against heat and cold
    • Nomex - A material used in the fire industry, gloves made with Nomex are fire resistant
    • Nylon – Well known for being a tough and durable fabric, excellent for the full range of movement and agility
    • Polyester – Breathable and moisture-wicking but not resistant to water
    • Thermoplastic Rubber – Resistant to water and most frequently used in gloves for knuckle or palm padding and protection while providing grip
    • Thinsulate – Extremely thin material allowing an excellent range of motion and dexterity than most

    The perfect pair of tactical gloves for you will meet and exceed your needs when you consider the five key points above and the climate in which you'll be using them. Once you have those firmly fixed, you're ready to make an informed decision and purchase you won't regret.

    Ready for the best pair yet? Make sure to browse our vast range of options for tactical gloves today to find yours.