10 Best Tactical Gloves of 2021

Outdoor Empire is reader-supported. When you buy products through links on this page, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

man in uniform wearing tactical gloves

When it comes to truly tactical gloves, there are a lot of imitators on the market and precious few high-quality choices.

Cheap glove manufacturers like to make gloves that look like tactical gauntlets and slap the name “tactical” somewhere and call it a day. But if you wear them in any sort of real tactical situation then the seams will rip, fabric will tear, and you’ll swear off tactical gloves forever.

However, if you start with a high-quality combat glove used by the police or military then you’ll find yourself with a hand covering that can stand up to abuse without leaving you frustrated.

Tactical gloves are similar to shooting gloves albeit a few key differences. They tend to be tougher and can even give you an edge in hand-to-hand combat.

Here are the best tactical gloves you can buy.

 

10 Best Tactical Gloves of 2021: Outdoor Empire Reviews

  1. Best Police #1: Hatch Operator Tactical Gloves
  2. Best Police #2: Magpul Technical Lightweight Work Gloves
  3. Best Cold Weather #1: Hatch Specialist All-Weather Shooting/Duty Gloves
  4. Best Cold Weather #2: Ironclad EXO Operator Pro Gloves
  5. Best Hard Knuckle #1: Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves
  6. Best Hard Knuckle #2: Magpul Core Breach Tactical Gloves
  7. Best Military #1: Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves
  8. Best Military #2: PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT) Delta Gloves
  9. Best Leather: Hatch SG20P Dura-Thin Gloves
  10. Best Kevlar: Hatch Armortip Gloves

 

CategoryBest PoliceBest MilitaryBest Hard Knuckle
ProductHatch Operator Tactical Gloves
Hatch Operator Tactical Gloves

Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves
Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves

Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves
Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves

ColorBlack- Black
- Brown
- Grey
- MultiCam
- Woodland Camo
- Black
- Coyote
SizesS to XLS to XXLS to XXL
Palm MaterialGoatskinSynthetic suedeLeather
Back MaterialKevlar/Nomex knitSynthetics and rubber- Leather
- Synthetics
- Carbon fiber
Touch Screen CapableYesNoNo
CostCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

 

1. Best Police Tactical Gloves #1: Hatch Operator Tactical Gloves

Hatch Operator Tactical Gloves

Specs

  • Color: Black
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
  • Palm Material: Goatskin
  • Back Material: Kevlar/Nomex knit
  • Touch Screen Capable? Yes

Overview

The Hatch Operator Tactical Glove is a high-quality law enforcement glove that can be used for patrol or combat operations.

The palm is made from goat leather, which is surprisingly strong, thin, and flexible. This gives you great control over your weapon. Users also report that it’s usable with touchscreens.

The back of the glove is made from a Kevlar and Nomex knit material. It’s a little stretchy but not as much as elastic. However, it is both fire and cut resistant, making this a good glove to cover most of your bases.

The knuckles are hardened, and its EVA foam protects the tips of your fingers.

The forefinger also has a ring to allow you to cut it off if you need better trigger control, though you’ll likely not need to do so.

Pros

  • Dexterous goatskin palm and fingers
  • Fire and cut-resistant Kevlar/Nomex knit

Cons

  • The hook and loop closure is a weak point.

Recommendations

The Hatch Operator Tactical Glove is a good all-around tactical glove for law enforcement use. The thin goat leather maintains your dexterity while the knuckle armor, Kevlar, and Nomex help to protect your hands.

 

2. Best Police Tactical Gloves #2: Magpul Technical Lightweight Work Gloves

Magpul Technical Lightweight Work Gloves

Specs

  • Colors: Black, Coyote, Charcoal
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
  • Palm Material: Synthetic leather
  • Back Material: Synthetics
  • Touch Screen Capable? Yes

Overview

The Magpul Technical Lightweight Work Glove is a great pair of gloves for the officer on patrol or anybody who wants a lightweight tactical glove.

It’s not a dedicated shooting glove, so don’t expect any reinforcement to protect against slide bite. However, it is thin enough for you to remain dexterous if you need to draw your pistol.

There are no holes in the material which cuts down on breathability, but it does inhibit fluid transfer.

All of the material is synthetic. The leather-like palm is fairly grippy and the fake suede on the thumb is good for wiping away sweat. Magpul claims these gloves are abrasion-resistant but they are not made with Kevlar.

These gloves are made well but not designed for knock-down-the-door operations. You’ll want something tougher if you think your knuckles will get busted, but this is still a great glove for general tactical purposes.

Pros

  • Abrasion resistant
  • Lightweight, but still offers some protection

Cons

  • Doesn’t always work with touchscreens
  • Not intended for heavy-duty use

Recommendations

The Magpul Technical Lightweight Work Glove isn’t a heavy-duty tactical glove, but it is a solid glove for wearing during a long day at work.

 

 

3. Best Tactical Cold Weather Gloves #1: Hatch Specialist All-Weather Shooting/Duty Gloves

Hatch Specialist All-Weather Shooting Duty Gloves

Specs

  • Color: Black
  • Sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
  • Palm Material: Synsi-feel synthetic leather
  • Back Material: Neoprene
  • Touch Screen Capable? Yes

Overview

There aren’t too many winter tactical gloves out there, and that’s because a true winter glove is too thick to fit into many trigger guards, a problem I’ve encountered in Alaska.

The Hatch Specialist All-Weather Shooting/Duty Glove is my go-to for winter shooting.

To temper your expectations, it’s not a thickly insulated glove. However, the back is made from neoprene, which provides better thin insulation than most other tactical gloves. The neoprene also provides padded protection.

The palm is thin, flexible, and comfortable to use for fine tasks and handling a weapon. You’ll be protected from cold metal, somewhat, as it provides a great grip even if your palms are slick with wet snow.

Don’t expect the palm to be waterproof, though. These aren’t for long-term protection from the cold, though they are good for operating in the winter.

I’ve also found them to be thin enough to be comfortable liners for winter mittens.

Pros

  • Good shooting glove, even when it’s not winter
  • Offers some protection from the wet and cold while still allowing for weapon handling

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer much protection
  • The palm can soak up water

Recommendations

Hatch Specialist All-Weather Shooting/Duty Gloves aren’t fully waterproof. However, they do add some warmth and allow you to handle your gear (including your trigger) in the cold better than most pairs of dedicated winter gloves.

 

 

4. Best Tactical Cold Weather Gloves #2: Ironclad EXO Operator Pro Gloves

Ironclad EXO Operator Pro Gloves

Specs

  • Colors: Black, Coyote Brown, Grey, OD Green, Realtree Camo
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
  • Palm Material: Synthetic leather
  • Back Material: Neoprene
  • Touch Screen Capable? No

Overview

The Ironclad EXO Operator Pro Glove talks up a big game, and while it’s not a top player it is better than expected for cold weather.

Like any tactical glove, this is not a true winter glove. However, the neoprene does offer some protection, so this inexpensive glove is better than some more expensive tactical gloves when it’s snowing.

The synthetic leather palm has tacky, textured sections so you can grip anything, wet or dry. There’s a reinforced section between the thumb and forefinger to help when you’re firing a pistol.

These are surprisingly good gloves for the prices but they aren’t as durable as the more expensive options. Don’t expect them to survive a lot of “Cool Guy Stuff”. They’re good enough for day-to-day patrols and cold weather shooting, though.

Pros

  • High value for cold weather patrolling and shooting
  • Neoprene

Cons

  • Not super durable
  • Padded area doesn’t cover knuckles

Recommendations

Ironclad EXO Operator Pro Gloves aren’t the best tactical gloves in the world. However, they are a surprisingly good choice for operating in the cold, especially when firing a handgun.

 

 

5. Best Hard Knuckle Tactical Gloves #1: Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves

Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves

Specs

  • Colors: Black, Coyote
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
  • Palm Material: Leather
  • Back Material: Leather, synthetics, and carbon fiber
  • Touch Screen Capable? No

Overview

The Oakley Factory Pilot Glove is a true combat glove currently in use by members of the military.

The palm is made from one piece of full-grain leather. There are no seams under your palm to turn into hot spots. It’s covered in what Oakley calls “unobtanium” to increase the grip.

The leather is also ventilated, which is a mixed blessing. This keeps your palms cool and dry. On the other hand, its ventilation allows for potential fluid transfer if you get into a brawl or deal with a casualty.

The back of the glove is made from a variety of natural and synthetic materials. Mesh and rubber exhaust ports increase ventilation. The knuckles are protected by a hard piece of carbon fiber. Leather and padding help protect the backs of your fingers, too.

Pros

  • The armor doesn’t inhibit your dexterity
  • Carbon fiber knuckle protector
  • Good breathability

Cons

  • Susceptible to fluid transfer

Recommendations

Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves are high-quality combat gloves that keep your hands cool and your knuckles safe.

 

 

6. Best Hard Knuckle Tactical Gloves #2: Magpul Core Breach Tactical Gloves

Magpul Core Breach Tactical Gloves

Specs

  • Colors: Black, Charcoal
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
  • Palm Material: Reinforced leather
  • Back Material: Leather, nylon, and armor
  • Touch Screen Capable? Yes

Overview

The Magpul Core Breach Tactical Gloves are moderately armored shooting gloves.

They have a hardened, padded, and ventilated hard knuckle protector, and the ventilation may seem odd at first but it does increase these gloves’ comfort level.

The palm is also reinforced. It’s made from genuine leather. There’s another layer of mesh padding that absorbs recoil to make shooting more comfortable.

There’s also a “gun gusset”; It’s reinforcement between the thumb and forefinger, except heavier than most similar reinforcement. This keeps your hands fresh even after a long operation.

The fingertips are thinner leather that can be used with touchscreens and also offers greater tactility for use with triggers.

Pros

  • Designed to help you handle your weapon with confidence
  • Multiple layers of protection all around the glove

Cons

  • Not the most durable tactical gloves

Recommendations

Magpul Core Breach Tactical Gloves offer knuckle protection while also being good shooting gloves.

 

 

7. Best Military Tactical Gloves #1: Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves

Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves

Specs

  • Colors: Black, Brown, Grey, MultiCam, Woodland Camo
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
  • Palm Material: Synthetic suede
  • Back Material: Synthetics and rubber
  • Touch Screen Capable? No

Overview

M-Pact Tactical Gloves by Mechanix Wear is another pair of gloves suited for combat use.

The palm is made from synthetic suede and has multiple reinforced sections. These both resist wear and tear as well as improve the recoil-absorption properties of these gloves. This is important when you’re spending a long time in the field and need to rely on gloves that won’t fail.

The back of the glove has thermoplastic rubber sections protecting the knuckles, base of the thumb, and three out of four fingers. This armor isn’t as protective as a hard section but it is good enough to protect your hands from most potential causes of injury.

The forefinger is left unarmored so it will easily fit into the trigger guard of your rifle or pistol. The forefinger and thumb tips are also ribbed for greater grip. There’s also thumb web protection to further increase gun handling.

These gloves are even tough enough to be machine washable!

Pros

  • Good for range shooting and fighting in a combat zone
  • Very durable

Cons

  • Not designed for precision shooting

Recommendations

M-Pact Tactical Gloves are a heavy-duty option when you need to rely on military gloves that can handle combat.

 

Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves is also available at:

Bass Pro

 

8. Best Military Tactical Gloves #2: PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT) Delta Gloves

PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT) Delta Gloves

Specs

  • Colors: Black, Carbon Grey, Coyote Brown, MultiCam, MultiCam Black, Ranger Green
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
  • Palm Material: Synthetic
  • Back Material: Mesh
  • Touch Screen Capable? Yes

Overview

Patrol Incident Gear takes on a different approach with their gloves.

The Full Dexterity Tactical line is a series of consumable gloves. They’re not made of latex and will handle multiple wearings, but if you’re about to set out on a serious mission then you’ll want a new pair.

The PIG FDT gloves are designed this way to be the most dexterous and tactile gloves possible so that your gun-handling skills are as high as they can be. The Delta is the most lightweight version and is the ultimate gun-handling tactical glove so long as you have the right expectations.

The synthetic palm is ultra thin yet has great grip. The back of the glove is a padded mesh that offers some protection while keeping your hands comfortable.

Even the seams are better designed than most gloves. They have a “roll-over fingertip design” that keeps them out from under your fingernails, reducing irritation.

SOCOM soldiers sometimes use PIG FDT gloves for their missions because of these features, so you might call these “operator gloves.”

Pros

  • Great gun handling qualities
  • Supremely dexterous
  • Very comfortable

Cons

  • Not designed to be ultra durable

Recommendations

If you want the best tactical gloves for gun handling then you want PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT) Delta Gloves, though don’t expect them to be a long-lasting item.

 

9. Best Tactical Leather Gloves: Hatch SG20P Dura-Thin Gloves

Hatch SG20P Dura-Thin Gloves

Specs

  • Color: Black
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
  • Palm Material: Leather
  • Back Material: Leather
  • Touch Screen Capable? Maybe

Overview

All-leather gloves have fallen by the wayside for most tactical use but Hatch still makes a good pair with the SG20P Dura-Thin line.

These gloves are made from thin yet durable leather gloves that look like classic police gloves with the darting on the back. They feel like a second layer of skin, so you lose very little dexterity when you wear these gloves.

The sizes run small, though this is partially by design. Leather will adapt to your hand shape, so you do want these to be on the tighter side at first.

The cuffs are small and have elastic so these gloves won’t interfere with your shirt or jacket.

These gloves are good for driving, shooting, handcuffing suspects, and even frisking. However, the leather isn’t as protective as modern, thicker synthetic gloves.

Pros

  • Forms to your hands
  • Thin and tactile

Cons

  • Runs small

Recommendations

If you want classy looking all-leather gloves that are also good for shooting and other tactical stuff, then Hatch’s SG20P Dura-Thin Gloves are a great choice.

 

 

10. Best Tactical Kevlar Gloves: Hatch Armortip Gloves

Hatch Armortip Gloves

Specs

  • Color: Black
  • Sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large, XXX-Large
  • Palm Material: Leather
  • Back Material: Leather
  • Touch Screen Capable? No

Overview

The Hatch Armortip Glove is very similar to the Hatch Dura-Thin gloves. In fact, you might think they’re the same glove at first glance.

Well, the outside of the glove may be the same, but the Armortip adds something the Dura-Thin lacks:

A full Kevlar lining.

Unlike some Kevlar tactical gloves, the Armortips have Kevlar over every part of your hand. This way you get cut and needle resistance protecting your fingers, palm, and the back of your hand.

This keeps this glove useful not only for searches and frisking but it also helps give you the edge if a bad guy pulls a knife on you.

Like the Dura-Thin, these run small on purpose so you can form the leather to your hand for the most tactile sensation possible.

The leather has been treated, so it’s water and fade resistant. However, it is not fully waterproof.

Pros

  • Full hand coverage with Kevlar
  • Forms to your hand

Cons

  • Runs small

Recommendations

Hatch Armortip Gloves look like classic leather gloves, but they are extra durable and provide good protection thanks to the Kevlar liner.

 

 

When and Why You Should Wear Tactical Gloves

man in full gear aiming airsoft rifle

“Tactical” is a bit of a nebulous world today.

The word refers to combat tactics and is often used and abused to imply that gear is good enough to be used in combat. Or to mean that the gear looks edgy and cool.

Good tactical gloves, though, are effectively combat gloves. You can get into a fight and walk away with less damaged hands than if you were wearing no gloves or lesser gloves.

There’s a large overlap between tactical gloves and shooting gloves. Modern combat nearly always involves firearms and when it doesn’t you’ll still need to grip and manipulate weapons, tools, or your enemy with your hands.

As such, most tactical gloves are good shooting gloves. Typically they’re on the more durable side too, because fighting can involve losing your footing. You don’t want to break a fall onto gravel with your bare hands!

Tactical gloves are worn when there’s the possibility of getting into an altercation. Or even jumping into action.

man in gear aiming airsoft from a wooden wall

Some of the gloves above are even recommended by EMTs. They don’t fight, but they can still take advantage of the grip and protection afforded by tactical gloves.

Competitive shooters also tend to like tactical gloves because of these qualities. No fistfights should be breaking out at a 3-gun shoot, but the weapon handling advantages can give a shooter what they need to maximize their score in a tough course!

 

Buying Advice: How to Choose the Right Tactical Gloves

The “tactical” in “tactical gloves” covers a surprisingly wide variety of use cases.

A police officer walking their patrol, a SWAT team preparing to raid a house, an infantryman about to go on patrol, and a special forces officer will all put on tactical gloves, but they won’t be the same glove.

 

Material, Protection, and Padding

finger pointing at a gloved hand

Generally speaking, gloves provide a tradeoff between dexterity and protection. The thicker, tougher, and more resilient the glove, the less flexible the material is and the less you can feel through it.

The more you can feel through the glove, the better your gun handling skills will be.

So you have to judge what you’re going to be doing and use that to decide if you need a thicker, more protective glove or a thinner, more dexterous glove.

 

Is there a Difference Between Combat, Tactical, and Military Gloves?

airsofters in full gear in the field

For the most part, combat, tactical, and military gloves are all the same thing.

Soldiers use both thick and tough gloves as well as thin and flexible gloves for combat, depending on what they’ll be facing.

Since the term “tactical” refers to maneuvering in combat and the military engages in combat, all three words basically mean the same thing in this context.

 

Special Hazards

man reloading airsoft rifle magazine

Something that can greatly affect the right glove for you is what hazards you’ll be up against.

If there’s the possibility that you might handle a bleeding person then you’ll want to avoid a ventilated glove. Fluid transfer is dangerous and, although tactical gloves aren’t as resistant to fluid transfer as nitrile gloves, a solid glove will offer some protection.

Similarly, if you might encounter cutting or piercing materials, then you’ll want a Kevlar-lined pair of gloves. Knives can cut through most glove material and needles, carriers of infectious disease, will penetrate leather or nylon very easily.

 

How Should Tactical Gloves Fit?

gloved hand holding rifle upclose

Tactical gloves should fit quite tightly, but not tight enough to impede blood flow or cause hot spots.

If you’re wearing tactical gloves then you’re going to be using your hand for fine motor tasks. This requires a minimum amount of dexterity.

Loose or poorly fitting gloves interfere with this. Gloves that slide around on your hand are horrible for shooting. Extra glove material can get caught in the weapon you’re handing. And so on.

 

Top Brands

Hatch Corporation

Hatch Corporation logo

Hatch is not a household name, unless your house is filled with first responders and law enforcement officers.

The Hatch Corporation has been around since 1967, and the company’s entire focus is on creating protective gear for law enforcement and related professions, such as emergency professionals and corrections officers.

Hatch started out by making gloves, and these are the company’s most well-known products, but they have expanded into other pieces of apparel and gear in recent years, such as elbow pads and forearm protectors.

Though not as well known as other brands, such as Oakley and Mechanix, Hatch makes my favorite shooting gloves. I’ve noticed that Hatch products tend to be very bang-for-the-buck when it comes to price and quality.

The company doesn’t blow lots of money on advertising and doesn’t take advantage of popularity to increase prices, so their products are fairly priced.

 

Magpul Industries

Magpul Industries logo

Magpul is a well-known name in the firearm world.

The company was formed in 1999 and the first product was a magazine puller, the MagPul. These were successful and Magpul expanded into more firearm accessories then into tactics and training.

Today, Magpul is most well known for their PMAG magazines. They also produce high-quality firearm furniture and even what are considered some of the best backup iron sights on the market, the MBUS.

Magpul’s focus on polymer products was expanded when they started producing tactical gloves. Many consumers had concerns about this new product line, though most people have become believers after trying out the gloves for themselves.

That’s because Magpul uses their expertise in tactical training to design their gloves.

If you’re into firearm politics, then you know that Magpul doesn’t just talk the talk. When Colorado enforced its maximum magazine capacity law, Magpul spent the money to move out of state rather than to make an extra buck and stay in place.

So, even people who don’t like PMAGs or Magpul furniture tend to have respect for the company.

 

F.A.Q.

FAQ

Are all tactical gloves legal?

Believe it or not, not all tactical gloves are legal in all places!

That’s because some tactical gloves are weighted for use as a striking weapon. These are called sap gloves, or weighted-knuckle gloves, and they use lead or steel shot to give added weight to your punch.

Though often considered a less-than-lethal weapon and used by bouncers and police officers, sap gloves are not legal everywhere.

 

How to clean and wash tactical gloves?

Most tactical gloves can easily be cleaned and washed. Drying is the hard part.

In fact, most people should wash their tactical gloves more often than they do.

Surface dirt can be removed with a brush or small amounts of warm water, and leather gloves can be cleaned with saddle soap.

You don’t want to soak the glove unless it needs a deep cleaning. If the inside gets wet then you need to air dry the glove. Stand the glove so no part is closed off. Wire can be helpful for this. Don’t put the glove near heat or it can burn!

You can also use an electric shoe and glove dryer.

If the inside gets smelly from sweat then baking soda sprinkled inside the glove can absorb the odors.

 

Recommended reading:

Best Tactical Backpacks

Best Tactical Knives

Best .308 Rifles Reviewed

Native Ads
Andrew Jackson learned to walk in the mountains and has spent much of his life exploring the outdoors. He is equally at home in the woods, at the range, or on the gunsmithing bench, and loves to build guns almost as much as he enjoys shooting them. His travels have taken him to the four corners of the United States. Though his favorite hunting spot is in Alaska, Kansas deer taste better.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here