Tactical gloves are meant to protect your hands – it’s important to keep your hands in the best shape you can so that you can maneuver your weapons – knife, gun, or even knocking down doors.
Tactical gloves provide protection from the elements and help give you a better grip on your gear. They can also protect you from harmful objects like needles and other sharp objects.
Selecting a pair of tactical gloves can be tricky. There are several considerations to take into account. You want a pair of gloves that will:
It may sound dramatic, but the right pair of gloves can literally be the difference between life and death, so it’s crucial that you consider your options carefully, and not settle for a pair of bargain gloves.
Along those lines, keep in mind that you get what you pay for, and most decent pair of gloves range in price from $30 – $60 per pair.
Besides price, what should you think about when choosing the right pair of tactical gloves as a law enforcement officer?
Find the proper fit
The first, and perhaps most important, factor is fit. A good guide to consider is that generally your shoe size and glove size are the same. When you’re trying on a pair of gloves, be sure to have your weapons with you, and note how it feels to handle your gun, knife, radio, handcuffs, and other tools you use most often.
How your gloves fit and feel while operating your equipment is often quite different from how they feel when you just strap them on.
Function over style
Think about the main function of the gloves you’re buying. Are they meant to keep your hands warm? Dry? Or do you need them to help protect you from punctures? Remember that you can have a glove that’s too bulky to pull a trigger, so make sure you choose an option that allows you to perform the crucial functions your job requires.
Unfortunately, water-resistant gloves tend to lessen your dexterity, typically adding bulk to the glove, which means you may lose your touch and feel. However, the tradeoff may be worth it to you if you work in an often-harsh climate where you need better protection from wind, rain, and moisture.
When performing a pat-down or searching a suspect, you’re always on the lookout for anything that can potentially cut, scrape, poke, or puncture your skin – knives, needles, glass, and other hidden objects.
If your job duties put you in these situations, you definitely want to look for a tactical glove that offers puncture resistance. These tend to be less bulky than other lines gloves, while also offering a fair amount of protection from the elements.
If your job puts you in first responder situations – car accidents, house fires – you want to consider a glove that offers protection from blood borne hazards. Look for a pair with either a Gore-Tex or Crosstech lining, as this barrier will help reduce your risk of exposure.
How important, based on your needs, is knuckle protection to you? Tactical gloves typically offer two types of protection – hard and soft. Hard-style protection is generally a hard shell for your knuckles. It helps protect you from bruising when you have to make a physical entry.
With those elements and others in mind, let’s take a look at several top-quality options.
Hatch NS430 Specialist All-Weather Shooting and Duty Glove
Highly popular among law enforcement professionals, the Hatch NS430 Specialist gloves offer excellent all-weather protection and handgun use, providing both a great grip as well as an accurate feel.
These gloves have a second-skin fit and are designed specifically for use with a handgun in any situation. Due to their non-slip material in the palm and fingertips, they offer outstanding control when shooting.
The downside is that because of their construction, they aren’t quite as durable as other options. However, if your duties require use of a handgun on a frequent basis, these are the gloves for you.
Oakley SI Assault Glove
Sleek and stylish, these tactical gloves certainly look the part. And yes, they also play the part as well. The Oakley SI Assault Gloves are strictly intended for combat situations, with features like added knuckle protection, ridged fingertips for enhanced grip, and punched neoprene backing which allows for airflow.
The downside is that they carry a lot of bulk and are heavier than some other options, but in a combat situation, this is the pair of gloves you want on your hands, protecting them and you and ensuring maximum functionality.
5.11 Tactical Hard Time Gloves
The 5.11 Hard Time glove’s design boasts the best of both worlds – a hard-knuckle glove with flexibility to boot. The fabric is Kevlar® while the knuckle plates are ergonomically articulated. That is, instead of having one covering for all four knuckles, they feature two plates covering your knuckles that flex with your hand.
These gloves are lightweight, yet durable, and the Kevlar® back panel offers superior slash protection, perfect if hand-to-hand close combat is what you need them for. They also feature TacticalTouch fingertips for greater dexterity, helpful when handling a firearm.
5.11 Tactical TAC AK2 Cut-Resistant Duty Gloves
The 5.11 Tactical TAC AK2 gloves are not intended for combat duties, but instead are functional for everyday wear.
However, they do still feature the Kevlar® fabric that is slash-resistant, as well as 5.11’s trademark TacticalTouch, which lends to superb dexterity in the fingertips for better firearm handling.
As with any piece of tactical gear, there are a wide assortment of options, some better suited for certain situations than others, so it’s imperative that you spend some time thinking about what your needs are and look for a glove that can adequately and efficiently meet those needs.
Besides the above recommendations, we proudly offer a whole range of options from which to choose, with something for every situation and budget. Take some time to browse and choose the right gloves for you.
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