Ever taken one look at some yard work or a job site and realized that you’re going to have to go all-out on this one as far as the gear you’re wearing? Perhaps it’s with that in mind that you’ve been on the hunt for tactical gloves. In the annals of menswear and gear, there are certain pieces of gear that work best in certain situations. Sometimes, and if you’re especially lucky, the gear that you’ve selected, like the best men’s work boots, actually performs better under pressure. This is the case with tactical gloves, which actually go above and beyond in the line of duty, even when that might seem possible.
Be it hauling brush, taking on a field assignment or tackling the demands of the garage, tactical and work gloves are but one item you shouldn’t leave home without. It’s kind of like showing up to the job site without the proper tools: The end result isn’t ideal for anyone. Heck, if ever you’ve returned home with careworn hands because of gloves that don’t fit right, you know how crucial (and how overlooked) they can be. Work gloves should feature abrasion resistance and other hard-wearing qualities, sure, but tactical gloves can also be aesthetically pleasing.
Believe it or not, some are so cool, you might find yourself admiring them in between tackling tasks (but don’t delay too long).
It’s now par for the course that most products, in addition to being functional and tough, should also look mighty cool. Or at the very least, even tactical gloves should be enjoyable to look at and wear. That’s no easy task, especially when it comes to melding utility with style points. It gets even more difficult when you consider that both tactical and work gloves are some of the most rugged pieces of gear a guy’s got to own, right? Our favorite tactical gloves walk that fine line quite nicely, though. Believe it or not, some are so cool, you might find yourself admiring them in between tackling tasks (but don’t delay too long).
Tactical gloves, in fact, join a long list of job site and work gear you’ve simply got to have handy. That list should include work pants and a durable workshirt or tough-as-nails heavyweight tee. But to protect your hands and provided added grip and toughness, the best tactical gloves should be top-priority. You might have guessed what we’re about to say next: Not just any old pair will do. Take it from us: Here are a few crucial tips to consider as you shop for the gloves to turn you into a go-getter.
What to Consider When Shopping for Work and Tactical Gloves
- Functionality: Not all tactical gloves are created equal. Some are designed for field missions and focused more on practicality and sleek design, while others fit the true definition of a work glove. Could you wear one for the other, and vice versa? Sure thing, but finding the true proper usage for your next pair of gloves is crucial. That could mean making a pro’s and cons list, sure, but your gloves should fit your intended purpose pretty seamlessly. You’ll find some brands go deep and make gloves only for, say, shooting, while others are more focused on multiple uses. Preparation makes perfect when it comes time to shop for gloves, we know this much is true.
- Fit: Wearing a pair of gloves that doesn’t fit is like wearing a pair of boots or a shirt that doesn’t fit. You know it right away, it feels uncomfortable and it all translates to less-than-optimal results. Some gloves might fit more snug to your hand and stretch out over time (slightly), while some gloves are designed to stay nice and tight against your hands throughout the most taxing conditions imaginable. For instance, 5.11’s TACLITE 3 Gloves — more on these in a second — are designed to be form-fitting and durable. Other work gloves offer a bit more flexibility and give. At the end of the day, this is no time to size up too much. Find your hand measurements and follow the brand’s size guide for more information, when in doubt.
- Affordability: We don’t have to remind you that getting the right bang for your buck is crucial when gearing up for the field and for your must-tackle to-do list. But what about if you want to stock up on multiple pairs of work gloves? Well, that’s when affordability is more crucial than ever. If you want to get two or three pairs, for instance, of your new favorite tactical gloves, it’s best to not splurge too much one single pair. Call it the best of both worlds: If you can get a truly utilitarian pair of work gloves at a price that’s more like “2-for-,” well, we say you should go for it.
It’s like we’ve said time and again, from work boots to moisture-wicking shirts: If you keep those critical priorities top-of-mind, you’ll be more than pleased when it comes time to shop for tactical and work gloves (or anything at all, really).
The Best Tactical and Work Gloves to Buy Right Now
5.11 Tactical TACLITE 3 Gloves
We keep our word here at Jacob Graye. Here’s the scoop, as promised, on the ever-versatile and durable 5.11 Tactical TACLITE 3 Gloves. They’re perhaps the very definition of a standout pair of tactical gloves, with all the proper bells and whistles accounted for in a durable accessory. They’re made with breathable 4-way stretch fabric and clock in price-wise at well under $40. If you want a pair of gloves that you can stock up on, you’d be hard-pressed to find a pair better than these for the price. They also feature a wrist sweat wipe cuff, for when the heat starts to get to you, and the snug design makes them ideal for a no-slip grip. Plus, the all-black colorway is precisely what you need for tactical situations.
FREETOO Tactical Military Fingerless Gloves
Let’s up the ante as far as tactical gloves are concerned. FREETOO’s military gloves are ideal for covert and field situations where tough gear is of the essence, and where time is also of the utmost importance. These gloves could even be used for rock climbing or bike riding, one imagines, so it’s helpful that they’re highly versatile and tough-as-nails (not on your hands, though — on the elements). This design would do especially well for police or military personnel, all owing to the laundry list of helpful and darn-near essential features packed into one exceptional pair of fingerless gloves. Odor-free, breathable materials and a dual-layer synthetic leather palm work hand in hand to provide the utmost in grip and long-lasting functionality. The adjustable wrist Velcro fastener isn’t to be overlooked, either. It’s meant to fit snugly but provide ease of movement. These well-considered gloves take care of just about anything you can ask of them. That way, you can take care of just about anything that’s asked of you.
Arc’teryx Alpha SL Gloves
Imagine the gloves that you might need in demanding outdoor conditions — like, say, freezing cold, snowy weather or tactical expeditions far afield in an unforgiving landscape. The gloves you should be picturing are these very Arc’teryx gloves, which manage to be sleek, smooth and snow-ready, all at once. They’re suited for hiking and climbing, sure, you can wear them through plenty of outdoor pursuits in inclement weather. The difference, as ever when it comes to Arc’teryx menswear, is in the details. That means fabric that quite literally goes the distance: As the brand says, these flexible gloves are made with “Gore® Windstopper® fabric provides a windproof, breathable membrane with additional water repellency.” If that doesn’t sound like a perfect pair of tactical or work gloves, then we’re at a loss.
Ironsight Sensor Gloves
To say these gloves are made for the tactically minded among us simply doesn’t do them justice. They’re some of the hardest-working, toughest and action-orient gloves on the market. While that might seem like hyperbole, it’s really not: The Ironsight Sensor Gloves are as good as it gets, no matter what lies in front of you. In fact, Ironsight perhaps says it best: “Legendary within the Tactical community for their amazing tactility and grip, the Ironsight Sensor Gloves are quick drying, highly breathable gloves,” and the real kicker, in our minds, is the “dexterous and supple synthetic leather.” Add in the fact that they’re fairly priced, ready to be packed away at a moment’s notice and built to last, and you’ve got some of the finest gloves on the planet for each and every mission in the great outdoors and, as we like to say, far afield.
5.11 Tactical Hard Times 2 Gloves
We’re back with another pair of impossibly rugged and surprisingly cool gloves from 5.11 Tactical. Heck, with a brand name like that, it’s no surprise that they seriously know what they’re doing in matters of dependable gear for situations that push you to your limits. Your gloves won’t give out on you, especially if it’s the Hard Times Gloves you seek from this famed tactical brand. The four-way stretch breathable fabric is accented by what the brand calls a “two piece molded hard knuckle for ergonomic impact protection,” which is a fancy way of saying your hands won’t get dinged up on the job site or out in the field. The goatskin leather palm construction is also made to help you operate a touchscreen, even when wearing gloves. Why more brands haven’t done that is beyond us. In the meantime, know that you need these gloves in your rotation ASAP.