6 of the Best Shooting Gloves

by Roy Chesson

March 29, 2022

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Shooting gloves are not a must have item for all types of shooting, unlike hearing protection, or shooting glasses are.  However, there are some situations in which they can improve your grip and shooting or just make the situation more enjoyable (by not getting your hands cut nor burned).

Because there are different types of gloves for different purposes, when listing the best shooting gloves, it’s important to break them down into categories – otherwise you’re comparing apples and oranges.  Therefore, for this particular article, we’ve decided to break them down into the following categories:

  • Best Tactical Gloves
  • Best Gloves for Dexterity
  • Best Abrasion-Resistant Gloves
  • Best Basic All-Around Gloves

You could probably argue that there are even more types of gloves out there, but we felt that these four would suffice to represent the shooting gloves market, without getting all convoluted and such.

Best Shooting Gloves by Type

Best Shooting Gloves

Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves

Editor’s Choice for Best Tactical

  • Most comfortable
  • Kevlar knuckles
  • Least likely to get worn out
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Magpul Technical Gloves
  • Editor’s Choice for tactile-feel
  • Form-fitting
  • Thin but strong material on hand
  • Nicely priced
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PIG Full Dexterity Tactical Gloves
  • Special Operations Proven
  • Barehand Shooting Feel
  • Operate your touch screen
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Mechanix Wear FastFit Tactical
  • Form-fitting TrekDry material.
  • Elastic cuff provides a secure fit.
  • Two-piece palm eliminates material bunching.
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5.11 High Abrasion TAC Gloves
  • Extremely durable
  • Well priced
  • Great Heavy Duty Shooting Gloves
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 Blackhawk A.V.I.A.T.O.R. Gloves
  • Fire Resistant
  • Won’t melt
  • US Military Specs
  • No frills yet proven design
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Reviews of the Best Individual Shooting Gloves

Below is an indepth look at the individual shooting gloves and their respective grades for making our best shooting gloves list. 

1. Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves

Editor's Choice
Oakley Men's Factory Pilot Glove

Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves

Full-grain leather palm, Premium leather and durable synthetics with flexible articulated construction, Protective gear gloves.

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  • Material A
  • Dexterity B-
  • Durability A
  • Value A-
  • Accuracy A+

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 1 Reviews

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Oakley Factory Pilot Specs

  • Material Goat Skin
  • Weight 5.9 oz
  • Season Winter and Spring
  • Touch Screen No

Oakley Factory Pilot Glove Review: Best Combat Gloves

For heavy duty shooting gloves, the Oakley pilot gloves are my personal favorites, and the ones I use. The goat skin material is tough and durable enough, without giving up too much in dexterity. Other shooters, as well as myself have seen them last long enough to legitimize the price tag.

Furthermore, these gloves do use a legitimate carbon fiber and have great padding underneath the fiber. There are many cheaper knuckle protection combat gloves out there, but they usually use a fake ‘carbon fiber’ so as to reduce cost.

Another thing I love about these gloves over others in its class is that I think they have the perfect breathability balance. They are thick enough for winter or cold activity, but also offer enough breathability that I’m not too uncomfortable in a TN summer shooting with these.

What I Don’t Like About Them: There are a couple of things I don’t like about them though. First is the double seam in the fingertips. I don’t think that was necessary in the design and it causes me to lose sensitivity in my fingertips. A single seam would have been sufficient, although I do understand that would reduce durability a bit.

While these gloves do not have touchscreen capability, I’m actually okay with that. I personally don’t like being on my phone with thick combat gloves anyway.

If however, you want a cheaper option of tactical or heavy duty gloves, then you might want to check out Freetoo Tactical Gloves. I cover them more later.

Oakley Factory Pilot Pros and Cons

  • Best Knuckle Protection
  • Excellent Material
  • Wrist Pull Material
  • Extremely Comfortable
  • Great Breathability
  • Double Seams in Fingertips
  • No Cushion in Palm
  • No Touchscreen Capability

2. Magpul Technical Gloves

Magpul Technical Glove Lightweight Work Gloves

Magpul Technical Gloves

The most lightweight and tactile glove in the Magpul lineup, the Magpul Technical Glove 2.0 offers abrasion protection and maximum dexterity. 

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  • Material A
  • Dexterity A+
  • Durability B
  • Value A

Our Grade

A

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 1 Reviews

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Magpul Technical Gloves Specs

  • Material Nylon
  • Weight 2 oz
  • Season Spring and Summer
  • Touch Screen Yes

Magpul Technical Gloves Review: Best Pistol Gloves

The best way to describe these is that they really are a second skin. Form fitting and very comfortable. While using these, I haven’t lost any sensitivity to touch or feel of the gun. There is no extra padding or buffer. These are lightweight technical gloves.

I’ve owned these for 4 months now and have put them through some pretty heavy use (used them with my AK-47 a couple of times as well), and they are still holding up.

While these probably won’t last even near as long as the Oakleys, I’m okay with that. Buying gloves like that, you need to be prepared to lose durability, in order to gain as thin of a material to allow for such touch.

However, that being said, for such second skin feeling, they are lasting extremely well.

They do come with touchscreen capability and for a lightweight thin glove, this is probably an important feature.

What I Don’t Like About These: While I think they are very durable for their class, I’m not a fan of the lack of extra material in the thumb to finger part of the glove like some of their class have. That area gets the most wear and tear for shooting, and I’d have preferred MagPul to have some extra material in that area. This would probably increase durability, and not cause a loss of grip or sensitivity.

But as you can see, after trying out many, these are the ones I kept for myself and thoroughly enjoy.

Magpul Technical Gloves Pros and Cons

  • Second Skin Feeling
  • Touchscreen Capable
  • Breathable Material on Top
  • No Thumb-to-Finger Extra Material

3. PIG Full Dexterity Gloves

PIG Full Dexterity Gloves

This premium slip-on tactical glove offers the most popular features from our previous models in a low-cost option that still gives you the superior high-dexterity fit you only get from the PIG Full Dexterity Tactical line-up.

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  • Material A-
  • Dexterity A
  • Durability A
  • Value B
  • Accuracy B+

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

A-

Based on 2 Reviews

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PIG FDT Specs

  • Weight 2.1 oz
  • Season Winter & Spring
  • Touch Screen Yes

PIG Full Dexterity Review: Best Overall Shooting Gloves

The PIG Full Dexterity Delta Utility Gloves are some of the best overall gloves I have ever used. They are very thin and allow for full dexterity making them okay to use with a pistol, yet they keep my hands warm during the winter, and have enough protection and padding to go well enough with my AR15 or my AK47.

The only downside is that the seems at the bottom of the gloves where the elastic wrist cuff is have separated over time, but overall durability is good. If you use them daily like I do, you will probably wear through a pair every 6-8 months.

Normally that would be a problem accept that these are pretty cheap compared to the others so it’s not that big of a deal to have to replace them.

Overall, I would highly recommend these gloves to anyone looking for overall pair of shooting gloves and what to use them in multiple situations.

PIG FDT Glove Pros and Cons

  • Great for shooting and manipulating handguns
  • Extremely durable
  • Touch screen compatibility is fantastic
  • Quality sometimes doesn’t match the comfortability

4. Mechanix Wear Tactical Gloves

Mechanix Wear Tactical Gloves

The anatomically cut two-piece palm eliminates material bunching for maximum control and improved manual operation.

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  • Material A
  • Dexterity B
  • Durability A-
  • Value A
  • Accuracy B+

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 1 Reviews

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Mechanix Wear Tactical Glove Specs


  • Material TrekDry
  • Weight 2.4 oz
  • Season Winter & Spring
  • Touch Screen Yes

Mechanix Wear Tactical Review

If you’re looking for a great pair of tactical gloves, look no further than Mechanix Wear’s MultiCam FastFit gloves. These gloves are designed to provide the dexterity you need to get the job done, while also providing protection from cuts and scrapes.

The MultiCam FastFits are perfect for any activity where you need extra hand protection. The palm is coated with Mechanix Wear’s exclusive TrekDry material, which wicks away moisture and keeps your hands cool and dry. Best of all, the MultiCam FastFits are available in a variety of sizes, so you can find the perfect fit for your hands. If you’re looking for a great pair of tactical gloves, the Mechanix Wear MultiCam FastFit gloves are the perfect choice.

  • Very breathable
  • Great Light Duty Gloves
  • Touch screen compatibility
  • Fingers don’t take long to wear out

5. 5.11 High Abrasion TAC Gloves

5.11 High Abrasion Tac Glove (275 × 84 px)

5.11 High Abrasion TAC Gloves

High abrasion synthetic suede on the palms serves as proper reinforcement to take the brunt of any task. Ring-cut microfiber strips on key fingers give you extra grip where you need it most.

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  • Material B+
  • Dexterity B-
  • Durability A
  • Value A

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 1 Reviews

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5.11 High Abrasion TAC Gloves Specs

  • Material Synthetic
  • Weight 4 oz
  • Season Winter and Spring
  • Touch Screen No

5.11 High Abrasion TAC Gloves Review

These make the list because they’re a very good, heavy duty workman’s gloves and are exceptional for the price. They don’t beat out the Oakleys in the heavy duty arena because they aren’t as technical, nor as high quality. And to be honest, personally I’d rather pay an extra $20 to get all of that.

However, they deliver on placing material in the right spots and don’t fail in any particular area. Basically, they’re a decent pair of gloves, but nothing really too special beyond just taking a lot of wear.

I personally like the bit of padding in the knuckles and the use of material around the thumb-to-finger area. Also, the material on the top of the glove allows for venting which helps with controlling sweat, which can be important for those who sweat a lot or who shoot in hot climates.

What I Don’t Like About Them: However, while these are durable, the type of material causes the reduction sensitivity and feel of the gun and make it a bit harder to shoot with. The moment I have to shift my hands around to grab a mag, or to switch something on my rifle, these start to lose a grade with me. They are very dextrous, however, I’m just not fully a fan of the synthetic material they used over the fingertips.

But, overall, these gloves are thick, strong and well made, and well priced to boot.

5.11 High Abrasion TAC Gloves Pros and Cons

  • Well Priced
  • Durable Workman’s Gloves
  • Breathable
  • Low Sensitivity

6. Blackhawk A.V.I.A.T.O.R. Gloves

Blackhawk A.V.I.A.T.O.R. Gloves

The Blackhawk A.V.I.A.T.O.R. Glove featrures a time-tested design. It is constructed with form-fitting Nomex which protects against flash/flame. Double-stitching in critical areas adds reinforcement, while extended gauntlet protects well past the wrist.

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  • Material A
  • Dexterity B+
  • Durability B+
  • Value B

Our Grade

B+

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

B

Based on 1 Reviews

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Blackhawk A.V.I.A.T.O.R. Specs

  • Material Nomex
  • Weight 2.4 oz
  • Season Winter to Summer
  • Weight 2.8 lbs
  • Touch Screen No

Blackhawk A.V.I.A.T.O.R. Gloves Review: Best Pilot Gloves

I’ll admit, the old school aviator gloves are not my kind of shooting gloves. However, talking with Ryan Cleckner, another editor of Gun University, pilot gloves are his glove of choice….leave it to Rangers.

He prefers these because those are what he trained with while in the military and therefore, are the ones he continues to choose.

But he’ll be the first to say, that doesn’t mean they’re the best…especially for normal every day shooters.

So, what’s important about the aviator gloves?

Well first, these are made out of nomex material which is designed to be flame- resistant, and not melt.

That’s not to say that the Oakleys above couldn’t handle a hot muzzle. However, out of them all, these are the only ones I’d trust to brush up on a hot suppressor…for a bit of time.

The thickness of these make them good for most seasons. However, they don’t have much breathability, if any (I get it…they are meant to be flame retardent so…yeah). So those of you who have sweaty hands, might find these uncomfortable.

What I Don’t Like About These: When it comes to pricing, these can be a bit much. There are some cheaper nomex aviator gloves out there like these military uniform supply ones. However, you’ll find when comparing those to the Blackhawk, the Blackhawk’s quality is above and beyond.

So, if you’re looking for a legit, high quality nomex pilot gloves, these get our vote.

Blackhawk A.V.I.A.T.O.R. Gloves Pros and Cons

  • Flame Resistant
  • Won’t Melt
  • US Military Specs
  • A Bit Pricey
  • Loose Cuff Area

Gloves That Didn’t Make the Cut

There are a lot of gloves that were tried that didn’t make the cut. Some of them are really popular with other shooters. However, for the reasons listed below, each one had something about them that caused them to be beat out by our list above:

Freetoo Tactical Gloves

These are cheaper knockoffs of the Oakley Factory Pilot gloves. And while I think they do a great job with creating these, if I really need hard knuckle gloves, then I’d rather have higher quality and not skimp on the material for an extra $20 or so dollars. Many other users see the seams and velcro break down after a couple of months. They’re also not as comfortable, however, if you don’t want to pay the Oakley price then this would be an excellent option. Also, you’re best to order a size up. If you’re a M then go Large.

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Outdoor Research Iron Sight Gloves

Great rugged durability. However, didn’t like the rubber grip pads on them. Furthermore, based on the price, I do not think they provide a good value considering it lacks many other features that gloves in its price have. I also don’t like their extremely long cuff band – would interfere with my coat cuff, but I’ve heard the new version did correct this issue.

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Also, some of the gloves we were considering were the caldwell ultimate shooting glove and Mechanix wear m pact. Also, if you were wondering, no we don’t intend to list any gloves with kevlar lining for obvious reasons, but we felt we needed to state that here.

Buyer’s Guide to Shooting Gloves

When it comes to buying shooting gloves, there are some things you should consider. This can be attributes to the gloves, or their purpose. So, if you’d like to learn more about what would make the best shooting glove for your purpose, then check out our buyers guide below.

First Question: What are Shooting Gloves for?

Before you buy a set of shooting gloves, it is best to first understand what you will be using the gloves for and in what climate or setting. For example, depending on whether it is hot or cold, you’ll want a certain glove thickness. Depending on whether you’re using an AK47 or a pistol, you’ll want combat gloves or pistol shooting gloves. Also, will you be using these as hunting gloves, or for covert gloves? So, be sure to check out the different situations or aspects and choose wisely.

Cold Weather Shooting

If you’ll be shooting in the cold, it will be important to use padded or thick gloves. Slim pistol shooting gloves will not suffice in the cold weather.

Hot Weather Shooting

If you’ll be firing in hot weather, then you’ll want a thin glove or something that allows your hands to air out. Some shooters will use fingerless gloves, however, I’m not a fan of this. I generally like to have a full feeling on my trigger finger and am not sure why you’d want a thin fingerless shooting glove.

Preventing Burns

All guns heat up when you shoot them. If you’re shooting a lot (or quickly), they’ll heat up even more. And, some types of firearms can cause more of a problem with heat. This is even more so if you are shooting with a silencer or suppressor on it.

Therefore if you are in that situation, having a set gloves that can prevent burns can be important.

Preventing Cuts

When it comes to shooting long guns in “tactical” situations cuts and scrapes are even more prevalent. Manipulating the firearm, magazine changes, and some guns with particularly sharp edges (we’re looking at you again, AK-47s) can all cause scrapes. Heck, we’ve even seen cuts when trying to operate a “tactical” shotgun quickly. Gloves with abrasive resistant material are great for these.

Minimizing Felt Recoil

Gloves that have extra padding in them can help reduce the feel of recoil. They won’t stop it all together, but after 200+ rounds, having that little extra padding can go a long way.

What type of glove features are best for you?

Now that you’ve seen the different situations in which shooting gloves can or should be used, lets look at some of the common features that many gloves come with. Armed with the above, you can start to figure out which features meet your need. After all, a set of covert gloves can’t have both knuckle protection but be thin.

Fire Resistant Gloves

These gloves are known for their ability not to melt or burn under extreme heat. And fire-resistant does NOT mean that they are fire-proof or will protect your hands from fire..

Military/police/tactical shooters often like them because they offer a melt-proof variable against hot gun barrels or suppressors. A hot suppressor can reach temperatures in excess of 500 degrees. You don’t want to touch these, even accidentally, without some form of heat protection. Fire resistant gloves are often made of materials such as Nomex or Kevlar.

Cut Resistant Gloves

Cut resistant gloves are commonly found in use by tactical or law enforcement units due to the possibility of sharp weapon encounters and protection from sharp parts of gear. But that doesn’t mean everyday gun owners shouldn’t have them too. Cut resistant gloves are great for hunters who travel through heavy vegetation–especially thorny or otherwise sharp brush. They’ll protect your hands and not cut open if they get snagged. Cut resistant gloves are normally made of Kevlar or Dyneema.

Cold Weather Shooting Glove

Thick cold weather gloves will limit your hands and fingers’ movement and thereby your ability to shoot a firearm. But so will freezing them solid. Fortunately, recent advances in glove technology have allowed these gloves to be much thinner than ever before. Cold weather gloves are often made with synthetic blends such as polyester, spandex, and neoprene.

Hard Knuckle Tactical Gloves

If you need some real knuckle-busting protection, you’re going to want a pair of hard-knuckle tactical gloves. These are great for law enforcement or other tactical situations where you’re breaching or shooting off barricades. But avid outdoorsmen might want to consider these as well especially if you’re going to be shooting out in rocky terrain. These gloves can be constructed out of many different materials; however, the knuckles are often constructed out of Kevlar or polycarbonate.

Soft Knuckle Tactical

These knuckle protectors are the less intense version of the hard-knuckle above. They provide back of the hand protection while providing more dexterity to the wearer. These are great for anyone looking for bump and bruise protection without the added bulk of hard knuckles. The knuckles on these gloves are generally made of thermoplastic-rubber or high density foam.

Draw Tabs

You should be able to comfortably don and doff your gloves. However, it can get difficult once you’ve got one glove on–especially with thicker cold weather gloves. Finding a pair of gloves that have draw tabs or loops can alleviate this problem. Also, if the tabs are loops, this makes a super handy method of securing your gloves to your gear with a small carabiner. Ryan admits to poking holes in the wrist of his nomex shooting gloves and adding his own loops with paracord for this purpose.

Adjustable Wrists and Top Closing Gloves

Not everybody’s wrist size is the same. And unless you’re willing to pay boatloads of cash for custom designed gloves, you’re stuck with a standard size. However, you can maximize your comfort by finding gloves that are top closing or have adjustable wrist straps or drawstrings. A well fitting glove should fit snugly at the wrist. However, gloves with wrist adjustments take longer to put on and take off.

Touchscreen Capable

In today’s modern era, touchscreens are everywhere. That includes phones, tablets, and cameras. But generally, you’re not going to be able to operate those screens unless you pull off your gloves. However, there are gloves out there that have special filaments sewn into the fingertips that allow you to work your touchscreens while shooting. And while you might not want to answer your phone, you may want to track your shooting data via a tracking tool like MantisX.

On that note, here’s an important tip: if you’re going to shoot with gloves, you MUST practice with gloves!

Stitching Considerations

If you’re looking for a quality pair of gloves that’s built to last, take a look at the stitching patterns used. Are they double stitched? Or single? While lighter weight materials don’t require heavy stitches, you may want to consider it for leather or suede. Also, is the stitching in a bad spot? We hate when the stitching interferes with our feel and control of the trigger.

What glove material is best for you?

When it comes to shooting gloves, there are two different categories of materials: synthetic and natural materials. And each of these styles have their own advantages.

Advantages and Comparison of Natural Materials

  • Often made to a higher standard of quality
  • Can be more dexterous while offering protection as a thinner glove
  • They often last longer .
  • Many times they feel nicer to the touch

Examples of Natural Material: Leather, Suede, Goatskin

There are some pretty big differences between natural materials. For example, if you’re looking for something soft and lightweight, goatskin is the way to go. It’s not as insulating or shock absorbent as other materials, but it does provide the best finger dexterity. However, if you’re looking for something heavy duty and built to last, nothing beats good old-fashioned cow leather. Treated suede on the other hand can provide a bit more insulation for colder temperatures.

Advantages and Comparison of Synthetic Materials

  • Often less expensive
  • Normally they’re lighter-weight
  • Can get advantages of high performance fabrics like quick drying or flame resistance
  • Can provide warmth even when wet (polyfill insulation vs down)

Examples of Synthetic Material: Nomex, Nylon, Poly Blends, Synthetic Leather

Synthetic materials have a really unique advantage when it comes to using high-performance fabrics. For instance, Kevlar is used for many different reasons in shooting gloves–the two most common being for hard-knuckle gloves and cut resistance. Nomex, on the other hand, is great for heat and flame-resistant gloves.

How to Determine What Size Glove to Get

The best way to determine what size glove you need is to try them on. However, you may not always be in the position to do so such as when ordering online. But that’s no problem as long as you know how to measure your hand for a proper fit.

When measuring your hands for gloves, you always want to measure your dominant hand. Your dominant hand is almost always marginally larger than the other. And by measuring the larger hand, you’ll ensure that your gloves aren’t too small.

In order to measure your hand, follow the below steps. This will make sure you get the best size shooting gloves for your hand.

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About Roy Chesson

Roy Chesson is prior Navy with a specialty in international arms dealing for the US government across multiple countries. Having traveled the world and abided by ATF and ITAR, Roy has a unique background in legal as well as practical capabilities of weapons deployment and use.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Great article. I’ve been wanting some gloves but its hard to decide what to get. This went in-depth.

    1. Awesome and glad you enjoyed it! I’ve now got more pairs than I ever wanted…haha. But at least I now know which ones I like best.

  2. Can I find a glove that protects my thumb when loading shotgun shells into a magazine!?

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