5 Best Shooting Gloves [2018 Hands-On Test]

Still looking for the perfect holiday gift? Check out our Best Gifts for Gun Lovers [All Budgets]!

Need some protection for your hands from weekend shooting to busting down doors?

We bought a bunch of the most popular tactical shooting gloves out there and tested them with competitions, range trips, and even a house move or two.

All Tested Tactical Shooting Gloves
All Tested Tactical Shooting Gloves

While emphasis will be on what’s important to civilian shooters (price, fit, touch-screen capability, durability etc.), we also cover some tactical aspects as well.  Plus…my wife’s favorite gloves for women.

No Glove No Love

Why gloves?  Let me list a couple of reasons:

  • Things get HOT: Guns themselves in hot weather, barrels when you shoot a lot, and suppressors
  • Things get COLD: Sometimes you’re shooting cold weather and you would prefer to feel your fingers
  • Prevent hand damage: Cuts and scrapes might be meh for most shooters, but they still suck and if you’re out in the field…infections can become killer.

Fit

The most important thing to me…if you have the best glove out there and it fits like a grocery bag or a kid’s mitten…it’s not going to work out.

Here’s measurements of my hand so you can compare when I go over the sizing.  Overall I have skinny wrists, not that much of a palm swell, and long fingers.

My Glove Sizing
My Glove Sizing

Now let’s get to it…

5 Best Shooting Gloves

1. Mechanix Fastfit Gloves

I’ve had a couple Mechanix original gloves for shop work but the few times I took them to the range I felt their fingers were a little too bulky for some firearm tasks.

Enter…their newish Fastfit Gloves.

Mechanix Fastfit Gloves
Mechanix Fastfit Gloves

I wore mediums and using their sizing chart I re-confirmed I was indeed medium.

Mechanix Size Chart
Mechanix Size Chart

Here’s some other useful stats:

  • $14
  • Synthetic leather and spandex
  • Touch-screen enabled
  • Fast-drying
  • Elastic cuff

For me they didn’t fit quite right because of my palm size.  You can see there’s a lot of gap in there.

Mechanix Fastfit Gloves, Palm
Mechanix Fastfit Gloves, Palm

And the cut between the index finger and thumb is a little restricting for handgun shooting.  Rifles are fine.

Also very thin so great for dexterity but not very warm or heat resistant if that’s your thing.

Mechanix Fastfit Gloves, Fit
Mechanix Fastfit Gloves, Fit

But for $14 and pretty good durability from what I’ve seen from friends…you can’t go wrong for a first pair of shooting gloves.  Especially if you have slightly meatier hands.

Mechanix Fastfit Gloves

Mechanix Fastfit Gloves

Prices accurate at time of writing

2. Magpul Technical Gloves

My main recommendation for affordable shooting gloves are Magpul Technical Gloves.

Magpul Technical Gloves
Magpul Technical Gloves

I went with medium and they fit a lot more snugly one me…especially at the cuff.  The Mechanix ones were just too loose and flared for my tastes.  However…with the smaller cuff you’re going to have a lot harder time taking these off.

Some stats:

  • $20
  • Synthetic suede palm
  • Elastic wrist closure
  • Touch-screen enabled
Magpul Technical Gloves, Palm
Magpul Technical Gloves, Palm

You can see it fits a lot better and the cut of the thumb and index finger is much more conducive for shooting.  There’s also extra material on three fingers that enables touch-screen access.

At first I thought it would disrupt precision shooting but it’s at the tip of the finger enough that I had no problems.

Magpul Technical Gloves, Fit
Magpul Technical Gloves, Fit

Thicker material than the Mechanix and what I think is a good Goldilocks zone of dexterity and protection.  Also some terrycloth material on the back of the thumb for sniffles or cleaning optics.  Awesome for $20.

Best Bang-for-the-Buck Shooting Glove
Magpul Technical Gloves

Magpul Technical Gloves

3. SKD Tactical PIG FDT Delta Gloves

SKD FDT Delta Gloves
SKD FDT Delta Gloves

The FDT stands for full dexterity tactical and they live up to their name.  The Delta Glove version is the thinnest version.

Simpsons Nothing At All
Simpsons Nothing At All

If you want full dexterity at the expense of some protection…these are the best on the market.

I’m a large for SKD gloves and I fit very snugly even though I sized up.

SKD Glove Sizing
SKD Glove Sizing

No complaints in the finger or palm swell area.

SKD FDT Delta Gloves, Palm
SKD FDT Delta Gloves, Palm

But note that the words “PIG” are rubberized textures that work well but will eventually fall off.  However the tips of the gloves are still touch-screen enabled.

*Update* Current versions now have reverse printing on the palms so they will stay on a lot longer.

Some more stats:

  • $30
  • Single layer palm
  • Elastic cuff
  • Touch-screen enabled index/thumb
SKD FDT Delta Gloves, Fit
SKD FDT Delta Gloves, Fit

They look great too and you can see how thin they are even in the back.  If you need knuckle protection look elsewhere.  The design is cool but I have a feeling it’s going to start peeling when I wear it more.

A little more at $30 but currently my favorite when dexterity is the primary focus.

Most Dexterous Glove
SKD PIG FDT Delta Gloves

SKD PIG FDT Delta Gloves

Prices accurate at time of writing

4. SKD Tactical PIG FDT Alpha Gloves

My current favorite shooting glove…the Alpha version of the PIG FDTs.

SKD FDT Alpha, Gloves
SKD FDT Alpha, Gloves

The thicker OG version…I think this glove checks all the boxes.  Still super dexterous while having some additional protection…all the while fitting like…a glove.

SKD Glove Sizing
SKD Glove Sizing

I went with large on this like the Delta version.

SKD FDT Alpha Gloves, Palm
SKD FDT Alpha Gloves, Palm

I’ve used these gloves the most and they shoot pistols, ARs, reload magazines, and move couches perfectly.  A little slower to dry since it’s thicker and has some synthetic suede.

Some stats:

  • Touch-screen enabled index/thumb
  • Isolated trigger finger material
  • Dual-joint trigger finger

You can see a lot of it is giving dexterity for the trigger finger and it shows in those knuckle breaks.  It’s almost the same as the Delta but with more warmth and protection.  Plus I like having the ability to tighten the wrist strap.

SKD FDT Alpha Gloves
SKD FDT Alpha Gloves

Lastly, it has a nice soft material behind the thumb…again great for your nose or cleaning lenses.

The most expensive on the list but if you shoot a lot or value protection/dexterity…I highly recommend the Alpha gloves.

Side-note: I had a defect with my Alphas where the ring finger on one hand was twisted so a seam was on my finger pad.  Not a deal breaker but annoying.  I emailed SKD and they took care of the problem in less than an hour and two emails.

Editor's Choice Shooting Glove
SKD PIG FDT Alpha Gloves

SKD PIG FDT Alpha Gloves

Prices accurate at time of writing

What do you think?

Readers' Ratings

5/5 (128)

Your Rating?

5. SKD Tactical PIG FDT Charlie Gloves (Women)

The womens’ version of my favorite gloves…SKD’s PIG FDT Charlie.

SKD sent these to me for testing after my original article.  My wife has small hands but relatively fat fingers (her words).

SKD FDT Charlie Gloves vs Hand
SKD FDT Charlie Gloves vs Hand

Her measurements pointed her towards the Small size but it felt very snug against her fingers.  It wasn’t so tight to be constricting but it should loosen as she wears them more.

SKD FDT Charlie Gloves
SKD FDT Charlie Gloves

Same great feel and ability to move her trigger finger.  Plus she made sure it still worked on smart phones.

Our current best pick for women’s gloves.

Best Women's Gloves
SKD PIG FDT Charlie Gloves

SKD PIG FDT Charlie Gloves

Prices accurate at time of writing

Honorable Mentions

There’s a lot of tactical shooting gloves out there…and I couldn’t buy & test them all.  But here are some of my honorable mentions that I’ve used or know are popular.

  • Outdoor Research Ironsight ($45): I’ve worn through these gloves for hiking and they have a bit more protection than the SKD gloves.  Also has grip attachments that eventually wear off.  Haven’t had the chance to shoot with them but they were great for hiking.
OR Ironsight Gloves
OR Ironsight Gloves
Magpul Breach Gloves
Magpul Breach Gloves
OR Suppressor Gloves
OR Suppressor Gloves

Conclusion

After a good amount of testing…here are my final recommendations.

For the best overall glove…

Editor's Choice Shooting Glove
SKD PIG FDT Alpha Gloves

SKD PIG FDT Alpha Gloves

Prices accurate at time of writing

If you want the glove with the most dexterity:

Most Dexterous Shooting Glove
SKD PIG FDT Delta Gloves

SKD PIG FDT Delta Gloves

Prices accurate at time of writing

And if you want the most affordable but still very capable:

Best Bang-for-the-Buck Shooting Glove
Magpul Technical Gloves

Magpul Technical Gloves

How’d I do…any I miss that I should test out next?  Let me know if the comments below.  And be sure to see more of our favorite gear in Editor’s Picks.

9
Leave a Reply

avatar
6 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
JojoPabloDDavidJeffJohnny Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Jojo
Guest
Jojo

Thanks for the women’s gloves recommendation!

PabloD
Guest
PabloD

Interesting no oakley’s on the list

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Brownell’s has their “Magpul” series of gloves on sale! Just checked today 4/16.

David, PPT Editor
Admin

Thanks for that! I’ll add it to our deals section today!

Johnny
Guest
Johnny

A plethora of gloves from Golf shops and Motorcycle shops and Baseball Sports also!

JAM
Guest
JAM

I have the PIG Alphas and they are indeed pretty slick. Very comfy – the creases over the knuckles make the gloves are brilliant. I often wear these just to keep my hands warm. Keep in mind they are designed to trade durability for agility, meaning the price you pay for the tactile feel is that they won’t last as long, but so far I’ve definitely got my money’s worth.

Have had them for 2 years, not hard use though. They’re a little frayed here and there, but still holding up.