Best Armored Gloves

Updated May 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

33 Models Considered
20 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
152 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best armored gloves

Your hands are important. Almost everything you do requires using them. And you only get two. When partaking in activities that could endanger your hands, it’s important to protect them. Whether you're playing paintball or riding a motorcycle, a good way to keep your hands safe is by wearing armored gloves.

When shopping for the best armored gloves, it’s important to remember that protection is only one aspect of the ideal pair. You also must make sure the gloves fit properly and allow you to move your hands freely so you can safely accomplish everything you need to do.

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The most common type of injury resulting from a motorcycle accident is abrasion. Armored gloves can protect the hands from this type of injury.

Key considerations

Fit

The most important aspect to keep in mind when purchasing a pair of armored gloves is the fit. You need a good fit because gloves that are too big can fall off (especially if you’re in a motorcycle accident) and then be unable to provide protection. Additionally, wearing gloves that aren’t the proper size for your hand makes it harder to efficiently accomplish whatever it is you’re trying to do.

If you purchase armored gloves that contain leather, they should be a little tight when you first put them on. Over time, the leather will stretch to provide the perfect fit. If the armored gloves you have are so stiff they don’t allow you to hold a paintball gun or firmly grip the handlebars of your motorcycle, they aren’t safe to use. Any other type of fabric should provide a good, snug fit immediately. Ideally, there shouldn’t be any space at the fingertips or between the fingers.

Protection

Armored gloves provide protection for your hands and fingers. Best is full-fingered protection (including the thumb) along with an impact-resistant shell over the knuckles. For motorcyclists, you also want your gloves to have palm sliders to help protect your hands from abrasion injuries.

Dyk1
Did You Know?
While protection is the main purpose of armored gloves, it’s crucial that the gloves be flexible enough to allow the maneuverability you need to safely accomplish all tasks.
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Features

Qualities

Comfort: Besides providing a good fit, you want your armored gloves to be cushioned and allow adequate airflow so your hands don’t get sweaty.

Durability: If your armored gloves are falling apart after a few uses, they won't provide your hands with a great deal of protection. Besides durable fabric with secure armor that doesn't slide around, you want armored gloves that have rugged stitching that won't break under adverse conditions.

Shape: Pre-curved armored gloves are bent in a natural shape that allows you to more easily grasp something like the handlebars of your motorcycle.

Weather-resistance: If you’ll be wearing your armored gloves outdoors, you need them to be weather resistant. If rain or snow gets through the material, your hands won’t be comfortable for long. However, armored gloves are designed to provide protection, not warmth. If you need to keep your hands warm, look for gloves with that feature.

Color: Most armored gloves are available in neutral colors like black, brown, olive green, and camouflage. If you’re looking for a little more flair, you might have to shop around to find a pair of gloves in a different color.

Fastener

You want a pair of armored gloves that have some kind of fastening mechanism at the wrist, whether it’s a drawstring or a hook-and-loop strap. It’s important that your armored gloves don’t come off unintentionally.

Maintenance

When it comes time to clean your armored gloves, the easiest way to do that is to throw them in the washer. However, not all gloves offer that convenience. If you want hassle-free cleaning, look for gloves that are machine washable.

Dyk2
Did You Know?
If you ride in the winter, your armored gloves need to protect your hands from the cold.
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Armored glove prices

Inexpensive: If you’re looking for light-duty protection for a lower-risk activity, you can find a budget pair of armored gloves for around $15, but you won’t want to use these on a motorcycle. At this price, the gloves may feel awkward and limit your mobility.

Mid-range: From $25 to around $35 is the sweet spot for the average user. In this price range, you can find a compromise of protection and flexibility that should be sufficient for a wide variety of activities.

Expensive: To get the most protection as well as comfort and flexibility, you have to spend upwards of $65. Armored gloves suitable for motorcycle riding cost anywhere from $100 to $300.

Dyk3 
Did You Know?
When using armored gloves in warmer weather, sweating can be an issue. It’s important to wear gloves that are breathable.
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Tips

Armored gloves can protect your hands in a wide variety of situations. Wearing armored gloves can be beneficial in the following activities:

  • Paintball: Paintball guns launch spherical gelatin capsules at high velocity. These capsules can sting and even break unprotected skin. Wearing some sort of armored gloves protects your hands.
  • Airsoft: Airsoft guns are much like paintball guns. While getting hit with an airsoft pellet definitely hurts, it stings significantly less than a paintball. To protect your hands while playing, you should wear armored gloves.
  • Combat training: Tactical gloves must provide protection in the field while allowing the wearer complete dexterity to easily grip equipment.
  • Motorcycling: One spill is all it takes to damage your hands. If you’re going to ride a motorcycle on the road or an indoor track, you need armored gloves.
  • BMX cycling: While there isn't quite the same level of danger when riding a bicycle, if you’re racing or are engaged in any activity that puts your hands at risk, it's always a good idea to protect them as best as you can.
  • Working: Depending on the kind of work you’re doing, armored gloves can add a layer of protection. You must be careful in this situation, however, because tasks that require a great deal of dexterity can be more dangerous when wearing gloves. You need to consider the wisdom of wearing gloves on a case-by-case basis.
  • Animal handling: While not as typical, if you regularly work with animals that may bite, wearing a pair of armored gloves can be useful.
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Without armored motorcycle gloves, your hands could potentially be damaged beyond repair with just one mishap.

FAQ

Q. How do armored gloves help when playing paintball or airsoft?

A. The most obvious way armored gloves help is by protecting your hands. Paintballs and the plastic pellets that airsoft guns shoot can sting and even break the skin. Having a pair of armored gloves with full-finger protection can help protect against painful injuries to the knuckles. Additionally, the adrenaline and physical exertion that accompany playing a game may cause a player's hands to sweat, so the right armored gloves can also offer the player a better grip.

Q. Can't I just wear a pair of work gloves to protect my hands when I'm riding a motorcycle?

A. No. The typical work glove may be designed to keep you from getting blisters or protect your hands from punctures or harsh chemicals, but they won't be enough to protect from the extreme abrasion of dragging your palms or knuckles across asphalt at high speeds. Additionally, gloves used for motorcycle riding need to protect the wearer from extreme temperatures and the elements, two tasks that usually fall outside the realm of the standard work glove.

Q. What’s the difference between tested, certified, and CE?

A. Armored gloves labeled “tested” means the manufacturer tested the gloves or material to its own standards. When gloves are labeled “certified,” it means the gloves were tested by a certified testing facility. These gloves may have passed specific tests, but the tests might not have been comprehensive. A CE pair of armored gloves means the gloves were tested by a certified testing facility and met (or exceeded) standards in all areas. In other words, these motorcycle gloves are the best.

Q. Do American motorcycle gloves need to be CE?

A. CE stands for “Conformitè Europëene,” a European standard. While the CE standards have not been officially adopted in America, many organizations use them as a basis for their guidelines. While you might be able to wear non-CE gloves in certain situations, such as riding on the road, if you want to race on an enclosed track, CE gloves may be required.

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