Look, we all love to play a solid game of paintball. When we consider what it takes to play, we generally think of what marker we’ll use, which mask to protect our face, and in which kind of environment we are going to play. What we’ve realized, however, is that without a great pair of paintball gloves – whether these are full finger, half finger, or finger-less gloves, you really are going to take a risk of not protecting your hands- and the hand is a key part of paintball, of course. No one wants to be picking thorns, or broken paintball shells off their hands.
What Are the best Paintball Gloves to buy?
When we’re analyzing these products, we are looking to check the quality as determined by a standard set of criteria. You want a glove that is not only comfortable but also padded enough and in the right ways to allow for maximum protection while not sacrificing the movement or speed of your fingers. You want a glove that you can adjust at the wrist, something with material that breathes, and something that is light. Some prefer full-finger paintball gloves, while others prefer something that has at least a few fingers uncovered. We take all of this into account when doing our analysis.
We realize that when you are playing paintball, you don’t want to wear a glove that is going to impact your performance negatively. In making your choice, some elements will be subjective, but here is some information that will help you make an informed decision.
Our List of the Top Paintball Gloves of 2022
1. HK Army Pro Gloves [ ProPaintball.com pick ]
HK Army has a long history in competitive paintball. In addition to the HK Army being wholly owned and operated by competitive paintball players, many of the top professional and divisional paintball teams are rocking HK gear on the field. Before a product goes to market, HK gear goes through rigorous product testing by pro paintball teams such as Dynasty, among others, to make sure the gear hits the mark. As competitive paintball players ourselves, this speaks volumes when we are looking for new gear.
This particular glove is a partial finger glove and while released in 2014, continues to be a top contender in the glove category [more on this below]. The trigger fingers are cut at the knuckle to remove any potential for slowing you down when you are ripping on your paintball gun. Our experience over the 20+ years in competitive paintball has proven to us that you have to be fast on the gun in order to get your hits and win the point. Half-finger gloves are where it’s at.
The HK Army Pro Glove is protected with form-fitting neoprene, a silicone inlaid palm to enhance grip on your marker, and has strategically placed aero-mesh ventilation to keep you cool. Rounding the glove out is a low-profile Velcro wrist band for retention and easy release. Paintball is an unforgiving game, as we all know, and these gloves are great. This is a wildly popular paintball glove in both recreational and professional paintball and it is not hard to see why. Plus, this brings the best of both worlds together– between finger-less gloves and full fingers.
Super lightweight and impressively durable, these gloves are extremely comfortable on the hand and impressed us in our test fitting on a wide variety of hands when we passed them around on the field. From a new player’s perspective, the half trigger finger element may seem like a negative. It’s understandable that you would want to maximize the protective elements of your gear. That said, it is our recommendation that you sacrifice the trigger finger coverage in order to get the most out of your gun. Some don’t want one or either of those fingers uncovered– in which case, these gloves, which are really great, just may not be for you.
At the time of writing the glove is $34.95 shipped so the price is right. The HK Army Pro Glove is our go-to pick for the best paintball glove.
2. Bunkerking Supreme [ Runner Up for Best Glove ]
For those of you looking for a full-finger glove but open to considering a half-finger glove down the road, the BunkerKing Supreme might be the perfect option for you. This particular glove is clearly marked with a potential cut-away feature– as in, if you prefer all or even just some of your fingers to be in a fingerless glove, then this is perfect for you. For example, some people will just cut off their trigger fingers on the dominant hand while leaving the rest of the fingers fully protected.
BunkerKings is another player-owned and operated company. BK was started by Swedish pro paintball player/brother duo Max & Alex Lundqvuist. They played on several notable teams including Joy Division, New York Extreme, and Ground Zero. Over the seasons they have used some of the best gear available and have put their considerable experience into building player-optimized paintball gear.
We appreciated the considerable thought that went into the design of the BunkerKings Supreme Glove. The palm itself is composed of three different strategically placed materials to create a glove that is both very flexible and reactive to your movements. The fabric has a synthetic inlay that increases grip on the contact areas of the marker along with a strategically placed section of durable “ballistic grade” padding on the outside of the palm. The inside of the palm incorporates double stitching to increase the strength and durability of the glove is a major wear point. 90% of the time this is where we wear out our gloves first, so kudos for building that in. This feature will help increase the lifespan of the HK glove outlined above. Beyond this, they are made from unique fabric which is extra protective, they are easily removable, and they even are built with Smart Touch technology which allows you to use touch screens while wearing the gloves. Beyond all of this, the price is right.
At the end of the day, Bunkerking offers a glove that is super convenient in that you can choose how many fingers you want fully protected, and that even if all of your fingers are covered, the smart touch technology still allows you to use your phone. Not to mention, the appearance is very cool– these gloves are available in various colors and designs, so you can choose to match your gloves with the rest of the year’s gear. Even though they are designed to be removable, however, they can be tough if you are not also in possession of a BK Pull Tab, so try to get your hands on a couple of those.
3. Maddog Tactical
These half-finger gloves are about as good as this style of airsoft gloves gets. They are ideal for paintball, as well as other activities such as airsoft and other military games. But these have a great, high-impact, low-profile tactical shielding. What we really liked is the mesh fabric which keeps things ventilated, and works really well with the sturdy padding on the palm. Plus, there is an elastic strap that keeps the glove fitting tight and firmly fixed on the hand. We love that these gloves are extremely lightweight and they feel very comfy to wear, too. Not t mention, the fabric, and the padding make the glove extremely durable, as the gloves are built with really great materials, too. Unlike a lot of gloves, the elastic strap situation makes the gloves very easily adjustable so that they can fit different situations. And, if you want to do things other than paintball that require gloves, these are still suitable. But, of course, just as there are many people who really like fingerless gloves, there are many who don’t. If you would rather buy a pair of gloves that fully cover, these are unfortunately not for you.
Our goal with this article is to provide a balance of performance and value for the discerning paintball player. With our experience in playing and tracking industry moves for over 20 years, we have reached a point where some gear, in this case, gloves, has reached a pinnacle of sorts. The gloves today are significantly better than they were 20 years ago, but in the last 8 years or so the improvements have been more or less branding and cosmetic related. The HK Pro Glove was a good example of this, being that it was introduced in 2014. As the old saying goes, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
One last thing to keep in mind as you get into glove selection is that these are considered disposable items. When balancing freedom of movement, lightweight materials, and maximizing protection, something has to give. Typically the base of the palm will be the first to wear out as players break their slide on turf or grass field with the palm to slow the slide into the bunker or field position. If we are playing every weekend and hard on our gear, we typically expect to need a new set of gloves about 3/4 of the way through the year.