Paintball Gloves Buyer's Guide
Paintball can be a physical sport and your hands may take a beating out on the field, so this Paintball Gloves Buyer's Guide will help you find the right pair. No matter if you play speedball or woodsball, your hands are exposed to hazards throughout the day. Your hands will get cut and scratched crawling over rough ground during woodsball, and get full of thorns and splinters that can get infected. Your palms will be covered with rub burns and abrasions from diving on a speedball or artificial turf field. The fingers and the back of the hand are some of the more tender areas to get hit by a paintball, especially by a close range shot. This is why a good pair of paintball gloves is worth every penny while playing!
Paintball gloves serve to purposes. One, they protect your hands while playing. Two, they help maintain a firm grip on your paintball gun. Paintball gloves are typically made with a leather or tough synthetic palm and often have padding and Kevlar/ ballistic nylon reinforcement sewn in to protect the hand in falls, crawls and dives. The backs of the gloves are usually designed with plastic, rubber, sewn padding or compression-formed foam armor sections to act as armor from incoming paintball hits and promote bounce. Rubber patches on the palm and fingers improve the grip on your marker, even if your hands and gun get slippery with paint splatter.
What is the best paintball glove? That depends on your playing style and what you want to get out of your gloves. Different gloves have different degrees of protection, gun handling and trigger control. Some gloves are designed with more protection in mind while others are built lighter for more mobility. The major paintball glove types are discussed below.
Fingerless gloves are a popular option, as they protect the palm of your hands while leaving your fingers free to pull the trigger, press buttons or other manual operations. An inexpensive fingerless glove with plastic armor on the back are incredibly popular with beginner players for their low cost and excellent impact absorption; you can barely feel if you get hit! Other fingerless gloves are built with lighter weight padding on the back to promote more freedom of movement.
Full finger gloves offer the most protection to the hands and fingers. The downside is they can restrict finger movement. Some have full plastic armor on the back of the hand and fingers for the ultimate in coverage, while others are more streamlined for better dexterity. Players often will cut off some or all of the tip for better “feel”.
Two finger gloves have been growing in popularity. Since so many players were cutting off the two trigger fingers, it only made sense to design a glove without them! These are especially popular with players using high rate of fire tournament paintball markers, as the fingers are free to walk the trigger.
The last type of paintball glove is the sleeve type. These gloves evolved from speedballers who wanted to pad the palm and back of the hand and yet have total unrestricted finger movement. The hand slips into it and stays in place by a thumbhole and wrist strap, leaving the fingers completely open.