How To Choose the Right Firefighting Gloves

How To Choose the Right Firefighting Gloves
  • Opening Intro -

    Firefighting PPE must be durable enough to withstand the hot temperatures and rough impact on the scene of a fire.

    Fire helmets, face guards, and gloves are just a few aspects of firefighter uniforms that help keep the first responders safe.


When it comes to gloves, each firefighter should have their own  tactical, rescue, and firefighting pair to use in varying circumstances. Regardless of which glove type an intense scenario demands, the gloves should be robust and reliable.

To find a pair of high-quality firefighter gloves that are long-lasting, you must first understand how to choose the right firefighting gloves.

A Comfortable Fit

It may seem obvious, but each pair of fire service gloves you wear should be the proper size. Varying glove types have different donning and doffing ease, finger length, outer layer material, and thumb design, complicating the seemingly simple idea of the perfect glove size.

  • Loose Fit

    Too often do firefighters opt for gloves that are easier to doff than don. However, loose gloves can be dangerous.

    A loose fit can cause poor grip and, in extreme cases, slip off while tending to hazardous fires.

    It can be tempting to remove loose gloves more often as well, frequently leaving hands exposed to injury.

    Avoid exposure and other incidents due to poor grip by selecting a well-fitting pair of gloves. You want them to be snug, but not uncomfortably tight.

  • Tight Fit

    Alternatively, too tight of gloves can pose issues, too. Small gloves rarely cover wrists, leaving firefighters more susceptible to burns and other wounds.

    Another reason snug gloves increase firefighter vulnerability is because hands are firmly compressed to the thermal materials within the gloves.

    Coming in contact with thermal protection for long durations will be uncomfortable for any firefighter and may result in glove removal, therefore putting them at greater risk of harm.

Agility and Grip

Grip is of the utmost importance when considering how to choose the right firefighting gloves. Proper glove selection requires a breakdown of the two types of grip: palm dexterity and finger dexterity. The two should be prioritized when making any glove investment.

  • Palm Dexterity

    Palm dexterity covers firefighters’ ability to grab ropes, pike poles, and other position essentials. The palm is often difficult to design, as many responders dislike palm folds or bunches when gripping objects.

  • Finger Dexterity

    Finger dexterity refers to the ability to finesse smaller objects when wearing gloves. Feeding rope and operating radios are a couple examples of when firefighters would need finger-dexterous gloves.

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Donning and Doffing

Donning and doffing refer to putting on and removing protective gear, respectively. Firefighter gloves with designs made for easy donning and doffing influence gripping abilities.

Wide palms or hand openings can decrease a firefighter’s ability to grip well. Similarly, soft or fuzzy glove lining is unfavorable because it can cause slippage.

As a good rule of thumb, your hand should not move about within the material. When wearing a loose or poorly lined glove, you’ll be unable to consistently grab fire rescue and tactical equipment, move building rubble, and, overall perform your duties successfully.

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