5 Tips to Get Gloves to Fit

Why is it so hard to get gloves to fit?

Gloves come in only 6 sizes while people’s hands come in an infinite number of shapes and configurations. We can help you get the best fit for the job. Take a look at these 5 tips and get your work gloves to fit well, the first time.

Glove Size Tip #1

Use a glove sizing chart, such as one of the two listed below. Using either the width or length of your hand you can easily determine the correct size for your hand.

Glove Size from Hand Width Measurement:

  1. Wrap a tailor’s measuring tape around your dominant hand just below the knuckles, excluding your thumb, and make a fist
    1. Your dominant hand is the hand you use to hold a pen.
  2. If you don’t have a tailor’s soft tape, wrap a piece of string around your hand the same way as above, make a mark, and measure the length of the string with a ruler.
  3. This measure ment is your “hand width” glove size

Glove Size Width
Use a tailor’s measuring tape or a piece of string and a ruler to find the width of your hand.

Glove Size US and (EN420)
6-7 Inches XS (6)
7-8 Inches S (7)
8-9 Inches M (8)
9-10 Inches L (9)
10-11 Inches XL (10)
11 + Inches XXL (10)

Glove Size from Finger Length Measurement:

  1. Measure from the bottom edge of your palm – use the first crease at your wrist as the starting point
  2. Measure to the tip of your middle finger
  3. This measurement is your “finger length” glove size.
Glove Size US and (EN420)
6 5/16 Inches XS (6)
6 3/4 Inches S (7)
7 3/16 Inches M (8)
7 9/16 Inches L (9)
8 1/16 Inches XL (10)
8 7/16 + Inches XXL (10)

Glove Size Length
Measure from the bottom of your palm to the tip of your middle finger to find the length of your hand.


What’s Most Important in the Glove Size Chart

Concentrate on the length data as the primary glove sizing over width. Hand length is more important because you don’t want glove fingers that are too long. If you have a heavy, muscular hand, using width can push you up a size, and the fingers may be too long, causing a loss in dexterity.

Glove Size Tip #2: Check Your Index Finger Length

Glove length is based on middle finger length. Glove manufacturers assume that the index finger is an average amount shorter than the middle finger, and produce gloves that match this assumption. However, the difference between middle finger length and index finger length has a lot of variation, so how do you find gloves that fit all of your fingers comfortably?

Biometric Data on Index To Middle Finger Length Differences
  Index Finger Length (Inches) Middle Finger Length (Inches) Difference (Inches)
X Small 2.56 2.76 0.20
Small 2.68 2.91 0.24
Medium 2.87 3.07 0.20
Large 2.99 3.27 0.28
X Large 3.15 3.43 0.28
XX Large 3.43 3.70 0.28

The table above shows the average differences in the lengths of middle and index fingers. According to data, the average difference is about 1/4 of an inch.

Now, take a look at the charge below:

Middle Finger Length Difference by Glove Size
  Middle Finger Length (Inches) Change by Glove Size (Inches)
X Small 2.76  
Small 2.91 0.16
Medium 3.07 0.16
Large 3.27 0.20
X Large 3.15 0.16
XX Large 3.43 0.28

This chart shows how the length of me middle finger can change from glove size to glove size. In fact, the change in finger length can range from 1/8 of an inch to 5/16 of an inch.

Biometric Data on Min-Max Finger Length
  Index Finger Length (Inches) Variability of Finger Length (97% of the Population)
X Small 2.56 +/- 0.31
Small 2.68 +/- 0.24
Medium 2.87 +/- 0.31
Large 2.99 +/- 0.31
X Large 3.15 +/- 0.31
XX Large 3.43 +/- 0.55

This chart is the heart of the matter. As you can see, there is a lot of variation between the lengths of the index finger, over a half an inch in the largest sizes. For small hand sizes, if your index finger is shorter than your middle finger by 1/4 of an inch to 5/16 of an inch, we recommend going down one size. And with larger hands, go down a size if your index finger is shorter than your middle finger by 1/2 an inch.

Glove Size Tip #3: Heavy Hands – Issues with Large Diameter Fingers

Many users have heavy muscular palms and fingers. For these customers they might be tempted to choose a larger size as suggested by their hand width measurement and the glove sizing chart. We suggest that they consider the style of the gloves that they use. The way that a glove design can stay snug on a range of hand types is STRETCH. The more stretch in the glove material the better the glove will accommodate large diameter muscular fingers. Glove leather is not the highest stretch material used in gloves. Knit textile has higher stretch than leather.

So for users with heavy muscular fingers we suggest that you opt for glove types that have stretch knit on the backs and sides of fingers. Consider gloves that are not all leather. A really good option is a seamless knit glove.

Glove Size Tip #4: Keep it Thin

Tips #4 and #5 are related. Many customers ask us for gloves with the highest protection possible. This leads to gloves that are thicker than they might need to be. At TurtleSkin we have developed a whole family of materials that provide cut level 5 and are very thin. If you want your gloves to fit and be comfortable don’t opt for really thick level 5 cut gloves. A glove that is 1-2mm should be enough for cut level 5. You don’t need 3 or 4mm of thickness to achieve this level of protection.

Keep your gloves as thin as possible and they will fit better and be easier to use.

Glove Size Tip #5: Specify the Protection that You Need

If you select the gloves with the highest level of protection, you’re probably not getting the best fitting, most comfortable gloves. You need to select enough cut and puncture protection to keep your hands safe, and still allow you to move and perform your task effectively.

Think about your application. If you’re dealing with knife blades and sharp metal on a regular basis, then a glove with Cut 5 level protection is necessary. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with machine parts with the occasional burrs, having a Cut 3 or 4 level protective glove may be enough.

It’s the same story with puncture. If you’re faced with needles, glass shards or other sharps, you’ll need 700-800 grams of puncture protection. Wood splinters on the other hand may only require 200-400 grams of puncture protection, and may well be enough for your situation.

Utility Knife
Utility Knives require high cut and puncture resistance.

Wood Splinter
Wood Splinters require moderate puncture resistance.


Selection of the right level of protection makes gloves easier to fit, less expensive to purchase/replace, and more comfortable for users.

Did You Know:

For Safety Gloves, good sizing can make your staff more productive? If the glove fits, they’ll wear it.
For Law Enforcement Gloves, good sizing makes all the difference in marksmanship and safety.

The Right Size Glove Is Not Subjective. The Minnesota test for dexterity shows that when the gloves is the right size, the speed and accuracy of hand motion is improved.

At TurtleSkin, We Have Found That:

    1. Snug fit around the finger tips is the key to good dexterity
    2. Your fingers should fill the glove fingers with no extra material
    3. Finger tips should be snug in the tips of the glove fingers
    4. This simple rule for glove sizes will will your staff happier and more productive at work