5 Tips to Glove Sizing for Law Enforcement

How to Fit Law Enforcement Gloves – First Time, Every Time

Gloves come in only 6 sizes, while people’s hands come in an infinite number of shapes and sizes. Glove design works to average finger length and diamter. We can help you get the best fit for the job. Take a look at these 5 tips and get Law Enforcement Gloves that fit.

Glove Size Tip #1: Using this Glove Size Chart, Hand Width vs. Length

Glove Size from Hand Width Measurement:

  • Wrap a tailor’s measuring tape around your dominant hand just below the knuckles, excluding the thumb, and make a fist
  • Your dominant hand is the hand you use to hold a pen
  • If you don’t have a tailor’s soft tape, use a piece of string, make a mark on the string, and measure the string with a ruler
  • This measurement is your “hand width” glove size.

 Glove Sizing Chart

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:

  • Measure from the bottom edge of your palm – use the first crease at your wrist as the starting point
  • Measure to the tip of your middle finger
  • This measurement is your “finger length” glove size

Glove Sizing Chart

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)

What is most important in the Glove Size Chart?

The hand width should be treated as secondary to hand length. The reason that we think that length is more important is that you don’t want to have gloves that are too long. If you have a heavy, muscular hand, using width as the determining factor can push you up a glove size, and the fingers may be too long. So instead, concentrate on using the length data as the primary glove sizing criteria.

For users with heavy, full palms and fingers, keep reading. We have suggestions for fitting your hand type below.

Glove Size Tip #2: Check Your Index Finger Length

Glove Length is based on middle finger length. When we design gloves, we assume that the index finger is the average amount shorter than the middle finger.

Table: 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

This table shows that the AVERAGE difference between your index and middle finger lengths is around 1/4 inch.

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 table shows you that the change in finger length by size is between 1/8 and 5/16 of an inch.

Table: Min-Max Index Finger Length from Biometric Data
  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

The heart of the finger length issue is in this table. The difference between middle finger length and index finger length has a lot of variation. Up to 1/2 an inch for larger hands. For small size hands, if your index finger is shorter than your middle finger by 1/4 of an inch to 5/16 of an inch, go down a size. For larger hands, if your index finger is shorter than your middle finger by 1/2 an inch, consider going down a size.

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

Many glove 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 considering the style of gloves you choose rather than adjusting size based on width. 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 the fingers. Consider gloves that are not all leather.

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 on the thicker range rather than on the thinner side. At TurtleSkin we have developed a whole family of materials that provide needle and cut protection 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.

See the Alpha Gloves at the WebStore
TurtleSkin Bravo Glove Webstore

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

If you select the gloves with the highest level of protection, you are probably not getting the best fitting gloves that are the most comfortable. Obviously you need to select enough cut and puncture protection to keep your hands safe but think about your application. If you are dealing with a high risk traffic stop, you may need the highest level of needle puncture protection. On the other hand if you’re dealing with everyday activities or low risk scenarios, then a moderate needle protection may be enough. Selection of the right level of protection makes gloves easier to fit, less expensive and more comfortable. Many of our customers have a second pair of TurtleSkin Search Gloves for their high risk situations and choose to wear a moderate level of protection such a our Duty Gloves as their all day wear gloves.

Law Enforcement gloves require cut and needle protection

GPD Cops at Nite_64

High search activity requires high cut and needle protection.

Low risk Law Enforcement gloves need moderate needle protection

GPD Cops at Nite_712

Low risk search activities and everyday wear require moderate needle protection.


Did You Know:

  • 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 glove size is not subjective. The Minnesota test for dexterity shows that when glove sizes are right, the speed and accuracy of hand motion is improved.

At TurtleSkin, we have found that:

  • Snug fit around the fingertips is the key to good dexterity
  • Your fingers should fill the glove fingers with no extra material
  • Fingertips should snug on the tips of the glove fingers
  • This simple rule for glove sizes will make your staff happier and more productive at work.
Basic Glove Guide

Download the entire Basic Glove Guide