It’s one of those little oddities that innovation comes from war, throughout history there’s a massive amount of technology of which the roots are firmly embedded in our desire to efficiently destroy our neighbours. Sometimes however, Peaceful endeavours throw something back for the open minded soldier…
Mechanix is one of those brands that’s so well known within the military and law enforcement community (and therefore the Airsoft community) that it’s almost easy to forget that these were designed originally for pit crews in the Daytona 500.
They quickly became popular with shooters who praised the ability of the glove to provide adequate protection whilst having the ability for the wearer to replace 5 lug nuts in under 1.3 seconds… That same combined dexterity and durability is exactly what is needed when shooting, and despite advancements in material technology and far more modern designs, The iconic Mechanix Original gloves remain what is arguably the most prevalent option in shooting activities.
There are multiple options when it comes to Mechanix, from colour and size to the design itself… The M-Pact armoured glove that provides a degree of protection for the wearers knuckles to the thin and comfortable fast-fits, But the best sellers are the Originals… similar but not identical to the 1991 design, they’re popular with tradesmen, shooters and those that simply want a pair of hard wearing gloves for the colder seasons.
I’ve owned a couple of pairs of Mechanix, my first were a pair of originals in black with white branding… Cool if your just looking to “rep” the brand, but for a rural game where stealth is key it probably looked like a pair of jazz hands wandering through the wilderness… Eventually I decided to get rid and buy a pair in a more suitable colour… although a friend is still using them regularly to this day!
I bought these Foliage Green gloves from the guys at Redwolf UK when they still had a walk-in shop whilst on route to a game at Drakelow Tunnels with Infiltration Airsoft a few years ago… Two things that unfortunately no longer exist, Especially as it was pretty much the only mainstream airsoft retailer this side of the country… Drakelow however is alive and kicking, A great place to spend a Sunday in the dark!
The gloves are fully synthetic, the palm being made of a leatherlike material with zero seam extending out the the fingers and thumb. There being a generous cut to ensure that no matter what you hold or how your hand is moved you should find the gloves do not bind or become bunched up.
The thumb is stitched to allow a free range of movement, laterally as well which is vital when doing anything but keeping your hands warm.
The fingertips of your Index, Middle and Ring finger are covered by the same synthetic leather material which as well as being tough and grippy will offer a small amount of protection for those delicate little nails of yours… (Although close range shots to the hand can still hurt like hell)
The little finger doesn’t have the same fingertip design, This appears to aid the little finger retain its range of movement, and prevents the finger being pushed away too far when holding a pistol for instance.
The Index finger is double stitched and is reinforced with the palm material covering the base of the finger, Purposefully to aid the gloves durability long term… A good design feature overall and vital for military or shooting applications where this can be a key point that wears.
The web between thumb and index finger is stitched in such a way that there is no seam between your hand and the object you are holding, Again its par for the course with glove making but a vital one for those who need a tactile feel.
The back of the glove is a two way stretch material which is branded as TrekDry that offers flexibility, breathability and also as you’d deduce from its name, Drys quickly (Unlike the palm material)
So, I’ve owned these gloves for a few years now… I’ve been using the Patrol Incident Gear Alpha Gloves for the last year or so but these always come with me to a game, and I’ll show you why by pulling them inside out…
They refuse to die… I’ve used these when renovating the house, moving around heavy paving slabs, when doing manual stuff at work and whenever I need to work on or service the car, Theres a little wear of the TrekDry stretch but almost nothing on the inside, no threadbare patches and zero threads or seams coming away.
The gloves are supplied with two attachment methods… a loop of cord for attaching to a carabiner or similar and also a small “buttonhole” tab which can be used with a small clip.
To secure the glove, there is a rubberised moulded hoop and loop strap that allows a very snug fit… I’m personally not a massive fan as I don’t think it’s a good idea to add bulk onto the wrist, the elastic design of the Fast Fits are my preferred choice but it’s not a dealbreaker.
The only down side I would say to these gloves is that they don’t quite offer the same dexterity of say the PIG Gloves or the Mechanix Fast-Fits and once they become wet thorugh they can take a while to dry (The synthetic leather is rather absorbant) but as a general all round tactical glove its definitely a worthy benchmark.
Theres a reason why these gloves are trusted by so many, They offer a quality that you rarely see for such an affordable price… They offer a suitable amount of movement and comfort whilst keeping the protection and comfort of the wearer at the forefront. I’ve yet to have a blister from wearing these and despite all the hard work I’ve asked of them they’re on track to outlast a second pair of PIGs.
In terms of available colours you’ve got tan and coyote, black and grey, Multicam and Woodland… The Foliage Green ones are discontinued but theres enough of them still about if your dead set on a pair… and of course theres the original black and white if you want to keep it old school or the tan ones for that SEAL Team Loadout.