Fingerless Gloves

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Ursula Vernon endorses fingerless gloves.
"Everyone was wearing fingerless gloves..."
The Lonely Island, "Boombox"

Basically, a pair of gloves with their fingers cut off at varying lengths. The standard is cutting the glove at the second knuckle, but sometimes the entire finger of the glove is removed. Sometimes called half-gloves.

A character wearing such pair usually indicates:

  • Badassitude, if they're black leather with studs and spikes (Badass Bikers, Ninjas, generic goons);
  • Snobbery, if they're tan leather, black leather without studs or metalwork of any kind, or tan knit backs with leather palms (fingerless driving gloves);
  • Poverty, if they are entirely knit with no leather, especially if ragged—these are referred to as "Bum Gloves" or "Hobo Gloves" in some regions of the U.S.;
  • "Rough-and-ready"ness -- the character is willing to jump straight into the action;
  • That they just look cool.

On a practical note, fingerless gloves combine the full tactile sensitivity of bare fingers with warmth and protection for the rest of the hand. As such they are common in cycling, sailing, and many other activities. Some people find they allow typing while reducing painful symptoms of arthritis, tendinitis and carpal-tunnel syndrome. They are also good for mixed martial arts, giving the knuckle protection that boxing gloves do while still allowing the finger freedom that grappling requires. They've also picked up speed on college campuses, where libraries need to keep their libraries cool for the preservation of books (or possibly it's just difficult to heat a room that big) yet students still need finger dexterity for the sake of typing on computers. Similarly they're rising in popularity for that reason in the rest of the world with the rise of cell phones and touchscreens.

Archers should not use these -- fingerless gloves would do nothing to protect one's draw hand, and the constant pressure of the bowstring cutting into one's fingers will cause damage. See the example on Green Arrow for more details.

Gloves are not common in competition weightlifting and should not be used, as they decrease the stability and security of one's grip and make lifting more difficult.

These gloves are recommended, but not necessary, for firing rifles. They are not, however, recommended for using pistols, although wearing them while using pistols is probably not a problem. Note that the glove is worn on the hand used for steadying the rifle, not the hand used for the trigger.

Examples of Fingerless Gloves include:

Anime and Manga

  • Bleach
    • Rukia can knock the "spirit" out of people with a magical fingerless glove. She later gets the same type that Byakuya wears (see below).
    • Nemu wears gloves that lack fingers and a palm, and don't seem to do anything.
    • Byakuya wears them, and they're expensive.
  • Ookami San: Ryoshi's weapon of choice is a slingshot mounted on one of these.
  • Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop wears them on occasion, as does the first bounty. Leather to represent badass in both cases.
  • Part of the Kogarasumaru team uniform in Air Gear, complete with uncomfortable-looking openings on the palm.
  • Pokémon
    • Ash Ketchum
    • Red, his counterpart in Pokémon Special, also wears them, but his have a story. He took them from Lieutenant Surge after beating him. They're insulated against electricity, and he uses them to handle Electric Pokémon safely. This cost Giovanni a prospective lieutenant.
    • Ruby also wears them, although his don't have a story.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh
    • The duel gloves from Duelist Kingdom don't have fingers.
    • Mai Valentine wears a pair of these with every outfit. In Duelist Kingdom, she wore a dueling glove. In Battle City, she wore a white opera-length pair with a more elegant look. In Waking the Dragons, she wore the short, black leather kind as pair of her Evil Costume Switch.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Kaiser Ryo wears a studded pair when he reaches the Pro League.
  • Saint Seiya
    • Many of the female saints wore fingerless gloves. It gives a slightly creepy effect with those long fingernails.
    • And, generally, every Cloth features them.
  • Madlax wears them all the time.
  • Kazuma from S-Cry-ed has one on his right hand. There are several theories on why he wears it, from hiding a deformity brought on by his alter, to protecting his hand from getting scraped by his metal alter, although most people think he does it because it looks cool.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
    • A common Barrier Jacket accessory. Approximately half the cast sports them, including, but not limited to, post-Season 1 Nanoha, Signum, Hayate, and Subaru.
    • Caro uses a Device that takes the form of a pair of fingerless gloves, with large, crystalline half-orbs on the back of the hand.
  • Domon Kasshu of Mobile Fighter G Gundam.
  • Hikari from Digimon Adventure 02. Pure Rule of Cool, because there's no other possible explanation; she's a sweet girl-next-door type.
  • Gunsmith Cats: Bean Bandit uses a pair of bulletproof gloves like these as his riding gear.
  • Ginji and Juubei from GetBackers.
  • The whole cast of Bakugan.
  • Revy from Black Lagoon wears a pair.
  • Ghost in the Shell
    • Motoko Kusanagi wears them frequently.
  • Worn frequently by members of Section Nine in Ghost in The Shell Stand Alone Complex. In one scene, the major uses a glove with large electrified metal attachments. That's right, a fingerless taser glove.
  • In Kurokami, Kuro wears a pair on her hands and feet.
  • Ling's two guards, Lan Fan/Ran Fan and Fu wear these in Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • Naruto
    • Kakashi has a pair of the black leather variety, with metal plates on the backs.
    • Zabuza also has a pair but his are elbow-length and knitted. They don't detract from his badassitude, though; if anything they actually enhances it.
    • Other wearers of fingerless gloves include Kankuro, Temari, and Sai. The things Killer Bee wears on his upper arm and wrist straddle the line between Fingerless Gloves and Detached Sleeves.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has Chachamaru occasionally wearing them after her Mid-Season Upgrade.
  • Belldandy and Peorth's signature goddess outfit/uniform from the Ah! My Goddess Anime have these. Urd, Belldandy's Cool Big Sis, sometimes wears them as well.
  • Minai from Shikabane Hime .
  • Adam Blade from NEEDLESS sports a pair that have thick cross pattern cut into them. How they retain their perfect shape is a mystery though.
  • Black*Star from Soul Eater. Until he joins Spartoi, then he wears Handwraps of Awesome.
  • Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury.
  • Éclair from Kiddy Grade favours them.
  • Musubi from Sekirei uses them. She fights hand-to-hand.
  • Lavi from D Gray Man wears a pair to wield his hammer.

Comic Books

  • The Punisher wears them.
  • X-Men's Gambit wears gloves that are missing fingers, perhaps as a nod to his past as a thief. Also, his mutant ability to kinetically charge (i.e. blow up) objects depended on him touching the object. If he wore full gloves, he would only be able to blow up his gloves.
  • Most archer superheroes, when they should be using archery gloves [dead link]. For the uninitiated, archery gloves are the exact opposite of these. They cover the tips of the bowstring fingers as far as the second knuckle on the palm side, but leave the rest of the hand exposed. For beginner or casual archers, there is also a tab finger guard as an alternative. That being said most professional archers (recurve, compound use release aids) prefer a finger tab due to the more consistent release of the arrow, a fingerless glove is perfectly good for the bow hand (the one that doesn't hold the string) and in cold weather can be helpful, a fingerless glove may also be combined with a finger-tab if the cut-out is low enough.
  • The second Hawkeye, Kate Bishop of the Young Avengers, wears gloves with only the pinky and ring fingers cut off. Her teammates Wiccan and Hulkling wear more traditional fingerless gloves.
  • In the comics version of W.I.T.C.H., the girls gain stronger versions of their powers in the "New Power" arc, thus, new costumes. All but Cornelia gain fingerless gloves as part of their new costumes (Cornelia has what could be consider normal gloves).
  • In his civilian identity, Rorschach from Watchmen wears the hobo variety of these. Green ones, specifically.
  • Lady Death usually wears black opera-length fingerless gloves, sometimes with the middle finger intact.
  • Flare wears fingerless gloves with her white cape.
  • During his stint as Commander of S.H.I.E.L.D., Steve Rogers wore fingerless gloves, and kicked ass with 'em, of course.

Fan Works

  • Von Remus and Adeodatus from Damnatus wear them as part of their custom uniforms, just in case you were in any doubt about their badassery.
  • Try to find a Wicked Lovely fan image that doesn't make either Seth wear them (as part of his punk/alternative/goth/rebel/something-ness) or Irial (as part of his badass Dark Is Edgy-ness.) Go on, try.
  • The fingerless gloves in Decks Fall Everyone Dies emit holograms.
  • Talies in The Motley Two wears a pair of these, with these characteristic holes in the back. There's actually a point to them: as a Writer-Mage, he's got a special rune etched into his hand which makes him sensitive to the flow of magic, but is also painful to touch.



  • Pratchett's Discworld:
    • Lieutenant Blouse from Monstrous Regiment gets a pair named after him.
    • Albert is described in Mort as "one of those stick-thin, raw-nosed old men who always look as if they are wearing gloves with the fingers cut out even when they're not". In Paul Kidby's illustrations, he frequently is.
    • Also, it is mentioned in Men at Arms that, had Edward De'Ath chosen another path in life, he would have become one of those old men who live in libraries, talk to themselves and wear gloves with the fingers cut off, or something to a similar effect.
  • Bob Crachit wears these in some adaptations of A Christmas Carol as he's working in a cold office, but still needs his fingers free.
  • In The Lonely Winds books, Nails wears fingerless gloves with big silver spikes mounted on them.
  • Fagin from Oliver Twist.
  • It's mentioned in The Krytos Trap that traditional Twi'lek warrior garb includes a bandoleer, leggings, a Loin Cloth, and fingerless gloves. Wedge puts on a modified version when trying to convince them to help.
  • In The Strain, Abraham Setrakian uses them since he escaped a Nazi death camp, where he developed arthritis after The Master breaks his hands, and Setrakian didn't have time to set them because he was busy killing Nazis, vampires, zombies, and Nazi-Vampire-Zombies.
  • In one of her BSC books, Stacey McGill tells the reader that once in NY she got away with wearing fingertip-less red lace gloves for two weeks.
  • In The Hunger Games, Katniss cuts holes in Rue's spare socks to keep her hands warm on her way to the feast.

Live-Action TV

  • Liza in Beakmans World always wore cut-offs. (That would be the assistant they decided not to show in the recent syndicated cycle...)
  • Frohike of The Lone Gunmen.
  • Lister from Red Dwarf wears the black leather variety in Series V, VI and VII.
  • Life On Mars 2006/Ashes to Ashes: Gene Hunt and his fingerless leather driving gloves. He's just that badass.
  • Max from Dark Angel
  • Mitchell from Being Human (UK): wooly ones. In real life, it's because the set of their flat was apparently freezing and Aidan Turner wanted to pile on as many layers as possible. In-universe? While Mitchell's the kind of vampire who can go out in the sunlight he's still sensitive to it, so he covers up as much as he can. Obviously it just became his signature style after a while—there are plenty of scenes where Mitchell is shown wearing his gloves alongside a tight sleeveless shirt (and looking awesome) so it's as much Rule of Cool as anything.
  • Ryu on Choujin Sentai Jetman wheres these often.
  • The First Doctor (as played by Richard Hurndall) wore them throughout the twentieth anniversary Doctor Who story "The Five Doctors"—despite never actually wearing them in the 1960s (as played by William Hartnell). The behind-the-scenes explanation for this was that the First Doctor wore a distinctive jewelled ring and the production team had been unable to locate a suitable prop before filming.
  • Mason from Dead Like Me owns a variety of knit fingerless gloves. The point is apparently to make him look scruffy.
  • In The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cameron finds a way to include these in just about every outfit. This is a nod to the pair worn by the T-800 in the original movie, as noted above.
  • They are almost always worn by Billy and Ricky on Billy the Exterminator.
  • Belker in Hill Street Blues.
  • Connor from Primeval.
  • Colonel Jack O'Neill frequently wears them as part of his uniform in the early seasons of Stargate SG-1.


  • Parodied in The Lonely Island's Boombox. "Wooooow, everyone was wearing fingerless gloves/I saw a Spanish guy doing the Bartman."
  • Michael Jackson circa 1987.
  • Inverted in Lady Gaga's video for "Telephone"—she appears to be wearing the fingers of a glove, but not the glove itself.
  • Inverted even earlier in Rachel Stevens's video for "So Good". They covered her fingers and part of her palm, but didn't reach the wrist. They apparently became a minor meme in the UK.
  • Chrissie Hynde wears them on the cover of the Pretenders' self-titled debut album.
  • Madonna is frequently fond of these.
  • Mandy Rain wore a pink glove for one of her hands when she was a member of the School Gyrls.
  • Same thing with Lian Ross in her video for "Fantasy", except that she wears a light green glove for her other hand.
  • Ivana Spagna had a pair of these in her "I Wanna Be Your Wife" video.

Professional Wrestling

  • The Undertaker wears gloves like these in WWE. The word "primetime" can be seen on each of them (a brand of MMA gloves).

Puppet Shows

Tabletop Games

  • The Draconomicon supplement to the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons states that dragon's gloves don't have fingers to allow for their claws.
  • A lot of Ork models from Warhammer 40,000 appear to wear black leather mittens.

Video Games

  • Mega Man:
    • Both Mag and Chain in Evolution Worlds.
    • Geo Stelar and Sonia Strumm from Mega Man Star Force.
    • Also Vent, Aile, Grey and Ashe from Mega Man ZX.
    • Invoked with Zero in his Mega Man Zero form. He's a robot, but his hands are black with white fingers. Might actually be gloves of a sort, as most Reploids usually have fabric over their joints to keep out dirt.
    • Neige also has these in Zero 4.
  • Devil May Cry
    • In the fourth game, Dante sports a pair of gloves missing just the index finger and thumb. In the third he has normal fingerless gloves, and normal gloves in the first.
    • Not to mention Dante's brother Vergil.
  • The assassins in Assassin's Creed wear fingerless gloves over slightly fingerless hands.
  • In Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny, Fee wears fingerless gloves.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, one sidequest is to obtain some fingerless gloves.
  • They appear a lot in S.T.A.L.K.E.R..
  • Faith from Mirrors Edge wears a glove like that on her right hand. Justified, since she needs all the agility she can muster (yes, that includes fingers) but also needs a way to protect her palms e.g. during long rope slides (do not try that trick at home without gloves).
  • Wario in Wario Ware.
  • Orphen from Orphen Scion of Sorcery wears them. (Zap. [dead link])
  • Tomb Raider: Lara Croft frequently wears these.
  • Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty wears a pair when he is pretending to be a Seal Team 10 member.
  • Kingdom Hearts
    • Sora wears these. Given Nomura's typical character designs, this is probably due to the Rule of Cool more than anything (especially since none of the above equal puppyishness). Sora's gloves are also a cooler alternative to Mickey's White Gloves, as his original outfit was a Shout-Out to Mickey's iconic outfit.
    • Given the kind of work Sora does and the extreme dexterity he uses in fights, wearing nothing or anything else on his hands would be downright illogical.
    • Aqua wears these as well, and Terra wears one on his left hand as a part of his gauntlet.
  • Tales (series)
    • Yuri Lowell from Tales of Vesperia has one on his right hand. Possibly practical. His later ones have nasty-looking spikes on them, and several of his moves involve punching an enemy.
    • Senel Coolige from Tales of Legendia also sports a pair.
    • Most of the party in Tales of Phantasia wear them.
    • Luke, Van and Legretta from Tales of the Abyss wears them.
  • The disk-shooter glove used by Jade in Beyond Good and Evil is designed like this.
  • A few characters from Variable Geo, not only do they wear fingerless gloves, but also toeless/heeless boots as well.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: Niko wears them in screenshots and on the CD itself, but you cannot find them anywhere in the game. Hilariously, this was one of the most common fan complaints about the game, and they've since become a Running Gag on sites like GTA Forums. The fingerless gloves ARE in the games' code—with a little tweaking, one can get the fingerless gloves on the PC.
  • Fingerless gloves are one of many costume options in City of Heroes. Just about every NPC who doesn't have full gloves or gauntlets has fingerless gloves. Street punks, mutants, hardened mercenaries, evil magic clowns—Paragon City apparently has a strict "no bare hands" dress code.
  • They're also an option in Rock Band. This makes some sense, as playing a guitar while wearing gloves over the fingers somewhat kills the sound quality.
  • Team Fortress 2
    • The Heavy Weapons Guy.
    • The Sniper as well, but only on his left hand. Curiously, his viewmodels show them on both hands.
  • Practically every other character in the Resident Evil series.
  • Half-Life
    • Adrian Shepard of Half-Life: Opposing Force wears as such. With a gasmask. Of course, we're not going into the hows and whys.
    • The resistance members in Half-Life 2 wear them as well, as does Alyx.
  • Haken Browning from Endless Frontier has these. Ironically, despite him being a badass, he gets MOCKED for these, albeit by a Bratty Half-Pint villain.
  • Crash Bandicoot always wears these.
  • So do Jak and Daxter.
  • Several characters from the Final Fantasy series:
  • Ike and Zihark from Fire Emblem.
  • Many characters in Fighting Games. Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter are some of the most prominent.
  • Artyom, the player character of Metro 2033, starts off wearing a pair of fingerless knit gloves. The stealth suit upgrade gives you a set of (full-finger) black leather gloves, while the heavy armor suit upgrade gives you a pair of fingerless, olive green combat gloves.
  • Nowe from Drakengard 2 wears them.
  • Matt Engarde from Ace Attorney: Justice For All.
  • Adult Link from The Legend of Zelda wears these.
  • Blackwatch soldiers in Prototype wear them... oddly enough, considering that they're a biohazard unit.
  • Scary Black Man James Heller wears these in Prototype 2.
  • Wolf O'Donnell for his outfit in Super Smash Bros.. Brawl.
  • Fingerless baseball gloves are an option at the clothing shop you visit as part of the prologue of Saints Row 2. You can also choose to wear them on just one hand.
  • Brink has a huge number of possible outfits you can give your character, but you can't not wear fingerless gloves.
  • Duke Nukem Forever gives Duke fingerless gloves.
  • The Orbital Drop Shock Troopers in Halo 3: ODST wear these. Interestingly, ODST suits are intended to be sealed to allow the wearer to survive exposure to vaccum. Presumably the undersuit tightens against the body to keep pressure on the wearer, and exposed fingers are considered a minor trade off to allow for digital dexterity.
  • Cole McGrath from In Famous. His best friend, Zeke Dunbar, wears this in the sequel. Justified in that are or at least were bike couriers (yes, Zeke too). Ipso facto cycling gloves.
  • In Lightning Legend Daigo no Daibouken, both Badass Bishounen Terrific Forelock, and Cute Bruiser Mayu Uzaka, wear these.
  • Ari in Okage: Shadow King wears these.
  • Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, sometimes.
  • Kate in Syberia 2 gets one with her warm outfit before setting off to her journey.

Visual Novel

  • Kishima Kouma in Kagetsu Tohya. He's the guy who killed Shiki's father when the Tohno family attacked. He's described as the perfect blend of demon and human blood. Since he's so badass, despite having inverted he remains rather rational.

Web Animation

Web Comics

Web Original

  • Penny in Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog has a pair of the knit variety, presumably to emphasize her link to the homeless population.
  • SCP Foundation: Without a doubt one of the stranger examples, SCP-494. Holding a different object in each hand causes the matter composing each to reverse. For example, when a mouse was held in one hand and a penny in the other, the mouse turned into a little copper figurine of a mouse, while the penny turned into a tiny, furry, living disc, which, according to the article responded to light and pain.
  • Lancer of the Whateley Universe tried a superhero costume with fingerless gloves, camo pants, and other "urban badass" motifs. Since he can hit with five tons of force, the gloves are not exactly needed.
  • The few descriptions of Eric in Mall Fight (Mall Fight not being a visual medium) have him wearing these.

Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Sokka wears fingerless gloves for practical reasons, mostly so he can catch his boomerang without cutting his hand while still having the dexterity to use it. He's also just cool like that.
    • Mai also wears some badass fingerless gloves.
    • And so does Katara in Season 3.
    • The Legend of Korra: Pro-bending armor and Mako's normal outfit both include fingerless gloves.
  • Code Lyoko
    • Ulrich has this as part of his Lyoko outfit from the start.
    • So do Yumi, Aelita and William with their new avatars in Season 4.
  • Speedy gets to wear these in Teen Titans. Partially to serve as an arm protector (he is an archer after all) and partially because they look cool.
  • Cybersix wears these.
  • Several characters in the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series wear these, most notably Casey Jones in his movie-inspired Back to the Sewer look.
  • Beetlejuice: Long fingerless black gloves lend Goth gal Lydia Deetz a touch of class.
  • Evangelyne from Wakfu, another archer, also wears long fingerless black gloves as part of her season 2 outfit.
  • Peep on Jimmy Two-Shoes.
  • The Swat Kats wear them.
  • Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?: the 1990's Carmen Sandiego had her mooks wearing gloves that were missing the index fingers and pinkies... also flared sleeves, driving caps and goggles, but somebody somewhere seems to think they looked cool.

Real Life

  • There's actually a word for it in France: "mitaines". However it's rather a feminine accessory and an old-fashioned type of glove, though it's beginning to come back into fashion. It's stereotypically the kind of wool-based clothes grandmothers knit for their grandchildren. Badass enough for you?
  • Unlike many real life examples, sailors often wear them, but not for the warmth. Rather it's to prevent rope burn while retaining the ability to tie knots.
  • The knitted variant are extremely useful for people who like to draw and write outside, because they keep the hands warm while allowing the fingers freedom of moving.
  • Fingerless gloves apparently made with a fair amount of either Lycra or Spandex are generally available among needlework supplies, and do offer good hand/wrist support when doing delicate work for an extended period.
  • If a guitarist is playing outdoors (at a music festival for example), fingerless gloves are practical ways to keep one's hands warm while still retaining the ability to play as the cloth would get caught on the strings if they were to wear regular gloves.
  • Many gloves used for shooting (guns, not bows) will have at least 1 finger cut out.
    • Particularly common for gunners aboard bombers in World War II. They were fighting at altitudes of 20,000 or 30,000 feet up, so it was punishingly windy and cold, and the machine guns were not designed with the thick gloves in mind, so they'd cut off the index finger so they could work the trigger.
  • In marching bands, clarinets will often be played with fingerless gloves, if gloves are worn at all, because of the mechanics of the instrument needing bare fingers, unlike most other woodwinds.
    • So do flutes/piccolos. It's easier to play sans gloves. And hey, flutes and clarinets can be pretty badass. Maybe.
    • Some brass players cut off the finger tips of gloves on their right hand so they don't slip off the valves while playing.
  • While the coolness of fingerless gloves in generally played straight in fiction, Japan also considers them uncool in real life because they are a stereotypical mainstay of Otaku fashion...and said otaku probably wear them because of said fiction.
  • Studded leather fingerless gloves are also very popular with the metalhead community; often worn with studded wristbands and other spiky clothing.
  • In medicine, latex or nitrile gloves are worn as protection from bodily fluids, but some doctors, nurses, and other personnel engaged in phlebotomy will rip off the index finger of the gloves in order to palpate suitable veins to start IVs.
  • Open-fingered gloves are standard in Mixed Martial Arts; they protect the fists and prevent head cuts from strikes, while leaving the fingers free for gripping.
  • Rifle and sabre spinners in color/winterguard often wear these on one (usually the right) or both hands to reduce the pain of catching their weapons.
  • Savvier roller coaster operators are occasionally seen with biking gloves, as they reduce the chances of injuring one's hands while checking restraints.
  • Fingerless gloves with padded palms are popular with bodybuilders, because heavy weights can press uncomfortably against the bones in your hands.
  • Professional pencil artists often usually modified archivist's gloves - thin cotton gloves with the tips of the thumb, fore and middle finger cut off, the rest intact. This allows tactile sensitivity for holding a pencil or pen while preventing skin oil from getting into the paper and making the smudges impossible to erase.