Gabriel 2.0.3 5-Fingered HEMA Glove
These are the first set of 5-fingered gloves that we have been comfortable using in our school, offering superior protection and dexterity right out of the box compared to similar models. You will be able to use new gripping methods that weren't possible with your old mitten gloves and enter grapples with ease.
Even so, know that being hit on a single finger can be very painful. Currently, no 5-fingered gloves offer the protection that a good mitten glove can provide. The 2.0.3 versions have had improvements made to protect against thrusts getting between the fingers, and have additional padding on the sides of the index and pinky fingers.
For sizing, measure around the palm and the length of the finger, then refer to the sizing listed below:
Medium: Width 20 cm / 7.87 inches, finger length 7.6 cm / 3 inches
Large: Width 22 cm / 8.66 inches, finger length 8 cm / 3.15 inches
X-Large: Width 23 cm / 9 inches, finger length 8.6 cm / 3.39 inches
XX-Large: Width 24.5 cm / 9.64 inches, finger length 9.3 cm / 3.66 inches
So first off these gloves are awesome…for someone half my size. This is mostly my fault for not being more thorough with the sizing chart but I would still expect the mediums to be much bigger than I expected. They only fit the absolute smallest person in my club, and none of us are particularly giant. The producers should strongly consider an extra large size.
It's possible I just got a dud glove, but this is the third piece of HEMA equipment I've gotten (and the most expensive!) that's unusable for women as-is due to measurements being off, pieces too big, and otherwise insufficient testing for smaller sizes. After 1 class of drilling while wearing these gloves, the plates (?) on the right glove had bruised my right hand and scraped skin off. I couldn't spar because of how painful it was to hold the sword at that point. I immediately asked SoCal Swords to reach out to the manufacturer because I wanted to know if I could chop the corners of the plates off, superglue extra foam, use a heat gun, etc. to fix this, but no response for the past two weeks. So, either I got a one-off dud, or women should avoid these gloves, because they weren't sufficiently tested and aren't wearable for even partnerless drills without injury.
"Gabriel 2.0" 5-Fingered HEMA Glove
I purchased these gloves directly from SoCals supplier so this review is about the exact same glove. I am used to the spes heavys, these feel great and the mobility they give you is spectacular! There are some issues with the design such as less defended areas on the index fingers but I heard this will be fixed in version 2.1 and is currently very manageable and worth the tradeoff. While some parts of this glove like the bands holding it together can break easier, they are almost always meant to be self repaired and are very easy to do on the fly. These do hold up fine to hits although if you expect many hand shots stick to a lobster/spes heavy for now, for this reason these may not best for newcomers, especially for longsword. However, they fit in many swords, even rapiers and some smallswords. I have heard people compare these to infinity gauntlets but from my experience these are much more maneuverable. TLDR: these are super maneuverable and protect very well unless you get hit directly on your index finger. Maybe better for more experienced fencers as they are less protective than a spes heavy.
Coming from lobster claw style gloves, the maneuverability that all 5 fingers gives you is night and day in comparison.
That being said: they simply can't protect as well as the lobster claws, so if you're prone to getting hand sniped you'll definitely put these guys to the test.