Usage time: 6 months
Glove History: Mission Fuel, MF2 4 Rolls, Warrior Retro Remix Prototypes, Reebok Sty2, Sherwood N10, Verbero Dextra Pro, Warrior DT1, CCM CL55, Reebok 11K, CCM QLT
Initial Thoughts: I’ve heard a lot of hype for Warrior gloves, specifically the Franchise ones but figured these would be good to try. I also wanted to try another tight fitting glove since the palms in the Sherwood N10 gave me issues and I couldn’t get a good judgement on them. I honestly did not like the colourway but I did like the blue liner and think this is an area Warrior does really well. Just by seeing the liner of a pair of gloves you can tell what brand they are. I am not a fan of the material Warrior uses for the center part of these gloves (called Covert Mesh). I prefer the look of the standard Tufftek but the Covert Mesh has held up fine but I am not a fan of how it is almost see-thru.
Fit: The right glove is labelled as a 14 inch glove, and the left is labelled as a 15 inch glove. But they are both 14 inches (I compared them to other retail Warrior 14 inch Coverts). With that said these are the first actual pair of 14 inch gloves that I can actually wear comfortably (I normally wear 15 inch). While I could feel my fingers at the seams of the finger stalls it was never an issue in comfort like it was on my CCM CL55. I feel these fit large for 14 inch gloves but they were comfortable during my use and didn’t simply slide off my hands. They fit snug like a tapered fit but are not the tightest fitting glove I have worn (CL55, QLT and Ultra Tacks are all tighter). The one place I have a bit of an issue with is the thumb. The finger stalls feel long enough but the thumb stall does not and whenever I move my thumb I can feel it right against the end of the stall. While this means I should be in a 15 inch glove I find the finger stalls and the thumb stall doesn’t exactly line up in terms of length (at least not for me). 8/10
Comfort: Every time I try on a new pair of gloves the first thing I notice is the comfort of them. With gloves retailing at around $200 for the top end models I expect my hands to feel like they in a pocket of comfort. I feel like Warrior does a poor job in this initial comfort feeling. In my opinion these gloves do not feel close in comfort to the offerings of CCM and Bauer. It isn’t like the Warrior is made up of horrible materials that scratch and itch you, but the palm isn’t the softest and is one of my least favourite thing about these gloves. The fingers are comfortable but again are nothing compared to the high end gloves from CCM and Bauer. From the use that these have the palm material on the thumb is already rough to the touch yet there is no wear on the outside of it. These aren’t uncomfortable gloves but compared to Warrior Pro stock gloves I have tried and the top end competitor offerings I feel these don’t quite match up. 7/10
Weight: These gloves come in at a respectable 318 grams (right glove) and 325 (left). For comparison the CCM QLT are 290 grams. You certainly do not notice that these gloves are heavy and to be honest you don’t really notice they are light either. The weight doesn’t hinder anything at all and for the protection they offer they feel well balanced while weighing down your hands. 9/10
Mobility: To be completely honest these gloves aren’t fully broken in yet. I am sure they would loosen up some more with use. The mobility of these gloves isn’t really noticeable out of the box like the QLT and Verbero gloves were. They also don’t feel like they really hinder movement until you start flexing the glove in unnatural ways. There is no flex thumb on these but that has since been added on the new Warrior models. I also never really had issue with gloves without the flex thumb. 8/10
Break-in: While these were never my primary gloves they really never broke in since I have gotten them. That is good in the sense that they never felt stiff, but at the same time it is nice going to a glove that feels more mobile out of the box. But I really don’t have complaints about these. 8.5/10
Protection: Protection of these gloves are pretty good with most of the base glove being really good. After doing my slashing test with a ministick (see the video) I noticed a few areas of improvement. The fingers, backhand, inside index finger and thumb all do really well to protect your hands. The backhand and thumb is one of the best and most protective on a pair gloves that I have worn. The fingers do a good job but you can feel a little bit, by no means is this area bad in protection it just isn’t quite as good as the backhand and thumb. The inside index finger is really good and the design on Warrior gloves here is vastly different than other brands. Instead of having a small piece of foam and plastic protecting the inside of your finger Warrior raises the foam and plastic here to be higher up to be almost another line of finger protection. While I personally think this looks odd and unattractive it does a great job in protection on the side of your fingers. While I like the idea of a foam cuff for added mobility and flexibility I could definitely feel the impacts on the cuff here more than I’d prefer. I believe the plastic (or really hard foam) under the bigger outside cuff could use another layer of soft foam to help dampen the impacts. Considering how well the rest of the glove is I am disappointed at this cuff area. I mention down below about the wrap around palm in the Smart Palm+ and I feel it greatly reduces the protection on the outside of the gloves. The thin foam on the outside of your hand does little to dampen the impact from the jabs I did in my test. Even the foam only 11K gloves do a much better job of protecting the outside of your hand here since the foam is considerably thicker than what is on these DT1s. The other issue with the wrap around palm is that it seems to open up your hand to jabs where everything that hits there is sure to hit your hand. With other gloves with the nylon binding the material leaves an area of separation, even when my jabs missed the padding on the other gloves it didn’t always end up hitting my hand. But with these DT1s when I missed the padding it was guaranteed to hit my hand right next to it. The outside finger protection on the pinkie is also very lacking because of this design. The foam for protection is extremely small and thin. I understand the need to put the breaks for mobility but the CCM QLT’s have plastics and thick foams here without hindering mobility at all. 6.5/10
Durability: The outer shell and nylon has held up really well in these gloves and besides discolouring you can’t tell they have really been used… until you look at the palms. I use Tacki-Mac grips so my palm wear is generally very low. But even on my lower hand the palm has started becoming rough in the outside of the fingers and the inside of the thumb. On the top hand the wear is even more evident and the finger stalls are now rough to the touch and the Smart Palm+ is pilling. This isn’t the first time Warrior gloves I’ve used has very early signs of wear in the palms. I feel this wear is happening far too prematurely and am pretty disappointed in them. While the palms are layered (so 2 layers need to wear completely through) I still am not happy with how fast these started pilling. 6/10
Palm: Like I said earlier I feel the palms on these gloves are the weak link in these gloves. The premature wear is unfortunate especially when the general rule of thumb is that comfortable palms wear out faster. Since these palms were not very comfortable to begin with I was hoping they would last forever. The Smart Palm+ is an innovative idea that removes the binding nylon from the side of the glove to create a wrap around palm. I’ve only had an issue with that nylon binding on 1 pair of gloves before, and since the outside hand padding seems to be compromised with this design I feel the trade off isn’t worth it. The wrap around palm makes the side padding pretty unsubstantial, but I do really like the triangle padding spot on the palm at the wrist. That triangle padding doesn’t get in the way but I like the added protection. 6/10
Intangibles: I like some idea that Warrior has done on these, the wrap around palm is a nice idea as well as the raised index finger protection (even though I think it looks unattractive it certainly does its job). Warrior’s customizer is nothing like it used to be but at least it is still an option where other companies you are stuck with whatever colours stores decide to order. While the liner isn’t the most comfortable liner I love the look but I can’t really comment on the odor fighting properties. Like I said before I am also not a fan of the Covert Mesh and I think the design of the glove leaves a bit to be desired in general. But I do like how the inside of the index finger and thumb colours can be different than the middle fingers, this design can look really nice when done properly (see Coyote retro gloves). The cuff lacking plastics is pretty interesting, since it seems that Warrior put the plastic protection under the main big cuff. It is what I feel is a good solution to a hard plastic cuff that can lead to some hindering of mobility. The stretch mesh finger gussets are a nice touch and can add to good airflow and is a much better option than nash or other non-stretch materials. 8/10
Conclusion: I think these are pretty good gloves, but I feel a bit disappointed in them comparing them to other high end offerings. I understand these are an older model and comparing them to top of the line gloves today is unfair, but my claims for never being blown away with Warrior retail gloves still stand today with the QR1 and AX1 gloves. I never understood the Warrior hype for gloves until I tried on multiple pair of pro stock gloves which felt worlds better than their retail offerings. The protection is pretty good but I feel the Smart Palm+ is more of a gimmick than actually being a useful addition and the palm durability and comfort makes these gloves a very hard sell for me at full retail price. For full retail price I would never select these over the competitors, but for around $70 I feel they would be an amazing option retail. 6.5/10
Bone system does a great job of protection on the fingers and backhand.
Palm wear is surprising and more than I’d expect with the amount of usage.
Showing the Smart Palm+.
Wear on top hand very noticeable even though I use Tacki-mac which helps prolong glove palm life.
More fingertip wear.
Great index finger protection with a unique design. I like this portion of the graphic.
Showing the lateral glove flex.
Smart Palm+ lacks protection on the outside of your hand.