Anyone who’s ever played football have experienced at some point the frustration of trying to catch a ball with sweaty hands.
That’s why it is important to choose carefully the right type of football gloves that will fit your position in the field.
This guide here covers it all.
We review below the best football gloves for both wide receivers and linemen.
Table of Contents
Best Football Gloves For Receivers and Running Backs
Best Football Gloves For Defense/Linemen
Do Football Gloves Really Help?
The go-to solution is often to apply baby powder on the hands, but let’s be honest: that never quite helps, now does it?
Hence the need for football gloves.
The primary reason for wearing football gloves is to enhance one’s grip by guarding against slippery when the hands are sweaty or when it’s humid or raining.
Football gloves are specifically designed to be sticky around the palm area to completely eliminate the chances of dropping the ball.
Another reason some players may choose to wear football gloves is to protect their hands.
Some passes may be thrown with a lot of force so much that the ball can cause abrasions and cuts on the hands of the receiving player.
The other kind of protection offered is whereby the gloves protect the player’s hands in the chances that one might accidentally get stepped on.
Imagine a big-bodied player putting their full weight on your bare hand with their studded cleats. How painful do you think that would be?
In football, the game must always go on. Regardless of whether it’s raining or snowing and so some players choose to wear football gloves for weather protection.
After all, no one likes cold, stiff hands where you can barely bend your fingers.
In this case, the gloves would not only prevent slipperiness of the ball, but they will also keep the player’s hands pleasantly warm and dry.
So, what do you think: do football gloves really help?
Of course, they do, and in more ways than one.
Better yet, gloves come designed explicitly for particular player positions so that you can stay protected but without the gloves interfering with your performance.
How Tight Should Football Gloves Be?
When the football gloves are too loose, they will slip off your hands, therefore, nullifying any sort of grip enhancement.
A loose-fitting glove would additionally result in fumbling, which can even result in injuries.
When the gloves are tight, they can restrict blood flow, thereby causing numbness in your hands.
There’s nothing you can do with numb hands, and what’s a football player without his catching ability?
The poor circulation caused by tight gloves can further result in more severe conditions, including tissue damage resulting from ischemia.
So, what’s the perfect fit for a football glove?
A football glove should fit snug, but not tight. The general rule is this: if you cannot make a fist while wearing the glove, then that glove is too small for you.
Receiver Vs. Linemen: Gloves Depending on The Position
Receivers are tasked with the role of catching passes and holding on to the ball without dropping it or fumbling during passes.
For this reason, receiver gloves come with a variety of features to help them perform optimally.
These features are:
- Lightweight construction from a thin, breathable material to allow for movement and flexibility.
- Enhanced palm grip offered by super sticky palms, also known as football magnets.
- Extended tack around the thumb and fingers for extra grip in all weather conditions.
- Light padding on the backhand to aid with shock absorption and offer protection from impact.
Receiver gloves are ideal for use by receivers, running backs, quarterbacks, defensive backs, tight ends, and players who field kick-offs and punts.
The gloves give them a better grip and control of the ball.
Linemen take the hardest, most vicious hits on the gridiron.
As a result, their gloves are designed with this in mind to guard against abrasion, damage, and hyperextension of the hands and fingers during a game.
Such gloves feature:
- Heavier construction from a thick and firm material to better withstand more abuse and offer enhanced cushioning.
- Rigid frame and finger stays to prevent fingers from bending back.
- Thicker wrist straps for wrist support, increased stability, and to limit the range of mobility.
- Heavy padding on the palm and backhand to shield against hits and getting stepped on.
- Zero to little tackiness in the palm.
Half-finger linemen gloves are ideal for use by centers. The half-finger design helps give them a better feel of the ball.
How Do I Choose A Football Glove?
Finding the correct glove size requires you first take your hand measurements with precision and accuracy. Start by taking measurements of your dominant hand.
Measure from the bottom of your palm to the tip of your longest finger, which is the middle finger.
If this measurement is below 7 inches, go for a youth football glove. If this measurement is above 7 inches, go for an adult football glove.
Football gloves come in a variety of sizes, starting from small to XXX-large. Youth size gloves range from 6.25 to 7 inches while adult size gloves range from 7 to 8.5 inches.
Another measurement you’d want to pay attention to is the circumference of your dominant hand taken around your knuckles.
A player with thinner fingers may want to size down while one with thicker fingers may be better off sizing up to get a snug fit.
If you find that your hand measurements are on the borderline between two sizes, then the safe bet is always to go for the larger glove.
If the material the glove is made from tends to shrink when washed, then you will find that the larger size fits perfectly after a couple of washes.
When wearing football gloves, airflow is a crucial aspect to take into consideration.
This is because even while wearing tacky gloves, sweaty palms could still get in the way of you catching a pass because of the discomfort resulting from the moisture.
To eliminate such discomfort and distractions, guaranteeing that all your attention is on the ball, football gloves come with specific features to dump hot air in the hands and improve airflow.
A glove may make use of mesh between the fingers, perforations along the fingers, or breathable material along the back of the hand.
Whichever method used, the idea is to allow for ventilation, thereby keeping the player’s hands pleasantly dry and cool throughout the game.
Different football gloves have varying degrees of padding depending on the skill position for which the glove is intended.
Rigid padding in the palm and backhand of linemen gloves helps soften impacts and better protect the hand from the rigors of the game.
On the other hand, receiver gloves make use of lightweight, minimal padding in the backhand for flexibility.
In both cases, the padding is incorporated to offer protection and shock absorption properties.
However, receiver gloves prioritize movement and flexibility while linemen gloves prioritize protection.
Increased padding means better insulation against the cold and better protection from impact as well.
The trade-off is that with thicker padding, the player’s reaction time is affected, seeing as they would require a stronger squeeze of the hand to retract those muscles.
You’ll find football gloves in a vast range of pricing. When it comes to price, your decision should be based on your age, skill level, and frequency of use.
A frequent player may be more serious about improving their skills.
In this case, they would be willing to invest in a quality pair of gloves that will enhance their performance and sever them for a long time before needing to replace the gloves.
However, even when you are looking to invest in a quality pair of gloves, keep in mind that football gloves undergo a lot of abuse on the field.
As a result, even the most expensive gloves won’t last you too many games, so it would not be wise to go for something ridiculously expensive.
Perhaps you are better off going with your instincts on this one. Understand what you are looking for in a glove and pay for the quality you need.
All the while keeping in mind that eventually, even this pair will need to be replaced.
When buying football gloves for a child, consider that they will outgrow the gloves in a matter of time, so maybe you’d want to get an inexpensive pair in this case.
Additionally, the skill position of the glove will have an impact on its price point. Generally, linemen gloves are more expensive than receiver gloves.
This is because the former incorporates more components, while the latter is a bit more minimalistic.
An excellent football glove is one that’s made from high-quality material and can perform in all weather conditions.
Besides that, a quality glove is one that has a soft and stretchable material coupled with seamless construction or having reinforced seams for durability.
If you can afford to, then, by all means, consider going for a leather football glove.
Leather is quite expensive, but rest assured you will get value for your money. It is not only durable but because it is a natural material, leather gloves offer excellent breathability.
At the same time, leather is pretty flexible and so will not hamper your movement and flexibility.
Spandex is another material commonly used in football gloves.
This material is cheaper than leather, lightweight, and very stretchable for optimum flexibility and movement that will not interfere with your grip.
The palm material is another thing to consider because this is what determines the grip of the glove. Popularly, latex, and Cabatta leather are the materials commonly used on the palm of the glove.
Cabatta leather is an incredibly soft, lightweight, and durable material. It often comes treated with chemicals to increase tackiness for an enhanced grip.
Latex is not as durable as Cabatta leather, but it is flexible and provides natural tackiness. Latex also gives a better glove fit. The one drawback is that as a palm material, latex can slip during wet weather.
You don’t want a pair of gloves that will fall apart before the season is over.
When it comes to durability, perhaps stick with the top brands that have been tested and proven to have quality items.
Besides, top brands often have a reputation to maintain and so cannot afford to have their name tarnished by manufacturing an inferior quality glove.
Alternatively, look out for gloves that come with a warranty. This way, you know that you would simply get your money back if the glove doesn’t last through the season.