Best Football Gloves

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

21 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
367 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best football gloves

Last Updated September 2019

In order to make those unbelievable, highlight-reel catches in a football game, you’ll need a few tricks up your sleeve: great hand-eye coordination, top fitness, and a pair of high-quality football gloves.

All those feats of spellbinding athleticism regularly displayed by the best professional football players are due to their own impressive skill set. However, their football gloves also help more than you think. Football gloves are lightweight, flexible, and breathable gloves worn by football players that help them keep a better grip on the ball during inclement weather, such as rain or snow. Most, like those used by the best receivers, feature a certain amount of stickiness to help the ball adhere to their hand when catching and running.

Football gloves are made for both kids and adults and come in various colors and designs. They should fit snugly while leaving a bit of space to let the gloves breathe, and your hands should flex easily. Football gloves are made for all types of players, but it’s important to know the differences and details before buying.

Football gloves focus on gripping the ball and protecting hands from weather. For younger players, though, they can also help build confidence.

Key considerations

Size

Fit is the most important consideration when buying a football glove. It needs to be snug on your hand to allow you to grip a football firmly but not so tightly that you’re uncomfortable and lose dexterity and control.

Football gloves are sized by measuring the width and length of your hand. The width is the distance from the outermost point on your hand just below your pinky knuckle to the inside of your hand where your index finger meets your thumb. The length is from the top of your middle finger to where your wrist starts.

Most brands sell gloves along a range of small, medium, and large, with their own specific measurements for each tier. Check each company’s sizing guide before purchasing, and investigate to see if they tend to run smaller or larger.

Experience level

For those playing football recreationally, particularly young kids just starting out, less expensive and simpler gloves are likely ideal. These will offer comfort and some protection but will often focus less on grip. For more serious players, higher end gloves that specialize in tacky grips may be more useful.

Position

If you play a position that frequently catches and carries the ball such as wide receiver or running back, you’ll want to look for gloves that offer optimal stickiness and grip. Conversely, players in positions that don’t touch the ball as often during a game and instead block and push other players may prefer gloves that offer some protection. Football gloves aren’t going to prevent your hands from getting hurt, but they can provide some comfort against the regular scrapes and bruises that happen in the heat of the game.

Weather

Where and when you plan to use the gloves most often is something to keep in mind. Most football seasons begin at the end of summer and wrap up in the middle of winter. Depending on where you live, you may be playing in humidity, heavy rain, chilly winds, or falling snow. If you’re regularly playing in wet weather, durability should be a top priority. It may also be worthwhile to purchase more than one set. Keeping your hands free of sweat and moisture while breathing is important for hotter regions, while some warmth and protection is useful for colder areas.

Brand name

It may not be important to everyone, but there are certainly some athletes and enthusiasts who have come to trust specific brand names. What’s more, sponsorships that certain companies have with popular professional athletes can boost appeal for some players. For some aspiring football players, emulating star players by using the brands they promote and rely on is a good choice.

If you stub your finger in the middle of a big game — barring a serious injury — it’s best to keep your gloves on and play through a little pain. If you take them off, your finger may swell and prevent the gloves from fitting again.

Staff
BestReviews

Features

Grip technology

Different companies boast stickiness and grip effectiveness, and some even have their own proprietary technology. Comparing grip technologies is difficult since each brand uses their own blend of materials and makes different claims of grip that are difficult to measure. Your best option for finding gloves with superior grip is sticking with trusted brands with a long history of producing reliable football gloves.

Color

Football gloves come in a variety of colors, and deciding which one you want comes down to your style preferences. The colors have no effect on quality. Some simply come in black, but there are others that feature bright yellow or red designs, which can really stand out when you’re running up and down the field.

Design

While top brands will feature their popular logo on the gloves, lesser-known retailers may sport intriguing designs or patterns to entice buyers. Some may have a different look on the palm versus the back of the hand, while some feature words or pictures. Gloves that have more of a novelty factor, however, may not be as effective during a game and are better suited for recreational players.

Adjustable wrist strap

Some football gloves offer a better fit and more protection from the elements by sealing off at your wrist more tightly. There may be a strap or Velcro around the wrist to secure the glove more effectively and create a seal against your skin.

Essential accessories

If you’re looking to aid your hands in football with gloves, then you should consider your feet, too. Football cleats are imperative in competitive games, allowing you to grip the field better and improving your explosiveness, movement, and balance. Nike is a trusted manufacturer to begin with, and we highly recommend the Strike Shark cleats if you’re buying gear for your young football star.

Protecting your head in the physical game of football is of the utmost importance. Your helmet is a necessary part of any game and should always be worn when playing competitively. Riddell’s SpeedFlex helmet for young football players is a popular investment in a high-quality helmet.

Any football enthusiast or player should have at least one football on hand. It’s useful to have more than one, however. Using a particular football for practice and one for competitive play is optimal. We like Wilson’s Ultimate Composite NFL Junior Football for its pebbled surface and size, both of which work well for younger players.

DID YOU KNOW?

According to a recent study from M.I.T., some football gloves may be up to 20% stickier than the human hand — helping receivers make those breathtaking catches.

DID YOU KNOW?

Sticky gloves were first tested with and produced in the mid 90s by a player named Jeff Beraznik. Since their advent, many companies have developed and experimented with new technologies.

Football glove prices

Inexpensive: You’ll find some football gloves offered at under $20. These will likely be from lesser known brands, but may still have options in terms of color and grip.

Midrange: For between $20 and $35, you can find a pair of football gloves for both kids and adults from popular brands and lesser known retailers. These will feature advanced grips and breathability, but they may not be the newest models.

Expensive: While most gloves won’t cost more than $35, the ones that do may cost as much as $50 or $60, if not more. These are generally the latest models from trusted sports brands, and likely feature newer gripping and breathing technology.

Tips

  • Have a backup at hand. If you’re playing in a competitive game, it’s useful to have a spare set of gloves available in case your other pair gets worn down during play. This is especially handy when playing during inclement weather.

  • Test out different gloves. While shopping online is convenient, it’s best to test out the gloves in person before buying if possible. They need to not only be comfortable immediately, but over time through repeated usage as well.

  • Gloves work for all positions. While most gloves are focused on those players who regularly throw and catch the ball, they can be used to keep hands dry and protected for others player too, such as linemen.

  • Think about growth. If you’re purchasing gloves for a younger player, consider how quickly and often they will grow out the gloves. That may affect how much money you want to invest.

Other products we considered

While a bit higher priced than most, this pair of Rev Pro Football Gloves from Cutters promises flexibility and extreme grip. They also come in a wide array of colors and patterns, including a striking pair of gold and white gloves. The Battle Double Threat Football Gloves are offered in both adult and youth sizes and feature a variety of exceptionally bright colors, including pink, yellow, and orange. For youth players, these NFL Team Licensed Football Gloves from Franklin Sports will show off their favorite team. These gloves don’t have the same impressive gripping technology as others, but they are ideal for kids looking to have fun while playing.

Practice makes perfect. In order to be the most comfortable playing with gloves during a game, be sure to use them during practice too.

FAQ

Q. How do you wash football gloves?

A. With regular use, the gloves will get dirty and smelly, but most are easy to clean and are machine washable. Do not use hot water, however, as they may lose some of their adhesive properties. It’s important to check each individual style for specific instructions, but most should be fine with cold water and detergent. Air drying is usually recommended.

Q. Do they keep your hands warm?

A. Football gloves are not meant to protect you against the cold, but they will be relatively warmer than wearing nothing on your hands. Most gloves have mesh pockets and air holes to allow your hands to breathe and let heat escape. However, they can add some protection against inclement weather, especially in the tips of your fingers.

Q. Will football gloves lose their grip over time?

A. The natural wear and tear that comes with playing football regularly may lead to the grip of the gloves fading over time. However, cleaning them often — whether by hand or machine — and storing them in a cool, dry place will help them maintain their effectiveness longer.

Q. How much do the gloves weigh?

A. Most gloves come in at under a pound. Lighter tends to be better for most players. While it’s noteworthy to check the weight, it is unlikely to be a significant factor that affects playing, unless they are for a younger player.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer

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