Gridiron Guide: How to Buy the Right Football Gloves

Discover the difference between receiver and lineman gloves to help you find the right pair.

Are you a running back looking for more control of the ball? Or maybe an offensive lineman in need of additional hand protection? Then you may be ready to add a pair of football gloves to your gear.

Football gloves can enhance your grip, counteract inclement weather and help protect your hands and fingers. Pro Tips is here with what to look for no matter if you’re making a one-handed grab or going to battle in the trenches.

RECEIVER GLOVES

Receiver gloves are specifically designed for skill position players. These gloves make it easier for receivers, quarterbacks, tight ends and running backs to control the ball. Defensive backs can wear receiver gloves to help get a better grip to turn pass breakups into interceptions. Players who field kickoffs and punts can wear these gloves to help with a big return.

Receiver gloves are typically made with:

  • Thin, breathable material for movement and flexibility.
  • Sticky adhesive palms that extend around the fingers and thumbs for extra grip in rain or shine.
  • A slightly padded backhand aids in protection and helps absorb shock.

LINEMAN GLOVES

Due to the position’s rough and tumble nature, lineman gloves come designed to take the brunt of the impact. They can help protect your hands and fingers against hard hits. In addition to absorbing impact, they help provide protection to hands and fingers if stepped on when in the trenches. Half-finger lineman gloves allow centers to get a better feel of the ball.

Lineman gloves usually have the following qualities:

  • Thick, firm material to help cushion your hands.
  • Interior reinforcement helps defend your hands, fingers and knuckles.
  • Heavy padding on both your backhand and palm for added support of hands, knuckles and wrists.
  • Additional wrist support to help increase stability and limit range of motion.

FEATURES TO LOOK FOR

Most football gloves have some kind of ventilation. This can help keep your hands dry, cool and comfortable. Look for gloves that have a ventilated back and mesh between the fingers or around the knuckles. At the most intense moments of a game, sweaty palms might be the difference between making a play or not.

The glove’s material is also important. You want the material to be stretchable and synthetic. Your glove should also come in a seamless or reinforced-seam pattern. This should allow a better fit. It also can provide increased durability when exposed to inclement weather.

FINDING YOUR SIZE

Before buying a new pair of football gloves, you’ll want to make sure you have the right size. There are two methods to measuring your hands. It can be beneficial to measure your hands both ways. Brands can vary with which method they use:

  • Length: Use a ruler or measuring tape to measure from the bottom of your palm to the tip of the middle finger on your dominant hand.

guy measuring his hand to find the right size football gloves

  • Circumference: Use measuring tape to measure just below the knuckles all the way around your dominant hand.

guy measuring Circumference of his hand to find the right size football gloves

After finding your measurements, consult a brand’s size chart for adult or youth football gloves. Youth gloves are for players from the Pee Wee leagues through junior high. Players can transition to adult gloves once they reach high school.

Trying on gloves can be beneficial. Different brands may run smaller or larger. You’ll want to find the fit that is right for you.

Don’t go into the game without the proper protection. The right pair of gloves might be the difference between failure and success on the field.