Football gloves are one of the essential pieces of gear when you’re on the field. The best football gloves will combine both hand protection and good grip to allow you to keep your hands in good shape and let you make catches easier.
We strongly recommend the Cutters Rev Pro Football Gloves for most people. These top-of-the-line gloves are a great way to do things for just about anyone, but they’re not perfect so you may want to keep looking before you go off in a rush to buy them.
There are gloves available for pretty much every position in the field, so make sure that you’ve got the right hand protection for where you’re playing. Before we get into the differences, let’s hop on to our favorites.
These are some of the best receiver gloves around, bar none. They also cost quite a bit and they’re not exactly going to be passed down to your grandkids, but for enhanced performance on the field we strongly recommend taking a closer look.
Top 5 Football Gloves
|Cutters Rev Pro||All||Receiver||Check Price|
|adidas TechFit Lineman||Small and Medium||Lineman||Check Price|
|Nike Men’s Vapor Jet Lightspeed||All||Receiver||Check Price|
|adidas Men’s Freak Max||All||Lineman||Check Price|
|Under Armour Boys F5||All Youth Sizes||Receiver||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Football Gloves
Cutters Rev Pro Football Gloves
Of all of the brands that we had our reviewers try out, we consistently received rave reviews about the grip of these Cutters. Many of those who used them swore up and down that they were the best receiver gloves on the planet, and after a quick trial we don’t disagree.
Cutter is widely known for having the best grip, but unfortunately their gloves do seem to lack on the durability side. We had to exclude the newest version of their receiver gloves from this list for exactly that reason, while they offer an even more gecko-like grip on the ball than these gloves they just fell apart too quickly under real world conditions.
The Rev Pro are quite a bit tougher, although the grip is just a little bit less. They’re still some of the best around and we feel confident in stating that they’re likely to last through a full season under normal play conditions although you’ll want a second pair for practice sessions.
Fortunately, they can also be found in all sizes from small to XXXL and there are also youth sizes available which means that any receiver can have a pair that fits perfectly.
Pros and Cons
- Available in all sizes
- Unbeatable grip
- Good ventilation
- Lightweight and form fitting once worked in
- Rather expensive
- Not the most durable gloves around
2. Best Lineman Gloves
adidas TechFit Lineman Football Gloves
Lineman gloves are quite a bit different from your usual receiver pairs, and the TechFit gloves from adidas match up pretty exactly with what you want from an ideal glove in these rougher positions.
The padding is in all the right places: along the tops of the fingers and right at the base of the palm. These give some protection from both trampling and falling, as well as allowing for hard shoves without damaging the palm of your hands.
We had basically no complaints from our reviewers about them, although anecdotal reports point to a little bit of quality control problems. Pretty easily solved if you make sure to check the gloves over before you begin using them.
There’s also no padding on the thumb knuckle, which is a rarely hit spot but can have disastrous consequences if it happens during game time.
Other than these minor complaints, however, we can strongly recommend these for anyone who’s throwing themselves into the thick of things on a regular basis while they’re on the field.
Pros and Cons
- Thick, protective padding on the backs of hands
- Well ventilated
- Quite durable
- Padded palms to enable harder hits
- No thumb knuckle padding
- Rumors of quality control problems
3. Runner Up for Best Receiver Gloves
Nike Men's Vapor Jet Lightspeed Football Gloves
If you’re really hard on gloves, then Cutter may not have the durability you need to play all season. If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of grip for an amazingly durable, and expensive, pair of gloves then you may want to go with these.
They’re no slouches when it comes to grip either. Our reviewers reported easy one handed catches during games and practice, as well as the gloves seeming to hold up better for longer. They’re not quite the lizard-grip of Cutter but they come close and the gloves seem to have a better fit and hold up longer for most people.
The biggest difference in the grip here is that these gloves seem to need to be wiped down much more frequently. Even a little bit of dust can disrupt the silicone material on the palms which is a hummer for such expensive gloves.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a tough, durable glove and you’re willing to wipe them off in between plays then these are some of the best that Nike has to offer.
Pros and Cons
- Available in all sizes and a ton of colors
- Great grip when clean
- Super durable upper portion
- Superior fit to nearly any other receiver glove when sized appropriately
- Very expensive
- Tends to lose grip when dirty
4. Runner Up for Best Lineman Gloves
adidas Men's Freak Max Football Gloves
Adidas makes the best linebacker gloves around, and these are our second favorite of the bunch. They have a bit more padding, but we found them a little bit more cumbersome than the TechFit gloves. Basically, if you find yourself hurting your hands frequently then you may want to opt for these instead.
They have super thick padding along the backs and palms, allowing for your hands to take a pretty impressive amount of hurt without… well, hurting. They’re quite comfortable, although our reviewers felt the fit was a little bit inferior to the TechFit gloves.
Overall, they’re a solid choice and we don’t think most players would be all too worked up if they got one instead of the other. Like the TechFit gloves they’re a little bit expensive and coloring options are limited but there’s one big advantage here: they’re also available in all sizes.
If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of fit for some extra protection over the TechFit gloves then have a gander at the Freak Max gloves. They offer just a bit more protection at the trade-off of a slightly less great fit.
Pros and Cons
- Tons of padding
- Highly durable
- Heavily padded palm
- Very breathable
- Looser fit than TechFit gloves
5. Best Youth Football Gloves
Under Armour Boys F5 Football Gloves
It can be hard to make sure that your kids have the right football gloves for the field, but with the F5 line from Under Armour your kids hands will be in… good hands.
Horrendous puns aside, these gloves have a ton of grip, a fairly moderate price, and a variety of colors. They’re also available in any size a kid might need, which means they’re suitable for younger players.
The grip on these receiver gloves is also pretty good. They’re no Cutters but you’re not going to be dropping the ball on account of a lack of grip. They also seem to hold up remarkably well, which is what a lot of players like Under Armours gloves for in the first place.
If you’re looking for a youth football glove that won’t break the bank, then the F5 line from Under Armour delivers. Snap them up for your young player today.
Pros and Cons
- Moderate pricing
- Wide variety of colors
- Good grip
- Available in sizes for all youths
- Not up to par with the rest of our choices
- Not easy to figure out which size is right for kids
Why Use Football Gloves?
Football is a full contact sport, as most Americans well know. The players wear full padding to protect their torsos and legs, helmets to protect their face and head, and cleats to get a good grip on the field and let them make amazingly agile plays.
Football gloves are pretty much essential, although they’re not at the top of the list for the majority of people when they think of equipment required to play.
Their use is two-fold: they protect the hands and give the player a better grip to ensure that they can snatch the ball when it comes their way. Obviously different positions are served better by different types of gloves, so let’s talk about what kind of gloves are available.
What Types of Football Gloves Are There?
There are two main types of gloves which you’ll find on the market when you’re looking. These are receiver and linebacker gloves.
Receiver gloves typically have mild padding on the back and a “tacky” palm space. This makes them ideal for those who are catching or running with the ball and they’re made of a wide variety of different materials.
These gloves are made to be soft, durable, and durable. They’re also called tact gloves.
While ideal for those who are on the run with the ball, or catching the ball in the field, they’re not ideal for those players who are going to be in the thick of things the majority of that. That’s where the other type of gloves come in.
Linebacker gloves are designed almost entirely for protecting the hand. Their padding can help for players who are often going to the ground. Dog Piles and other tough situations can often lead to someone getting stomped on or hands getting caught in the face guards of helmets.
These gloves tend to be quite a bit thicker, but they also need to retain flexibility and softness so that a player can use their hands without them being encumbered. They need to be comfortable, but also provide enough protection to keep fingers and hands from getting hurt when the rough stuff happens.
There are also gloves which are suitable for pretty much all positions. They tend not to perform quite as well as the specialized gloves, however, since they’re not built for a specific purpose. They can be good for those who play casually on the weekends, however, especially if you’re built in a way that you can play multiple positions.
They’re a good consideration for the casual player, but for those who have a set position on a team they’re really not the way to go.
The material which a glove is made out of is the most important consideration for the majority of people out there. These gloves come in a wide variety of materials, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
The uppers on most gloves are made of either leather or a synthetic material.
Leather is usually the preferred material. It’s tough, it breathes, and it’s extremely flexible which allows you to move well with them even if they’re thicker linebacker gloves.
Coming right behind leather are high-end synthetic leathers. These are usually still fairly breathable, although they lack the durability of real leathers.
Finally, full synthetic materials trail behind but they’re also a lot cheaper than their natural counterparts. They can also have a surprising amount of durability depending on the exact blend which is being used, but they’re not very breathable.
Synthetics have another hidden advantage: stretchy materials can provide the perfect fit by adhering the to the hand amazingly well. With proper ventilation this can give them a surprising edge.
For the most part, it’s really best to go with the upper you can afford.
Palm and Finger Materials
While lineman gloves often don’t have the same amount of grip, there are a ton of different grippy materials which are being produced these days. The technology has gotten to the point that some people are questioning whether or not the new technology is giving players an unfair advantage.
Currently players don’t have to worry about that, as long as you’re not sticking an external material on your gloves it’s all considered fair game at this point.
The coverage is usually roughly the same, although various brands seem to be locked in an arms race to produce the grippiest material possible. Currently it would seem that Cutter has the lead, but a lot of pros use Nike or Adidas gloves as well.
You’ll want to check the coverage and the stickiness of the gloves themselves in order to make the right decision.
Other Factors to Look Out For
When you’re looking into picking up your gloves, material definitely isn’t the only consideration you need to make. Indeed, depending on who you ask there are factors which are much more important at the end of the day.
Many people consider this the most important factor when you’re picking up a glove. It’s easy to see why, even the stickiest material isn’t going to help with a catch if the gloves are slipping around and if you’re relying on padding for protection it needs to stay in the right place.
Be careful when you’re checking out gloves. Many come in only a couple of sizes, and you may be out of luck if neither of them fits properly. It’s always a good idea to try on a pair in the size you’re thinking of in a store, even if you’re going to pick them up cheaper online.
Fit doesn’t just mean that they slide on your hands well, however, they also need to be comfortable and flexible as well since you’ll be wearing them through the whole game. Flexibility is always going to be a big concern, since you need to be able to position your hands properly in order to ensure you can catch the ball or get your fingers out of sticky situations.
Gloves which have ventilation stand out by keeping your hands from getting sweaty. While it may not affect a well-fitting, grippy glove when it comes to catching it can definitely be uncomfortable.
It becomes doubly important with the thicker linebacker-style gloves, which are often heavier and thicker, thus leading to diminished comfort if things get hot.
There’s another reason ventilation is important: with thinner gloves, sweat can bleed through the material and loosen the grip advantage on the fingers and palm of the gloves.
While casual leagues may only play when the weather is fair, those in more formal playing situations will often have to play no matter what the weather is like. That makes it pretty much essential for high-level players, and those involved in youth leagues, to have gloves which are hydrophobic.
This will help to maintain grip even in nasty conditions. Synthetic materials tend to be better at handling this, since leather needs to be repeatedly treated with something like mink oil in order to maintain a water resistant surface.
This is a pretty important factor if you’re buying online. If you skipped our advice on trying them on in a store before purchasing them online to save money, then you may end up with gloves which aren’t sized properly for your hands.
This means that a return policy is important, so that you can return the gloves and switch sizes if you find that they don’t fit your hand in an ideal manner. Remember the importance of fit, and don’t be afraid to move the sizing around if you made a mistake in ordering.
Warranties for football gloves are usually made in terms of months. It’s pretty easy to see why, they end up getting put through a lot of stress.
However, if something like bad stitching occurs, then you may have to return them so be sure to put them through a workout at the earliest possible opportunity if you buy them in the off-season. Long warranties also show a company has faith in their products, which is good for them.
Price is always going to be a factor for anyone short of the pro level, and most of them are wearing custom-designed gloves anyways.
When you’re looking at the pricing you want to keep one thing in mind: if you’re involved in serious league play then you’re going to want two pairs. One pair for practice, and one for when you hit game day.
This will keep one pair of gloves in great condition, while also allowing you to practice with the same gear.
Maintaining Your Football Gloves
While even the best football gloves aren’t going to last forever. This is especially true when you’ve got sticky gloves.
As dirt and sweat accumulate on the sticky portions of the gloves, they tend to lose some of their grip. There are a few different ways to handle this problem.
We found the easiest, quickest, and best way to make sure that things stay sticky is simply to wipe down the grip surface with baby wipes before and after each practice or game. You can dry them in the sun as well, although this isn’t quite as effective without cleaning them up first.
Lastly, if you’ve got problems during the game then some players have taken to using spit.
Leather gloves require an extra level of care. In order to keep them supple, treating them with mink oil is ideal, and it should be the go-to maintenance for any sort of leather apparel.
It’s best to warm the gloves beforehand, but if they have a grip surface then you want to ensure that they don’t warp. We found the majority of our tested gloves did just fine being heated with a hair dryer.
Then all you need to do is rub the oil in to the entire leather surface until no trace of it remains externally. It’ll absorb into the leather quite readily and keep it nice and supple, improve the waterproofing of the material, and help it to last much longer on the field.
Modern football gloves have come a long way from the simple leather constructions of the past, and they’re always advancing. Whether you need great grip and a skin-tight fit or something which will keep your fingers from breaking when the field gets rough they’re pretty much a necessity if you’re playing full contact football.
Pick up the right pair today, and you might just be surprised at how much they can improve your performance on the field. Just keep in mind the right qualities and you’ll be good to go.