The Best Football Gloves of 2018

Want to quickly find the best football gloves for the year without reading hundreds of review and websites? Look no further because this guide covers everything you need to know to find the best football gloves for the upcoming season based on your specific preferences and needs.

Why Football Gloves are Important

Football is a contact sport that is played in all temperatures and weather conditions throughout the year.  There are many different variables that must be considered and decisions must be made instinctively in order to be a successful player.  The last thing you want to do is be worried about a hand injury, cold weather making your fingers numb, or unsure of your ability to hold on to the ball.  A premium football glove that is made for your specific position will help to mitigate these risks and keep your hands comfortable, safe, and consistently able to perform even in the most unpredictable conditions.

Top Football Glove Comparison Chart

Safety

Unfortunately, broken fingers and bruised knuckles are just a part of the game for many modern football players.  This is especially true for lineman and linebackers who get their finger pinched between helmets and in facemasks while blocking and making a tackle.  Many gloves today that are made for linemen and linebackers incorporate heavy duty padding and plating on the back of the hand on each individual finger to prevent bruising and broken fingers.  Gloves designed for running backs, receivers, quarterbacks, and other skill positions usually place less emphasis on hand protection and feature a more form fitting glove that is made from a very grippy latex-like material to help you catch and hold onto the ball.  Although the level of protection and amount of padding in the glove is position dependent, all gloves will at least give you some higher level of protection than you would have if you played barehanded.

Temperature

As the end of the season approaches, and the weather gets colder and you notice more and more players wearing gloves on and off the field.  Players use gloves to stay warm both by buying specific “cold weather” gloves or by slipping hand warmers into a regular pair of gloves.  Lineman tend to have a little more leeway when it comes to rigging gloves with hand warmers as their gloves tend to be larger and they don’t have to have the same finesse and ball handling functionality as skill positions.  This is why it’s even more important for receivers and backs to have gloves made with insulation when they are playing in cold temperatures to prevent frostbite and dropping the ball due to losing feeling and control of their fingers.  It’s important to remember that even something is better than nothing, so even if you don’t have gloves made for the cold, regular gloves will provide some heat and protection from the cold.

Performance

It’s no secret that many receivers at all levels of play wear very grippy (sticky) gloves that allow them to make spectacular one-hand catches and hold on to the ball after taking massive hits.  There are even rumors of regulations on how sticky the gloves can be in different leagues and organizations.  These receiver gloves tend to offer little protection compared to lineman gloves in an effort to stay very lightweight and tend to be very sticky and shiny on the palm side of the glove.  In some cases, a gel-like substance is applied to the glove to clean and enhance the effectiveness of the grip.  Linemen also notice an increase in performance, due to the protection the heavily padded gloves provide. Gloved lineman can attack and block their opponent with a lot more force while not having to worry about the pain or injuries that come along with pinched fingers and bruised knuckles that are usually a result of this aggressive play style.  Also due to the growing and evolving blocking technique where linemen are taught grab and hold their opponent on the inside of their pads and jersey, these gloves give players more control over their opponent and make it less likely for the opposing player to pull away and induce a holding penalty.

 

Factors to Consider When Buying Football Gloves

Okay, now that we have outlined why it’s important to wear gloves and how all positions can benefit, it’s time to dive deeper into what to specifically look for and think about when deciding which football gloves to purchase.

Brands

Obviously, the brand name of products is important to people and football gloves are no exception.  With gloves, a brand name can be more of a factor than just style and status, as every different brand is known for producing a certain type of glove most efficiently and is known for specific traits or patented technologies.

Nike

As you probably already know, Nike is a powerhouse and current market leader in all sports gear and footwear.  Nike has a few different lines of football gloves including the Nike Superbad, Nike Hyperbeast, and Nike Vapor Jet (or Knit).  The Vapor Jet line of gloves are made of extremely lightweight material and feature Nike’s “Magnigrip” on the palm making them an ideal choice for receivers or tight end who receive a lot of passes.  The Hyperbeast model was definitely made with linemen in mind as it features extra padding on the top of the glove and fingers, and just enough grip to help a center hold on to the ball in slippery conditions.  Finally, the Superbad version features a very breathable material and a moderate amount of grip that make the glove ideal for d-backs, running backs, or linebackers who want some protection and also need the flexibility to carry the ball and make plays.  You won’t go wrong with a Nike football glove for any position, however, this level of quality does not come cheaply and Nike tends to be priced at the higher end of the glove market.

Under Armour

Under Armour has grown very rapidly in the last decade and has even begun to threaten Nike in many sport equipment categories.  Under Armour started as a solution for football players to wear under their pads to prevent excess sweating, and they have stayed true to their football roots while expanding into other categories.  Under Armour definitely knows how to make gloves for football and they offer many glove lines including the UA Swarm, the Alter Ego Superman, UA Combat, UA Nitro Warp, UA F5, the Army of 11, and the UA Playoff Cold Gear.  The UA Swarm and UA F5 are very similar in the fact they are both slim and breathable, feature Under Armour’s HeatGear technology to keep you cool, and Under Armour patented sticky GrabTack for improved catching ability.  The UA Combat and are engineered for lineman and offer a very high level of padding on the outside of the glove and fingers, as well as a removable wrist strap to give linemen additional wrist support when pass blocking.  The UA Nitro and Superman edition are designed for receivers and skill players and have a unique shape in that the glove extends down your arm to make the glove last likely to come off and “lock” into an Under Armour shirt.  Finally, the UA Playoff Cold Gear keeps you cold during playoff games near the end of the season when the weather is the coldest, but the games matter the most.  Although Under Armour is a premium brand and comparable to Nike in many peoples’ eyes, their prices tend to be slightly lower and that is the case with football glove making Under Amour a great choice for the money.

Adidas

While Adidas originally started out as a soccer company, like many other large brands they expanded into other markets and types of sports equipment.  While Adidas’ football glove selection may not be as large and well known as Nike and Under Armour, but they still offer a fair number of football glove models including the AdiZero, DIgi Camo, CrazyQuick, NastyFast, Powerweb, and TechFit variations.  The AdiZero is a super lightweight and fitted receiver or skill player glove that integrates GripTack technology into to palm for increased catchability.  The other great thing about this version and some of Adidas’ other gloves are the designs are some of the best and coolest I’ve seen on any brand of glove.  A great example of this is the Digital Camo versions of this glove and versions will definitely get some attention on the field or locker room.  To be honest, the look of a glove is nearly as important as how it performs to many players who have the “Look good, play well” mentality.  The Adidas Crazy Quick and Powerweb glove is interesting because they are padded receivers gloves.  These gloves are great for receivers who like to give a good, hard shove before running their route and want a slight protective edge over their opponent without sacrificing speed and quickness.  The Nastyfast is a heavily padded linemen glove designed for speed and protection off the line.  And if you are a super aggressive lineman who loves battling in the trenches, then the Techfit version offers an even greater level of rubber padding and hand protection.  Adidas gloves are priced competitively with Nike and Under Armour, so the choice all comes down to personal style preferences and which variations would be best for your position and play style.

Wilson

Although Wilson is mostly known for making tennis racquets and equipment, they also made a few types of lower cost football gloves which may be great for a beginner or someone on a budget.  The gloves currently being sold by Wilson don’t have the same wild names that some of the large corporations offer.  Instead, Wilson offers a straightforward youth and adult lineman, receiver, skill position, and special color edition gloves.  I found it nice that Wilson makes a pink camo version of their gloves that can be worn during the month of October to show support for breast cancer awareness.  The skill and receiver gloves feature a similar “tack” grip technology in the palm and come in a variety of colors and pattern for a price much lower than the larger sports brands.  The lineman gloves caught my eye due to the streamlined integration of the hand and finger pads.  This design allows for more mobility than usual for a lineman glove, which makes it a viable option for linebackers or defensive ends who rely heavily on quick hand movement.  Overall, Wilson is definitely a solid brand that has a variety of glove choices for a very affordable price.

Franklin

Franklin makes a lot of different sports equipment and lawn games with a strong selection of youth sizes.  Like Wilson, Franklin is priced well below the premium brands and offers a more limited glove selection.  At this time the only gloves on the market made by Franklin are youth receiver gloves.  They are low priced and are good for very young kids who are just starting their first few seasons.  I would not recommend anyone serious about football to buy Franklin equipment, despite the very low price.

Battle

Battle is a fresh and new brand that has begun making receiver gloves including an adult and youth hybrid version and a line called Hyper Stick made specifically for receivers.  The gloves feature a great looking design with the word “battle” spelled across the palms of the gloves and they claim to use the highest quality of “tack” material to make the glove grip and perform well.  The downside to this brand is that is priced as a premium brand, but doesn’t have the reputation or long history to back it up like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour have.  I think Battle gloves could be a good choice for someone who wants to try something new and wants a unique pair of gloves that none of their teammates have.

Cutters

Cutters is a well know brand in the football world and they specialize in football and baseball gloves.  It’s interesting to note that in 2012, Cutters was actually acquired by the sports mouth guard company, Shock Doctor.  Cutters are known to make high-end premium football gloves for receivers, cold weather, and all other skill and lineman positions.  Cutters offers the most color options of all glove manufacturer on this list and the current lines of gloves they sell are called REV (Pro 3d, Pro), Gamer All-Purpose, and Force.  The REV line and all the related variations are designed for receivers and features a streamlined look with “C-TACK” grip on the palms for additional catching ability. A really unique aspect of the REV line is the added grip “C-TACK” on the wrist that increases the surface that can be used to catch a ball one-handed, which is a feature that most other gloves on the market don’t have.  The Gamer All-Purpose line in great for linebackers and running backs as it offers moderate hand protection when blocking, but also gives the player the flexibility to use their hands and carry the ball when necessary.  The Force is obviously a lineman glove that has heavily compressed padding around the top of the hand, fingertips, and palms where lineman suffer most of their hand injuries.  Overall Cutters is a high priced, premium glove brand that many football players swear by.

EliteTek

Elitetek is another small up and coming company that has begun to make low-cost football equipment and accessories.  They also go by the name Barnett and offer a selection of lineman, receiver, linebacker, and running back gloves for a much lower price than the well-known premium brands.  The quality of these gloves appears to be very high, however, I will say the gloves look very plain compared to some of the designs on some of the more expensive brands.

Grip Boost

Another new company focusing on revolutionizing the grip of gloves in all sports.  They currently only offer one type of football glove, but they also sell a cohesive polymer film that can be rubbed and added to any gloves to increase their level of grip.  Check out the video below for more details.  We think the best approach is to buy a great quality glove along with a supply of Grip Boost!

Position

As I have been alluding to throughout this guide, football positions vary greatly and require different features to be most effective for each specific position.  As of today, there’s really no “on size fits all” glove that covers all players, so it’s important they understand the differences in glove design that can maximize your performance in your position.

Lineman

Protection is the most important aspect to look for in both offensive and defensive lineman gloves as they are constantly fighting in “the trenches” for control of an opposing player or area.  Lineman enter into many bouts of hand-to-hand combat during a single game in which their fingers, knuckles, and lower palm take most of the abuse.  The weight or bulkiness of a lineman glove isn’t usually a big deal, as they don’t have to run much and rarely come into contact with the ball (except centers).

Linebackers

Linebacker gloves may or not be specifically labeled for the position.  Typically linebackers want a moderate amount of hand protection, but still want the ability to grip and catch the ball.  Also depending on your teams play style and formation you may want more or less padding depending on the frequency in which you blitz or drop into coverage.

Defensive Backs

D-backs are going to want much less padding, protection, and bulk than lineman and linebackers.  Defensive backs typically can just use receivers gloves that are skin tight and offer the most amount of grip possible in the most streamlined glove.  During the winter and playoff games, defensive backs may consider an upgrade to a slightly thicker, but weather resistant option.

Safetys, QB’s, Running Back, Receivers

In the majority of these “skill positions” what you are looking for in a glove is a very thin and lightweight material with as much grip as possible.  Some players with very sweaty hands may also look for breathability and mesh material to reduce sweating and the infamous football glove odor.

Material

Most football gloved are made from a high-quality nylon or other synthetic fabric.  The specific fabric used impacts the weight of the glove, flexibility, durability, and hand breathability.  In general what material the main part of the glove is made from is not a huge concern of most players unless they are allergic to certain fabrics or are adhering to specific league guidelines.

Padding

Glove padding is typically made from very compressed foam or plastic and tends to be more prevalent in lineman or linebacker gloves.  Many gloves for skill players feature no padding at all and instead focus entirely on their palm grip.

Grip

To help decrease the huge cost of new gloves for the best “grip”, GRIP BOOST was created to bring back the grip, while keeping your wallet unscathed.  It’s worth a look!

 

Best Football Glove Reviews

 

Cutters Gloves REV Pro Receiver Gloves

While definitely no the cheapest glove on the marker the Cutters Rev Pro is definitely one of the most popular gloves worn by receivers today.  It is available in many colors to match any team and meets all NOCSAE standard for quality and safety of athletic equipment.  The Rev Pro’s can be machine washed and dry to keep them clean and prevent foul odors.  This glove uses Cutters “C-Tack” grip materials on the palm and wrist which gives added catching ability on difficult one-handed grabs and dives.  Cutters made this glove to perform well in all weather conditions and it feature “Rev Tack Recharge” technology with allows the grip of the gloves to be restored through wiping with water or by machine washing.  This is my recommended glove for receivers of all skill levels as you won’t find another glove with longer lasting grip or a higher quality of material construction.

Adidas TechFit Lineman Football Gloves

The Adidas TechFit lineman gloves are very heavy duty and built to protect even the most aggressive and hard-hitting offensive and defensive lineman.  These gloves feature thick outside padding made from lycra and mesh and a sturdy leather palm with grip tack to enhance the gloves gripping and grabbing ability.  At the base of the palm, there is an additional layer of padding to prevent bruising and wrist injuries.  The base of the glove has a velcro strap that allows the grip to fit snugly on many different hand and wrist sizes.  This is my recommended glove for lineman of all skill levels and sizes as it offers the most protection without sacrificing mobility and breathability which can be equally important in certain circumstances.

Nike Men’s Vapor Jet Lightspeed Football Gloves

The Nike Vapor Jet Lightspeed gloves are an extremely light and breathable pair of receiver gloves that feature a slick, grippy palm with a smokey logo.  These gloves really shine when playing in the summer months with very high temperatures as they give you the additional grip your bare hands don’t have, but without the heavy material and padding that causes sweating and hand discomfort.  These gloves are made for a very tight fit and the wrist size features an adjustable strap to fit any size hand.  While I don’t think this glove is better than the Cutters REV Pro for everyone if you are from a very hot area this would be a better choice due to the lightweight nature of the glove and breathable mesh material.

Grip Boost Stealth Football Gloves Pro Elite

The Grip Boost Stealth Football glove is another new glove that has gained popularity recently due to its cutting-edge grip technology as well as it’s cool camo style palm graphics.  Grip Boost started out just making a sticky, tacky paste that can be applied to gloves to increase their grip.  Once they say the wild popularity of this product they expanded into producing full sports gloves that include the grip technology in the palm. Since Grip Boost is not quite a household name yet, these gloves are priced very reasonably and are getting nothing but great reviews.  This glove is also surprisingly lightweight and breathable due to the material used in its construction.  I would recommend this glove for any skill position who wants the best grip in the industry and wants to try a new brand while saving a few dollars.

Cutters Winterized Receiver

If you are looking to buy just one pair of gloves for all weathers than there are better options out there.  However, if you are looking to buy a second pair that’s made for cold weather and playoff conditions, the Cutters Winterized receiver glove is a great choice for you.  This glove is lined with a warm, but breathable fleece material and adds an additional wrist cuff to keep your wrists and upper arms insulate and warm.  If you have ever had your fingers or wrists pinched between helmets during a cold game, you will appreciate exactly how important it is to stay warm to play your best.  Like the Cutters REV, this glove also includes the “C-Tack” grip technology and is machine washer and dryer friendly for easy cleaning.

Battle Ultra-Stick Receiver Gloves

These Battle receiver gloves are very new and they have quickly become quite popular due to their logo and “Battle” graphic across the palms.  The gloves include a level of tack grip that is the maximum legally allowed by most high school and collegiate organizations.  Battle offers a 90-day durability guarantee which gives you peace of mind that these gloves are built to last and will be replaced if there is any defects or issues with your specific pair. Although I don’t see these gloves as the absolute best receiver gloves on the market, they are a solid glove for middle or high school players with a great looking logo and a warranty.

Under Armour Men’s UA Combat III Football Gloves

The UA Combat III is Under Amours leading lineman glove and is priced surprisingly low considering the high profile brand that Under Armour has become.  This specific glove meets all standards of the most popular football organizations and has an adjustable wrist strap for extra protection.  The padding of this glove is extremely durable and lightweight and it also features a moisture transport system to reduce sweating and prevent the glove from getting soaked during rainstorms.  The palm is triple reinforced with thick materials and stitching to prevent tears or abrasion and allow the glove to outlast its competitors.  Overall this is a great budget lineman glove for those who don’t want to pay the very high prices for Cutters or Nike branded gloves,

Cutters Force Lineman Gloves

These Cutters Force lineman gloves are made for the trenches and are the ultimate in hand protection.  These gloves feature compressed padding on the back of the hand, fingertips, and palm to provide protection in the most commonly injured areas of a lineman’s hand.  If you have ever had your hands stepped on by a 300 lb opposing lineman, you will be thankful for this level of protection.  This glove even has a double-wrapped wrist strap for added wrist support which will come in handy for pass blocking when a large amount of force and stress is applied to the wrists.  Apart from just the padding and protection, this glove also has Cutters’ “C-Tack” material on the palm and thumb for added grip when blocking or snapping the ball as a center.  Overall this is one of the top lineman gloves on the market and if you can afford the high price, you will definitely not be disappointed.

EliteTek RG-14 Football Gloves Youth and Adult

EliteTek is another relatively small and unknown brand that has begun to offer solid quality sporting goods at a very affordable price.  This glove features a very slim fit and grip technology that is comparable to many of the gloves from the many high profile brands on this list.  EliteTek designed these gloves for all weather conditions and add a customizable area where you can add your jersey number which I think is a great touch.  Overall I this glove is decent good quality, but what makes these gloves great for some is the very low cost.  If you are on a budget or just starting to play, these would be great beginner gloves to try out.

Nike Superbad 3.0 Padded Football Receivers Gloves

A padded receivers glove? This glove is unique as it combines the tight fitting and extra grippy tack palm of most receiver glove with the lightweight, but protective padding of linebacker and lineman gloves.  Unlike traditional bulky lineman gloves, the padding on the Superbad 3.0’s is designed to allow the hand to open and fingers to extend fully to catch high passes.  This glove is also made from water-resistant material to prevent them from becoming heavy and soaked from either rain or sweat.   Overall I think this is a great glove for outside linebackers, defensive backs, or even tight ends who go out for passes frequently.

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