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Ultimate Guide to Archery Gloves

For fans of archery, it is known that the sport can be demanding on the hands and fingers. As such, it is crucially important to have top quality archery gloves that are both long-lasting and able to provide support and protection.

 Archery gloves are an essential piece of gear for anyone practicing the sport. These gloves can help archers to better grip their bows and aim better as well. They can vary according to four main factors: design, material, durability, and extra features.

Keep reading to learn more about what to look for in archery glove features, as well as an in-depth look at some of the best archery gloves currently available for purchase.

What to Look for in Archery Gloves

It is crucial when shopping for archery gloves to be aware of the critical components that make up a high-quality glove. As mentioned, the four main factors to look at are glove design, material, durability, and any extra features that make a particular brand of glove stand out.

There are many elements to archery gloves, such as design, that will come down to personal preference regarding what features make a glove better. However, features such as material may have an apparent top dog in terms of which material is of the highest quality and most sought after.

Understanding these different components contributing to an archery glove’s quality is crucial for meeting both archery necessities and personal desires.

Design

There are several different types of designs that archery gloves can come in. However, it is essential to be mindful of the usefulness of the glove as well as the aesthetic. When choosing a glove style, keep in mind that the glove’s primary function is to protect the hand and fingers while practicing your archery skills.

Look for extra padding near the fingertips: from about the middle knuckle to the fingertip.

There are some gloves out there that do not feature a design that gives extra padding to the fingertips. These can still be suitable gloves, though they lack some of the protection of traditional gloves that have finger coverings. Additionally, gloves will vary in terms of which fingers or parts of the hand they cover.

Most archery gloves will not cover the hand entirely and only have between 1 – 3 finger coverings compared to a standard glove, which has 5. The pointer finger is the most used in archery, and thus almost all designs try to cover or protect this finger in particular in some way.

Material

There are four main types of materials that most archery gloves will be made from: leather, suede, canvas, and nylon. However, leather stands out as the primary and preferred material for archery gloves.

There are several different types of leather, and factors such as the glove’s durability and effectiveness will vary depending on the leather’s quality. Here are a few of the most popular types of leather used to make archery gloves:

  • Suede: Suede is a type of leather that features a fuzzy rather than a smooth surface and can be crafted by full grain or split leather.
  • Full Grain (Premium): The highest quality of leather made from the strongest parts of an animal’s skin.
  • Top Grain: medium quality leather that ranks below full grain but is still higher quality than split leather.
  • Corrected Grain (Split): Split leather is crafted from the remaining layers of skin and hide, and while it is considered a lower non-premium quality, it is highly versatile and used to make many leather goods.
  • Deerskin/Doeskin: Leather made from deerskin rather than cowhide is generally a lot more soft, supple, and good for dexterity.

Durability

The durability of an archery glove can be dependent upon both the design and the material. For instance, while leather may be the best type of material for archery gloves to be made from, the quality can vary vastly depending on the type of leather being used.

However, one of the main reasons leather is used and preferred for archery gloves is that even the lower quality forms still have incredibly high durability levels, which is essential for archery. Naturally, durability will be greatest when premium full-grain leather is used.

Gloves made of a material other than leather are likely to be less durable in the long run. However, machine-washable fabrics may be able to withstand a more extended period of use. Essentially, you get what you pay for; leather tends to be more expensive, but a leather glove will last you a very long time. On the other hand, while other materials will be cheaper, you may end up having to buy more of them.

Extra Features

Not every archery glove is made the same, and, as such, there are many extra features that customers can look for according to their own personal preferences about what they like in a glove’s design. By identifying what styles of gloves you like, you will be better able to narrow down your hunt for the perfect glove.

Below are some common examples of how extra features can affect the overall style and design of an archery glove:

  • Adjustable Wristbands: Velcro wristbands that can be adjusted to fit a wide range of wrist sizes are important for making a glove’s size more customizable for the person wearing it.
  • Aesthetic Designs: Certain design elements, such as color, can be chosen according to what the user finds aesthetically pleasing rather than according to practicality, giving gloves a more comprehensive aesthetic range.
  • Reinforced Fingertips: As covered, protection of the fingertips is a key purpose of the archery glove. Some gloves will have reinforced fingertips that add extra layers of fabric or material to protect the tips of the fingers better.
  • Additional Materials: Additional materials, such as elastic, can be combined with the material the glove pieces are made out of to give the glove a better sense of agility and flexibility.

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What Are the Best Archery Gloves?

Below are five of the best archery gloves currently available for purchase. These products are weighed against the components listed above to better measure how they measure up against one another. Additionally, the below five products are listed in no particular order, and each has its own advantages.

Damascus DWC Archery Shooting Glove

Damascus is one of the biggest gear companies within the archery industry. It’s no surprise to see them here on this list, considering they are known for their high quality yet affordable products.

  • Design: This Damascus glove is brown with a tactical sort of aesthetic. It is made to be worn on the pointer finger, middle finger, and ring finger – plus, it can be worn on either hand.
  • Material: Made entirely out of thick and soft doeskin leather, including an adjustable leather strap.
  • Durability: Doeskin is a type of leather that is light and flexible yet also very durable, making this glove a long-lasting one.
  • Extra Features: Rather than just cover the fingers, this glove covers the top of the hand as well, adding a more generous amount of protection.

Top Reviews from the United States

The overall opinion of consumers who have purchased this glove is a positive one, with the general consensus being that this glove is a great purchase. Of the more than 400 ratings, here are some of the most common pros and cons given about this glove:

Pros:

  • Leather is thin and supple
  • Well-matched with lighter-weight bows
  • Durable stitching and Velcro

Cons:

  • Choosing the right size can be difficult. Find a sizing chart for Damascus gloves before purchasing.
  • The wristband can get itchy or scratchy over time

TOPARCHERY Archery Hand Guard Protector Shooting Glove

TOPARCHERY is a lesser-known brand but still a reputable online retailer of archery supplies and they have many different archery gloves to offer. Of all their options, this glove, in particular, stands out for its sturdiness and aesthetic.  

  • Design: Black-colored leather made to be worn on the left hand specifically, with glove finger holes for the pointer finger and thumb-only. The fingertips, however, are not covered.
  • Material: Made with cow split leather, also called genuine leather made from the layers of skin beneath the surface layers.
  • Durability: This glove is made to be fracture and sweat resistant. The leather’s quality may lessen the overall time frame these gloves will last for, but they are still durable, nonetheless.
  • Extra Features: It comes with an adjustable wrist strap.

Top Reviews from the United States

Consumers who have purchased these have an overall positive opinion of the glove’s sturdiness and protection of the fingers. Here are a few pros and cons based on the over 140 ratings and reviews given of this product:

Pros:

  • Suitable for shooting off the hand (placing the arrow on the hand rather than on the arrow shelf on the bow)
  • High-quality sturdiness
  • Very inexpensive yet good quality overall

Cons:

  • Potentially painful riveting placement
  • Only comes in one size, and adjustable wrist strap may not suit all sizes

October Mountain Products Mountain Leather Shooting Glove

October Mountain is a high-quality archery and pro-shop supply seller. They offer an extensive array of archery products, including the highly-rather Mountain Leather Shooting Glove.

  • Design: This glove shares a similar design to the earlier covered Damascus glove, with three finger coverings for the pointer, middle, and ring fingers. This glove covers less of the top of the hand but still provides some added protection, and has an adjustable Velcro strap.
  • Material: This glove is handcrafted from premium cowhide that is soft and comfortable.
  • Durability: The high-quality leather makes this glove a durable one that will hold up for users for long periods of time.
  • Extra Features: The glove is often praised for its reinforced fingertips that add an extra layer of protection.

Top Reviews from the United States

This October Mountain glove has over 160 customer ratings and reviews that are overwhelmingly positive. The material and durability are the standout features of this glove, with size being the primary area of concern. Here are a few pros and cons based on customer reviews:

Pros:

  • Supple and breathable leather
  • Good at buffering the pressure from the bowstring
  • Quick to break-in

Cons:

  • Size-wise, this glove seems to run a bit small and may not be great for archers with larger hands.
  • Finger length does not seem to scale with the size

NEET Suede Leather Glove

NEET has produced premium soft and leather goods since 1956, and their suede leather archery glove is a testament to that experience within the industry.

  • Design: This glove has the same three finger design as the October Mountain and Damascus gloves, but the design approach is entirely different. The three reinforced fingertips are attached by straps that connect to a Velcro wristband.
  • Material: This glove is made from suede, a type of leather that is very visually appealing and pleasant to the touch while also being long-lasting.
  • Durability: Suede is a very durable material, although it is vulnerable to becoming dirty or stained more than other leather types.
  • Extra Features: The finger straps are attached to the wristband using an elastic back insert that gives the glove a more significant amount of flexibility.

Top Reviews from the United States

These suede gloves from NEET offer an aesthetically different approach to the archery glove while also providing significant benefits. Here are the pros and cons taken from the more than 500 ratings and reviews about this product.

Pros:

  • The thickness of the suede provides ample protection
  • The flexibility provided by the elastic insert gives excellent mobility to the wrist
  • High breathable thanks to the more minimal design

Cons:

  • Like many of the other gloves, sizing tends to be an issue. Gloves typically run small.
  • Take a while to break-in

Archery Max Three Finger Archery Gloves

The final product in this list is yet another three-finger glove made by ArcheryMax, an archery supply company and a hub for archery enthusiasm.

  • Design: There is nothing too fancy about this three-finger design, with reinforced fingertips and a secure wristband.
  • Material: The glove is made of a brown cow leather that is soft and thin.
  • Durability: Despite the thin nature of the glove, it is still highly durable, thanks to being made from quality cow leather.
  • Extra Features: It comes with a detailed sizing guide to help buyers make the right size choice.

Top Reviews from the United States

This glove is actually a bestseller in Amazon’s Archery Protective Gloves department. Here are the pros and cons for this glove based on the more than 1,000 reviews and ratings of customers.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable – stays free of signs of wear and tear for over a hundred shots
  • Provides great assistance for aiming
  • Great flexibility and easy to break in

Cons:

  • People with larger hands may find the length to be a bit short
  • Not designed to be used on either hand

Check out these other articles you’re sure to enjoy:

What is the Best Compound Bow Release?
How to Get the Right Archery Finger Tab Size: An Easy Guide
Overcoming the Top 10 Traditional Archery Frustrations

Finger Tabs vs. Archery Gloves

For many archery lovers, gloves explicitly designed for archery practice are a welcomed commodity that can help them to improve their shot. However, some archers prefer not to wear gloves and find this method to help their shot as well. Regardless of whether a glove is used or not, there still needs to be protection for the fingers.

There is an alternative to the archery gloves that is a much smaller piece of gear. Rather than being a piece of clothing covering the hand like a glove, finger tabs are small pieces of leather that slip over the feeling side of the fingers and are connected by ring-like loops that go around one or multiple fingers.

When it comes to why archers may want to use finger tabs instead of gloves, there is one primary reason: sensitivity.

The material used for finger tabs (usually leather) is generally thinner than the material used for archery gloves. This means that gloves give you more padding around your shooting fingers but it also means you have less fine sensitivity. When you shoot with a tab, you can feel the very fine variations between each release and can more quickly identify what your may need to correct.

This comes at a cost. Your finger will fatigue much faster when using a tab.

Final Thoughts

Archery as a sport can be tough on the hands – the hands play a significant role in the execution of shooting an arrow with a bow. Thus, it is crucially important to ensure you are using the proper gear needed when practicing archery to protect your hands and fingers.

It is vital to keep all elements of an archery glove in mind when shopping for your perfect glove. Leather is generally the preferred material, and a design that incorporates some kind of finger covering is ideal.

Regardless of which glove you choose, remember to spend a fair amount of time breaking it in so that you will have the greatest amount of control and precision when shooting with it on.