Since the introduction of the glove in tackle and flag football, players across both versions of the sport, now wear the best football gloves on the field that they can find each game, dependent on their offensive or defensive position. You’ll find some of the best football glove brands available, from the stickiest wide receiver gloves, to ones with extra layers of padding if you’re in the trenches. In order to coach you on the perfect pair of football gloves for your position, below is a breakdown of the top nine pairs of flag football gloves and tackles gloves ready for this season. You will even find one pair at the bottom to avoid at all costs, because buyer’s remorse is like throwing an interception with the game on the line.
- Ranking the 9 Best Football Gloves of 2018, Plus 1 to Avoid
- 2018 Buying Guide for Football Gloves: Are You a ‘Skill Position’ or ‘In the Trenches’ Player?
Ranking the 9 Best Football Gloves of 2018, Plus 1 to Avoid
- Cutters C-Tack Revolution – Best football gloves for flag football – top choice: This is Cutters signature glove so you know that the company has put everything into its design and construction. These are the best football gloves for flag football because they are perfectly priced for your average flag football player, yet they provide features that you would expect of gloves with a much higher price point. These gloves have the C-Tack grip as mentioned above, but the grip has been improved over everything Cutters have put out in the past. The result is a glove, which has strong grip that is remarkably consistent no matter where your contact point is on the ball or as you’re pulling an opponents flag. This makes for some amazing highlight reel plays as you’ll be better equipped to make one-handed and fingertip catches, flag pulls and INTs more easily with the extra grip. The gloves also come in a massive variety of colors and display a simple, understated design. The C-Tack Revolution also offers an outstanding combination of grip and durability, something other gloves in the field are still aspiring to match.
- Nike Vapor Jet 3.0 – Best football gloves for flag football – Runner-up: The Nike Vapor Jet 3.0 is an ideal football glove for those that want to stand out from the crowd. This is another of the best football gloves for flag football as it combines high performance with that little something special that Nike products always seem to provide. Most flag football leagues take place in warm outdoor climates or humid indoor arenas, which can make it more it likely to drop passes because of the combination of sweaty palms and a slick football. These gloves help alleviate that problem and the Nike MagniGrip CL technology on the palm is a sticky, durable substance that helps grip to the surface of the pigskin no matter the condition. The Vapor Jet 3.0 also looks at curing the problem of gloves that make players hands too hot. By combining its synthetic leather upper with mesh panels, more ventilation is allowed than you would find in the average glove. This design works well and makes the glove an ideal choice for indoor or outdoor adult league or pickup game players.
- Under Armour Combat IV – Best football gloves for linemen: While wide receivers and other skill position players have a plethora of football gloves to choose from, offensive linemen find their selection of gear much more limited. Good linemen gloves need to do all the little things right, protecting the player and their fingers, while allowing enough flexibility to achieve full range of motion to engage, or disengage, a block. These are among the best football gloves for linemen because Under Armour knows what it is trying to do and sticks to it. This begins with the coloring, because although the black and white is as basic as it gets, it also makes it a little harder for a referee to spot a hold or a hand in an illegal position in tackle, such as hands to the face. This seems to be the main reason why all linemen football gloves seem to be so boring compared to those for receivers. Additionally, Under Armour Combat IV gloves feature streamlined finger padding which give that much needed motion while still protecting the digits. The glove also strikes an ideal balance between strength and use of lightweight materials. The design process goes even further as these gloves also come with a removable power strap that will give wrist support whenever needed.
- Grip Boost Stealth – Stickiest football gloves: Sometimes when playing football stickiness is key. If you are looking for that little extra tackiness in your glove then the Grip Boost Stealth football gloves are among the stickiest football gloves on the market today. The gloves are made with the expected lightweight material for comfort and they still provide the required protection. Where this glove really shines though is in its grip. The palms of the gloves are infused with the GB Grip Tack Technology, making it one of the tackiest palms ever created. If you want to dominate your flag football league then these gloves are going to help turn deflections into interceptions and near misses into completions.
- EliteTek RG-14 – Best football gloves for rain: The EliteTek RG-14s are prized for their skin tight feel. These gloves are so thin that it is easy to forget you are wearing them at all. This is true right up until the point of completion when the Grip Tech Palm Technology takes over and makes plucking the spiral out of the air a breeze. While some gloves lose their grip in the rain, the EliteTek RG-14s actually get better in bad conditions. The water seems to activate the tacky pad to a whole new level and while others are losing grip on the ball and dropping passes these gloves will result in no obvious drop in level of play from dry to wet conditions. Just be aware these gloves are supposed to fit tight and thus run noticeably smaller than other pairs.
- Under Armour F5 – Best football gloves for wide receivers: The F5 from Under Armour is everything that a wide receiver would need in a football glove. These gloves hit all the key technology points with their light weight and flexible design. They are created for receivers so they are made from HeatGear fabric to keep hands cool, dry & light, even in the middle of summer. This breathability of the glove is important and is a huge reason that these are the best football gloves for wide receivers. These gloves feature Armour GrabTack technology on the palm, so even the most average weekend warrior will be pulling down balls like Randy Moss in his prime.
- Adidas adiZERO 4.0 – Best football gloves for tight ends: Let’s face it. In 2018 all aspiring tight ends want to be more like Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce than they want to be an extra blocker on the line of scrimmage. The tight end position has evolved more than any other over the last decade and the best tight ends around today have the athletic ability and ball skills of a wide receiver. That is why this adiZERO 4.0, a receiver glove, is among the best football gloves for tight ends. They are lightweight and tacky, as all receiver gloves need to be, but there is more rigidity in these than in some of the competing models. Any tackle football tight end will have to block primarily, so this extra support is going to be crucial for those plays. Then you can get right back to showing off your receiving skills.
- Cutters Gamer All Purpose – Best football gloves for running backs: Running back is an interesting position to consider when it comes to football gloves. As a running back you still need the extreme grip advantage that a wide receiver requires – both for catching balls out of the backfield and holding it high and tight during contact – but you also need extra padding and protection as a RB will find himself many tight, high-contact situations that involve blocking especially during pass protection situations. The Cutters Gamer All Purpose gloves are the best football gloves for running backs because they give the wearer the best of both worlds. These gloves are light and breathable, but they are also tough and robust. The gloves feature the C-TACK material on the palm for extreme grip and they have compression molded foam padding along the fingers (specifically the thumb and index finger) for extra protection. You will feel this benefit the second someone tries to strip a ball from behind and hammers the top of your finger as with these gloves the blow is absorbed and pushed away.
- Under Armour Fierce VI – Best football gloves for linebackers: Linebacker gloves need to be versatile in the same vein as running back gloves. In many ways the ratio of comfort and grip to strength and protection is reversed here, but any linebacker gloves need to be a hybrid of the two main styles of gloves we have mentioned already. The Under Armour Fierce VI football gloves are the best football gloves for linebackers because they are the perfect blend of a receiver glove and a linemen glove. This glove has the fit and feel you need to be confident in bringing drown ball carriers and snagging interceptions, while also having strategically placed flex padding to protect the fingers and knuckles in contact situations.
- Adidas Crazy Quick Receiver Glove: One to Avoid: The problem with the Adidas Crazy Quick gloves is not in the styling or the grip. These gloves actually work very well, for the short time you are able to use them. This particular glove has none of the durability of other gloves in its class. The bigger problem though is that the durability fails on multiple levels. There are reports of the gloves splitting at the seam or the tacky grip peeling off after as few as two uses. Given that there are so many comparable, more durable options out there, these are the main football gloves to avoid.
Two Top-Rated Brands of Football Gloves
The brand of football glove you choose is actually more important than you might think. The wide receiver glove has exploded along with the growth of flag football, so in the same way it is with the best football cleats, every company out there is trying to grab their market share.
The big item to note here is that each glove company has its own technique to add grip to its gloves. These techniques are generally found throughout the product line at each company, so above the style of the glove it is important to find a grip pattern that fits the way you personally catch and hold the ball.
Here are a couple of the marketplace leaders:
- Cutters: Cutters are a glove specialist and that automatically makes them worth a look in a competitive marketplace. Their football gloves feature C-Tack Performance Grip Material, which actually makes the material part of the enhanced grip itself. The main benefit of this feature is that the gloves grip is self-restoring and that by washing or wiping down with a damp towel the grip will be fully restored. The C-Tack also allows Cutters gloves to perform and shine in all conditions, with the grip even being enhanced when the gloves get wet. As long as there is a towel (or something similar) handy to wipe down the gloves you should be all set to take over whatever game you are playing in.
- EliteTek: EliteTek is a jack of all trades company when it comes to performance football apparel, but it is their football gloves that are the company’s specialty. Their gloves feature GripTech Palm Technology, EliteTek gloves to perform well under all weather and surface conditions. The company has also worked hard to continually evolve its product line, listening to feedback from customers to ensure the gloves have the right durability to perform in such a heavy contact sport. The tight fit style of these gloves also helps improve performance, as the idea is to feel like you are not wearing a glove at all. That ability to act as a second skin makes EliteTek gloves well worth looking into for tackle and flag football contests.
2018 Buying Guide for Football Gloves: Are You a ‘Skill Position’ or ‘In the Trenches’ Player?
There was a time when tackle football players and flag football players alike had only one way to catch a pass — with their bare hands. This was a distant, dismal time, where many more passes were dropped than caught and the whole concept of wide open, spread offenses was decades away from being realized. It’s amazing to think how far and how fast the sport has grown in 2018, as we review the top brands and gloves on the market! With modern tackle and flag football being more popular and competitive than ever, let’s take a look at some other factors to consider when picking gloves for your 2018 tackle or flag football season.
Different Types of Football Gloves:
Football gloves really fall into two very different categories. You have receivers gloves which are designed to be sleek and light, and you have lineman gloves which are built tough. Most positions on the field will wear one of these types of glove as they are specifically designed to do the job required of that skill set.
It is important that you know the features and differences between the two types of glove so you can start to plan the domination of your tackle or flag football league.
- Do You Catch Passes? You Need Wide Receivers Gloves
These are the gloves you are most likely to focus on as a rec or flag football player. These gloves are designed for the skill position guys and they combine a light, sleek form with enhanced grip to control the ball in a tackle.
Features of these gloves include the obvious enhanced grip on the palm and fingers, a lightweight and flexible construction to allow players to form a grip around the football, and some light padding on the back of the hand to help protect from impact injuries.
The gloves also often include material that strengthens around the fingers to try to bring down the number of injuries from jammed fingers or getting a digit painfully bent backwards.
- Do You Block Other Players? You Need Lineman Gloves
While wide receivers gloves are fairly ubiquitous throughout the football positions, lineman gloves are designed for one position group only. Players in the trenches take the hardest beating on the field, so their gloves are built to match, with features designed to protect the fingers (much like taping fingers) and hands from damage through hyperextension, bruising, or impact.
The finger frames on these gloves are stout, holding the fingers in place under extreme pressure. The gloves are also heavier, more padded, and lacking the tacky materials that receiver gloves feature on the palm. While this makes these gloves ideal for the every down battle in the trenches, it also makes them a bad choice for flag football as their weight and the limited mobility of the fingers are a problem when everyone is expected to be able to catch the ball.
Tips on Glove Performance and Maintenance:
Here are some bonus tips to help you get the most of the stickiness of your gloves and the longevity of them.
What Can You Use to Make Football Gloves Sticky?
- Grip Boost: The key to keeping gloves sticky is to keep them clean. If you feel that your gloves are losing their tackiness in a game, then most companies suggest squirting them with a water bottle and drying them with a towel. Keeping sweat, turf, and other moisture off of your gloves, Grip Boost is the best way to keep them sticky and ready to make that vital play to win the game.
How to Wash and Clean Your Football Gloves Like New:
Hopefully, this guide has given you the information needed to go out and grab a pair of football gloves for your flag or tackle league. After deciding if you need lineman or skill position gloves, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the myriad of choices available. One thing that is clear is that buying a pair of gloves, treating them with respect and employing the techniques mentioned to keep them clean, will help make you a bigger threat on the field than ever before.