Do Receiving Gloves Help You Catch a Football?

Football players trying to snatch ball from another player
man holding football with receiving gloves (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Receiving gloves give football receivers an edge when it comes to catching the ball. The gloves aren't magic, so they won't help you much if you're not already well-versed in the receiver's role. However, technology continues to improve the gloves to give them better grip while allowing for a natural feel when a receiver catches the football.

Sticky on the Surface

The main benefit receiving gloves offer is a better grip when you're trying to make the catch. The gripping surface varies; some have small, rubberized bumps, while others have silicone patches on the palm. Others include chemical substances that make the glove palms tacky, which helps make those amazing one-arm catches possible. Many of the gloves are thin, at least on the palm, so you can feel the ball and know where to grip it while the glove provides traction to keep you from dropping the ball.

Making Hands Weatherproof

When your hands and the ball get slick in wet and snowy weather, receiving gloves help give you traction on the ball to keep it in your hands. Even those chemically treated to feel slightly sticky maintain their tackiness in wet and cold weather. Typical thin receiver gloves don't offer much protection from the cold, but thicker varieties exist to help keep your hands warm in addition to improving your grip. The downside is that you won't have the same feel on the ball when it comes your way.

Keeping Million-Dollar Hands Healthy

As the receiver, you're in charge of making the money catches. This can happen only if your hands are injury-free. The padded backs of most receiver gloves help keep your hands and fingers safe when you jam your hands against an opponent's pads or when someone steps on your hands. They can't prevent all injuries, but they help reduce the chance of injury.

Not Just for Receivers

Receivers aren't the only players who benefit from gloves. The gloves improve your grip, and not just on the football. Any player who needs to hold onto something, such as an offensive lineman keeping a defensive tackle at bay, can benefit from the textured or tacky surfaces of football gloves. These players often opt for thicker gloves to help reduce finger and hand injuries often caused with close contact.

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