In a pinch? Get the best archery gloves

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Finger pinch, callouses and blisters can all be avoided with the use of a good archery glove. Unless of course you’ve been shooting with your fingers for years, have excellent technique, and you’ve developed a nice thick skin…. For the rest of us normal humans who shoot traditional, recurve and longbows there’s the glove or the tab.

Archery gloves and tabs aren’t only for protection though. The right material on the fingers can provide for a far smoother surface for the bowstring to slip off. Your fingers are coarse and designed to grip things, a tab or a glove can help your achieve a smoother release.

Some people swear by the tab, others by the glove. It really depends on what you learned with, what you’re used to and what you’re doing. We’re going to focus on archery gloves. Let’s take a look at what makes a good archery glove and what differentiates it from a tab.

Archery Gloves – Top Picks

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon and other retailers

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Archery gloves are great for protecting your fingers from callouses or nerve damage, but there’s also the problem of string slap. You can hurt your forearm if you’re not careful, that’s why many archers wear arm guard. You might also be interested in our recommendations for the best archery arm guard.

If you’re hunting, and you need a full cover glove, then this article isn’t for you, checkout our recommendations for the best bowhunting gloves instead!

All About Archery Gloves

Styles

​The normal style of archery gloves looks just like a glove. Take your usual run of the mill glove and remove the thumb and little finger from it, hey presto, you have an archery glove. This type of glove is designed to only cover the three fingers with which you pull the bowstring. They normally have reinforced fingertips for heavy weight bows and the opposite for lighter weight bows. The thumb and little finger are left out in the elements so that you can feel with them as they may be acting as part of your anchor.

​Traditional styles of archery glove expose even more of the hand to the elements. They are usually just three finger tip covers with three strands of material attaching them to a wrist strap. This is the minimum amount of material you need to securely cover the fingers whilst keeping the rest of the hand exposed.

Traditional vs Regular Archery Gloves
Regular (Left) vs Traditional (Right) Archery Gloves

Seamless

Whilst, no they aren’t usually completely seamless, a good glove will have no seams on the sides or front of the finger. This means there won’t be any material between your fingers to pinch​ when you apply weight to the string. 

Material Selection

​Leather is strong and offers good protection from heavyweight bows. However leather doesn’t breathe like modern materials. Leather can also crease and wear. The top flight professionals tend to use archery gloves and tabs made from cordovan leather. That’s one of the most expensive leathers in the world. Cordovan is slick and stiff, but expensive.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are archery gloves made from suede, canvas or nylon. These allow you to feel the bowstring through the glove and offer better breathability but less in the way of protection. 

Sizing​

Before you get any glove, check the sizing. Some are one site fits all. For others the manufacturers will usually offer some sort of sizing chart. You will usually need to know the distance from the tip of your middle finger to your wrist. Also the diameter of your fingertips for some ​better fitted gloves.

Tabs vs Gloves

​I’ve already mentioned that some people prefer the tab. If you don’t know what a tab is, it’s just a piece of material (usually leather) that is positioned between the fingers and the bowstring.

Archery Tab and Glove
Glove (Left) vs Tab (Right)

Over and above personal shooting preference, here’s a few reasons why you might prefer one over the other.

  • ​Archery gloves allow you to be faster to ready and release a shot
  • Tabs are easily lost
  • A tab can be used over a regular (5 finger) glove when shooting in cold conditions
  • A tab must be stored before you can use your hand properly a glove does not restrict you so much
  • Tabs are usually cheaper and can even be home-made

Try Them Out!

When all is said and done, both gloves and tabs for the regular archer are inexpensive pieces of kit. Unless you’re buying cordovan leather​ you can easily buy and try both until you find your preference.

Our Top Shooting Glove Picks In Detail

ArcheryMax Handmade Leather 3 Finger

ArcheryMax Handmade Leather Three Finger Archery Gloves , Black ,Small
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

A cow leather three finger glove designed to offer a good level of sensitivity and feel for the bow string. This has a cow leather backing, velcro wrist strap and reinforced fingertips. As always with shooting gloves you need to make sure you get the correct size. 

It’s a well made glove that will last, however due to being designed for sensitivity you probably won’t want to be using it with a bow over 50 lbs in draw weight.​​

What we liked:

  • Durable
  • Inexpensive
  • Reinforced fingertips

What we didn’t:

  • Not for 50 lbs + bows

Check the price on Amazon »

Neet Suede and Leather Shooting Glove

NEET FG2L Shooting Glove X-Small
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

Don’t be fooled by the name. The backing of this traditional style three finger design shooting glove from Neet is suede but the finger tips are smooth leather. This fastens to your wrist with a velcro strap and between the wrist strap and the finger material is elasticated. This means that even though you need to get the correct size the wrist strap and elastic will help to pull down and fit the tips snug to your fingers.

Neet produce a wide range of archery gloves and protective gear so you’re shopping with a well established brand. They also have a full size chart that includes hand length (from tip of middle finger to wrist) and finger diameter measurements for their gloves. This used to be available on their website but we’ve been unable to locate it recently so here’s a copy we found:

Neet archery / shooting glove sizing chart
Neet glove sizing chart

What we liked:

  • Durable
  • Elastic backing
  • Attractive suede finish
  • Smooth leather fingertips
  • Extremely popular

What we didn’t:

  • Fingertips can be stiff at first and need a little ‘breaking in’
  • Sizing confusion (use the chart)

Check the price on Amazon »

Neet Camo Shooting Glove

Neet also do a camo version of their popular 3 finger shooting glove. We this this is a great choice for anyone, but especially for hunters.

The tips of the fingers are smooth leather, and there is elastic between the wrist strap and the fingers of the glove but the rest is camo patterned suede.

The fingertip leather isn’t particularly thin. This glove will work well for high power bows. Much like your favorite pair of leather shoes needed ‘breaking in‘, after a few practice sessions the leather will soften and these gloves will start to fit like…. well… gloves!

Neet Camo shooting glove variant
Neet Camo Shooting Glove

What we liked:

  • Great looking 3 finger glove with camo pattern
  • Thick leather, good for higher power bows

What we didn’t:

  • Sizing isn’t obvious – use the ‘size chart’ above
  • Better when broken in

Check the price on Cabelas »

Damascus DWC Archery Shooting Glove

Damascus Doeskin Shooting Glove Medium RH/LH
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

Damascus Gear supply the armed forces and law enforcement with premium quality hand gear and have been doing this since 1955. Their leather shooting glove has fast become a firm favorite.

The leather is soft and supple, so it won’t offer protection from heavyweight bows. Anything under about 50 lbs and you’ll be fine.

A velcro strap secures this on your wrist and the fingertips are reinforced with an extra layer of leather to help with protection. That layer however does still allow for a good feel of the string.

Sizing of this one is more exact because Damascus themselves provide a sizing guide. Wrap a tape measure around your hand at the widest point and make a loose fist. Round the measurement to the nearest inch and locate your size in this table:

  • X-Small – 7″ / 17.8 cm
  • Small – 8″ / 20cm
  • Medium – 9″ / 23cm
  • Large – 10″ / 25cm
  • X-Large​ – 11″ / 28cm
  • XX-Large – 12″ / 30.5cm
  • XXX-Large – 13″ / 33cm

What we liked:

  • Durable
  • Inexpensive
  • Proprietary Sizing

What we didn’t:

  • Not for 50 lbs + bows

Check the price on Amazon »

Alternatives to Gloves

CyberDyer Cow Leather Finger Tab

CyberDyer Cow Leather Archery Finger Tab for Recurve Bows Hunting Finger Protector Brown
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

If a glove isn’t your thing, you might like to try a tab. A tab is a much cheaper alternative which can sometimes offer even more protection.

You can use a tab whilst you are wearing a regular glove, keep one in your pocket and they’re more useful for higher draw weight bows. You’ll generally find top flight competitive archers using a tab over a glove.​

What we liked:

  • Durable
  • Very Inexpensive
  • Reinforced fingertips

What we didn’t:

  • It isn’t a glove

Check the price on Amazon »

Finger Savers

Pine Ridge Archery Finger Saver Lime Green, OSFM
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

A good alternative to both the tab and the glove is the finger saver. For kids or beginners shooting relatively low draw weight bows and are prone to losing things, this may just be what you need. You’ll need to be able to string your bow to fit these. Your bow string threads through them and they simply rest on it and you pull the finger savers rather than the bowstring. You can get finger savers in a variety of funky colors to.

If you need to be fast on the draw when hunting and you’re looking for something that’s always just there that you can’t ever lose. Maybe you find a glove or a tab difficult to use. These might be the thing for you.

What we liked:

  • Always there
  • Inexpensive
  • Color choice

What we didn’t:

  • Low draw weights only
  • Can be fiddly to fit

Check the price on Amazon »

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