Do Receiving Gloves Help You Catch a Football?

Minnesota Vikings v Denver Broncos

Yes, receiving gloves help. Rich McKay, the chairman of the NFL's competition committee explained to the NY Times, "There’s no long-term statistical data that I’ve seen, But they definitely make some difference, there’s no doubt about that.”

The Glove material's liquidlike property at microscopic lengths make it sticky because material experts explain the viscoelastic material acts as both a solid and a liquid. Macroscopic, the glove material is solid and microscopic lengths it acts as liquid; increasing surface tension.

The first receiving gloves worn were either glass cutters’ gloves or scuba diving gloves. In fact, if you are looking for cheaper alternatives, the rubbery gloves to protect from glass edges will also help you catch a football. Avoid scuba diving gloves, receiving gloves are better.

How much better are receiving gloves?

Experiments by Sarah Fay, Ph. D. M.I.T. determined gloves have roughly 20 percent more grip force. A key finding Dr. Fay pointed out to the NY Times, there is no difference between a wet glove and a wet hand.

Expert experiments show there is no statistical benefit between wet receiving gloves and wet hands.

What should you look for in a receiving glove?

Experts point out the key to receiving glove performance is how soft and deformable the silicone can be. More deformable and soft means the glove will better adhere to the football surface variations. By rule in the NFL, the football is pebble grained leather.

NFL Rules

In 1981, a tacky substance called Stickum was outlawed by the N.F.L. According to Rule 5, Section 4, Article 4, Item 8 of the N.F.L. rule book. "players may wear gloves with a tackified surface if such tacky substance does not adhere to the football or otherwise cause handling problems for players."

Silicone receiving gloves must leave no residue on the football. And, receiving gloves give football receivers an edge when it comes to catching the ball.

Gloves are not Magic

The gloves are not magic. They will not help you much if you are not already well-versed in the receiver's role. Technology continues to improve the gloves to give them better grip while allowing for a natural feel when a receiver catches the football.

Benefit: Sticky on the Surface

The main benefit receiving gloves offer is a better grip when you try to make the catch.

The gripping surface varies:

  • Some have small, rubberized bumps
  • Others have silicone patches on the palm.
  • Others include chemical substances that make the glove palms tacky.

Gloves do help 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.

Benefit: Make Your 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.

Gloves: Not Just for Receivers

Receivers are not 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.

Brands that make Receiving Gloves

The Price range is around $30 and Amazon Featured Brands include:

  • Under Armour
  • Nike
  • Battle
  • Grip Boost
  • adidas
  • Franklin Sports
  • Cutters - the originator of receiving gloves
  • Seibertron
  • Phenom Elite
  • FOCO

What gloves do NFL players wear?

  1. Wide Receiver Odell Beckham jr. wears custom Nike Vapor Jet 6.0 Gloves
  2. Running Back Derrick Henry has worn the Nike Superbad 6.0 gloves
  3. WR Cooper Kupp wears Nike Gloves and you can buy his game worn XL size gloves online

Highlight Reel of One-Handed Catches