KNOW YOUR ARCHERY GLOVES
Archery is one of the oldest activities there is, possibly dating back up to 15,000 years ago. It was mostly used in warfare and hunting but now is mostly done as a sport. Now, we know that archery is the art of shooting arrows with a bow but more than that, the equipment you use could make an impact on your performance.
If you want to be a better archer, you will need the right equipment to support your skills, starting with archery gloves. The best gloves would have to be comfortable to use but also have a snug fit for better control and have enough flexibility to let you hold the bow.
Like with any sport, being comfortable with the equipment is essential. Because a lot of archery is using your hands and fingers to control the string and shoot the arrows, you need to have some sort of protection for your fingers to lessen any soreness and to stay clear of possible injuries. We go into detail about this essential equipment below.
What are archery gloves for?
If you’ve been practicing archery for a while now or just beginning, you’ll know that frequent shooting can cause damage to your fingers that’s why a layer of protection like gloves are essential.
Because of the constant friction between your fingers, the string and arrows, you may be prone to getting blisters or an itchy feeling on your fingers. Even more so when you’ve been doing it a long time, the irritation can develop into nerve damage and get painful in the long run. Archery gloves are made to protect your fingers from succumbing to any nerve damage or injuries.
Any blisters on your fingers could stop you from practicing archery or even doing any everyday activity. That’s why choosing the right glove is important.
What you need to consider when choosing archery protective gloves
Types of gloves
When looking at archery gloves, there are basically two types of protective gloves: standard and tab. Choosing between the two depends on your comfort level since you’ll be using it constantly.
A standard glove usually covers the whole hand or the three middle fingers which is ideal for offering a wide base of protection with some comfort and flexibility. Standard gloves are usually best for beginners and intermediate users. The thickness also allows you to keep shooting for longer because you won’t feel tiredness or pain.
Meanwhile the tab covers a smaller area, usually the top of the fingers where one pulls back the arrow. Because it’s much smaller, it takes up less space and is less of a hassle to put on. It’s mainly used because it allows the archer to feel the string more. However there is a learning curve to using it and is usually used by more advanced archers.
We recommend using gloves for when you are practicing at home or just starting out, and to use tabs for competitions or if you are practicing for competitions.
The material of your gloves is just as important. A popular choice for this is leather because of its durability and thickness. Leather can protect your hand for longer periods of time but it can feel heavy and be uncomfortable. We recommend leather for beginners to give them more protection and lighter material for advanced archers.
For advanced archers, it may be better to use polyester as it’s lighter and stretchier so it feels just like second skin as opposed to leather. However, because it’s made of thinner material, it is not as durable and you may need to constantly replace it after wear and tear.
There is also a hybrid glove which usually has leather fingertips and polyester for the rest of the fingers. It’s a great choice for most, as it gives you the needed flexibility and durability. Plus, because the polyester is there, it feels lighter on the hand and is more breathable so you can keep shooting for a longer time.
The size of your glove needs to be comfortable yet snug when you do movements. It should be tight enough that it gives you control but comfortable enough that it lets you move your hand. You should definitely avoid anything that could hinder you from moving and feeling the bow such as a glove or tab that is too baggy, heavy or loose.
While not entirely necessary, a glove with a wrist strap can give you better security and maybe more comfortable.
Depending on the climate of whichever location you’re shooting at, consider the breathability of the gloves. If it’s cold, you may want a thicker glove that protects your whole hand, and for a more humid weather, you may want a more breathable fabric to get some airflow and prevent any moisture or sweat from accumulating.
Archery gloves can go from $10 to $20 so check how much you are willing to go for. Leather gloves may cost more than polyester gloves, but these are great for beginners. For more advanced archers, you may have to shell out a bit more for tabs.
To recap, being comfortable with your archery glove is essential. It protects your drawing hand and bow hand. Plus, it prevents you from having too sore fingers or possible nerve damage. Whichever type you choose, make sure to protect your hands first.