Football gloves are an essential piece of equipment for any serious player. You've seen NFL stars wearing them on the field. You've probably seen the advertisements for them.
But what do they actually do?
And the million-dollar question—should they be sticky?
After all, sticky fingers are great for catching a football but can get you into trouble in other situations. Remember when that Dallas Cowboys running back got caught shoplifting underwear from the mall a few years back? Yeah, having sticky fingers wasn't the best idea in that case.
But don't worry—as far as football gloves go, sticky fingers are actually a good thing. In fact—at least on the football field—"tackier" is almost always better.
In this guide, we’ll explore what makes football gloves a necessity, how to customize football gloves, how to care for them, and why they should always have a bit of tackiness.
What Do Football Gloves Do for a Player?
Football gloves have several important functions for players. They protect hands from cuts, abrasions, and scrapes, and keep players’ hands warm when it’s cold out—which is especially helpful in a sport whose regular season runs from September to January (not counting the Super Bowl, of course!).
But the most important thing that football gloves do is give added grip when catching or throwing the ball. The best football gloves are made with sticky material that helps players grip the ball and maintain control, regardless of whether the hand is wet or dry. The stickiness also protects against fumbles, which can be disastrous for an offense.
That’s why many players prefer "super sticky" football gloves – the extra stickiness helps them hold onto the ball better.
Are Sticky Gloves Allowed in the NFL?
Well, if they weren't, then nobody would wear them! The NFL actually has specific rules about what kind of gloves players can wear. According to NFL regulations, adhesive substances technically aren't allowed—with the notable exception that players are allowed to wear gloves with tacky surfaces. Specifically, the rulebook says:
"Adhesive or slippery substances on the body, equipment, or uniform of any player; provided, however, that 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.
So don't worry—you won't get penalized for having sticky fingers in modern football. But you might not want to wear them to any department stores just in case.
Do All Football Gloves Have the Same Amount of Stickiness?
No, not all football gloves have the same amount of stickiness. Different brands will use different materials to create their own unique gripping action. Some gloves will be more sticky than others, while some may not be as sticky at all.
When deciding on a football glove, look for sticky rubberized materials in the palm. These will provide better grip and more durability than gloves without sticky, rubber palms.
The premium materials used in professional quality football gloves will also last longer—giving you the most bang for your buck.
How Do You Clean Your Football Gloves without Removing Grip?
Unless the tag on your gloves specifically says otherwise, handwashing is the best way to wash football gloves. Do not use any harsh detergents, fabric softeners, or other chemical cleaners. Instead, use a mild detergent and cold water.
Allow the gloves to soak in a mixture of water and mild liquid detergent for a couple minutes. Use a very soft toothbrush or similar tool to remove dirt and debris from the surface of the gloves. Be very careful at this point not to remove the stickiness of the gloves.
Rinse the football gloves with cold water, then gently squeeze out the excess moisture and air dry them in a place away from direct sunlight. Never put them in a dryer or use any other type of heat to dry them—high heat can damage the sticky material of the gloves.
In case you do need to restore the stickiness to your football gloves, check out: How To Restore Grip With Football Gloves)
How to Customize Football Gloves
A good pair of football gloves is essential for any serious player, providing extra grip, warmth, and protection. When shopping for football gloves, be sure to look for sticky rubberized material in the palm area. This will ensure a good grip on the ball, and the rubber will offer greater durability compared to other materials.
Personalized, custom football gloves with sticky rubber surfaces can help players avoid the dreaded fumble, and are even allowed in NFL games. So if you really want to improve your football handling, consider custom football gloves from Relentless Sports. We specialize in professional-grade gloves with tackified surfaces that will help you get a grip—and keep it.
With a wide selection of colors, custom team logos, and text options, you can customize the perfect glove to match your team's uniform (or your own personal style).
Get ready to take control of the ball—and the game—with Relentless' professional-quality sticky football gloves. Head to Relentless Sports to get your own personalized pair today!