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What Do Bowling Gloves Do?


Bowling gloves are an essential piece of equipment for many bowlers, providing support and enhancing grip. These gloves help to improve a player’s performance by offering comfort, security, and a more effective bowling technique. The purpose of a bowling glove is multifaceted; from increased support to improved control, it allows bowlers of all levels to excel in the game, whether an amateur or a professional.

One primary function of bowling gloves is to provide support for the wrist, helping to stabilize and prevent injuries during play. Wrist support enhances a bowler’s accuracy and consistency by ensuring that the wrist is properly aligned and positioned throughout the delivery of the bowling ball. This reduces the risk of muscle strain, ligament damage, or even more severe injuries such as a sprained or fractured wrist. A well-supported wrist leads to more consistent shots, improved scores, and overall better bowling performance.

Another key feature of bowling gloves is increased grip. With specially designed materials and padding, the gloves offer a more secure grasp on the bowling ball. This not only reduces the risk of the ball slipping from the player’s hand but also helps in imparting an optimal spin on the ball, essential for the perfect curve and throw. Grip improvement can make a significant difference in a player’s performance, increasing accuracy, and contributing to higher game scores.

The Purpose of Bowling Gloves

Enhancing Grip

Bowling gloves significantly improve grip. They are designed with tacky materials, such as silicone or leather, which allow bowlers to firmly hold the ball. Consequently, this enhanced grip reduces the risk of accidental slippage and ensures a more consistent delivery.

Providing Support

Bowling gloves offer wrist, finger and thumb support, stabilizing the hand movement, and preventing strain or fatigue. They distribute the weight of the bowling ball evenly across the hand, thus allowing a more balanced swing and minimizing potential injuries.

Improving Form

Wearing bowling gloves can drastically improve a player’s form. By providing a more stable grip and support to the wrist, the bowler can better concentrate on perfecting their delivery and maintaining consistency in their form.

Ensuring Comfort

Comfort is crucial during long hours of bowling. Well-designed gloves are made with breathable materials that allow for air circulation, keeping hands dry and preventing irritation. Furthermore, they are often cushioned and adjustable for a perfect fit, creating a comfortable experience for the bowler.

Increasing Control

Bowling gloves give players enhanced control over their ball. By supporting the wrist, gloves enforce a more stable release, allowing for smoother, more accurate aiming. This increased control ultimately leads to better performance on the lanes.

Types of Bowling Gloves

Basic Bowling Gloves

Basic bowling gloves offer protection and support for the hand and fingers. They are usually made of breathable materials that provide extra grip and control, helping bowlers to avoid injuries and improve their release. These gloves normally cover the whole hand and come in various sizes and styles.

Finger Bowling Gloves

Finger bowling gloves, as the name suggests, are designed to provide support and protection specifically to the fingers. They typically have individual finger slots to ensure proper positioning, which helps avoid strain and related injuries. This type of glove is suitable for bowlers focusing on their finger technique and performance.

Tacky Gloves

Tacky gloves, known for their sticky texture, are designed to enhance gripping power while reducing wrist fatigue. They usually feature a tacky palm area that allows for better grip on the ball, without sacrificing comfort. Tacky gloves can significantly help improve accuracy and control, particularly in high-pressure situations.


Wristers, also called wrist support gloves, emphasize proper wrist positioning and stability. They feature a built-in or detachable support brace, which helps maintain a consistent release by preventing wrist flexion or extension. Wristers are ideal for bowlers who need extra support due to previous injuries or issues with wrist control.

By understanding these different types of bowling gloves, bowlers are better able to choose the right option to suit their individual needs and ultimately improve their performance on the lanes.

Features of Bowling Gloves

Material and Design

Bowling gloves are typically made of high-quality materials such as leather, synthetic leather, or a combination of both. The choice of material affects the durability, comfort, and overall performance of the glove. Leather gloves provide excellent grip and durability, while synthetic leather gloves are more flexible and lightweight. Modern bowling gloves also incorporate mesh materials for added breathability, ensuring that sweat is wicked away and your hands remain dry throughout the game.

The design of bowling gloves often features strategically placed padding in the palm and fingers, enhancing the player’s grip and control. Some gloves come with additional wrist support or adjustable straps for customized fit and stability.

Sizing and Fit

Proper sizing and fit are crucial for the effectiveness of bowling gloves. Most gloves are available in various sizes, ranging from small to extra-large. To ensure the right fit, it is recommended to measure your hand length and width and compare those measurements to the manufacturer’s sizing chart.

A well-fitting glove should be snug but not too tight, allowing for flexibility and freedom of movement. Adjustable straps and closures can help achieve a secure, custom fit, preventing the glove from slipping off during play.

Ventilation and Padding

Ventilation is an essential aspect of bowling gloves, as it helps prevent sweat buildup and keeps the hands dry and comfortable. This is usually achieved through the use of permeable materials, such as mesh or perforated leather, which allow for maximum airflow.

Padding in bowling gloves is designed to enhance grip, support, and comfort. Padding is often found in the palm and finger areas, offering protection, reducing friction, and helping the player maintain control of the ball. Some gloves have additional padding around the wrist for support and stability, reducing the risk of injuries and improving overall performance.

Popular Bowling Glove Brands

Storm Bowling Gloves

Storm is a renowned brand in the bowling world, known for their high-quality equipment and accessories.

Their Storm Xtra-Grip Plus bowling glove is a popular choice among bowlers. This glove features a textured palm and fingers, providing a secure grip on the bowling ball. The adjustable wrist strap ensures a snug fit, suitable for any hand size.

The Storm Xtra-Grip Plus glove is known for its durability and improved performance on the lanes.

Ebonite Bowling Gloves

Ebonite is another leading brand in the bowling industry, with a wide range of bowling gloves. The Ebonite Pro Form Positioner Glove is a popular option among professional bowlers, designed to provide extra support and maintain proper wrist position. This glove offers:

  • A metal support plate that distributes pressure evenly throughout the wrist
  • Molded fingertip inserts for a more consistent release
  • Ventilation holes, enhancing breathability and comfort

Ebonite offers a variety of glove options, catering to the needs of different bowlers and skill levels.

Brunswick Bowling Gloves

Brunswick is a well-established brand in the bowling world, with an extensive line of bowling gloves. The Brunswick Deluxe glove stands out as a popular choice, providing a combination of comfort, support, and grip. Key features of this glove include:

  • A textured grip on the palm and fingers for enhanced control
  • Adjustable wrist strap for a secure fit
  • Soft, durable materials that promote comfort and longevity

With these popular bowling glove brands, Storm, Ebonite, and Brunswick cater to the diverse needs of bowlers, enhancing performance and comfort on the lanes.

Benefits of Wearing Bowling Gloves

Preventing Injuries

One of the main benefits of wearing bowling gloves is injury prevention. Bowling can put strain on the thumb, joints, and ligaments in the hand, especially with repetitive motion. Using bowling gloves can reduce the risk of injuries such as calluses, blisters, and even more severe damage to your hand. Gloves offer hand support and protection, which reduces friction with the lanes and helps to maintain proper form.

Improved Grip on the Ball

In addition to preventing injuries, bowling gloves also provide an improved grip on the ball. Many bowling gloves are made of materials such as nylon and come with gripping compound features that enhance grip strength. This helps bowlers to have better control over their throw, improving both their power and accuracy. In turn, this leads to a more enjoyable and successful bowling experience.

Consistency in Wrist Position

Consistent wrist position is essential for successful bowling. Some of the best bowling gloves, like the Kool Kontrol bowling wrist positioner, come with added wrist braces or metal supports for enhanced stability. These supports help in maintaining a consistent wrist position and proper form throughout the bowling motion. As a result, bowlers are able to perform better and achieve a more precise hook in their shots.

Relief for Arthritis Sufferers

Bowling can be challenging for those who suffer from arthritis, as the strain on their hand and wrist joints can be too much. Bowling gloves designed specifically for arthritis sufferers, such as compression gloves, offer comfort and support. These gloves alleviate pain and pressure, allowing these individuals to enjoy bowling without causing further harm to their joints and ligaments.

In summary, wearing bowling gloves provides multiple benefits, from preventing injuries and offering improved grip on the ball to maintaining consistent wrist position and providing relief for arthritis sufferers. This accessory can enhance performance, increase comfort, and ultimately add to the overall enjoyment of the sport for both professional bowlers and casual players alike.

How to Care for and Maintain Bowling Gloves

Cleaning and Storage Recommendations

To keep your bowling gloves in the best possible condition, it is important to clean them regularly, especially if you have sweaty hands. Gently wipe the inside and outside with a damp cloth, avoiding soaking the glove. If you have a removable metal brace or wrist strap, take them out and clean separately.

It’s advisable to air dry your gloves after each use, which will help prevent the buildup of odor and bacteria. Also, store them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

You can find specialized bowling glove cleaning products on websites like Amazon. These products are designed to help remove sweat, dirt, and odors, prolonging the life of your gloves.

Proper Usage Tips

When using your bowling gloves, here are some tips to follow:

  • Choose the right size: Make sure you select a glove that fits your hand snugly but comfortably. Tight gloves can restrict your movements and reduce your revs (rotations per minute), while a loose glove might slip off or not provide enough support.
  • Adjust the wrist support: If your glove has a metal brace or a wrist strap, such as the Mueller Green Fitted Wrist Brace, make sure to adjust it to provide adequate support without hindering the motion of your wrist.
  • Check for wear and tear: Inspect your gloves for any signs of damage, such as fraying or tears, before each use. This ensures your glove provides optimal support and protection for your hand.

By properly caring for and using your bowling gloves, you can prolong their lifespan and enjoy a better performance on the lanes.

Selecting the Right Bowling Gloves for Your Needs

Assessing Hand and Wrist Support Needs

When choosing a bowling glove, it’s essential to determine the amount of wrist support and backhand reinforcement needed. Various types of gloves offer different levels of support, from basic coverage to built-in metal plates or bars that ensure maximum reinforcement. Identify personal requirements based on factors such as muscle strength, bowling style, and wrist flexibility. Keep in mind that higher levels of support can enhance focus and accuracy.

Considering Materials and Grip Options

The material of the bowling glove plays a role in factors such as durability, flexibility, and affordability. Many top-rated gloves, like the Storm Xtra Grip Plus Glove, feature textured palms to provide a firm grip on the ball. Look for gloves with grip pads or reinforced backhand support for added traction and control.

Materials to consider:

  • Leather: Offers a better grip, durability, and breathability.
  • Synthetic Materials: Often more affordable and flexible, with varying levels of grip.

When choosing a glove, consider the personalization options as well, such as finger sleeves or adjustable straps.

Finding the Perfect Fit

The right fit is a crucial aspect when selecting a bowling glove. Ill-fitting gloves can lead to discomfort and poor performance. A perfect fit ensures a secure grip on the ball and reduces the chance of slipping. Consider the following factors when determining the ideal glove size:

  • Hand Size: Measure hand length and width, and refer to sizing charts provided by manufacturers.
  • Finger Holes: Gloves with finger holes offer additional grip and relief for specific fingers.
  • Ambidextrous Options: Left-handed and right-handed bowlers should find gloves designed for their dominant hand.

For a more customized fit, visit a pro shop that can provide expert advice on sizing and possibly offer personalized fitting assistance. Utilize sizing charts and customer reviews to select a glove that is both comfortable and efficient.

When selecting the right bowling glove, keep wrist support needs, materials, and grip options, and the perfect fit in mind. A well-chosen glove can significantly improve a bowler’s performance, making this versatile accessory a worthy investment.