Archery Gloves vs Tabs vs Releases

What are archery gloves, finger tabs and archery releases?

In this article we will talke about what archery gloves, finger tabs and bow releases are. We will also explain the differences for each item and how to use them to help you shoot better. If you want to check out the best finger tabs review the we put together, jump down to the review section of this article.

Why use Archery Gloves?

Why even use archery gloves? I mean do you really need to use archery gloves? You bet you do for the obvious reason to protect your hands from being damaged. Gloves also protect my hands from various types of injuries.

For instance a broken arrow can misfire and hit my hands. Or there is carbon and wood splinter injuries from wood and carbon fragments. Deep puncture wounds have also occurred from not wearing gloves. The gloves will protect your hands from being cut from the bowstring slicing into exposed fingers. There is an obvious but serious injury that could occur when not using gloves.

The gloves will not stop the injury from happening. But they could minimize the extent of the damage done to the hands. An arrow could shoot right through a person’s hand and wearing a glove would minimize the damage. The material in the gloves could slow down the penetration of the arrow into the hand. Don’t forget to check out our article about the best archery gloves review.

What are Archery Gloves?

There are 2 different types of Archery gloves that are used for different purposes. The bow hand glove actually holds the bow. The bow string hand is usually covered by a three fingered glove that is used with the popular Mediterranean pulling style. Gloves are made of Neoprene, Teflon , Lycra, Leather and Waterproof coatings. Prices range from $9.99-$26.49

How to use Archery Gloves?

I would use a glove for hunting. A split finger method would be my best bet to use my glove when hunting. I would put one finger on top of the nock and 2 under the nock. Another method for using the glove is two use two fingers instead of three fingers. The point of this is to have less finger contact on the bow string.

Pros and Cons of Using Archery Gloves

I find that gloves hinder my feeling the bow string when shooting. Sometimes your fingers don’t always release the bowstring accurately. Gloves can compound this problem of an inaccurate release by taking away the touch the fingers would give otherwise to the bowstring.

Gloves are definitely beneficial in saving your fingers from pain and possible nerve damage. Gloves are also designed with mechanical devices that improve the accuracy of a shot.


What are finger Tabs and how are They Used?

First off a finger tab is a patch that would fit over my fingers to protect them from the bow string. They are made of leather or a synthetic material. They are much more comfortable to wear in the summertime than gloves. They are also easier to be equipped with heavier materials.

I insert the finger tab on my bow string hand. The finger tab fits between my draw hand fingers. (The hand I use to pull the bowstring with.) The finger tab will protect my fingers from the bowstring. The actual tab part that touches the bowstring comes in leather and animal hair materials. Price Range $2.99-$74.99

Pros and Cons of Finger Tabs

Finger tabs leave your fingertips exposed. Your fingertips can get raw and start hurting after many bow shots. I know that when hunting the finger tab gets in my way when I use a binocular with one hand. Also the tabs move around on my hand making it awkward to do things while hunting.

Advantages for the finger tab are they are cheaper to buy than gloves are. The tabs don’t wear out and leave grooves in them like the gloves leave after much wear. I can shoot more accurately with tabs than gloves. Also the tabs are more sensitive to the bowstrings than the gloves are.


What are Archery Releases and how you use Them

Archery releases are mechanized devices that release the bow string. To know more about bow releases and which is the best one in the market, check out our archery releases review article here.

There are two types of archery releases. Hand held and one you attach to your wrist. The wrist activated one is attached to your wrist and has a trigger mechanism that is released by the index finger. This trigger releases the bowstring. The hand held one uses a trigger that is activated by the shooter’s thumb. Of course my thumb wouldn’t be as sensitive as my index finger. I can even release the bowstring with back tension with this archery release. Here is where you slightly rotate the release along with little extra tension at full draw and the bowstring is released. Prices range from $29.99-119.99. Check out our best archery release review in this article.

Pros and Cons of Archery Releases

The wrist release mechanism is noisy with the Velcro as part of the design. The drawback is that game can hear the Velcro and they will run away from the bow hunter. Also, the wrist strap is very hard to put on. So I would have to keep the wrist release on all the time which would become very cumbersome. During the shoot if that wrist release comes loose or off. It will take a long time to put it back on. The hand held release is a problem because if you lose it you are in trouble. Another weakness for me is the hand held ones just hooks on the bow string.


Archery Gloves versus Archery Tabs

Gloves or Tabs? Tabs or Gloves? There is an extensive debate going on in the archery world. It seems to be split down the middle as to which is more comfortable the glove or the tab? There seems to be no majority opinion on which is more accurate the glove or the tab. Expert shooters say they can shoot more accurately with tabs. Then there is the camp that says gloves are more accurate for shooting. One prevailing opinion is that the tab gives the shooter a quicker release than the glove. This may be true but it doesn’t guarantee the shot will be more accurate.

  • Gloves are also more expensive than tabs.
  • Tabs are easily made by shooters who say they are superior to gloves.
  • Tabs can be made cheaply as well.
  • The only thing is tabs can be lost much more easily than gloves.
  • Tabs can get in the way of doing things you normally do during hunting.
  • Tabs are preferred by archers who are target shooters.
  • Hunters prefer gloves when they hunt.
  • Gloves wear out faster and make grooves which can affect the shooters performance.
  • Tabs don’t make grooves and they don’t wear out.

Personally I would prefer a glove over a tab. Just because the glove would give me more hand control than a tab. I can live with spending more money on a glove simply because the glove gives me a more natural feel when I pull back the bowstring. The release with the glove is slower but the shot I think is still as accurate as a tab. Also in hunting you can get a quicker shot off with a glove when you need to. If I have a very fast deer running away from me in the wild; I won’t have time to position the tab to shoot my bow. My glove will always be in position and I can shoot quickly and kill the prey before it gets away.

Check out the video about using finger tabs and archery gloves below by eHowSports

Choose a Glove or a Tab

It all comes down to my personal preference. Do I want to shoot at targets only or do I want to hunt? Do I want to do both? I need to pick between a glove or a tab based on which fits my hand better. Do I want to make my own tabs? Do I want to spend a lot money? Or do I want to buy a glove and have them wear out and groove over time? Do I want to spend more money on gloves over the long term?

I need to decide which of these factors are more important. If I find that the glove is a more natural fit while I am shooting a bow then the glove is for me. If I don’t mind losing tabs at the worst times in the hunt then the tab is for me. I am looking for a quicker release then the tab will definitely fit my need. So it all comes down to what I want in my bow shooting and which will work better for me in my overall target and hunting experience. My personal preferences are my key to choosing whether I want to use a glove or a tab.

Which is for you: Archery Gloves, Tabs or Releases?

This discussion is in constant debate and it hasn’t been solved yet. I don’t believe it will be solved in the near future either. Like in the above discussion the choice of which device I use for bow shooting is what best fits my needs. Gloves do have drawbacks in comparision to release mechanisms and tabs. Gloves can make my hands sweat heavily especially in warmer weather. I could be in the middle of hunting a mule deer and my glove could fall off or be torn off by the bow string.

I could become an expert bow shooter with tabs and I could have a very quick release and a more accurate shot than I could with a glove. But I could end up losing a lot more tabs in the long run then I would lose gloves. My gloves will wear out and cause grooving eventually in the glove. The glove grooving could cause my fingers to slip off the bow string and ruin my release.

On the other hand my tabs will interfere in the other tasks I want to do while hunting. I also will find that tabs leave my fingers exposed to nerve damage and pain over the long term. In colder weather my fingers will get frost bit from the cold. You know I will not have a natural feel with the tabs like I would with a glove.

I use the release devices and I will lose the touch of my fingers releasing the bow string. Because the two types of archery release aids I could buy will have trigger mechanisms. These mechanisms will release the bow string for me. I will definitely get a more accurate shot with a tab over a glove.

And Yes you can actually can put tabs over a glove and use them simultaneously while bow shooting. It is your personal preference.

My advice is, get both of them and try them out. Eventually you will work out which one works best for you.

Also check out the articles below if you are interested in finding the best arhcery release or gloves:

The 5 best archery release reviews

The best archery gloves review and guide

The Best Archery Tab Review


Cavalier Leather Super Elite Tab

This archery tab is made out of Leather and it would fit the following Carbon arrow shafts: Predator II 700/800, Amped XS 30” and Predator II Youth 700/800 it measures at 9 inches x 5 inches x1 inch. I found that the leather was really thick and cost me some accuracy in shooting. The metal plate and spacer make it too heavy to hunt with. It weighs 2.9 ounces and is ideal for target shooting.

One weakness I found with this glove is that because of the 2 previous factors I couldn’t hunt with it. But this wouldn’t limit me in buying this tab. It would work very well for target shooting. This glove is also good for consistency in release.

I would definitely recommend this tab for anyone who is serious about using a quality tab for archery target shooting. But I wouldn’t be quick to advise using this tab for hunting purposes.

Some people found that this glove was very difficult to tighten up and the user ended up using his teeth to tighten this tab. Yes this is a little extreme to tighten a tab but for the price the inconvenience is worth it.

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Allen Company Calf Hair No Pinch Shooting Tab

This tab is made of calf hair on the bottom and looks like suede on the top. It is black and looks pretty durable. I have big hands and I don’t think it will be a problem fitting my hand. There is no size indicator and the product seems to be one size fits all. I would prefer they made these for specific hand sizes. Or if they had an adjustment to adjust to different hand sizes this would be great.

The product is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. It’s also designed to last a long time without wearing out. The only issue for me could be the calf hair could make my hand sweat excessively while using the tab. Also I don’t know how the calf hair will hold out when it gets wet. Despite these concerns I would buy the product I cannot beat that great price. The tab doesn’t hinder my hand movement on the bow string. I can get a quick release on my shot and the arrow flies accurately.

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Bear Archery Western Tab        

This product is black and looks like it’s made out of black suede. It too doesn’t cost a lot of money. It’s actually made of black cowhide. Bear has a good reputation for putting out top archery products that rank always in the top in quality. I have no doubt this tab would fall in line with that rich tradition.

Some nice features of this particular tab are it has double strength for long lasting durability. It folds up nicely not taking up a lot of space when it’s not being used. The delivery is quick and the service was top notch.

The only problem is the arrows are hard to handle with this tab. But for me this is a manageable problem that I can live with. Again I can’t beat the price of the tab. The finger and thumb areas look rather thin and they could wear out faster than I would like them to. But again the price is so reasonable this issue is minor. The tab doesn’t move around while I am loading the arrow and pulling the bow string. For this price, I would definitely buy this finger tab. And it only weighs about 2 ounces.

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Bear Archery Marshall Tab

This tab is a little heavier than the other ones weighing in at 1 lb. But again being a product of Bear it will be a good quality archery tab. A plus is that you cannot beat Bear’s customer service. Like the Western tab it too has double thickness and it’s made of top cowhide.

This tab does have one concern for me. It does have double thickness which does help in protecting my fingertips. But it is still thin material and it may wear out in a short period of time. It will be one of those wait and see deals. Anyway if it does wear out fast this is acceptable to me. The price is so cheap I can stockpile a bunch of these tabs.

Bear was quick on the delivery and their service was very good as usual. I would like to see the finger tips and the whole tab reinforced with more cowhide. This would make for a more durable tab. But the tab does protect my fingertips from the weather and damage from the bowstring to my fingers. Overall this is a good tab for the price.

>>>Check out what other customers say<<<


Each of the protective devices have its good points and bad points. They fall in a wide price range. The higher the price the better the product you will receive. Also if you are more accustomed to hunting then the glove is your best choice. Especially in those scenarios where you have to get off a quick shot. You don’t have a lot of time to make adjustments before you shoot.

Personally I would choose the glove over the finger tab and archery release. I would like my whole hand to be protected and the feel would be a lot more natural for me.

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