Archery Glove Or Tab – Which One Is Better?

Want to see what is better for you an archery glove or a finger tab? You came to the right place.

Here you will see a fair comparison between the two and see which one in my opinion is better. As you will see both have their advantages.

A finger tab is preferable to an archery glove, for beginners even more so, considering that a tab offers the ability for a cleaner release given it makes all of your fingers release the bowstring at the same time. This allows for a cleaner transfer of power from the bowstring to the arrow. The release is made even better when archers use a special technique with their tabs.

We will discuss this special “trick” a little later down the line. You should not discount the glove though, as you will see it offers many benefits as well.

Before we go into that, let’s begin with the basics.

The Reason Why You Need Protection For Your Fingers In Archery

In archery, protection is of paramount importance since the repeated drawing of the bowstring will cause damage to the fingers of your dominant hand. I’m not talking here just about the discomfort you feel drawing the bowstring for the twentieth time that day.

You will get blisters, you will feel pain and there is something worse that happens. Nerve damage. Repeated drawing of the bowstring can cause painful nerve damage on your fingers. Thus making the entire experience of shooting a bow much more painful.

So, with the basics out of the way let’s move on to the benefits and disadvantages of an archery glove versus a finger tab.

Archery Glove – The Advantages and Disadvantages

An Archery glove is a protective piece of equipment usually made from leather. Archery glove offers protection to the three main fingers on your dominant hand, thus allowing you to repeatedly draw your bow with no discomfort.

This is how a basic archery glove looks like. Usually made from leather and designed to protect the three fingers on your hand you are using to draw the bowstring with.


  • Well, the obvious first advantage is it’s very functional. You can keep the glove on you while collecting your arrows from the target. You in essence keep the functionality of your fingers to do other things with.
  • The second one is it feels much more natural than a tab.
  • The third one is related to the second one. If your anchor point is somewhere on your cheek, then it feels much more natural to feel leather on your face than some metallic piece of equipment. Archery glove makes anchoring on your face feel more pleasant.


  • It does not offer as clean of a release as a tab. The issue here is that each of your three fingers could move unevenly. Granted this is likely not as much of a problem for your if you have been doing archery for a long time but for beginners it is. if your fingers dont release the bowstring at the same time it directly affects the bowstring and thus the transfer of energy from the bowstring to the arrow. It will mess with your accuracy is what im saying.
  • The big con, aside from its possible effect on accuracy is how it reacts when subjected to the elements. Imagine this. Its summer, you decide to go out to your local archery range to shoot some arrows, you put on your archery glove made from leather and in 20 minutes your glove is drenched in sweat.

So, this is a personal pet peeve of mine. Getting sweaty hands in while wearing a glove is not something I enjoy.

To summarize this whole section:

Do You Need Gloves For Archery?

Yes, you should use a glove to protect your fingers while shooting arrows with your bow. This protection can be achieved by using archery gloves or some other protective aid like finger tabs.

Now let us move on to finger tabs.

Finger Tab – The Advantages and Disadvantages

A Finger Tab is an archery aid designed to protect the archer’s fingers during the shooting of the bow. Now finger tabs come in various shapes and sizes.

You can get some cheap leather ones, although I would not recommend you be cheap for your own protection. The issue with very cheap leather ones is that the leather can be really thin. So, if you are shooting a bow with a high draw weight you will feel the pressure from the bowstring after just a couple of shots. And not the right kind of pressure.

So, be careful what kind of tab you are buying. If you ever bought something from Amazon I suggest you take a look at this one or this one here. By clicking on the link it will take you to Amazon where you can take your pick.

Back to the main question at hand. The advantages and disadvantages of an archery tab?


  • Its easier to put on your hand and remove it than an ordinary glove.
  • It is widely believed that archery tabs, offer a cleaner release of the bowstring due to its smooth surface. This cleaner release of the bowstring aids in accuracy. The smooth surface of the tab allows the bowstring to have a more friction-less release and allows for the energy to transfer to the arrow more cleanly. In theory this leads to greater accuracy.
  • Your hand wont get sweaty in the summer unlike when you wear an archery glove.


  • Its small and is thus easier to loose.
  • A good tab is oftentimes more expensive than an ordinary archery glove.

Some archers used to put baby powder on their tabs in order to make the release even smoother. The smoother the surface on the tab the less friction the bowstring encounters when released, meaning energy transfer from the bow to the arrow is much cleaner.

This practice isn’t as popular anymore but it works! If you want to try it out, go for it.

Before we wrap this up, how about we take a look at what the professionals are using?

Do Olympic Archers Use A Tab Or A Glove?

The Olympic archers by and large use a tab instead of a glove. Due to the fact it tends to offer a cleaner release.

Olympic Archer-An San

In Conclusion

Target archers stick to tabs, while bowhunters prefer archery gloves. There is no rule that states you should use one over the other but if you look around your local archery range, a tab would be more common.

If you are a bowhunter, then most of your hunting pals will likely be using gloves.

I suggest you try both out. And figure out which one suits you better. As you can see I advise you to use an archery tab since it’s demonstrably better.

Try both options, many of you will agree with me. If you wish, feel free to take a look at my other article on the thumb draw, which is a different way to draw your bow, by using this technique you also have to use other protective devices for your fingers.

Take care.

Recent Posts