What Do Bowling Gloves Do? Do They Help Improve Your Score?

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As you enter the world of bowling you will find that you will come across more and more pieces of equipment and tools that can be used to increase your game.

Bowling balls can have different weights, drills, layouts, hooks, and revs.

Bowling shoes can have interchangeable soles for traction control and computers and lanes work in tandem to keep your game running efficiently.

These pieces of equipment have become important factors in the sport of bowling and are used to support the bowler. Like these pieces of equipment, bowling gloves work to help support the bowler during their games and can be used as tools to increase average scores.

Why Use a Bowling Glove?

The real question here is why would you not use a bowling glove? As far as tools go, a bowling glove has a variety of uses that help elevate their game to the next level while keeping their body supported and safe.

Different gloves can also assist the bowler in a variety of ways. Different gloves will work for different bowlers so knowing what you want to achieve by using gloves is a crucial first step.

In short, gloves are a versatile tool that can offer support, an increase in your game, and help elevate your bowling skills to the next level.

What Is the Purpose of Bowling Gloves?

The main purpose of bowling gloves is to offer support to the bowler. When you are bowling you are essentially throwing a heavy weight on one side of your body, usually your dominant hand side.

This repetitive method of throwing can cause strain on the muscles in your arms, wrists, hands, knees, and ligaments that can lead to tears or other injuries.

This is where bowling gloves can help. Bowling gloves have many different uses and can be used in different ways to support the bowler.

Many people use them for support to prevent the types of injuries bowling can cause by bracing and supporting limbs, joints, and ligaments. They can also be used for padding, increased grip, and assisting the structure of the bowling form.

How Does a Bowling Glove Help?

As mentioned above, bowling gloves are versatile tools that offer many uses to bowlers of all levels. They are a piece of equipment that helps the bowler elevate their game while protecting them from injury.

Gloves can also allow players of all ages to perform at a high level without the worry of strain on the body.

Support

When you are bowling you use your wrist and dominant arm muscles quite a bit. For some, the constant use puts them in danger of an injury to that dominant arm, especially their hand and wrist where the most action takes place with releasing and maneuvering the ball. It is for this reason that many bowlers choose to use a glove for support.

There are many different gloves out there to offer support to different bowlers. There are ones that wrap around just the wrist, ones that cover your hand up to your wrist and ones that go all the way up to your elbow.

While they come in all shapes and styles, the support these gloves offer helps protect your joints and ligaments from injuries that can be caused by strain from bowling. They also offer support to old injuries that are healing or can easily become injured again.

To select the best bowling glove for the support you need to look carefully at your style of bowling. What glove may work well for one bowler can bother and hinder another, it is all about personalization and finding the right fit for you.

Grip

There are also some bowling balls out there that help bowlers increase their grip. These gloves are specially designed to help the bowler grip the ball better during their approach and release.

A better grip means more control of the ball as well as less strain on the fingers, hands, and wrists, increasing the bowler’s game while supporting their hand.

The gloves can also be used simply as a barrier between the hand and the bowling ball. Your hands naturally produce sweat while bowling and this sweat can affect your grip strength.

By having a glove you no longer have to worry about sweaty hands affecting your game, the gloves will absorb the sweat for you, keeping your grip strong and ready to go!

Structure

Bowling gloves also aid bowlers in maintaining the proper bowling form they need to use for their style and to prevent injury. By acting as a rigid brace, some gloves restrict the bowler’s movements in a way that encourages accurate form and better bowling.

This method is also good for bowlers who have weakened limbs since it helps them maintain their form better and with less strain on their body.

Padding

As you are bowling a lot of friction can occur between the wrist, hand, fingers and the bowling ball. By using a glove you can create a protective padding that prevents calluses and injuries caused by this constant exposure to friction.

This way you can bowl in complete comfort, not worrying about your skin getting rubbed in the wrong way.

What Are the Types of Bowling Gloves?

When selecting a bowling glove it is crucial to look at the purpose behind why you want to use one.

Do you want to use the glove for support? Do you wish to use it to better your grip?

Or, are you looking to protect yourself from injury or support an already injured joint? Whatever the reason is, there are plenty of bowling gloves you can look into to suit your needs.

Wristers

Like the name suggests these are a type of gloves that are wrapped around your wrist.

Their goal is to provide you with a little support to prevent the breaking of your wrist (when your wrist bends back and throws off your release) and help you have an idea on where your wrist is during your throw.

They are available for bowlers who just need a little help keeping their form correct but don’t need to go straight to a full-on bowling glove. It’s about important to note that many people use wrist braces for pain experienced while bowling.

Basic Bowling Glove

These gloves are the typical gloves we think of when we hear the words “bowling gloves.” They generally have a brace going up past the wrist to provide a little support there and they have finger sleeves for your pointer and pinky fingers.

Your middle and ring fingers, as well as your thumb, are left uncovered so they can be inserted into the finger holes or used to control the hook of your ball better. These gloves have an assortment of uses, from supporting your from, helping your grip the ball better, collecting sweat and providing padding.

Tacky Gloves

These gloves generally have the same shape as the basic bowling gloves but are usually made from a different material. The goal of this type of glove is to collect sweat for sweaty bowlers and increase your grip on the bowling ball. There is generally little to no support but some glove brands do offer alternatives.

Metal Plates/Bars

We then come to the bowling gloves that are getting hard and heavy in the support category. What these gloves generally are is a basic bowling glove look-alike, except they have a metal bar or plate inserted in them to assist with support and preventing the breaking of your wrists.

These are the types of gloves people generally seek out if they need more serious support for their weakened or injured joints or need some serious help maintaining their form.

Metal Brace

We end our list of bowling glove types with the metal brace. While the other types of gloves can be clearly seen as gloves, this metal brace looks a bit like some sort of metal tube.

Though quite comfy on the inside, this glove is designed to firmly keep your wrist locked in a certain position. Many people use these types of gloves as the ultimate support for their joints or bowling form. Some also use them to keep their wrists locked as they try to learn different releases.

How to Choose a Bowling Glove?

When choosing a bowling glove you should first look at what you are going to need that glove for. Are you looking to protect your hand, wrist, fingers or arm from harm?

Are you looking to brace an old injury that needs to be supported in order to perform? Are you looking for a tool to use to help you with your form and keep your wrist straight?

Or are you looking for something to help increase your grip?

When selecting a glove you need to ask yourself these questions and then begin looking for a glove that fits these requirements. Bowlers of different ages and ability will have different needs, which is why it is so important for the bowling glove to be selected for its need, not its physical appearance.

What Are the Best Bowling Gloves?

As we mentioned earlier in this article, bowling gloves are versatile tools that fill the needs of many bowlers.

As such, the best bowling gloves is a tricky subject to nail down due to the fact that while one set of gloves may be the best wrist supports, another brand could have the best pair suited for gripping the ball.

So while we are happy to offer some brands of gloves that are beloved by bowlers for their versatility, just know that in the bowling world, there is not a set ‘best pair of bowling gloves’.

Brunswick

The brand of Brunswick is a well-known name in the world of bowling and for good reason! Known for durable products that last and a wide assortment of accessories, Brunswick works on better products to fill the needs of different bowlers.

In this case, their gloves are no different. Brunswick offers specially designed gloves that focus on support, grip or control to give bowlers of all types that edge in their game they are looking for.

Storm

Storm is also a well-known name amongst bowlers for their products and variety. In this brand, we find different gloves for different supports, budgets, and needs that help bowlers take their game to the next level.

Storm is also known for its lightweight and well-ventilated gloves that offer padding and structure without the heavy price tags.

Kool Kontrol

This brand offers gloves that are well ventilated, supportive, and comfortable. Bowlers rave about the flexibility and durability these gloves have, as well as the glove’s ventilation that allows their hands to breath.

Due to these factors, Kool Kontrol has bowling gloves that are comfortable to wear for long periods of time and fill the needs of many different bowlers.

How Do You Size Your Bowling Glove?

Note: A word of caution before we reveal the method to get your bowling glove size. This sizing helps you get an approximation of where to start your search for your bowling glove size but there really is no substitute for going in and actually trying on the gloves to see which one is the most comfortable fit for you.

Bowling glove comfort and sizing can vary based on the size of your forearm, wrist, palm and fingers whereas this method only measures your knuckles.

To find your bowling glove size you’ll need a fabric tape measure that you can wrap around your hand.

Take the end of the tape measurer and pinch it between your thumb and pointer finger before wrapping it around the knuckles of your hand. (Tip: Make sure you measure with your dominant hand since this is the hand you will be bowling with.)

Once you have the tape measurer wrapped made a fist with your hand, making sure the tape measure stays on your knuckles. Pinch where the tape begins to overlap, take note of the measurement (in inches) and use the chart below to see what size you are.

Measurement Glove Size

  • 7” X-Small
  • 8” Small
  • 9” Medium
  • 10” Large
  • 11” X-Large
  • 12” XX-Large

Do Bowling Gloves Provide Wrist Support?

They certainly do! The amount of support you get greatly depends on the type of bowling glove you select though.

If you go for a basic bowling glove you will get some support on your wrist, but not a whole lot since that is not that particular type’s main focus. If you were to select a metal brace though, you would get a great deal of support since that is the main purpose of that glove’s design.

It is up to you to figure out just how much support and stability your wrist needs when looking for a glove.

Some of the best methods to find the right glove for you are to contact your local pro bowling shop for some advice, go into the store to try gloves on or go online and read the reviews left on bowling glove products.

These simple steps can give you a lot of insight into where you need to start looking to find what you need.

Can Bowling Gloves Be Used to Protect Nails?

While bowling gloves can be used to help protect your nails, unfortunately, there is no guarantee they will stop the nails from breaking.

When you are bowling you putting a lot of pressure on the tips of your fingers and your nails, especially at your release point and while there is no sure fire way to keep your nails absolutely safe, there are things you can do to increase your nails protection.

A bowling glove can at least protect your pointer and pinky fingernails since a lot of gloves have those fingers covered in their design.

You can also try using bowling tape around your fingernails to protect and provide support to your fingers and nails, although this tape may feel weird when you first get started.

Another thing you could do would be to try and switch up how you release your bowling ball, with the intent to be to take off some of the pressure you put on your nails during your initial release.

How to Clean a Bowling Glove?

What many bowlers suggest when it comes to the cleaning of their bowling gloves is to take them to a cleaner. Bowling gloves usually have nylon or leather elements in their make up and can be made up of other materials that could be ruined by a washing machine at home.

By taking the gloves to a cleaner you leave them in the hands of professionals who know how to treat and clean the different materials that make up the gloves.

If cleaners are not an option, washing at home by hand is probably the next best route. Fill a sink with lukewarm water and hand soap before allowing the gloves to soak for about twenty minutes.

Make sure the water is lukewarm since cold water can make the dirt and grime solidify in the glove, preventing a full-scale cleaning. After they have soaked gently rinse them under lukewarm water, squeezing and wringing the glove to get the excess soap out.

Once you feel all the soap has been removed hang them up in a well-ventilated area until they are dry.

Should you not want to take your gloves to the cleaner or hand wash them you can wash them in a machine on a gentle cycle with lukewarm water. Use a gentle detergent and do NOT throw them in the dryer afterwards.

Let them air dry in a well-ventilated area after they have been washed.

What’s the Best Bowling Glove for Sweaty Hands?

If you are a bowler who is prone to having sweaty hands than you know that nothing is more uncomfortable than a hot, damp glove that sticks to your skin and drives you crazy!

While you could simply take the glove off during turns, you lose time with the process and have to readjust the glove again and again. Bowling without a glove on wouldn’t work since your sweaty hand could affect your grip.

The best solution for you is to seek out a bowling glove with good ventilation and flexibility. One glove that may work for you would be from the brand Kool Kontrol.

These types of gloves are well known for their excellent ventilation which in turn helps keep hands cool and sweat free. The glove also acts as a barrier between the ball and hand should your hand just naturally be sweaty, preventing weakening grips on the ball without losing the feel of the ball.

If you have super sweaty hands that soak your gloves through before the end of practice here’s a well-known trick.

Take plastic gloves, the kind used at medical offices or at food prep places, and wear them under your bowling gloves.

While it takes you a while to adjust to the feeling some bowlers have used this method with success since the plastic stops the sweat from soaking into the gloves while the gloves keep your grip on the ball.

Can You Order Bowling Gloves Online?

Bowling gloves are indeed online and available for online shoppers though like with all sizable purchases it is good to exercise caution and do your research before selecting a product.

Make sure you know your correct glove size before ordering and it wouldn’t hurt to read a few customer reviews to see if there are any issues with the product or it’s sizing.

If you are still unsure about the product call your local pro bowling shop for some tips on selecting the right size and type of glove to suit your needs.

Can You Use Bowling Gloves with Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Yes, you can and having that type of support may help alleviate some of the pain you get from your arthritis. If you are really struggling with the pain brought on by arthritis though, we would recommend looking into a SteelFingers bowling glove.

SteelFingers has mainly two devices that are used to help alleviate pain from arthritis, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and other similar ailments. The first is the SteelFingers device, a glove that is applied to the middle and ring finger and mainly acts as a support for those fingers.

The device was actually made by a bowler who was suffering from arthritis and couldn’t find any type of device to help alleviate his pain and bring his game back up to speed. So, he invented one!

The second device is called SteelFingers Plus. This device is for those who are suffering in not just their main bowling fingers, but their hand, wrist and other fingers as well.

This type of support was built with its main focus being to take the stress of bowling off your ligaments and joints and support your arm, wrist, and hand in delivering the bowling ball.

Other brands of gloves may have similar devices and gloves designed with the same purpose in mind, but SteelFingers was the first to try and fix this problem and has had years of experience to back up their designs.

That said, other brands could be worth looking into as well should you feel SteelFingers is not right for you, though it would certainly be a good place to start!

Can Bowling Gloves Help Boost the Power of Your Rolls?

Bowling gloves can help you boost your roll in many different ways. By increasing your grip on the ball you are able to rotate the ball better with hook throws, getting more revs and thus getting more power.

Straight bowlers are also able to boost their accuracy with increase grip since they have more control of the ball and where it is going.

If your bowling glove is more geared toward support that can certainly help boost your power and speed as well. By having the support you need in your joints you are able to throw more powerful throws without pain and strain wearing you down.

You are also able to keep track of where your wrist and hand are better with a bowling glove, allowing you to follow through the needed stance and form a lot better.

If these were not enough perks for you the brand Storm has also just come out with what they call a Power Glove Palm Pad. This glove has three interchangeable pads that can be changed out quite easily.

The goal of the glove is to decrease the distance between the hand and the ball, giving more control and power in the throws. By changing out the pads you are also able to change the type of support you need for different throws, it is definitely an interesting new take on bowling gloves!

So now that you know more about bowling gloves we hope you can see why they are considered a valuable piece of bowling equipment.

They are a versatile tool that can be used in many different ways including joint support, helping to increase your grip, padding to prevent calluses and supporting how you throw the ball.

By using a bowling glove you are essentially protecting yourself while increasing your game and by switching up your bowling glove you can vary the amount of support you get as well as your bowling technique.

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