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What Is A Finger Tab Or Glove?

So you’ve just started your archery journey and you’ve been hearing the terms “finger tab” and “glove” floating around, but you’re not exactly sure what they are. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In a nutshell, a finger tab or glove is a protective accessory designed to shield your fingers from the repetitive strain of drawing and releasing the bowstring. Whether you choose a finger tab or glove, both options offer comfort, control, and accuracy, allowing you to focus on improving your aim without discomfort. Now, let’s take a closer look at these essential archery tools and discover which one might be the perfect fit for you.

What Is A Finger Tab Or Glove?

What Are Finger Tabs and Gloves?


A finger tab or glove is a piece of archery equipment designed to protect your fingers while shooting a bow. It is worn on the hand that holds the bowstring, providing a barrier between the string and your fingers to prevent discomfort, pain, or injury. Finger tabs and gloves are commonly used by archers of all levels, from beginners to professionals, to enhance their shooting experience.


The primary purpose of a finger tab or glove is to protect your fingers from the pressure and friction caused by the bowstring. When you release the bowstring, it exerts a significant amount of force on your fingers, which can lead to discomfort or pain over time. Finger tabs and gloves act as a cushion, reducing the pressure and distributing it evenly across your fingers. By providing a layer of protection, they allow you to shoot for extended periods without experiencing finger fatigue or developing calluses.

Different Types of Finger Tabs and Gloves

Split-Finger Tab

The split-finger tab is one of the most common types of finger protection used in archery. It consists of individual finger stalls for the index, middle, and ring fingers. The index finger stall is usually smaller and separated from the others to allow for a cleaner release. It offers a balance between finger dexterity and protection, making it a versatile choice for archers of all disciplines.

Three-Finger Tab

Similar to the split-finger tab, the three-finger tab also provides individual stalls for the index, middle, and ring fingers. However, unlike the split-finger tab, the stalls are not separated, allowing your fingers to touch each other. This design promotes greater finger control and can be advantageous for archers who prefer a more natural feel when gripping the bowstring.

Shooting Gloves

Shooting gloves are an alternative to finger tabs, covering the entire hand rather than just the fingers. They are typically made from a single piece of material, providing a seamless surface for the bowstring to slide across. Shooting gloves are favored by archers who value simplicity and prefer not to use individual finger stalls. They offer excellent protection for the hand as a whole and can be more forgiving for beginners who are still developing proper finger placement.

Mitten Tabs

Mitten tabs are similar to traditional finger tabs but provide additional coverage by enclosing all the fingers within a single pouch-like structure. This design offers enhanced warmth and protection, making mitten tabs a popular choice for archers who shoot in colder climates or during winter months. They ensure that all fingers are shielded from the elements, allowing for better grip and reducing the risk of numbness due to cold temperatures.

Components and Features

Finger Spacer

Many finger tabs and gloves include a finger spacer, a small piece of material or partition that separates your fingers. The finger spacer helps to keep your fingers properly aligned and prevents them from slipping together during the release. By maintaining a consistent spacing between your fingers, the finger spacer promotes more accurate and consistent shots.

Face Plate

The face plate is the portion of the finger tab or glove that comes into direct contact with the bowstring. It is typically made from a smooth and durable material, such as leather or synthetic materials, to ensure minimal friction and maximum protection. The quality and texture of the face plate can greatly affect the overall feel and performance of the finger tab or glove.

Adjustable Strap

Many finger tabs and gloves feature an adjustable strap that wraps around the wrist to secure the equipment in place. The strap can be tightened or loosened as needed to ensure a snug and comfortable fit. An adjustable strap is essential for achieving optimal stability and preventing the finger tab or glove from sliding or rotating during shooting.

Back Plate

The back plate is the part of the finger tab or glove that rests against the back of your hand. It is typically padded to provide additional comfort and support. The back plate helps distribute the pressure evenly across your hand, reducing fatigue and ensuring a secure fit. A well-designed back plate adds stability and improves your overall shooting experience.

Finger Protectors

Some finger tabs and gloves come with finger protectors, which are additional layers of padding or reinforcement strategically placed on the areas most susceptible to impact or abrasion. Finger protectors can offer extra protection for your fingers, particularly if you shoot a bow with a high draw weight or use a release aid that puts more pressure on specific finger areas.

Materials Used in Finger Tabs and Gloves


Leather is a popular material choice for finger tabs and gloves due to its durability, flexibility, and comfort. It provides a smooth surface for the bowstring to glide across and offers excellent protection for your fingers. Leather finger tabs and gloves are known for their longevity and ability to mold to the shape of your fingers over time, ensuring a personalized fit.

Synthetic Materials

Many finger tabs and gloves are made from synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester, or microfibers. These materials offer a cost-effective and lightweight alternative to leather. Synthetic finger tabs and gloves are often designed to mimic the properties of leather, providing a smooth surface and good protection for your fingers. They are also resistant to stretching and moisture, making them suitable for various weather conditions.


Neoprene is a type of synthetic rubber widely used in finger tabs and gloves. It is known for its elasticity, water resistance, and insulation properties. Neoprene finger tabs and gloves are highly flexible, allowing for a greater range of motion and a snug fit. They are particularly suitable for archers who shoot in wet or cold environments as neoprene maintains its insulation properties even when damp.


Suede is a type of leather that has been buffed on one side to create a soft and velvety texture. Finger tabs and gloves made from suede offer a luxurious feel and excellent grip. The suede surface helps to improve control and prevent slips, ensuring a consistent release. Suede finger tabs and gloves are often preferred by archers seeking a balance between comfort and grip.


Nylon finger tabs and gloves are lightweight, durable, and quick-drying. They are widely used in finger tab liners or as a base material for laminated finger tabs. Nylon offers good protection while providing a smooth surface for the bowstring to glide on. Its moisture-wicking properties make it suitable for archers who perspire heavily while shooting.

What Is A Finger Tab Or Glove?

Choosing the Right Finger Tab or Glove


Comfort is crucial when choosing a finger tab or glove. Since you’ll be wearing it for extended periods, it should feel comfortable against your skin. Consider the material, fit, and overall design of the finger tab or glove to ensure a pleasant shooting experience.

Size and Fit

Size and fit are paramount to ensure optimum performance and protection. Finger tabs and gloves should fit snugly without being too tight or restrictive. Choose the appropriate size based on the manufacturer’s recommendations and consider any adjustability features such as straps or elastic bands to achieve a proper fit.


Finger tabs and gloves come in various styles, from traditional and minimalistic to modern and innovative. Select a style that suits your personal preferences and shooting style. Whether you prefer the simplicity of a shooting glove or the versatility of a split-finger tab, choose a style that aligns with your archery goals.

Level of Protection

Consider the level of protection you require based on factors such as draw weight, shooting frequency, and personal comfort. Finger tabs and gloves with additional padding or finger protectors can offer extra protection for your fingers, particularly if you shoot a bow with a higher draw weight.

Weather Conditions

If you frequently shoot in different weather conditions, consider the suitability of the finger tab or glove materials. Certain materials, like neoprene, are more adaptable to wet or cold environments, while synthetic materials offer moisture-wicking properties for those who sweat profusely.

Proper Use and Maintenance

Correct Finger Placement

Proper finger placement is essential for maximizing the effectiveness of a finger tab or glove. When using a finger tab, place your index finger above the arrow nock and keep your other fingers stacked one on top of the other. For shooting gloves, ensure that your fingers are properly positioned within the glove to facilitate a clean release.

Regular Cleaning

It is important to keep your finger tab or glove clean to maintain its effectiveness and longevity. Periodically wipe down the surface of the finger tab or glove with a damp cloth to remove any dirt, sweat, or debris. Avoid using harsh detergents or abrasive materials that can damage the fabric or leather.

Storage Tips

When not in use, store your finger tab or glove in a cool, dry place to prevent any moisture buildup. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight, as these can cause damage or deterioration of the materials. Additionally, consider using a storage bag or case to protect the finger tab or glove from dust or other potential contaminants.

Replacing Worn-out Tabs or Gloves

Over time, finger tabs and gloves may wear out or lose their effectiveness. Pay attention to signs of wear such as frayed edges, thinning material, or decreased protection. When these signs become apparent, replace your finger tab or glove to continue shooting comfortably and safely.

What Is A Finger Tab Or Glove?

Benefits and Advantages

Protection and Safety

The primary benefit of using a finger tab or glove is the protection it provides for your fingers. It acts as a barrier between the bowstring and your fingers, reducing the pressure and friction that can cause discomfort or injury. By wearing a finger tab or glove, you can shoot for longer periods without experiencing finger fatigue or developing painful calluses.

Improved Accuracy

Finger tabs and gloves contribute to improved accuracy by promoting a consistent release and reducing finger torque on the bowstring. The smooth surface of the finger tab or glove allows the bowstring to slide smoothly, preventing inconsistencies that could affect the flight path of the arrow. With the enhanced control and stability they provide, you can achieve greater precision in your shots.

Enhanced Grip and Control

Finger tabs and gloves offer an enhanced grip on the bowstring, allowing for better control and reducing the risk of slippage during the release. The materials used in finger tabs and gloves are specifically chosen for their ability to provide traction and prevent the bowstring from sliding off your fingers prematurely. The improved grip translates to more consistent and accurate shots.

Added Comfort

Without a finger tab or glove, the pressure and friction from the bowstring can cause discomfort or pain, limiting your shooting sessions. Finger tabs and gloves add a layer of padding and cushioning, distributing the pressure evenly across your fingers and hand. This added comfort enables you to shoot longer and enjoy archery without any discomfort or pain.

Disadvantages and Limitations

Lack of Sensitivity

Some archers argue that using a finger tab or glove can decrease the sensitivity in their fingers, making it more challenging to feel the bowstring and make subtle adjustments during the release. While finger tabs and gloves are designed to enhance comfort and protection, they may slightly reduce the tactile feedback compared to shooting barehanded.

Initial Adjustment Period

Switching from shooting barehanded to using a finger tab or glove may require a short adjustment period. You may need to adapt your shooting technique and make small modifications to accommodate the added equipment. It may take some time to find the right size and fit that works best for you. However, with practice and patience, most archers quickly adapt to using finger tabs or gloves.

Dependency on Equipment

Using a finger tab or glove requires you to rely on the equipment to maintain comfort, protection, and performance. In some cases, if you forget or lose your finger tab or glove, you may not be able to shoot without discomfort or risk of injury. It is important to remember to always bring your finger tab or glove with you to ensure a consistent and safe shooting experience.

What Is A Finger Tab Or Glove?

Popular Finger Tab and Glove Brands


Avalon is a well-known brand that offers a range of high-quality finger tabs and gloves for archers of all skill levels. Their products are made from durable materials, providing excellent protection and comfort. Avalon finger tabs and gloves are known for their ergonomic design and attention to detail, making them a popular choice among archers.

Bee Stinger

Bee Stinger is a trusted brand in the archery community, specializing in finger tabs and gloves for competitive shooting. Their products are meticulously crafted to ensure optimal performance and stability. Bee Stinger finger tabs and gloves are known for their innovative features and superior build quality, making them a top choice for serious archers.


Cartel is a renowned manufacturer of archery accessories, including finger tabs and gloves. Their products are designed to provide comfort, protection, and functionality, catering to archers of all levels. Cartel finger tabs and gloves are highly regarded for their affordability and reliability, making them a popular option for beginners and recreational archers.


Easton is a respected brand in the archery industry, offering a wide range of high-performance equipment, including finger tabs and gloves. Their products are engineered with advanced materials and technologies to maximize comfort and performance. Easton finger tabs and gloves are favored by competitive archers for their durability and precision.


Fivics is a leading manufacturer of archery gear, known for their innovative designs and high-quality products. Their finger tabs and gloves are crafted to meet the demands of competitive archers, providing exceptional protection, comfort, and control. Fivics finger tabs and gloves are popular among professional archers for their performance-enhancing features.


Finger tabs and gloves are essential tools for archers, offering protection, comfort, and control while shooting a bow. With various types, materials, and brands to choose from, finding the right finger tab or glove is a matter of personal preference and individual needs. Whether you opt for a split-finger tab, shooting glove, or any other type, a well-designed finger tab or glove can greatly enhance your archery experience, providing you with the protection, accuracy, and comfort you need to perform at your best.

What Is A Finger Tab Or Glove?

Archery guy

Hi, I'm RJ, the author behind Archery Advantage. Welcome to our comprehensive guide to mastering the art and sport of archery. My mission is to provide valuable resources for archers of all levels, from beginners to experts. With beginner tutorials, bow comparisons, and advanced technique training, we've got you covered. Explore our collection of how-to guides, tips for perfecting your aim and stance, and insights into choosing the best arrows and bows. Join our passionate community to learn about archery safety, bowhunting essentials, and the latest industry trends. Embrace the lifestyle, hone your skills, and gain a true competitive edge with Archery Advantage.