How to choose the right goalkeeper gloves
Deciding on the right goalkeeper gloves can be quite daunting as there are so many aspects to consider. Not only do you want to ensure you have gloves which perform well, importantly, you want to ensure you have the best protection possible for your hands, fingers and wrists. Another factor to be aware of is that goalkeeping gloves are often designed with a specific target audience in mind such as professional goalkeepers, semi professional, casual goalkeepers and children. There are a number of things to consider when choosing your gloves:
The backhand of the gloves needs to have a strong layer of padding to protect the hand when punching the ball. Obviously, the thicker the padding, the more protection is offered for the fist.
Protection for the fingers is essential for all goalkeepers. Finger saves are bendable plastic supports which are inserted into fingers along the back of the gloves. These offer extra protection to the fingers so that they don’t bend back when saving the ball. They also offer a degree of rigidity so that the fingers don’t bend back so easily when making a fingertip save. This is more likely to result in a more successful save than using more flexible goalkeeping gloves. Finger saves can sometimes be removed or inserted to suit personal preference. Lookout for gloves with finger saves which will help to prevent fractures and other injuries to the fingers.
Grip is obviously an extremely important feature of goalkeeping gloves. Gloves with a grippy, sticky palm mean it is easier to catch the ball without fumbling the ball into dangerous situations. The stickiest gloves tend to be used by the more professional keepers and often sticky gloves are produced with a playing surface in mind. Some are more appropriate for natural grass whilst others are better used on artificial turf and indoor pitches.
When choosing your goalkeeping gloves, consider how they will perform in wet weather. Test them out. Will the grip remain intact? Many gloves offer excellent grip in both wet and dry conditions but it’s worth checking this out before investing in a pair.
Arguably, one of the most important things to get right is the size of your gloves. Even if you have the highest spec of gloves, ill-fitting gloves will have a negative impact on performance. Too tight and they will be uncomfortable and restrict movement. Too loose and the grip will be affected, they will feel insecure and could slip as you attempt to make a save. There is no universal method of measuring your hand to establish the size. Typically, you would need to measure the circumference of the palm of your hand (not including the thumb) or/and from the top of your middle finger to the bottom of you palm. It’s worth taking measurements each time you are looking to buy new gloves just to ensure nothing has changed. For children, it’s important to measure their hands regularly to allow for growth.
The cut of your gloves refers to how the material of the gloves has been stitched together and establishes the room in both the backhand and the fingers.
|Flat palm/classic cut
|Comfortable, loose fit. Has a good latex covering on the back of the hand. Large glove area for stopping and catching the ball. Good for larger hands
|Has an extra layer of cushioning which helps absorb ball momentum. Not tight, has a good grip
|Tighter fitting for good ball control. Less latex allows for better feel and grip on the ball. Good for smaller hands
|Offers a combination of features from different cuts. Many variations of hybrid cut are available depending on the brand