Have you ever heard the statement ‘goalkeepers are either crazy or genius’? There is no doubt that a goalkeeper is a special person. When you know you are potentially sacrificing yourself for 10 players in front of you over the next 90 minutes, most players usually don’t like that idea. As a soccer goalkeeper, you have more responsibilities than any other player. It is impossible to recover from mistakes in your position because you are the last line of defence! The ability to balance emotions, technique, and pure insanity are just a few of the things that make goalkeeping so unique.
While goalkeepers must balance their emotional, psychological, and physical aspects, the gear they wear comes close to the top of the list as far as affecting their performance is concerned. It is essential that we, as goalkeepers, choose gloves that will allow us to perform at our best. The gloves you carry in your bag may seem like a simple item of equipment, but they are just as important as the cleats on your feet.
So, what are the best ways to find out if your new goalkeeper gloves are still good? The first thing you need to know is what goalie gloves are made of and what their specific functions are.
The Backhand – The backhand is padded, protecting the hands when punching the ball. The quality of gloves is determined by the glove value and specifically what type of latex is used. While some gloves look appealing (colourful/branded) and may cost more, always choose the gloves that offer the greatest value for your money.
The Palm – This is where you will find the details. Keepers gloves with good grip usually cost a lot of money. Why is that? On the palms of gloves, the blend of latex determines tackiness as well as the combination of materials in production. In the latex construction process, the lesser the amount of plastic is used, the softer the latex will be when applied to the gloves. So gloves with a more durable palm, such as Rough Profile as well as Hard Ground gloves tend to last longer. However, they do sacrifice a bit of grip. Contact and Giga palm latex are produced for optimal tackiness, however, they may not last as long due to their reduced amount of plastics. It is common to find three types of goalkeeper glove palms: Smooth, Textured, and Dimpled. Although they each have specific uses, it always boils down to how and when you use them based on field conditions and climate. While smooth is typically the best option for use during a match, dimpled and textured are usually better options when used during training.
The Finger Protection – Having finger protection gloves is a keeper’s biggest advantage during play, especially when stopping the shots. A finger protection glove typically has multiple layers of cloth lining that surrounds the finger construction in order to protect the fingers from the fingersave spines. Gloves should fit in accordance with the goalie’s preferences. Some may like a stiffer, more rigid fit, while others may prefer a softer, more pliable fit.
The Closure – This refers to how gloves are actually put on and taken off, as well as how they are fastened around the wrist. Goalie gloves have roughly four different types of closures: hook and loop, puller, puller tab, and bandage strap. Closures with hooks and loops are the most common and they come with an elastic adjustable flap that allows you to adjust the glove’s size. The V-notch closure has a vented entryway that ensures your hands remain cool and dry. A bandage closure generally consists of elastic or stiff latex that wraps firmly around the wrist. In addition, it offers the best fit and enhances the protection offered by the glove.
Though this post doesn’t touch on all aspects of glove anatomy, we hope it will serve as a useful starting point for your next purchase. Keep in mind that when purchasing goalkeeper gloves, the right fit should always be your priority rather than the brand. You can compare it to a pair of tennis shoes, or even clothes; some brands aren’t right for everyone. This is equally true for your keeper gloves. Now that you have an understanding of the four primary features to look for when choosing a pair of goalkeeper gloves, you can shop around for your next match.