All about Goalkeeper Gloves

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Every year new goalkeeper gloves models and new glove producing companies come out with their own gloves. How do you know if these new goalkeeper gloves are any good?  How do you know which gloves to get for training? Do you need different pairs of gloves for games than for training?   The answers all depends on what you like.

Here is all you need to know about goalkeeper gloves:

Anatomy of a Glove

Backhand: The backhand of the glove provides protection when punching the ball. The body of the glove and finger gussets usually connects the palm and backhand. The quality of the backhand also factors into the cost of the glove. Less expensive gloves have a single foam layer, while the best gloves have latex backhands.

Palm: The palm of the goalkeeper glove (along with the fingers) allows the goalkeeper to catch the ball. Goalkeeper gloves with a good grip are considered match gloves. Upper-level goalkeeper gloves have a good, strong grip and a thick palm made of top grade materials. Palm types include smooth, dimpled and textured. Textured or dimpled palms are more durable and are better suited for practice but do not offer the same level of grip as a smooth latex foam palm.

Closure: A goalkeeper glove’s closure refers to the way it gets on and off of your hand, and how it is secured at the wrist to your hand. Hook and loop closures are the most common and feature an elastic, adjustable flap that can be used to tighten and loosen the glove. V-notch closures have a vented entry to help keep your hands cool and dry. Bandage closures are a lot like medical bandages, elastic that wraps securely around the wrist. Bandage closures provide the most supportive fit, so some goalkeepers find the fit restrictive.

Fingers: Fingers are crucial to catching and securing the ball. A glove’s cut and size will determine how snugly the glove fits. Some keepers prefer a looser fit with more freedom of movement while others prefer the control and security that a tightly fitted glove provides.

 

The Right Goalkeeper Glove Fit

The right fit should be the HIGHEST PRIORITY when selecting a glove.

To make your glove fit PERFECTLY you need to understand these questions:

Do you have LONG skinny fingers?  Do you have wider fingers? Do you have THICK hands?

The Glove should be roomy and not tight on your hands.

Your fingers should reach the end of your fingers by about 1/2 inch.

Your hand should not slip or slide when secured to your wrist. If this happens it means the gloves are too wide around your hands or fingers.

Say no to loose gloves. Gloves should NOT fit like a WINTER GLOVE, an inch to an inch and a half from the end of your fingers.

To determine your goalkeeper glove size, measure the circumference of the part of your palm just below your knuckles, without your thumb. Round up to the next whole inch, and then add 1 to determine your size. Measure both hands, and if the measurements are different, order the larger size for the most consistent fit. If you can’t find a tape measure, another sizing method involves your shoe size. Usually, the goalkeeper glove size will correlate with the shoe size. If the shoe size is a half size, round up to the next full size for the best fit. The best way to determine fit is to try gloves on.

 

Understanding Cuts of Gloves

FLATS:   designed for goalkeepers who love a bit more room inside their gloves.

GUNN or ROLLED FINGERS: it is a snug fit, it is literally the TOP of the fingers is sewn directly onto the palm then it is ROLLED or wrapped around the fingers. This cut is best for keepers with thick or long fingers.

NEGATIVE CUT (NC): this will give you the tightest FIT for ANY gloves.  The gussets are sewn on the inside of the glove and around the finger to make this glove feel a bit tighter than the other fits. This cut is best for keepers with long or skinny fingers.

HYBRID:   These gloves are actually a combination between ROLLED FINGER CUT and FLAT or even an NC cut. Generally, the PINKY and the INDEX fingers are rolled fingers and the other two in the middle are FLATS. This cut is best for keepers with medium sized fingers or irregular shaped hands or fingers.

 

Glove Material

There are more than 200 types of gloves on the market that range from $20 to $180. Why? The biggest difference is the grip.

The main material used in the making of most gloves is Latex. There is all kind of latex used to make gloves, some are more expensive than others. Some will help you in all weather conditions such as the SUPER SOFT latex offers more feel on the ball but they don’t last long since they are softer and thinner that other latex.

There is other latex out there and they all have their pros and cons. For example, what should you wear when you play in GRASS vs TURF? There are gloves designed for turf as well.

A few things to remember:

The softer the palm, the better the grip. The rougher the palm, the more durable the glove is. That roughness is due to more rubber than latex in the palm, and these gloves are great for indoor play.

Goalkeeper glove palms have different levels of thickness, shown in millimeters (3mm and 4mm are the most common). For a better feel on the ball, you’ll want a thinner palm. If you are more concerned with protection and cushioning, consider a thicker palm; higher-quality materials are thicker.

Keep your playing surface in mind. Less-forgiving surfaces like artificial turf can take a toll on latex, so consider a thicker palm. Other goalkeeper gloves are designed to withstand wet, dry and indoor conditions well.

Finger Protection

Finger protection usually comes in the form of plastic spines inserted into the backhand of the goalkeeper glove. This technology is popular at the youth and recreation levels. Two main types of finger protection are segmented (stiff) spines and flexible (bendable) spines. Segmented spines bend forwards (but not backwards) to prevent finger hyperextension. This is the most common type of finger protection. Flexible spines bend forwards and backwards, and are designed to support the fingers, disperse shock and stay flexible. Gloves with finger protection are recommended for goalkeepers that have had or are prone to finger injuries. Much like shin guards and legs, plastic finger spines do not eliminate injuries from stubbed or kicked fingers.

 

Get the most out of your Goalkeeper Gloves

As with most pieces of soccer gear, you can extend the life of your goalkeeper gloves if you take proper care of them.

Immediate wear of the palm material is normal; latex is a fragile material. Goalkeeper gloves will retain their grip until the foam layer wears away completely. Different brands have different regiments for goalkeeper glove care, so follow them to extend the life of your goalkeeper gloves. To keep your gloves clean, check out our guide to washing your gloves.

It’s a good idea to have two pairs of gloves, one for training and one for match play. This way, you can have a backup pair, and you won’t wear out your match gloves during practices. Most gloves perform better if moistened with clean water before play. Also, keeping a moist towel by your net is a good way to be able to keep your gloves moist throughout the game.

 

Recommendations

For beginner / younger goalkeepers, try to stay away from thick gloves or thick latex because kids will tend to depend on their glove thickness to GRIP the ball, rather than they actually gripping the ball as they’re supposed to.

Unless you can afford it, you don’t need expensive gloves for the younger goalkeepers. However, they need to have a SAFE glove to help their performance but they also need to understand how gloves are supposed to feel for their best performance.

 

Blog Source: Z Pro Futbol | Learn about Goalkeeper Gloves by Z Lozano

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