A Guide to the Best Goalkeeper Gloves
Choosing the best goalkeeper gloves is more than just scoring the best quality in the market. It is an essential piece of a goalie’s gear. Every part of the glove has a different specification, and it helps protect the goalie’s hand in many ways. It also serves as a component in various playing conditions.
Before engaging yourself into playing soccer, you should know first how to choose the best kind of gloves from the perfect size to the right fit. This buying guide will help you decide what type of goalkeeper gloves you need.
Four different components make up the best goalkeeper gloves. All of which have particular functions. These include:
This is specifically padded to help protect the hand when you punch the ball. The price usually determines the quality of the gloves. The less expensive it is, the thinner the foam of the padding. High-end models are typically thicker and are cushioned with latex.
The best defense mechanism of a goalie relies on his fingers. They are used for holding and grasping onto the ball. Gloves with knuckle protection have spines inside for finger support. The material contracts and tightens when force is applied. This allows prevention of hyperextension and breaking the joints especially when catching hard-knocked balls.
The fit depends on the goalkeeper’s preference. Some people like stiffer and more tight-fitting gloves while others prefer a bit loose for more finger movability. To get the best protection for your fingers, choose gloves with bendable plastic support. They aid in preventing injuries and strains as opposed to the padded ones.
The palms are used for securing the ball when caught. There are two textures of palm types: dimpled and smooth. Dimpled gloves are best used for practices and training. They have a better gripping material and are more durable, hence more suitable for rigorous training.
Smooth gloves, on the other side, are best used for match play. It has a clinging agent that provides the goalkeeper more control on the grip of the ball. As it is frequently used, the gloves may tend to wear off. They are only best used during match games.
This feature allows securing the gloves to the hands, and it comes in three kinds: hook and loop, bandage, and v-notch.
Hook and loop closure is made of flexible and elastic materials and has an adaptable strap that you can adjust depending on the goalkeeper’s fit. Bandage closure securely wraps around the player’s wrists and provides maximum wrist support. The v-notch closure allows the provision of air or ventilation to keep the hands dry and cool, hence the name.
There are several types of goalie gloves that are suited for specific uses. You should consider these because it will affect the way you play.
These goalie gloves are designed for rigorous and competitive soccer matches especially for high school students and leagues for adult players. These are one of the most durable goalkeeper gloves, are made of high-quality latex to help shield fingers and have the superior gripping technology. Match gloves need utmost care because they don’t last long enough, unlike other types of gloves.
This type of gloves is designed for beginner’s use and training for professional players. It has lesser grip but is made of a more durable material than those of match gloves.
This type of gloves is made for occasional wearing only. Its main purpose is to protect the hands from water and wind. It is specially designed with a latex palm pad which may get sticky once it gets wet. It is tough to manage it when playing under the rain.
CUTS AND FITS
This cut and fit is the manner in which the material of the palm is created. Considering this feature when buying the best goalkeeper gloves is important because this will affect how you catch and grip the ball.
This kind of gloves is the most conventional cut off gloves. The palm is made of one piece of thin foam. It has a looser fit on the hand which provides more room for the hands to move.
Rolled or Gunn Gloves
This gives a snug fit because the palm is “rolled” or “wrapped” around the sides and stitched at the back. It provides a tighter fit than the flat gloves.
This glove is stitched from the inside and probably the most close-fitting of all sorts of gloves. They are recommended for players who have thinner hands. Negative gloves have gussets sewn inside to provide a more fastened fit.
Bowl of Precurved Gloves
These are typically flat gloves, sometimes rolled gloves, with pre-shaped fit for the curvature of the hands.
This is a combination of the cuts of all or some of the gloves. For example, a glove can have a rolled finger cut, but it has a flat palm on both the ring and middle fingers.
TIPS FOR FINDING THE RIGHT FIT AND SIZE
After learning the different attributes that you should look for when selecting the best goalkeeper gloves, you can now find the best size for you. It is more than just knowing the right size but also allowing for movability and tension.
To find the circumference of your hand in inches, use a tape measure. Make sure that it is the widest part and do not include your fingers. This is usually below the pinky finger and above the thumb.
Round the number up to the nearest whole inch.
An additional one inch should be added to the rounded number, and this is your goalie gloves size.
For example, if your hand measures 6.75, you have to round it up to 7. When you add one inch, it becomes 8, and this is the glove size you should buy.
Most goalkeeper gloves come in sizes similar to shoes. They begin at size 4 for young players up to size 12 for adult players. Some glove manufacturers offer half sizes although it is not a popular trend in the market like in the United States. Gloves companies have charts inside the box of the gloves being sold.
When the gloves are tighter, the more tension is put on the seams. Most materials are made of flexible fabrics that follow the shape of your hands. The only best possible way to find the perfect gloves for you is to try as many as you can.
PROTECTING YOUR FINGERS
The finger protection is a discovery in the world of soccer. The famous sports brand Adidas started the trend back in 1996. It is when the first ever designed gloves offered hyperextension protection of the fingers with the help of plastic spines attached to the backhand of the glove.
The purpose of this kind of glove is primarily to protect the goalkeeper from any injury. When the hands get stubbed or kicked, which are prevalent causes of injuries, the gloves shield them for lesser impact. Most goalies use goalkeeper gloves with finger protection usually for indoor matches where shots are closer and more abundant.
Since this era, many companies have been manufacturing finger protection gloves to keep the competition in the market.
GETTING THE MOST OUT
Taking proper care of your goalie gloves will extend its life for more matches and training. It is imperative that you should know how to take good care of your sports equipment because they play a huge role during gameplay.
It is only normal when the palm material of the gloves wear off immediately. Latex is quite fragile. The grip of the gloves will remain the same until the layers of foam underneath completely wear off.
It is not entirely mandatory, but one must have two pairs of gloves – one for match games and one for training or practices. This allows you to have a backup in case one of them was worn and torn. It is also advisable to have a bottle of glove wash. This is way gentler than commercial soaps and detergents. On top of that, it gets rid of the unpleasant smell accumulated from dirt, sweat, and other hazards.
Goalkeeper gloves are necessary for match plays, but it does not substitute good game techniques and strategies. One can have the most high-end pair of goalie gloves, but it does not guarantee your best play without proper training and tactical moves.
You must choose the best goalkeeper gloves for your gaming needs based on the material, purpose, and comfortability. However, there are also many contributing factors that one should consider before buying your first pair. The goal of this guide is to give you a heads up on what to look for and what to expect once you purchase the best goalkeeper gloves for yourself.
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