Tips to Make your Goalkeeper Gloves Last
Being a goalkeeper is the most expensive position in soccer. In order to perform at our best, we need to purchase between four and eight pairs of gloves per year as a youth player. The average pro keeper will likely go through 40 pairs of gloves in one season. Gloves are not cheap, especially if you are purchasing a top match quality model that might run you $120 – $160.
It is important for you and your family to take the time to properly take care of your gloves to extend their life and keep them performing at their highest level. Follow these steps regularly and you should see great results.
1) WET YOUR PALMS
The unique characteristics of latex palms are designed to work best when the palm is moist (not wet). It is important that you keep the palms moist during training and match play, which means always carrying a water bottle to wet them continually. When I work with keepers I usually need to add water to my gloves every 20-30 minutes to keep them moist. The moisture has two key benefits to latex palms; 1) the glove is much more ‘sticky’ when it is moist, 2) the latex palm is more resistant to wear and tear when moist.
2) STAY OFF YOUR PALMS
Technically speaking, as a goalkeeper, you should never have your palms faced down on the turf, grass or dirt field that you are playing on. That means you should not land on your palms when you dive or use the palms of your hands to push yourself up from the ground. This is a rule because it’s the fastest way to destroy the soft latex palm of your gloves. It is important that you learn to dive and recover using your core abdominal muscles and leg momentum to get up from the ground instead of your hands. In those cases when you have to use your hands to get up – make a fist and push against your knuckles saving your palm from unnecessary wear and tear.
3) PROTECT YOUR PALMS
- DON’T grab or hang from the net, post or crossbar
- DO clean the dirt from your cleats
- DON’T leave your glove in a place that they can be stepped on
- DON’T leave your gloves sitting in the sunlight (latex will deteriorate)
- DON”T leave your gloves in the trunk of your car during the middle of summer or winter
- DO leave your gloves to dry out after a wet match
- DON’T leave your gloves to dry palm to palm (quickest way to tear the palm)
- DON’T allow your friends to use your gloves for fun (often they dive face first and land on the palms to the ground)
4) WASH YOUR GLOVES
Most soil and dirt we encounter has sand as a component so any dirt on the palm of your glove is like using sandpaper against the soft latex palm. The dirt also creates a layer between the ball and your glove so when catching a ball with dirty gloves the ball does not actually contact the latex palm – reducing traction.
It’s important to take three minutes after every practice or match to thoroughly wash your gloves. There are glove washes available on the market but you can also use hand soap and wash the gloves just like you would wash your hands. Rinse thoroughly to insure that all the soap is gone and squeeze out as much of the excess water as possible.
If you play 5-7 times per week you can take an old towel and separately roll each glove in it pushing out most of the excess moisture – this will actually leave your gloves in perfect ‘moist’ play mode. If you only use the gloves a couple of times per week then allow the gloves to air dry. Make sure if you air dry the gloves that you get them moist again before playing.
5) ROTATE YOUR GLOVES
It’s best to train with the same type of gloves you play with, but don’t wear your ‘match’ gloves to train. Once your match glove has lived the best part of its life, demote it to your training glove and use a new pair for matches only. This will give your gloves a much longer life and allow for better performance from your match gloves.
Natural latex has unique properties that make it ideal for goalkeeper gloves. It has great grip on the ball’s surface, works well in wet or dry conditions, and is light weight and flexible. Latex is affected by the elements but by maintaining a glove care routine, you can give life back to your gloves and increase their performance over time.
Overall, if you want your gloves to last and perform – treat them like gold. The more you respect and treat them well, the longer they will last and the more they will give back.
Blog Source: Soccer | 5 tips to make your gloves last by KELLY FERRELL