What are the best goalkeeper gloves?
Soccer goalies are always under fire. Blocking kicks, protecting the goal and collecting wayward balls all require lightning-fast reflexes and the right equipment. Goalkeeper gloves are the first line of defense between goalies and an oncoming soccer ball. The gloves need to be thick enough to block kicks and protect the goalie’s hands and flexible enough to gather the ball and throw it back into play.
There are many styles of goalkeeper gloves available for new and seasoned players alike. For their overall feel and durability, the best goalkeeper gloves are the Adidas Predator Pro.
What to know before you buy goalkeeper gloves
What are the different types of goalkeeper gloves?
Gloves aren’t marketed for specific uses such as game or practice play, but many goalies have an extra pair reserved for game days. A separate pair is designated for practice sessions since serious players wear them out faster. Youth players may want one all-purpose set to last the duration of a single season.
Which glove size is best?
Goalkeeper gloves fit larger than traditional gloves. The fingers of the gloves will extend a half-inch beyond your fingertips in a properly fitted set. The best way to find the right fit is to measure your palm just below the knuckles and round up the result to the nearest inch. Then add one more inch to the total for your recommended glove size. Be sure to distinguish between adult and youth sizes too.
What are the different glove cuts?
- Some gloves have a flat cut that keeps the palm completely flat and the finger seams on the outside. Flat-cut gloves increase the catching area on the palm and have a loose, comfortable fit.
- A rolled finger cut wraps the latex surface around the fingers making gripping and throwing the ball easier. This cut is tighter, though, and can be uncomfortable if you’re not used to it.
- A negative cut turns the seams on the inside of the glove. This improves ball control by providing a tighter but more comfortable fit.
There also are hybrids of all three cuts designed for protection or handling.
What to look for in quality goalkeeper gloves
The palm of the glove is the thinnest part and assists with gripping the soccer ball. It is constructed from latex and can be smooth or textured, depending on your preference.
A goalie’s fingers can take a beating throughout a practice or game. Fast-moving balls can hit the fingers at awkward angles. And the goalie is often diving in different directions and catching themselves with their hands extended. The fingers on the glove are padded with foam and sometimes have plastic backings for each finger to prevent the finger from bending backward.
The backside of the glove has extra foam to help protect the hand when punching the ball. Some gloves have latex on top of the foam for more uniformity.
The glove closure can be elastic, hook-and-loop or bandage-style. Most players prefer hook-and-loop because you control the tension. Bandage-style are very secure but can be uncomfortable if you aren’t used to them. Some gloves have a seamless cuff that improves overall comfort. Test different closures to see which one you prefer.
How much you can expect to spend on goalkeeper gloves
Inexpensive goalkeeper gloves meant for practice and new goalies typically cost $15-$35. Quality mid-range gloves that are durable for all-around performance cost $35-$75. High-performance gloves with additional support are priced between $75-$200.
Goalkeeper gloves FAQ
How do I get rid of the smell in my gloves?
A. Over time, goalkeeper gloves can develop an odor. Rinsing the glove in warm water and then air-drying may help. There also are detergents designed for athletic gloves. Do not use regular laundry detergent or any bleach-based cleaner since they could damage the glove material.
What is the best way to store my gloves?
A. When you’re not practicing or playing, put your gloves in a dry place away from direct sunlight or heating sources. Some players wrap them in a towel or pillowcase for extra protection.
Do goalkeeper gloves have warranties?
A. Each manufacturer has a different warranty policy. Most cover manufacturer defects but not regular wear and tear. Check your manufacturer’s information for policy details.
What are the best goalkeeper gloves to buy?
Top goalkeeper gloves
What you need to know: These gloves are designed for a snug, comfortable fit that is easy to flex during play.
What you’ll love: The strapless cuff keeps sweat from building around your wrists. It features a rubber strike zone and thick foam palm cushions. The backhand and entry are knitted for ease in putting the glove on.
What you should consider: It can be challenging to remove the gloves because of the strapless cuff.
Top goalkeeper gloves for the money
What you need to know: These affordable gloves are designed for the occasional player who still wants high quality.
What you’ll love: These lightweight and durable gloves have wear-resistant latex on top of the foam for better grip. They have finger support to prevent bending backward. A double-designed wristband protects against wrist strains.
What you should consider: Some players reported that the gloves feel larger than others they have used.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This glove features extra abrasion resistance in the palm area and extra finger support.
What you’ll love: With a soft grip palm foam, the gloves have a smooth surface for a reliable grip and damping. It has breathable mesh to allow easy venting. The glove cut is expansive to increase the ball contact area.
What you should consider: It can be challenging to close the thumb area.
Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods
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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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