The Anatomy of Your Goalkeeper Gloves and Why it Matters
Oct 20, 2022
Goalie gloves have a familiar yet mysterious “build” to soccer players, even for goalkeepers. But each component of the goalie glove serves a vital function that protects keepers while increasing performance, assuming they choose the most suitable gloves. This post will take a more visual approach to explain soccer glove anatomy and how understanding it can help goalies choose better gloves.
The backhand of soccer goalie gloves
The backhand of goalie gloves consists of material that protects the hand from injury when punching the ball. Without the backhand, punching the ball wouldn’t be a pleasant experience for goalkeepers — wrist and hand injuries would make the punch a riskier maneuver.
That said, the strength and durability of the backhand depend on the quality manufacturers use for it, specifically, the type of latex. For example, many goalie gloves use reinforced German latex, which provides enhanced hand protection for deflective movements.
Within the backhand of the glove is the punch zone. That’s the backhand area that specifically protects the hands from injury and where manufacturers add more material for cushioning. On a side note, the backhand is often the most decorative part of modern goalie gloves. That’s where glove manufacturers go all out, adding their most artful designs.
The palm of soccer goalie gloves
The palm is a big deal because that’s where much of the action happens for goalkeepers. Of course, the palm is the inside of the glove itself, and it matters because that’s the part goalkeepers use to catch or deflect the ball with most.
The key to choosing goalie gloves with excellent palm construction is to look for good grip and tackiness/stickiness. Ultimately, this boils down to the quality of the latex used in the palm. You want goalie gloves that use a blend of more latex and less plastic in the palm, as this increases the tackiness and grip of the gloves.
Not only does the right combination increase the grip of soccer goalie gloves, they also increase their longevity, so the gloves last longer. Aside from latex, the cut of goalie gloves can affect the feel and function of the palms. For example, a flat palm construction gives a looser feel with the ball in hand.
The fingers of soccer goalie gloves
The fingers of soccer goalie gloves are the most prominent and recognizable component. But if you want elite goalkeeping performance (who doesn’t), don’t take the fingers in a glove for granted.
First off, think about the fit and feel of the glove’s fingers. Some gloves may feel stiffer or looser. Neither is necessarily better than the other, but if you’re not comfortable in one fit, then it will distract you and may reduce your ball control. So the right fit is crucial.
But there’s also the much-debated topic of fingerspines. These plastic inserts stabilize your actual fingers to prevent injuries while saving the ball. The caveat of wearing them is that they can stiffen your fingers unnaturally, making it harder for you to get a good feel for the ball. We can make arguments for or against wearing them, but only you can make that decision.
The closure of soccer goalie gloves
The closure isn’t really part of the gloves, but rather the method of putting it on and taking it off. That said, the closure is related mainly to certain design aspects of the goalie gloves. Most goalie gloves use one of four components to make closure more efficient. They include:
- Hook and loop
- Puller tab
- Bandage strap
The most common closures are hook and loop ones, often using an adjustable flap that allows the keeper to loosen or tighten the glove as needed. Bandage straps are the most supportive, thanks to how tightly they wrap around the wrist.
Why goalie gloves anatomy matter
The better you understand how goalie gloves are built, the easier it will be for you to choose goalie gloves that meet your needs as a goalkeeper. With better glove choice comes a boost in performance on the pitch, not to mention spending less on the gloves overall. So give yourself the best when it comes to your gloves. As a keeper, your hands are your greatest asset.
Looking for soccer goalie gloves for a youth or adult player? Browse through our line of gloves for goalkeepers to find their perfect fit.