How to Buy Goalie Gloves for Youth Keepers
Feb 25, 2022
Buying goalie gloves for young keepers isn't a cakewalk. You have to pay attention to their current skill level and the fact that their hands are growing. You also have to wrestle with their preferences (especially as they get older) and the performance expectations of their coach.
All in all, buying goalie gloves for youth soccer players can get complicated, to say the least! With that said, it doesn't have to be an ordeal. This post will examine some factors and options for young keepers and what parents should choose.
Buying Factors for Goalie Gloves
If you're confused about what goalie gloves you should buy for your kid, you're probably just not sure what to look for. Maybe no one taught or told you how to shop for goalie gloves! We want to introduce five factors to you that will help you choose the best goalie gloves for your young players.
Youth Goalie Glove Size
Choosing the right goalie glove size for a young player is often the trickiest thing for parents. After all, kids grow - hands included. So that in itself makes things complicated. Goalie gloves that are are too big for their hands will make it difficult for them to catch or stop the ball. Goalie gloves that are too small will feel uncomfortable and distract them.
For starters, consider how glove sizes correspond with age. In general, the bigger the glove size, the older the child should be. Here's a breakdown:
Youth Goalie Gloves Size By Age
- Size 2: Age 5
- Size 3: Age 6
- Size 4: Ages 7-8
- Size 5: Age 9
- Size 6/7: Ages 9-12
- Sizes 7.5/ 8: Ages 13+
You can use these sizes as a guideline based on your child's age. Of course, kids are unique and can have larger or smaller hands than what's typical for their age. Still, you can use these sizes as a reference and purchase a size up or down if necessary.
Youth Goalie Glove Cut
The "cut" of a goalie glove is another term for its stitching. Different cuts provide different "feels," all of which can affect a young goalkeeper's performance.
No goalie glove cut is inherently good or bad. The right cut is usually the one that feels the best. With that said, some cuts do tend to work better for some players, depending on their preferences.
Types of Goalie Glove Cuts
- Roll finger cut - Ideal for players who need a balance of space and snugness.
- Flat cut - Great for players who need more space in their gloves.
- Hybrid cut - Better for players who want combined benefits of various cuts (not common for youth players).
- Negative cut - Ideal for players with thinner hands who need a snug fit.
- Negative roll cut - Perfect for players who need the tightest fit possible
Buying goalie glove cuts can be straightforward or difficult, depending on the player's needs. A good way to find the best goalie gloves for your kid would be for them to try on gloves with different cuts and see which one fits best. If you can't buy one in-store, choose a more balanced option such as the roll finger cut. You can return gloves for a tighter or looser cut if necessary.
Goalie Glove Foam
All goalie gloves contain foam, and the purpose of this foam is to protect your hands from injury. The foam acts as a cushion of sorts, absorbing the force of shots. That is important for goalkeepers, especially younger ones with more delicate, injury-prone hands.
Of course, there are different kinds of foam. Common ones include contact grip, which is great for wet conditions that make the ball heavy and hard to catch. There's also Giga grip, which offers more cushioning for the hands.
Player Skill Level & Fit
Skill level does play a role in what type of goalie gloves you should buy for a young player. Of course, this can be tricky to determine. The youngest keepers on the field typically haven't developed a great feel for the ball yet. That comes with experience. Of course, you want to choose goalie gloves that allow them to get a better feel for the ball.
The right size and cut can make a difference in helping players develop that feel, but choosing size and cut will differ from youth to youth. Age, the unique anatomy of their hands, development and preference will determine which one is best.
Have your young player manipulate a soccer ball with different goalie gloves on. Make them rotate and grip the ball. The gloves that feel most comfortable will likely be the right ones for that player's skill set.
Youth Goalie Glove Takeaways
Are you going to buy the perfect pair of youth goalie gloves on your first try? Maybe, maybe not. You'll more than likely need to experiment to find the best fit. You might have to order a few pairs for your kid (and return some) or try a few in-store to get the right fit.
Also, keep in mind that some gloves may require some "breaking-in" for them to feel perfect. That isn't necessary, but you can buy a pair of gloves for your kid that's close to perfect (according to their feedback) and have them manipulate the ball or do pushups with the gloves. That can help mould the gloves into a more suitable form.
When you choose a good pair of youth goalie gloves, you'll start to notice little improvements in their confidence and abilities. They may not look magical, but they will be noticeable. With that said, make sure your kid commits to regular soccer drills and conditioning. The combination of their training and goalie gloves will turn them into unstoppable, shot-stoppers.
Are you looking for the best pair of youth goalie gloves? Browse through our selection of gloves for children and youth players.