3 Pieces of Goalie Gear to Wear on Artificial Turf
Dec 15, 2023
If you’ve played on grass before, you’ll know that artificial turf just isn’t it. And if all you know is turf, we, along with all other keepers who have played on grass will tell you this—turf isn’t it.
There’s nothing worse than feeling sore after each dive and leap—after all, you’re a keeper and diving and leaping is part of your job description. And then there’s shredding your elbows and knees too (a.k.a turf burn). Yes, you’re a warrior, but you can do without all of that.
The good news for all you soccer goalies out there, is that you can soften all those blows. Read on to see how the right gear can help.
Keeping it Safe Above the Waist
The top and mid corner—of your body, that is—will take a beating from constant diving. We’re referring here to the shoulders and elbows. Since artificial turf is inherently harder than natural grass, diving and landing on these joints will ache more.
Even landing on your torso can lead to some bruising. Again, we know you’re tough, but aches and bruising are draining to deal with and contributes to burnout.
Here’s what you should wear to cushion those upper-body impacts.
Upper Body Gear for Turf Impacts
Now that we’ve got the upper body covered, let’s take a look at your hands.
Get a Grip on Turf-Friendly Gloves
The hands are usually pretty safe on turf surfaces, but goalie gloves take a beating on the synthetic grass. Artificial turf blades are sharper than grass blades, making them more abrasive. They can tear through glove materials more easily, especially if you’re using them to get off the ground repeatedly.
That’s where goalie glove choice matters. You’ll need a pair of heavy-duty gloves reinforced with sturdy fabrics and construction.
Heavy-Duty Gloves for Turf
- Electric GK Glove - Features top-of-the-line 3.5mm high grade German Contact latex combined with a reinforced backhand and a flexible punch zone for increased sturdiness.
- Gladiator Glove - Features a reinforced backhand with a textured punch zone, and top-grade embossed German latex on the palm for added protection and durability.
Now you’ve got your hands covered, we’ll move on south.
Another Leg Up on Turf-Friendly Gear
True, you’re not clocking the same volume of steps as the rest of the team, but there’s a lot of stepping going on as a keeper. Moments will come where you’ll make close-range foot saves, or get tackled by a striker. Even as a keeper, you’ll have to slide on turf here and there.
Naturally, that leaves you open to some injuries. There are impact ones that can come from diving such as bruising, knee and hip injuries. And then there are those nasty turf burns.
But wearing the right lower body gear reduces the risk of these injuries.
Lower Body Gear for Turf Surfaces
So we’ve made our gear suggestions from head to toe. What’s left?
Sweat the Technique
Remember, diving technique matters, especially when you’re playing on artificial turf. Gear helps, but if you’re taking a beating every time you dive, then your technique might need some attention. We won’t give you an overload of tips here, but there are a few pointers to keep in mind for all dives and saves.
Turf-Friendly Dive Technique
- Keep your body relaxed so your moves are fluid and cushioned.
- When landing on your side, try to let the ball, mid-arm and shoulder area make contact so you distribute the force equally.
- Keep your feet perpendicular when diving so you land on your side (which can further protect you).
- Practice and master your collapse technique, where you fall to the side in a controlled and gradual manner.
- Keep your power step slightly more forward so when you land, your body is better positioned.
- Fully extend your arms and land on your lateral muscle.
You should have these fundamentals down pat already. But if you notice you’re walking off the pitch more sore than usual, really pay attention to your diving technique and make changes if necessary.
Braving the Turf as a Keeper
You might not have the authority to decide what type of surface you play on. If that means you’re stuck using turf, we feel for you. But you’re not doomed to bruises and pain day in, day out—the right gear and diving technique softens the impact.
Also, remember too, that a sound recovery protocol after a game can do wonders in terms of how you feel. The combination of these tactics will make you even more of a beast on the pitch, whether that pitch is turf, grass or anythingelse.
Looking to avoid injuries associated with playing on artificial turf? Check out this anti-turf burn buyer’s guide to get started.