Youth: The G.O.A.T of Goaltender Gloves: 4 Attributes to Look For
Dec 18, 2020
*This article is part of an educational series for soccer parents and players new to soccer*
If you are shopping for new soccer goalie gloves, the options can be overwhelming. Do you choose by color, fit, size, type of materials, unique features? Is there really a difference? This post will go through the essential components of a goalie glove and explain the four essential qualities that goalies should look for when purchasing a glove.
Parts of a Goalie Glove
Before you can understand the differences in goalie gloves, it is important to understand the different components and how they work together. Goalie Gloves are made up of five essential parts. They are:
- The Palm - The palm of soccer goalkeeper gloves allows the goalkeeper to catch the ball. It can be made of many latex layers, have texture or hard ground elements, or even smooth layers.
- Fingers - Finger Protection helps protect fingers from injury or bending backward when stopping a high impact shot. The finger protection is usually made from plastic, fits in the back of the fingers, and is often removable. They can be stiff or bendable, though some goalkeepers prefer no finger protection.
- The Cut - The goalkeeper glove’s cut helps determine the glove’s fit and helps make sure the glove will correctly fit your hand. Different cut options are available to fit slender or wide hands or create a more ergonomic glove fit.
- Backhand - the backhand of a goalie glove helps with punching the ball and can provide cushioning. It also allows the glove to breathe. The backhand can be made of latex foam, knit material, or neoprene and offer additional support and cushioning amounts depending on the goalkeeper’s needs.
- Closure - The closure is the part of the glove that secures the glove around a goalkeeper’s hand. It is most often made of velcro or elastic wrist strap or wrist cuff, depending on preference.
Entry Level or Pro Goalkeepers Gloves?
It is essential to consider your level of experience when shopping for soccer goalie gloves.
Some gloves are designed specifically for younger players and offer more protection and padding from injuries and hard shots. They are also made of less sensitive materials that help them stand up to hours of practice in all weather conditions.
Pro-Level Goalie Gloves offer many choices and options, and it is all about goalkeeper preference. Match gloves tend to have a finer palm with a better grip but aren’t as durable and training gloves made from synthetic materials that tend to be more solid. Some pro-goal keepers prefer finger protection; others prefer the control of no finger protection.
What is The G.O.A.T of Goalie Gloves?
Often called the greatest of all time, in this case, the GOAT means the four attributes to look for when choosing a goalie glove.
- Grip and Flexibility
- Optimal Control
- Absorption of Impact
- Transfer of Energy
Grip & Flexibility
Specific gloves are designed to maximize your grip on a ball and give you improved flexibility for more control. The thinner the glove, the more flexibility you will have, but the less protection for fingers and hands.
The SicarioSpeedGrip Glove is made to be thin and flexible, so it fits like a second skin, but with a SpeedGrip lining to help glue your fingers to the ball. This glove is more suited to experienced players.
In contrast, the Gladiator Recruit 3 Glove is made as an entry-level glove for youth and younger players. It comes with more padding and stiffness for protection from finger injuries from hard shots but less flexibility. It also features a latex palm for improved grip but is better for all weather conditions. One thing to keep in mind, the better the grip, the less durable the glove tends to be.
More experienced goalkeepers are often interested in goalkeeper gloves that offer optimal control of the ball. The Silencer Menace Glove is a top of the line, lightweight goalie glove with pro-grade German latex for exceptional grip and removable finger protection for a more relaxed fit.
Absorption of Impact
The main job of goalkeeper gloves is to offer protection for the goalkeeper’s hands during practice and play. The Gladiator Challenger 2 glove is made to absorb the impact from hard shots and reduce the risk of injuries. It is specially designed for younger players and has four finger spines to protect your fingers and cushioning foam on the palm to absorb the impact from falls and the ball.
More competitive players looking for Impact protection and grip should also consider the Gladiator Pro 2 Glove.
Transfer of Energy
Textured latex on the backhand of gloves gives better control on punches.
The Gladiator Pro 2 Glove is designed for competitive goalkeepers. The textured polybutylene punch zones give extra control and security. This is a glove for goalkeepers who want impact protection and need flexibility for better control of the ball.
Above all, it is crucial to find a goalie glove that fits. Be sure you know your correct size and find a glove that fits your hand. Also, be sure to select a glove that fits your budget. A higher price point doesn’t necessarily mean the glove will last longer.
If you are looking to purchase soccer goalie gloves, take a look at our collection. We have something for every goaltender, from beginner to pro players. If you have any questions about sizing for any of our products or need assistance with your order, take a look at our FAQ page or contact us.