GK glove care: Tips to make your gloves glow longer
Jun 29, 2018
How to take care of your GK Gloves
Gloves are the most celebrated piece of equipment for goalkeepers. At the same time, they are the trickiest to maintain. They can wear out much faster than other equipment if not properly cared for, require constant maintenance, and can smell worse than uncle Gianni’s old socks after a 10-mile run on a summer day.
As players and makers of the finest goalkeeper gloves on the market, we want to make sure you get the most out of your gloves. So here are our tips to maximize the life and grip of your favorite gloves and make sure to check out the Wash & Prepare and Glove Glue solutions in our glove section to keep your tools in top shape.
Before the first use: Your shiny new gloves will be fresh out of the factory and you may want to freshen them up before use. We advise pre-washing your gloves gently in warm water (example: in the sink), without soap OR even better by using GloveGlu Wash & Prepare (shop HERE), and letting them dry naturally and away from strong sources of light or heat (see list of what “not to do” under washing instructions below)
Before each game: Your goal should be to make your palm moist so the latex is at its grippiest (technical note: moisture increases the coefficient of friction between the gloves and the ball). To do so, we like to dampen the surface of the gloves 2 hours prior to kick-off by placing the palms under warm running water for 5 seconds on each side- just enough for the latex to absorb some water. You do not want to completely soak your gloves, so avoid getting surfaces other than the palm (there is no advantage to getting the back-hand of the gloves wet). Then place the gloves somewhere where they won’t completely dry out (example: wrap them in a towel and rest them in your bag- the towel will dry out excess water but keep the palms moist). When game time comes, you want the surface of the gloves to feel moist, not so wet that water drips out.
Right before game time / during game: For extra strong stickiness, spray GloveGlu’s Glove Glue on the palms (shop HERE).
After each use: Right after each use, ensure you wash them (see details below) and leave them to dry naturally. This is the most important step to extend the life of the gloves: if you leave them in your bag to dry out, the latex could get brittle and start cracking, losing durability.
Storing your gloves: Do not store your gloves for any length of time without having washed them first. Then, make sure to store them in a cool and reasonably moist environment. Avoid:
Too wet: you do not want your gloves to remain wet for a long time, as this can cause bacteria and mold to develop.
Too dry: if the gloves are stored in an extremely dry environment, they will become brittle and break out next time you use them
Do not leave the palms touching each other when stored away. Otherwise the gloves may stick to each other, and may get damaged when you pull them apart
Note on technique to increase durability
As a goalie, you will dive and pick yourself up more times than you can count. Unfortunately, this- rather than contact with the ball- is the primary cause of glove damage, because inexperienced goalkeepers naturally pick themselves up using open palms, which leads to deterioration of the grip. When picking yourself up from the ground, try not to use your palms (this may be inevitable in highly competitive settings). Instead use your fists to push yourself back up, this ensures minimal palm/latex contact with the ground and helps avoid any unnecessary abrasion - particularly on dry or 3G turf.
Washing and drying instructions
As soon as possible after each use, wash your gloves in warm water (maximum of 86F / 30C) before drying naturally away from strong sources of heat.
For a superior wash, use GloveGlu Wash & Prepare (shop HERE).
Never, ever throw your gloves in a washing machine. Also, wash simply with your hands, without using scrubbers or other tools that may damage the surface of the gloves. We like to think of this wash routine as a healthy post-game ritual where you can think through the game and unwind.
How NOT to dry the gloves:
In a tumble dryer
On a radiator or in front of a large source of heat (e.g., fire)
Using an iron or hair dryer
In direct sunlight
In a dry, very hot closed environment
How much latex degradation should I expect?
It’s important to realize that latex deterioration is inevitable, and you should not be alarmed if you see some wear-and-tear even after a first use. Latex is a very soft natural product and as such is subject to wear and abrasion over time. Any latex – no matter what brand, model or price point you choose- can begin to show forms of wear from the very first use: this is normal due to the physical properties which give latex the grip that you need.
Most importantly, gloves will continue functioning even if there is some wear-and-tear. So do not panic when your gloves show some abrasion, focus on your game, and make sure to follow our care instructions so you extend the life of your gloves.
Please note that if using a goalkeeper glove on an artificial surface such as 3G or astro turf you will be placing a higher level of stress on the latex, therefore it will wear out much more quickly.
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