Does Artificial Turf Damage Goalie Gloves? It Can.

Jan 2, 2023

Artificial turf is rougher and harder than grass, hence why women soccer players have long rallied to play on grass like men. Aside from more severe injuries, artificial turf can lead to premature wear and tear on soccer gear, goalie gloves being one of them. This post will briefly examine this issue and how goalkeepers can overcome it. 

Artificial turf

When it comes to soccer fields, they should have no effect on goalie gloves, right? Not the case. Artificial turf blades are short yet sharper than grass blades and, therefore, more abrasive. So not only can those synthetic blades wreak havoc on the skin when sliding (think turf burn injuries), but they can also tear through the fabric, goalie gloves included. 

The opposite is true for natural grass fields. Softer grass blades are more gentle on fabrics and less damaging to goalie gloves. Overall, grass is less dense than synthetic turf, so it provides more cushioning compared to artificial turf. 

How diving on turf affects goalie gloves

It’s sometimes easy to overlook how much contact goalie gloves make with the ground. Whether it’s a low or medium deflection of the ball or tumbling forward to smother the ball, there’s a good chance you’ll land on your hands, several times per game. Multiply this by a few games, and it’s easy to see how wear and tear happens. The impact on harder and sharper turf is greater, meaning the latex is more susceptible to tearing and damage. 

Remember, too, that you (more than likely) get off the ground with your hands. Repeatedly pushing off your gloves on a hard artificial turf surface will wear down the fabric of goalie gloves faster. 

Soccer goalie gloves were designed to cushion the impact of the ball against the hands and improve your grip and control of the ball. For the most part, they weren’t meant to withstand constant contact with artificial turf. 

How to avoid premature wear and tear

The good news is that artificial turf isn’t kryptonite for goalie gloves. If you play on artificial turf more than on grass, you can extend the lifespan of your goalie gloves so that those synthetic blades don’t do as much damage. 

How to maintain soccer goalie gloves if playing on artificial turf

  • Rotate gloves. Keep two pairs of low or moderately-priced gloves on hand. Wear one pair for practices and the other for matches. It’s not a true fix per se, but you’ll get more longevity out of them since you will use each pair less often. 
  • Be mindful of how you get off the grass after dives. There’s a method to pick yourself up from the ground after a dive or fall. Avoid using your palms! That’s where the wear and tear happens the fastest. Using your fists to push yourself off the ground is better since this reduces the amount of contact the palm and latex make with turf. 
  • Buy heavy-duty soccer gloves. Of course, not all goalie gloves are made equal. Some gloves can take more of a beating. We recommend buying a pair of heavy-duty gloves with reinforced construction and German latex with cushioned layering. The gloves will still wear down over time, but a heavy-duty construction will keep your gloves in better shape longer. 

Storelli glove options for artificial turf 

Let’s face it, no pair of goalie gloves can last forever. But the right pair, along with adequate care, can go a long way. Here at Storelli, our goalkeeper gloves are built with German latex in the palms, many of which are three to five millimeters thick for added cushioning and protection. We’ve also molded the backhand of our gloves to be reinforced so  they can withstand more contact with the ground. 

Combine our goalie gloves with hacks, such as rotating your gloves and pushing off the grass with your fists, and you’ll find the turf won’t be a major problem. Looking for soccer goalie gloves for a youth or adult player? Browse through our line of gloves for goalkeepers to find their perfect fit.

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