A Brief Guide to Soccer Goalie Glove Terminology

Oct 20, 2022

Choosing the right soccer goalie gloves is part science and art. There are factors to consider, such as hand proportions and personal taste in terms of fit and performance. With that said, buyers should know goalie glove terms ahead of time. This post will define some key goalie glove terms. 


Backhand - The material a manufacturer adds to the back of goalkeeper gloves to protect the hand when punching the ball. The glove's backhand usually consists of latex foam, although manufacturers can make it with knit material or neoprene, depending on the level of cushioning goalkeepers need. 

Breaking in - The process of familiarizing oneself with the fit and feel of soccer goalie gloves before using them in practices and games. The process involves putting soccer goalie gloves on, flexing your hands and manipulating the ball - repeatedly. Variations include making a fist or compressing one side of the glove with the other (bare) hand. 


Cut - How the palms and fingers of goalkeeper gloves are stitched to the backhand. The “cut” is essentially a design feature. Cuts are crucial because they influence how the glove fits and feels, affecting how goalkeepers perform and acquire skills. The most common cuts are rolled, negative, and hybrid, although there are more. 


Fingerspines -  Also known as fingersaves, fingerspines are pieces of plastic added to the back of each finger in goalkeeper gloves to help prevent injuries. They help stabilize the finger to prevent hyperextensions (“jammed finger”) and sprains. Fingerspines can bend forward and backward but can be restrictive, especially for goalkeepers who want more control. Many goalie gloves have removable fingerspines. 

Fit - A general term that describes how well soccer goalie gloves wrap around the goalkeeper’s hand. The fit can be described as “loose,” “snug,” or “tight.” 



German latex - The latex layer used to make the palm of goalkeeper gloves. The type of German latex used in soccer goalie gloves affects how much grip they have, which, in turn, influences how much ball control goalies have. 

Grip - The ability of goalie gloves to grab hold of the soccer ball and maintain. “Grip” is the most critical factor in determining whether a pair of goalie gloves are practical or not. Elements such as palm materials and the glove’s cut influence how much grip gloves have. 


Palm - The upside surface of goalie gloves that allows keepers to catch the ball. The palm of soccer goalie gloves often contain German latex, and different gloves have different amounts of layering and textures. The three most common textures found in goalkeeper gloves are “smooth,” “textured,” and “dimpled.” 

Punch zone - The part of soccer goalie gloves where goalkeepers make contact with the ball when making a fist to punch the ball away. Punch zones can be smooth or raised, depending on the goalkeeper’s preference.


Wrist closure - The part of the glove that keeps the glove secure around the goalkeeper’s hand. Manufacturers commonly use velcro or elastic wrist straps in this component. 

Why these terms matter when buying soccer goalie gloves

Many elements can affect the quality of goalkeeper gloves. Different designs, materials and styles can all affect how well a goalkeeper saves the ball. Understanding how these components work and how different choices affect performance will help you choose the goalie gloves that work best for you or your kid. Buying the right gloves means the difference between being a decent keeper and a beast keeper. Why give yourself anything less than the best? 

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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