Youth: The Complete Goalkeeper- Head-to-Toe Soccer Goalie Equipment Guide

Aug 1, 2019

***This article is part of an educational series for soccer parents and youth players new to soccer***

At its core, the appeal of the beautiful game stems from its simplicity. All you need is a ball to get started. But when you move beyond pickup footie games, the gear requirements start to grow.

Today’s players are bigger, stronger, and faster than ever before. Having the right gear gives players the edge they need, as well as the protection that keeps them in the game. With harder kicks and bigger collisions, this is especially true for goalkeepers.

Today, we take a look at everything you need for a complete soccer goalie kit.

What Equipment Do Soccer Goalies Need?

It’s time to get game-ready for your match. In this section, we’ll get into the basic equipment that soccer goalies need, from head to toe.

Soccer Goalie Headgear

Headgear may soon become an essential piece of equipment for the modern goalkeeper. Soccer head injuries are a real risk and good headgear has recently been shown in clinical studies to have the potential of reducing the risk of head injuries. With every save made near opposing players, goalies are at risk for collisions. With every shot, there is a chance of sub-concussive impact.

While there is no silver bullet solution against head injuries in soccer, for players and parents that want to play it safe, soccer headgear may represent a practical option.

Product Recommendation: The ExoShield Head Guard is the #1 rated soccer head guard, estimated to reduce the risk of head injuries by 84%.

Goalkeeper Gloves

As the only players allowed to touch the ball, gloves are among the most important pieces of soccer goalie equipment. They help to protect your hands as well as improving your grip.

Top quality goalkeeper gloves keep keepers fearless and ensure a good hold no matter what conditions you’re playing in. Look for gloves with finger spines for greater protection, and German latex for the best possible grip.

Product Recommendation: The Gladiator 2-Pack. This two-pack comes with both the Legend & Elite gloves. Built-in finger protection protects your hands, and removable finger spines allow you to adjust to your comfort and play style. The Legend gloves offer greater wrist stability for game day play, and the Elite is ideal for games or practice.

Shin Guards

No player can get through a season without taking a few kicks to the shins. Impacts to the shins can range from annoying abrasions to broken bones, so it’s worth throwing on some protection. It’s also the only protective equipment most leagues require players wear.

Like players, soccer goalies need to have shin guards in their kit. Shin pads are cheap and easy to find, but most of them present two issues: first, they only protect the front of your shin, leaving the side of the leg exposed to tackles and impact with the ground during dives; second, shin pads slide around in your socks. To solve these issues, leg guards with shin guard pockets are becoming increasingly popular as a complement to traditional shin guards. This is because they offer protection in areas not covered by traditional shin pads, along with great flexibility and comfort.

Product Recommendation: The BodyShield Leg Guard. These leg guards use a flexible foam that absorbs up to 90% of impacts. Slip-in shin pads are not included, so make sure to have a pair handy.





It’s not just your hands that need the right grip. To keep your footing in any conditions, you need a good pair of soccer cleats. They help keep you from slipping, allowing for better movement and agility. For added control, consider wearing gripping socks.

Product Recommendation: SpeedGrip Socks 2.0. Wearing a pair of SpeedGrip socks inside your cleats keeps your feet from slipping or shifting inside the shoe. This allows for more responsive movement and prevents blistering or chafing.

While that wraps it up for the soccer goalie equipment essentials, you can get more out of your game with a few key accessories.

Useful Accessories for Soccer Goalies

If you want to play like a pro, you need to dress like one. All the extra soccer goalie equipment isn’t for show, it helps them play at an elite level. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the key goalkeeper accessories that can elevate your game.

Padded Undershirt

For goalkeepers who make big dives, a padded undershirt helps keep you from having to sacrifice your body to make the save. Your goalie jersey on its own will not keep you safe from painful turf burn and abrasions. 

The additional protection keeps goalies in the zone, allowing them to dive without fear for uncompromising gameplay.

Recommended Product:  BodyShield GK ¾ Undershirt. This goalkeeper undershirt is lightweight and sweat-wicking, while still offering optimal protection. Flexible XRD® material absorbs up to 90% of impact.

Arm Sleeves

Goalkeepers who don’t opt for an undershirt may want to consider an arm sleeve. Soccer arm sleeves provide lightweight, flexible protection that keeps your joints warm and prevents turf burn.

Recommended Product: The BodyShield Arm Guard. Unlike the sleeve, the arm guard offers added protection, so goalkeepers can focus on the game, with no fear of impacts or abrasions.


Get a grip. To get the best performance out of your goalkeeper gloves, spray them with GloveGlu. A single treatment improves the glove’s grip on the ball.

Recommended Product: GloveGlu GK Formula. The GK formula helps goalkeepers get a strong grip in any situation, regardless of the weather.

Padded Shorts

Padded shorts or 3/4 pants offer further protection. As with padded shirts, this legwear protects your body from the impact or turf burn that often results from sliding and diving. They’re well-suited for goalies with aggressive playing styles.

Recommended Product: BodyShield GK Sliders 2. The new design improves on bend lines, offering greater flexibility. There are built-in pads on the thighs and tail bone for added protection where you need it most. 

Protective Leggings

Leggings can be used in conjunction with padded shorts, or in place of padded pants. Protective leggings don’t offer the same padding against impacts as pants, but they do provide maximum flexibility while still preventing turf burn.

Recommended Product: BodyShield Turf Burn Leggings. The BodyShield leggings are appropriate for goalies and players alike. In addition to high-quality performance materials, they also have a unique shin guard pocket to hold shin pads securely in place.

Knee Guards

The knees are two of the most important joints in your body, but they’re also surprisingly fragile. Padded knee guards give extra protection to help keep your focus on the game. High stock canvas allows soccer goalies to reduce turf burn while diving or sliding on their knees.

Recommended Product: BodyShield Knee Guards. These guards offer premium knee protection made with high-quality, flexible material.

Soccer Insoles

When you need maximum traction and responsiveness out of your shoes, you need specialized insoles. Most insoles aren’t designed for traction, leading to slipping feet, a slower reaction time, and reduced control.

Recommended Product: SpeedGrip Insoles. Patented heel cup design and materials lock your feet into place for explosive speed and performance. They’ll help improve your traction in wet or dry conditions. SpeedGrip Insoles can be used in conjunction with SpeedGrip Socks.

Whether you decide to stick to the basics or upgrade your goalie kit with a few accessories, you’ve now got everything you need. You can take to the pitch, confident that you’re fully outfitted for performance and safety.

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