Should you even wear gloves while protecting the goal? Some of the greatest keepers in the world never once put on a pair of gloves, and it did not hinder their performance at all. So why should we wear them now? Well for one thing, they give us an advantage when try to stop a bullet shot from inside the 18 yard box from the likes of Rooney, C. Ronaldo and Messi.
Honestly we wear them because the rules allow us to, and it helps us to maintain our performance in net over a longer period of time. So how do you go about buying the right set of gloves? Well I am going to provide the same tips here that I give to my youth goalkeepers when they are in need of new mitts.
1. Find your correct size for the gloves
Nothing is more uncomfortable than playing a game with a small pair of gloves. Measure from the top of the index finger knuckle around the little finger knuckle and back underneath the hands until you over lap on the index finger. That will give you the size of the glove you should wear.
2. Research all the goalkeeper glove brands for their grip
Many companies that have catalogues that sell keeper equipment have their own system of determining the grip and durability. Do your research and find the glove that is best suited for your type of play. More expensive is not always better.
One of the latest brands to enter the market are Precision Goalkeeper Gloves who have been very successful in the last three years and produce a quality glove at a reasonable price.
3. Try the gloves on
Once you find a pair that will suit your needs, see if you can locate them in a local shop to try them on. You want to feel the thickness of the palm and fingers and see if they are thick enough. Too thin and they will lose their grip over the time it takes to play one game. Too thick and you cannot feel the ball. Try them on and see how they fell, if the size you wear is a bit too long in the fingers that is fine. You want about a thumbs width at the top of your fingers.
4. Spine or No Spine
Recently the popular attribute for goalkeeping gloves has been the spine technology. I have worn both spine and spineless goalkeeping gloves, and I prefer no spine because I lost the feel of the ball with spine protection and deflected everything instead of catching it. However many top keepers wear the spine protection. This is a personal preference for you, but I suggest you learn to catch without them before wearing them.
5. Glove Durability
Durability is key for any keeper and their gloves. Many times, once they are broken in, it is time for a new pair. Which, unless you are sponsored by a company, can get to be expensive and annoying. Look for durable gloves that have a good grip to them. Clean your gloves after every practice or match to ensure they have a long life. There are several glove cleaners out there, but you can do the same with some mild dish soap and warm water.
Extra Tip: Never lay the palm of your gloves facing the sun or any form of heater in a house. This will ruin them quicker than not cleaning them
I hope you all found this useful in the quest to find the right gloves. If you have any other questions concerning goalkeeping apparel, or goalkeeping in general, please feel free to ask away.