Outside of gloves, the gear market for goalkeepers is relatively sparse. The number of manufacturers that focus specifically on the position is even fewer and further between. Outside of Reusch and Uhlsport, not many manufacturers come to mind. Enter Storelli Sports, the new boy that aims to put goalkeepers first in their effort to make keeper shirts, shorts, and gloves more comfortable, more protective, and even sexier.
For this review, Storelli shipped me a pair of goalkeeper shorts, a pair of slider shorts, and a goalkeeper shirt. For my writing and your reading purposes, I’ll group the two pairs of shorts and dedicate a section to the shirt. The shirt has a suggested retail price of $79.99 while the goalkeeper shorts come in at $64.99 and the sliders at $59.99. In other words, it’s not exactly cheap stuff. Read on to find out whether the benefits outweigh the costs.
All of the products that Storelli offers focus on protection for goalkeepers. This usually means padding and lots of it. In my time between the posts, I’ve never worn a padded shirt, shorts, or pants. The feeling of hitting the ground on a diving stop is either the feeling of success after a brillant stop or the pain of failure as you turn to see the ball in the back of the net. Either way, I’m a firm believer in that feeling, no matter which it is, is a part of the game.
All of the products are based on compression fabric that hugs the body and wicks moisture away. This is good for a few reasons: one, most players wear some form of compression gear already, and two, because it goes under your shorts and jersey, the keeper doesn’t need multiple colors of the shirt and shorts to avoid a color clash with the other team.
The padding in the clothing is composed of an EVA foam (shorts) or PU foam (sliders and shirt) at varying thicknesses from 3 to 6 mm. The foam is manufactured by Poron XRD and is quite a fancy bit of tech on its own. The foam is soft and flexible enough to conform to the body but still dissipates most of the energy that comes to it on impact by absorbing more than 90% of it.
The Shorts and Sliders
The goalkeeper shorts offer quite a bit of padding on the sides of the legs. Tested over two days in two seperate shooting sessions by a number of forwards, they performed exceptionally. The final impact felt just like the first and my hips were no more sore at the end of the day than they were at the start. Playing on a turf field is rough from the start and turf burn is a very common result of a day on that surface. Because the shorts hugged the skin so well, there was no room for them to slide up and the leg to be cut up.
The sliders were an even better piece of equipment. The padding running down the legs is thinner and as a result you’ll feel the impact more but they are also much lighter than the goalkeeper shorts which helped keep me comfortable on a 90° day. The thinner padding was just enough to soften the blow of a diving stop and after the adenaline from the match kicked in, I wasn’t feeling a thing. The slider shorts would actually be quite brilliant for any field player as well. The fact that they weren’t at all bulky meant that the sliders didn’t impede movement. The padding actually made the feel of going to ground on a slide a somewhat pleasant one.
Much like the keeper shorts, the goalkeeper shirt is packed with strategically placed padding of varying thicknesses. The compression material is again extremely comfortable and allows for the body to breath in the mid afternoon sun. The back of the goalkeeper shirt is actually a compression mesh that allows sweat to be wicked away very easily. The choice to make the sleeves a 3/4 cut rather than full sleeve is one of the subtle things I quite liked. The sleeve length meant no wrestling with sleeves under/over the gloves or getting caught in the velcro of the strap.
The padding is strategically positioned and is extremely flexible do that it comfortably fits around the body’s countours without impeding movement. I personally like to roll my sleeves up just a little bit and the forearm/elbow padding conformed perfectly even though it was out of position.
One of the innovative design features on the shirt that I really came to love was a bit of padding right on the chest. Much like some of the most popular boots on the market like the Nike CTR 360 or Umbro Geometra, the Storelli Sports goalkeeper shirt uses padding to increase control by dampening the impact of the ball. The padding slows down the ball just enough where catching it becomes a thoughtless process.
If you hadn’t yet noticed, my review of the Storelli Sports goalkeeper shirt, short, and sliders has been nothing short of glowing. The equipment is brilliant and it is very easy to tell just how much thought has been put into the design and manufacturing of the product. Storelli have recognized a number of things that annoy keepers from the amateur to professional levels. This comes from the company focusing specifically on the goalkeeper market and putting personal experience into the final product.
The materials are comfortable, the pads are strategically placed so that they don’t get in the way, and the equipment is light so that the athlete isn’t weighed down or overly hot. Just a word of warning in that the equipment is not really made for beginners and the prices reflect that. That being said, the stuff is seriously good and performs as promised, if not better.
Storelli Sports are offering a 20% discount on their product line as part of their launch this month. Browse all the products in more detail on www.storelli.com and take advantage of this excellent offer.