The best goalkeeper gloves
If you're a goalkeeper in soccer, your world revolves around dives and saves. Your hands have their work cut out for them during a game, which is why having high-quality goalkeeper gloves is imperative.
Goalkeeper gloves feature a unique, oversized design that is perfect for catching and cradling a ball. They're equipped with appropriate padding and ventilation to provide comfortable and breathable protection, particularly around the palms and back of the hands. Goalkeeper gloves also feature grip technology throughout to make sure every save stays put in the palms of your hands.
Check out our shopping guide on goalkeeper gloves in time for your next game. We're including our favorite pair, the Renegade GK Fury Goalkeeper Gloves, which have exquisite padding placement for the best in protection and shock absorption.
Considerations when choosing goalkeeper gloves
How to get a good fit
Goalkeeper gloves are divided into youth, junior, and adult sizing. Youth sizing for gloves is usually geared for children up through primary or middle school, whereas junior sizing is usually for high schoolers, though some teens may already be in adult sizing at that point. More than anything, sizing is a guide. So go by the fit and not the recommended age for sizes.
To select the correct glove size, you'll need to measure both your hands with a tape measure. You'll want the measurement between the tip of the middle finger down to the end of the palm. Once you have that size in inches, add one to that number, and that's the correct size to buy. If one hand's measurement is larger than the other, always go with the larger measurement.
Parts of a glove
The four main parts of a goalkeeper glove are the palm, backhand, fingers, and closure. The palm spans the entire length of the hand and includes grippy materials that help you hold onto the ball, even in wet conditions. The backhand covers the top of your hand and knuckles and is covered by a padded layer of foam.
The fingers are individually padded and have a reasonable degree of structure and integrity. As they're not really bendable, they minimize the risk of finger injuries. The closure secures the glove at the wrist and is usually made of Velcro, though it could button in place.
Flat: Considered the traditional cut of goalkeeper gloves, this style has a flat silhouette and features a larger surface area for catching.
Rolled finger: Goalkeepers who prefer a tighter-fitting glove prefer the rolled finger style. The grip material wraps the entire surface of the fingers, which, in turn, promotes better grip.
Negative: Also a tight-fitting glove, the negative style has seams inside. As there is less movement of the glove on the hand, this style is best known for improved ball control.
Hybrid: Hybrid gloves incorporate the best elements of each of these styles, which give an across-the-board improvement in handling and control. These gloves are also ideal for new goalies who are looking to find the right features and fit preference.
Goalkeeper gloves range in price from $17 to $190. The amount you'll pay mostly depends on the quality you need in a pair. For school and recreational teams, you can find a decent pair up to $75. If you play competitively or in a league, expect to pay over $100 for gloves that can keep up with your level of gameplay.
Q. How long will my goalkeeper gloves last?
A. On average, expect to get around a dozen full games out of them before turning them into a practice pair. That's usually a seasons' worth of play if you're only on one team. But if you play on more than one, it's good to have a dedicated pair for each. They'll eventually need to be retired too, but at least you'll have consistent quality in all games.
Q. How do I get dirt and debris off the Velcro in the wrist strap?
A. A toothbrush is coarse enough to remove dirt, as well as hair, thread, and fibers from Velcro. You don't even need to use cleaning products. Simply brush the Velcro until everything is dislodged. To minimize what accumulates on Velcro, keep it closed and unexposed when it's not in use.
Goalkeeper gloves we recommend
Best of the best: Renegade GK's Fury Goalkeeper Gloves
Our take: Lightweight ergonomic design that excels in comfort while providing hearty protection, even in games with plenty of shots on goal.
What we like: With multiple styles and cuts, you're able to find gloves that truly fit properly. Quality wrist wraps and well-padded palms and fingers.
What we dislike: They're not ideal if you have larger wrists, as the wrist straps are too narrow for some people.
Best bang for your buck: Blok-IT's Goalkeeper Gloves
Our take: These get the job done without hitting your wallet too hard. Considering their budget-friendly price, the quality is surprisingly good.
What we like: Standout support in finger area and across the top of the hand. With high breathability, they're comfortable and cut down on excessive hand sweat.
What we dislike: Thumb areas tend to be a bit too big across all sizes, and some people aren't sold on buying a lesser-known name brand.
Our take: Modest starter pair of gloves for the average school or recreational player. Durability is fair, so they won't last as long as premium gloves.
What we like: Consistent support in all areas of gloves with a good amount of padding. Large range of color schemes to choose from.
What we dislike: Gloves aren't designed for heavy wear, so there are reports of broken stitching. Finding the right size and fit may be difficult.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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