What are soccer gloves for?

Soccer gloves, also known as goalkeeper gloves, are specialized hand coverings designed for soccer goalkeepers to enhance their grip on the ball and protect their hands during practices and matches.

Gloves play a critical role in the sport as they provide goalkeepers with the needed grip and protection to make crucial saves on shots high, low, and wide. They allow goalkeepers to catch, deflect, and throw the ball securely, which can be the difference between a goal and a save.

soccer goalkeeper gloves

The purpose of this article is to deliver an all-encompassing guide to soccer gloves. We will look at the features and benefits of soccer gloves, how to choose the right gloves for your needs, and some of the best gloves available on the market today. 

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, the following has everything you need to know about football goalie gloves.

Benefits of wearing gloves for goalkeepers

Wearing soccer gloves can offer several advantages for players. These benefits include:

Improved grip on the ball: The strong grip offered by gloves is especially helpful during rainy days when the ball is wet and slippery.

Protection from injury: Gloves give a layer of protection that might not initially be apparent, yet they can prevent bruises, finger sprains, damage to fingernails, and sometimes even stop bones from being fractured. 

Increased confidence in the game: Wearing gloves keeps the hands warm and helps keep the player’s focus on the game. Having comfortable and good-looking gloves on their hands can make goalies feel like they can make any save – no matter how challenging.

Overall performance: Wearing gloves helps regulate blood circulation and keeps the goalie’s hands warm, which can improve performance.

How to choose the right soccer goalie gloves

It is important for soccer goalkeepers to choose gloves that have the ideal grip, and finger and palm fit. The grip and pricing of gloves are generally correlated, where cheaper gloves provide less grip and more expensive gloves provide more grip. 

For goalkeepers, it is crucial to choose gloves that improve their handling and help them keep the ball under control when it comes their way. To find the right gloves, it’s recommended that a player experiments with them in practice before using them in a match.

Consider the following when seeking out the perfect gloves:

Personal preference: Some goalkeepers may have a preference for a particular brand or model of gloves, based on their specific needs and preferences.

Fit: The fit of the gloves is an important consideration. The tighter the fit, the better gloves tend to perform. As such, tighter cuts are often recommended to goalkeepers with thinner hands, while others might prefer a more relaxed fit.

Quality and durability: The quality of the gloves is another key factor, as it affects the gloves’ durability and performance. As already mentioned, more expensive gloves generally offer better grip and hand protection.

Price: The cost of the gloves cannot be downplayed. If a player is not on a tight budget they  should not compromise on quality in order to get a cheaper price. That being said, bargain gloves can still provide what a goalkeeper needs to be successful. 

How to choose the right size soccer gloves

To ensure you select gloves that fit best, you will need to measure the width of your palm and your hand length. The gloves should also be comfortable and slightly bigger than the hand.

For the width measurement, hold a measuring tape snugly across your palm from left to right. 

For hand length, measure the length of your hand from the tip of the middle finger to the end of the palm and round up. The general rule is to add a size to the measurement. So, a hand measurement of seven inches would require a size eight glove.

Every goalkeeper has varying personal preferences for tightness or looseness, thus it is best to try on gloves to determine the perfect size.

Learn what else soccer players should be wearing for practice and games.

What are the best gloves for soccer?

Now that you know how to choose the right glove and size for your hands, here are some of the best models per a survey of goalkeepers around the world:

Frequently asked questions about soccer gloves for keepers

You have questions about gloves for soccer. We have the correct answers below.

Are soccer gloves supposed to be tight?

Soccer gloves, especially goalkeeper gloves, are supposed to be tight. A tight glove provides better control, reduces the risk of a wrist injury, and helps keep the glove in place shot after shot 

However, the gloves shouldn’t be too tight that they become difficult to pull on or take off or that they risk tearing in the palm, seams, or wrist closure. They also should be comfortable to wear.

Why are soccer goalie gloves so big?

Soccer goalie gloves are big because they need to withstand the impact of the ball that can be kicked at speeds of up to 80 mph per hour. The size of the gloves also depends on the gloves cut and the individual preferences of the goalkeeper. Some goalkeepers prefer gloves with thicker, more padded palms. 

How long have soccer goalies been wearing gloves?

Soccer goalkeepers started wearing gloves regularly in the 1960s. Before this, many goalkeepers only wore gloves in wet conditions. 

Notably, Gordon Banks, an English national team goalkeeper, started using gloves as an experiment in the 1970 World Cup. 

There was a time when no soccer goalkeeper wore gloves during a soccer game, as they used to play with their bare hands. But the use of gloves has become common over time and today it’s rare to see a goalkeeper playing without gloves.

Is it important to clean goalie gloves?

Cleaning gloves properly is also important to maintain their grip and performance, as they should not be washed in the laundry and instead should be cleaned with lukewarm water and mild detergent.

Can other soccer players, besides goalkeepers. wear gloves?

Yes, other soccer players besides goalkeepers can wear gloves. Many do when the weather is cold outdoors.

However, gloves are generally more commonly worn by goalkeepers as they provide extra grip and protection. That said, some goalies who like the natural feel of the ball in their hands may choose not to wear gloves.

Final points

Soccer gloves are an essential piece of equipment for any soccer goalkeeper.

Wearing gloves has several benefits such as keeping hands warm, improving focus and blood circulation, avoiding unnecessary hand injuries, and improving grip on the ball, especially during wet and cold conditions.

When choosing the right soccer gloves, it is important to consider factors such as the material, fit, grip, and cost. Investing in a quality pair of gloves can not only improve performance but also provide comfort, confidence, and protection during the game.

Wearing soccer gloves is not just about being stylish. We encourage all soccer goalkeepers to try wearing quality gloves and experience the difference for themselves.

Adrian Turner
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