Best Goalkeeper Gloves – Buyer’s Guide

Best Goalkeeper Gloves - Buyer’s Guide

As the most popular sport in the world, it should come as little surprise that the market for goalkeeper’s gloves is rife with options and features that distinguish one from another. Unlike some types of products, best goalkeeper gloves are often distinguished as a matter of preference as opposed to simple quality.

With that in mind, it can be difficult to not only to know what constitutes a pair of quality goalkeeper gloves but what the differences in construction mean for the performance of the player wearing them.

Best Goalkeeper Gloves 2017

That is why we have created a list of the top five goalkeeper gloves pairs , each satisfying a specific type of player or consumer. Then, we offer a thorough buyer’s guide of the most important features and differences that define the various type of goalkeeper gloves available today.


Product
MaterialFinger protectionWrist restraintBreathabilityFlexibility 
LatexYesYesNoYes
ExoShield Gladiator
(Editor’s Choice)
Super soft latexYesNoYesNo
Super soft latexYesNoNoYes
LatexYesNoNoNo
Super soft latexYesYesYesYes

1. TimeBus Youth & Adult – Best Youth Goalkeeper Gloves

TimeBus Youth & Adult review
While looking for a pair of gloves for younger players, it is important to remember that there is no need to pay a lot. Young players are often rougher on their equipment and will grow out of their gloves before too long.

Younger players also will often do well to sacrifice a bit of flexibility to provide additional protection. But, the TimeBus goalkeeper gloves do make a concerted effort to find a balance between stability and flexibility–erring on the side of protecting a younger player’s hands.

The TimeBus pair of gloves also seek to provide some degree of comfort, though their results in this regard are definitely a bit more mixed. For example, this pair of goalkeeper gloves utilizes a flat cut design, which can actually be beneficial to younger players who are still learning the game and may be very discomfortable, because the gloves are not breathable, so they may not like the sweaty hands.
Unfortunately, this is one of the few pairs of goalkeeper gloves on our list that do not favor grip. Again, this is a design choice that was made to favor protecting the player’s palms over glove that can snag the ball instead of merely rebounding it.
Pros:
  • A less expensive pair of goalkeeper gloves
  • Uses a double wristband closure design for maximum security
  • Extra padding and mild finger spines strike a balance between protection and flexibility
Cons:
  • Not breathable at all
  • The flat cut does not fit snugly and is not popular among the best players
  • The composite palm material does not provide the best grip

2. ExoShield Gladiator – Best Professional Goalkeeper Gloves (Editor’s Choice)

ExoShield Gladiator (Editor’s Choice) reviewWhen it comes to professional goalkeeper gloves, the bigger brand names generally steal the show–though, this may not necessarily be due to product quality exclusively. It is important to remember that many professional players are paid to use a specific brand, and even model, of goalkeeper gloves.

Storelli is more known for making top-quality protective equipment, but the brand does specialize in soccer equipment and has expanded their product catalog to include more fundamental pieces of equipment as well: enter the ExoShield Gladiator.

This pair of goalkeeper gloves features the expected super soft latex that provides the kind of grip that can stop a speeding shot dead in its tracks. Even better, these gloves are also designed to function well in wet environments, actually performing better when damp–as is expected among professional goalkeeper gloves. Moreover, these gloves are also reinforced for latex foam, so you do not have to worry about those shots injuring your fingers or bruising your palms.

Storelli understands that the best gloves offer a responsive design that is also comfortable. That is why the ExoShield’s use the more popular negative cut that gives a snug fit and responsive action. Then the ExoShield’s couple this cut with a mesh body that offers the most breathability out of any pair of gloves on our list.

Unfortunately, these gloves are also the most expensive pair of gloves on our list. Moreover, the ExoShields are designed for maximum performance which means their materials will break down quicker than other products on our list. Of course, this should be expected among professional quality equipment.

Pros:
  • The negative cut provides a snug fit for maximum control
  • 3.5mm super soft latex with 3mm latex foam provides a good grip with solid protection
  • Vented fingers and a primary mesh body provide excellent breathability
Cons:
  • The most expensive pair of goalkeeper gloves on our list
  • Not the best goalkeeper gloves for punching
  • Not as durable as many other options on our list

3. KixGK Club – Best Goalkeeper Gloves with finger protection

KixGK Club reviewThere are more then one type of goalkeeper. Some of them have distinct skills that others lack, and their equipment should reflect that difference. To point, there are plenty of goalkeepers who are exceedingly quick but may not have the same degree of strength as others.

In that case, a quicker goalkeeper will likely seek gloves which can accommodate their need for additional strength and protection. It is this kind of goalkeeper that may find the KixGk Club gloves an ideal fit.

The KixGk gloves are designed with the protection of the goalkeeper’s hands in mind with more padding on the palms and backhand than any other pair of gloves on our list.

Of course, that protection does come at the expense of flexibility. It is expected that quicker goalkeepers are generally lither, and thus, inherently more flexible. That being the case, the loss of flexibility should not duly impact their performance quite as much.

The KixGk are also with their concessions to other aspects of design intended to aid the capture of a quick shot. For example, the thick latex used on the palms provides a solid amount of grip, while the rolled finger cut predisposes the goalkeeper’s hands for catching as opposed to rebounding.
But, the KixGk’s are not truly designed for comfort. First, the limited amount of mesh does not allow for breathability as much as it may suggest. And the v-notch closure is the least stable option available.
Pros:
  • The rolled finger design aims to strike a balance between fit and flexibility
  • 4mm super soft latex offers decent grip and great protection
  • 3mm latex foam on the palm and 3 mm soft latex on the backhand provide plenty of protection
Cons:
  • Not breathable at all
  • The v-notch closure provides no security
  • Do not perform well in wet or muddy conditions

4. Goalkeeper Gloves By Blok-IT – Best Budget Goalkeeper Gloves

Goalkeeper Gloves By Blok-IT reviewNot all gloves are destined to be worn by the best professionals in league matches. In fact, the gloves suited for that situation are not the gloves you want to wear outside of it.

For example, practice gloves are better designed to force the wearer to focus on the fundamentals of technique, rather than relying on the quality of construction to accommodate sloppy skills.

Blok-It has put forth a pair of goalkeeper gloves that are exceedingly versatile in their use but truly shine as a pair of quality practice gloves. First and foremost in this regard is their cost which is the lowest on our list. But, that should not be taken as a sign of inferior quality.

Instead, it should be understood that this pair of goalkeeper gloves is designed to withstand heavy abuse for an extended period of time and keep on going, while still being able to provide the requisite quality that will not impede a player’s skill progression. The Blok-It gloves accomplish this by providing the basic standards without faulting.
If there is any one area that the Blok-It gloves can be said to lag behind, it would be in responsiveness. It does not mean that the gloves are unresponsive, more that the design choices do not favor responsiveness.

For example, the flat cut is comfortable, but it will not offer the same flexibility a negative cut does. Besides, the palms utilizes an adequate latex grip, but the latex itself is designed for durability more than stickiness.

Pros:
  • A less expensive pair of goalkeeper gloves
  • 3mm latex palm padding offers decent grip
  • The latex is not so soft that it cannot be used indoors or on astro turf fields
Cons:
  • Not breathable at all
  • The flat cut does not fit snugly and is not popular among the best players
  • With only velcro closures, the glove security is minimal

5. Brine King Match 3X – Best Goalkeeper Gloves under 100$

Brine King Match 3X reviewFor some goalkeepers, comfort is king. This style of goalkeeper generally displays excellent technique and comes equipped with all of the physical tools necessary to perform at a highly competitive level.

Also, the goalkeeper can sacrifice some metrics of performance for a glove whose comfort will provide a sense of ease that allows the goalkeeper’s natural talent to shine without the distraction of their equipment. This is where the Brine King Match 3X glove comes into play.

In terms of standard measurable, the Brine King is merely adequate. The palms provide 3mm of super soft latex but not much more padding beyond that. And the backhand of the Brine King’s uses only 2mm of EVA foam–which is about fifty percent less padding than is standard. This makes the Brine King’s somewhat unsuitable for punching unless your hands are strong.

As mentioned earlier, these gloves assume the player are both physically and technically fit. As such, the Brine King’s can offer more comfortable experience, first by relying on a flat cut. While not the most responsive, the flat cut definitely offers the roomiest interior.
These gloves also provide an elastic enclosure which is more secure than the v-notch, but not quite as secure as the bandage. Finally, the lateral backhand–a rarity among quality goalkeeper gloves–combined with a wrapped thumb provide a fair degree of flexibility without sacrificing quality of build.
Pros:
  • The use of super soft latex on most of the glove provides a good grip
  • An elastic closure seeks to balance security and flexibility
  • A wrapped thumb and lateral backhand improves comfort and flexibility
Cons:
  • The flat cut does not fit snugly and is not popular among the best players
  • The backbone finger protection is more intrusive than other finger spines
  • The thinner, latex backhand is not ideal for punching the ball

Best Goalkeeper Gloves review  – Buyer’s Guide

Cut

One of the most important factors of a goalkeeper’s gloves is the cut. Basically, the goalie must skirt the line in terms of how the gloves feel.

On the one hand, the gloves must be comfortable and responsive so that the goalie can react quickly to lightning fast shots taken. On the other hand, the gloves must also be durable and protective enough to stand up to soccer balls that can fly as fast as 60 mph when kicked by a professional.

These two competing demands of goalkeeper’s gloves place them in a position have to be the best of both worlds. In an effort to accommodate these contradictory demands, various manufacturers have designed different types of cuts–the way the different parts of the glove are constructed and joined together.

Flat

This is the traditional type of cut originated when specialized goalkeeper’s gloves were developed. In this style cut, the palm is made from a separate piece of foam or latex. The fingers are then stitched on the outside to the palm. This style of cut allows for more movement and freedom within the glove, though it has fallen somewhat out of style in recent years.

Rolled or Gunn

This style of cut is also fairly traditional and developed in direct competition with the flat cut when specialized goalkeeper’s gloves were being developed. The rolled cut does not utilize gussets connecting the palm to the fingers directly and instead places the seams on the back of the fingers.

This cut provides a somewhat snugger fit on the hand but still provides some room to move around in the glove compared to more modern cuts. This style is also noted for providing a larger contact area when compared to the flat cut.

Negative

The negative cut is a style that is more recent than the flat or rolled cuts, but is far from the cutting edge of today’s goalkeeper glove designs. But, the negative cut is still one of the more popular and favored cuts used today. The negative cut is fairly similar to the flat cut in overall design except that the palm and backhand are stitched together along the inside at the sides of the fingers.

This design creates a much snugger fit and provides an increased sense of control and responsiveness to hand movements. It is also known that the negative cut wear out much faster than some of the other styles of cut.

Bowl or Precurved

This style of cut is truly a modification of the flat palm gloves. Instead of the palm being flat, the bowl cut goalkeeper’s gloves are shaped with a gentle curve to better conform to the natural shape and closing action of the hand.

This cut skirts the line between comfort and control. The stitching allows the hand to move more within the glove, while the bowl design makes it easier to trap incoming shots. But, this design does sacrifice a bit on surface area.

Hybrids

There are numerous types of hybrids, and many brands creating their own names for the same design. Usually, hybrids will apply different styles of cut design to three parts: the palm, the ring and middle fingers, and the pinky and index fingers.

The ultimate goal of any hybrid cut is to maximize specific qualities of the different cuts while minimizing their limitations. The bowl cut could tentatively be described as a hybrid cut, though it has become popular enough that it is often considered its own designation.

It is important to note that hybrid cuts can often be developed with the substitution, addition, or subtraction of materials at different parts of the glove as well. For example, a hybrid glove with a flat design for the ring and index fingers may use non-slip silicone to account for the extra wiggle room.

Flexibility

Flexibility, much like cut, is a bit of a “give and take” factor. Their gloves are flexible enough to respond to their finger movements without feeling stiff but not so flexible that the fingers are unprotected from the blinding speed and force coming behind a 60 mph shot.

Flexibility is generally determined by the cut of the glove and the materials. For example, a negative cut glove made from polyurethane will perform far differently than the same cut and size glove made from latex–specifically, the former will be more durable and protective but less flexible.

There is no “right” level of flexibility for goalkeeping gloves, and the decision will end up depending on the goalie’s preferences and hand strength. A goalie with stronger fingers may very well eschew some flexibility for a more durable material and snugger cut, whereas a goalie with weaker fingers will almost certainly prefer a cut and material that can absorb as much of the shock from a shot as possible.

Closure

Along with cut, the closure is the second most important quality when determining the comfort of a goalkeeper’s glove. A goalie’s gloves must be comfortable or risk significantly impacting performance.

For example, a goalkeeper’s glove in hockey does not need to be quite as comfortable since the demands of the position do not stress flexibility and protection in equal measure. Even footwear has less stringent requirements, since the player is unlikely to require the same level of protection considering the force transferred from the foot and not as often to it.

That is why goalkeeping gloves sit in a unique position of balance and favor comfort as much as they do. Of course, like with most qualities of goalkeeper gloves, each choice involves a tradeoff. In this instance, it is a choice between flexibility and security.

Bandage

The bandage closure is the most secure type of closure used for goalkeeper’s gloves. Of course, by providing the highest level of security, this style of closure sacrifices flexibility. In real world terms, this means you will not be able to extend your wrists quite as much with a bandage closure. This design features a tubular band of elastic similar to a medical bandage.

Elastic

This type of closure is similar to the bandage closure in some respects. Both types of closures rely on a piece of elastic to secure the glove to the hand. But, where the bandage closure utilizes a piece of tubular elastic, the elastic closure simply sews the elastic directly into the glove’s opening.

This piece of elastic is then secured with a hook and loop design that may allow for some adjustment, depending on the glove in question. This type of closure is a bit of a Goldilocks approach in that it is more secure than the slit wrist but not as secure as the bandage closure.

Slit Wrist

The final type of closure is also the least secure. Also called the v-notch closure, the slit wrist is designed for the maximum amount of comfort and flexibility, but this type of closure provides the least amount of security. Anyway, the slit wrist closure also offers an opening in the backhand portion of the glove to allow the goalkeeper’s hands to breathe.

It is important to note that most professional goalkeeper’s gloves favor the more secure bandage closure to provide the maximum amount of control. When it combined with the glove’s cut, the additional security provided by the closure may be superfluous.

For example, a negative cut glove is already far snugger and form fitting to the goalkeeper’s hand than any other type of glove cut. As such, the additional security of a bandage closure may not be necessary, and the goalie in question may be able to perform better with a looser closure to provide additional flexibility the bandage closure restricts.

Palm

The final piece of the puzzle in terms of primary considerations for a goalkeeper’s glove is the palm. There are other parts of the glove, but they do not generally impact the player’s performance quite as much.

For example, the backhand will affect a goalie’s punch but rarely to the degree of actually influencing performance. Instead, the backhand determines how durable the gloves are and how much impact from the punch the goalie feels–not how effective the punch itself is.

But the palm is just as important as the fingers–arguably more so–in terms of affecting a goalkeeper’s performance. The palm will either block or capture the ball far more than the backhand will be expected to punch it.

Grip

In terms of palm qualities, the grip is easily the most important. An argument could be made that the palm’s thickness is equally as important since a goalie might not extend or be willing to make contact as enthusiastically if they know the blocked shot will sting, but the grip will affect the goalkeeper’s performance regardless their disposition.

The grip of the glove generally follows the price in that and the more expensive gloves also provide the best grip. Unlike some of the other factors discussed here, there is little reason to opt for a lower grip glove at the highest levels of competition.

There are numerous uses for goalkeeper’s gloves that are not the highest levels of competition. Practice gloves do not need to employ the best possible grip. And goalkeeper gloves for children and adolescents rarely require the degree of quality that professional demands.

There are some instances when a rougher palm may be more suitable than a softer palm. Specifically, the field of play can call for a rougher palm if the field’s surface places a higher degree of wear and tear on the gloves. So, indoor or artificial turf will cause quicker wear and tear on the gloves and have to replace more often.

One more note about grip: there is spray on additives for goalkeeper’s gloves that can improve the quality of the grip. Some of these products, like GloveGlu’s formula works in all weather conditions and even helps protect the gloves themselves. However, it is important to make sure that the league allows the use of an additive before applying any to your gloves.

GloveGlu Revive Pack – Compulsory attribute for any keeper

GloveGlu Revive Pack is the means for better grip of goalkeeper gloves.

By ordering the ones there it is necessary to also add this device for bigger ball adhesion when you need it.

It is suitable for both old and new gloves.
The means increases elasticity, the ball grip and the other important features for all kind of goalkeeper gloves. Obviously there is compulsory attribute for any goalie.

Durability

Durability is often a measure of how rough the palms are with rougher palms correlating to more durable gloves. This is determined by the materials used in the glove’s palm.

A goalkeeper’s glove whose palm uses more rubber will be rougher and subsequently more durable. If the glove’s palm is made primarily from a high-quality latex, the palm will be softer, providing better grip but wearing out much quicker as well.

Thickness

Unlike durability, the thickness of a glove’s palm does not have to be necessarily be determined by the materials used. The thickness can be influenced by the materials, but more often than not, you can find a pair of soft gloves that are just as thick as the thickest rough gloves.

Instead of the material composition and the grip vs durability dichotomy at play, the thickness of a goalkeeper’s gloves stresses protection or control. The thicker the glove, the more protection it offers, whereas thinner gloves provide the goalie more responsive control.

Absorption

While less relevant for indoor play, outdoor players will inevitably have to contend with the elements. When it comes to rain or other types of moisture, the way your gloves respond can have a major impact on your performance as a goalkeeper.

Some higher end gloves will even perform better when damp–though, this increase in grip will not mean that should you be playing in a rainstorm. Other gloves may simply absorb the moisture–to a point–without affecting the palm’s grip. Both approaches generally rely on high-quality latex and will be found in more expensive gloves.

Protection

One final note of consideration with a goalkeeper’s glove design: it has become quite popular among non-professional players to seek gloves with a protective spine running along the fingers. Generally made of cross-hatched strips of plastic, finger spines are designed to prevent hyperextension.

But, the effectiveness of finger spines remains dubious at best, and some instructors suggest that finger spines provide a false sense of security and prevent the goalkeeper from developing the necessary finger strength to best play the position.

As such, finger spines should not be the reason you favor one pair of goalkeeper’s gloves over another. Also should you opt for a pair of gloves with finger spines, those gloves should not inhibit the flexibility you have come to expect.

Conclusion

In the end, there is no pair of goalkeeper gloves that will be the best fit for every player. Some players rely on sound technique more than natural talent and can skimp some of the higher end developments. Other players allow their physical talent to shine and may lack sound fundamentals.

Of course, the best players are able to combine technical mastery with superior physical talent. That’s why, these players will seek a professional glove that caters to both ends of the performance spectrum for which we recommend the ExoShield Gladiators.

Of course, even the best players need a second pair of gloves for practicing. In that case, we suggest looking towards the Blok-Its which provide the prerequisite necessities but offer few bells or whistles, forcing the goalkeeper to step their game up.

 

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