The gloves used by goalkeepers in football are extremely important to the player's success. In addition to protecting the hands from injury, they also help to catch the ball during the game. For gloves to become effective tools in the field, they need to be the correct size and well maintained. By knowing how to find the right glove for you and how to maintain it, you will be more successful in the game.
Part 1 of 2: Choosing the Right Glove
Step 1. Know the available sizes for gloves
In order to use them correctly during a match, it is important to buy a pair of the proper size. If the gloves are the wrong size, they probably won't last long and will still hamper your performance.
- Measure your hands from the first line below the palm to the end of the middle finger or follow the tips below.
- For Children: Sizes 4 and 5, the smallest available, are ideal for young people ages seven to nine. Sizes 6 and 7 are ideal for slightly older 10-12 year olds.
- For Teens and Adults: Size 7 is ideal for small adults or large teens; size 8 is ideal for small or medium-sized adults; size 9 is ideal for medium-sized adults; size 10 is for medium-sized or large adults; and size 11 is for large adults.
- Visit a sporting goods store and try on some gloves to get a better idea of size and fit.
Step 2. Take a professional measurement to find the ideal pair of gloves
If you want to buy a pair to extract your best on the field, make a unique measurement for each hand as they can be different sizes. Also, the correct size will help with glove maintenance.
- For the best fit, measure the length of the hand, starting from the first line below the palm and all the way to the tip of the middle finger. For a visual guide, click here.
- Hands are usually different sizes from each other. Measure both hands and buy the pair of gloves according to the largest measure.
- The measurement process is not an exact science, as each goalkeeper has different hands. Also, there are variations between sizes depending on the manufacturer and the quality of the glove.
- Goalkeeper gloves should always be a little bigger than your hands. The free space between the fingertips and the glove tip should be about 1.5 cm. If the space is bigger than that, it can affect your ability to defend.
- For example, a glove with fingers that are too long can strain the fabrication latex and cause premature seam tears.
Step 3. Learn more about glove making
They are made up of two main parts, the palm and the back, which are usually made of different materials. Learning more about the materials available will help you make a decision.
The cut and materials of the glove should take into account the surfaces you play on, local weather conditions and budget. For example, all gloves have latex palms, but only a few have a latex back. Some models even have a layer of foam on the back, which helps a lot in protection
Step 4. Learn more about the different cuts of gloves
In addition to the different types of materials, gloves also vary in cut depending on how the palm material is constructed. Choose the best option for your needs and the size of your hand.
- Flat cut gloves, or traditional, have a single piece of flat foam and are a little looser, with an outer seam.
- Roll finger cut gloves have seams on the back of the fingers, creating a larger ball contact area and a more comfortable, tight fit.
- Negative cut gloves have the seams inside the glove, making the fit more comfortable and tight. It is an excellent option for women and men with small hands.
- Hybrid gloves mix different types of cuts, usually combining the roll finger style with the flat or negative style.
Step 5. Choose the correct type of palm
It's the most important part of any goalie's glove, as it's the one that grabs the ball. In general, more expensive gloves tend to have a better grip, and cheaper gloves offer greater durability. There are positives and negatives for all types; it will all depend on your personal needs.
- Cheaper gloves are often a good option for young players or beginners, as they reinforce the player's need for technique for defense. This way, you are not dependent on "professional gloves" to play.–
- Softer palms tend to grip the ball better, while rougher palms are more durable. Gloves with stiffer palms contain more rubber than latex and are excellent for indoor matches.
- Gloves have different thicknesses, with 3 mm and 4 mm being the most common values. Thinner palms allow you to feel the ball more. If you want more protection, therefore, buy thicker gloves.
- Think about the surfaces you play on when choosing the type of palm. Artificial grass can wear out latex quickly, which thicker palms and other materials cannot. Most manufacturers produce gloves to last in generally dry and cold conditions.
- Know the conditions for which gloves are suitable: natural or hard surfaces and dry or wet climates. This is very important information for the maintenance of the glove. For example, soft latex gloves designed for "all weather" or "dry weather" should be moistened before matches. Gloves specific for playing in the rain must be wet before the match and during the break of the game.
Step 6. Assess the durability of the gloves
As you will be using them in every match, think carefully about how long the pair needs to last. If possible, buy two pairs, one for practice and one for official matches. So the gloves will last longer.
- Depending on the care and type of effort in the matches, a pair of gloves should last 12 to 14 games. After this period, reserve the gloves for training only.
- Assess your budget and see if you can buy a pair for games and one for practice.
Step 7. Buy gloves
Now that you know how to measure the glove and know the main differences between the models available, just go to a store and choose your pair. Look for a store that specializes in sporting goods or buy online.
- There are many options for players who are amateurs or not looking for extreme quality models. Gloves can be purchased at specialty stores.
- If you are an experienced or professional goalkeeper, look for high quality models.
Part 2 of 2: Taking care of gloves
Step 1. Remember that gloves have a limited shelf life
Latex begins to deteriorate from the first use. The more you play, the faster the gloves will wear out. By taking good care of them, you will slow down the speed with which you need to replace them.
The soft latex palms, present in professional gloves, help a lot in grip, but lack durability. Some models show signs of wear on first use
Step 2. Wear different gloves in training
To keep your gloves in good condition, wear another pair in practice. You can buy a cheap pair or wear old gloves; both options are good choices, as they will force you to practice technique and not rely on good gloves to play.
- Buy an inexpensive pair of training gloves with a more durable palm. In addition to increasing the durability of your "official" gloves, you will improve your defense techniques.
- When your official gloves are worn out, wear them to practice and buy a new quality pair for official matches. It's important to keep a quality pair for matches.
Step 3. Take care of gloves during football matches
You bought the gloves to play, but that's not why you should stop taking care of them during games. Extra care is even more important for the "rain" models.
- Depending on the weather of the match, the field may have areas with a lot of dirt or mud. By warming up in such places, you may end up reducing the effectiveness of the gloves. If you prefer not to take risks, wear training gloves while warming up.
- Softer gloves need to be moistened as the palm becomes dry. Some palms can become slippery if you use too much water, so find the ideal amount before starting.
Step 4. Clean gloves
No matter how careful you are, they will get dirty. The dirt and sweat will wear down the glove's latex and, over time, detract from its abilities. By cleaning your gloves frequently, you increase their durability.
- Clean gloves separately and very carefully.
- Put a glove on your hand and place it under warm running water. Use a mild detergent or specific glove cleaner.
- Rinse until the water is clean. Then tighten the glove to remove the excess. Never twist the glove, or you may tear it.
- Hang gloves on a clothesline in the shade to dry naturally. Do not use a hair dryer or let it dry in the sun as the glove will dry out and deteriorate.
- Place sheets of newspaper inside the glove to maintain its shape and speed drying.
Step 5. Store gloves well
In addition to post-game care, you need to think about how to store them. Most current pairs come with a specific bag.
- Store gloves in a cool, relatively moist environment. Do not store it in a wet place, as doing so will promote the growth of bacteria and mold.
- Don't just throw gloves in a bag and forget about them until the next game. Clean them when necessary and keep them. If gloves are wet with sweat, put them to dry before putting them away.
- When storing, do not bring the palms of the gloves together, as they can stick and tear.
Step 6. Keep gloves that smell good
During matches, gloves will be exposed to sweat and lots of bacteria, which can promote a very bad smell. By cleaning them well and taking care of storage, you will avoid the smell.
- Clean gloves with a disinfectant to remove sweat residue and bacteria.
- Allow gloves to dry and take in a little air after each match to prevent the build-up and growth of bacteria and mold.