Nike Goalkeeper gloves

Do Goalkeeper Gloves Lose Grip?

The short answer to this question about do goalkeeper gloves lose grip is yes. If that’s all you wanted to know, to verify whether it was you or the glove was screwing up you can head on about your day. If you want to learn about why goalkeeper gloves lose grip, and what you can do to slow the process then you may want to read on. Before sitting down to write this article I came across a video about formula 1 car tires, and how the degradation process works. They explained the difference between those tires, and regular car tires. It got me thinking that grip works the same with goalkeeper gloves, and the deterioration process is actually also quite similar. 

Why do goalkeeper gloves lose grip? For the most part the answer has to do with the elements that these gloves come into contact with. Whether that be the ground the ball, if you pick up dirt or you hang on to the cross bar when you’re wearing them. Over time what happens is that the original layer of latex or whatever element the glove is made out of starts peeling away. Sometimes that’s very evident some gloves are going to be prone to tears, and things of that nature. In other cases it’s actually not so evident. In fact the loss of grip could be more attributable to the things that the gloves pick up than to what they lose. For example, really dirty gloves covered in sand or dirt can lose grip even if they are not torn.     

Do Goalkeeper Gloves Lose Grip – What Makes Them Lose More Grip? 

We talked already about the fact that virtually anything that you come into contact with can degrade the grip levels that you get from the glove. What happens is that this first level of latex which is usually the one that provides the most grips starts to peel off a bit. Again even if we’re not talking about it literally ripping. Also, dirt particles, sand particles, that can get embedded in the glove are going to be trouble. What that’s going to do is give you a slicker glove. This is an issue that not a lot of people understand fully. When you look at the glove you can think that it should still have some grip left because it’s not torn. 

As I have been saying it’s not just tears that are going to cause the grip levels to fade away. Another issue besides the tears, and the dirt particles that can cause some issues is glove dryness. Your gloves are like you, they need water, and then they dry out properly. These are two things that can really kill your grip levels. One is playing with dry gloves. Essentially there’s no lubricant that’s going to help prevent them from ripping, so they’ll rip easier. The second thing is too much sunlight. That’s going to dry them out completely. In the worst case scenario what happens there is that the glove literally starts falling apart. You want to keep the gloves reasonably hydrated, and never in direct sunlight when not in use.   

Not All Gloves Are Going To Deteriorate At The Same Rate

I did an article a while back about the best gloves for rough fields. In that article most of the gloves that I talked about were essentially a good idea for rough fields because they would deteriorate at a lower rate. I don’t want to say that the gloves with the best grip are always the ones that are going to last the least. There’s certainly good middle ground to be found, I happen to feel that Elite Sport Neo gloves rank high on that list in being soft gloves with durable grip. The ones that can truly take a beating like the Rinat Turf gloves, are typically much harder gloves to begin with. What you’re getting is certainly a much more durable palm on the glove. However, you’re going to have to have to work to make clean catches with your saves. 

Those gloves are not going to have any ball sticking like glue to them. Even if you are just using them for the first time. Ultimately at what rate do goalkeeper gloves lose grip? It depends on your usage of the gloves, and where you use them. Could you look into gloves that deteriorate slower? Sure, but as is the case with anything in life and in goalkeeping it’s usually a good idea to be able to find that balance. I’m going to expand on that topic here shortly.    

That Can Factor Into To Your Glove Buying Decision

In fact, there’s an argument to be made that glove durability should certainly factor into your buying decision. Why wouldn’t it? The fact of the matter is that goalkeeper gloves are not particularly cheap. Especially if you’re looking to buy a pair that really compliments your game. That’s another realm entirely that we can get into. Durable gloves can feature good grip if you know where to look. Also, we have to be really honest with this, the durability concerns that a keeper who plays on perfect grass fields is going to have compared to the concerns that one that plays rough fields does not match. That’s just a fact as well.

Of the recent gloves that I’ve tested out I’ve actually been quite surprised with the durability that I was able to get from them. When you pay over 100 dollars for a pair of gloves you’re kind of hoping that you’ll be able to sport them for a while. Even if you end up converting them into your practice gloves after a few games. Should you always be looking for gloves that feature the most grip? Wouldn’t it be a better idea to buy gloves that have decent grip and allow you to use them for a while with relatively the same grip level? The thing is, finding this balance is tough when you’re shopping for gloves. You only really see this balance when you wear the gloves out and can measure their true durability for your standards.    

Do Goalkeeper Gloves Lose Grip – What Can You Do To Slow Down The Process?

There are actually multiple things that you can do to slow down the process. Most of these tips are going to work with the traditional latex glove styles. Even the new versions of Adidas, and Nike gloves are latex gloves regardless of how much new tech is essentially being used. However some of the Reusch options that are made from hard plastic materials may not benefit as much from the usual care techniques that are recommended. We’ve talked about a few already, number one is to play with a damp palm always. This is going to help minimize the damage that you can potentially do to the glove to begin with. 

The number two thing that you want to do is kind of counter intuitive, but it’s to dry the gloves properly after use. You never want to keep them out in the sun. In fact, it may do you more good to keep them in your bag and have the bag stink up the place. Even if they stink they won’t be too dry to wear they can start breaking apart. On that note, should you wash them after every use? That depends on your usage rate, if it’s a daily usage rate, just drying them out right and maybe weekly cleaning could do the trick. The problem with too much washing isn’t the washing per se, it’s that the glove may not be able to dry enough for you to wear them. This is when you get the glove that is perpetually damp and stinky.     

Is Washing Your Gloves Too Often A Bad Thing To Do? 

I got started on this a bit early, but for the most part yes. The issue is with drying though, in fact if you could find an effective drying method that doesn’t take too much of a toll on the gloves you could potentially wash them all you want. I already mentioned that if you use them everyday and you want to wash them regularly like every other day or more and you just hang them out to dry in the shade as is recommended they won’t dry out fast enough. Again it’s the perpetually damp glove that stinks. You could make the argument though that the stinky glove still has some grip on it.

What you really don’t want to do is put your gloves in the washing machine and dryer everyday. You could certainly be tempted to because the first few times they are actually going to come out ok. Just as long as they don’t become attached to something and get ripped apart. With new gloves though you can avoid it because the glove grip hasn’t worn off to the point where it’s going to tear easily. At the same time the velcro on the wrist strap is probably going to be good enough to where you can wrap it around the entire glove so it doesn’t latch onto anything else. When gloves get older though that’s not as easy to do. Again drying them quickly enough is the key. I’m going to die on the hill with the idea that using a hair dryer is the best way to make sure that you’re able to dry out gloves quickly.   

Can You Bring Back Grip?

We already know the answer to the question: do goalkeeper gloves lose grip, so maybe a more important question now is, can you bring grip back? The answer is actually yes, but it does depend on the issue that made you lose your grip in the first place. What you generally can’t do is bring back the grip level on a glove that is ripped. That’s when you’re probably going to want to start looking into getting new gloves. I would be looking before that, but technically if the glove hasn’t ripped you can bring back at least some grip. With a glove that hasn’t ripped the main issue that you have causing the grip loss is usually going to be the dirt or the rubber pellets that rubbed up against the glove on a turf field. 

What you can do to bring your grip levels back from that abyss is first wash the globe thoroughly. This is a challenge because you really want to get in there and remove the dirt particles or those black stains from the rubber pellets. At the same time you want to be gentle enough to make sure that you don’t rip the glove. After that of course, you want to make sure that you dry the glove the right way. Once you’ve got a dry glove you can look into some of these relatively new grip enhancers. They are essentially chemicals that you can spray to make the glove stickier. This method can help you turn back the hands of time a bit. 

Do Goalkeeper Gloves Lose Grip – Conclusion  

Anyone who’s had goalkeeper gloves for a while knows that in fact they do lose grip. With that in mind, maybe the original question wasn’t necessarily an intriguing one. However, I felt the need to create the article because a lot of us want to help our gloves last longer. There are steps that you can take to that end. In fact, the first steps that you can take start in the buying process. Do you need to sacrifice grip for durability? This is a question that I’ve wrestled with for years, maybe the answer is no. Particularly if you put in the effort to ensure that you’re taking care of the gloves properly.

A lot of these glove issues really come back to glove care. The thing is there is a fine line between being clean and being too clean. A lot of goalkeepers just don’t have the time to maybe take care of their gloves the way they would want. So gloves that maybe can last long without too much maintenance are ideal. At the end of the day I feel that it’s a never ending question that you have and you go through a trial and error process until you find what really works for you on all levels.