Do Soccer Goalie Jerseys Really Help You Avoid Injuries?

Just right off the bat I have to say I’m a big proponent in finding ways to protect yourself as a goalkeeper. Obviously, developing the right diving technique is going to be the number one thing that’s going to help you avoid injuries. Perhaps one of the biggest issues that we still see in the game today is that not all of the goalkeeper coaches out there know how to develop a good diving technique. In any case, would a jersey help you avoid even more injuries? The short answer is going to be yes. It’s just down to simple logic. If you have something covering your elbows as you run them through the dirt you’re going to be less likely to develop cuts, bumps and bruises. 

I’ve always said for example that it doesn’t make any sense to me when I say goalkeepers show up in short sleeves and a T-shirt to hot turf fields. On a hot day on a turf you can get one of those rug burns by just sitting on the field. Never mind trying to dive to a low incoming shot where you’re going to be sliding across the turf. It’s just going to hurt and hurt badly. Saying all that it’s pretty clear that soccer goalie jerseys can help you avoid some of these injuries. The thing is, wearing just any long sleeve shirt is not going to guarantee that you won’t get hurt. So a lot of people want to point to that and say that it just doesn’t matter what you wear. 

What Type of Soccer Goalie Jersey Should You Look To Wear?

In the olden days we had jerseys with protection over the elbows and if you were lucky some of them had some type of padding in the shoulder area. Granted, since a lot of these jerseys were very loose what ended up happening is that the pads would end up over a different part of your body when you dove. So effectively they were pretty useless. At least the pads were, if it was a long sleeve jersey you at least had some added protection. It was just that the pads were not covering the area that they were allegedly meant to protect. These days we have a lot tighter goalkeeper jerseys and many of them feature a lot more padding than what we had before. 

Now, I’ve always said on this site that more padding doesn’t always equal a better result. A lot of the current tighter jerseys are going to limit your mobility. So you want them to be tight enough to where you’re going to be able to dive and know that the pads are going to stay in place. Not too tight though to the point where you’re not going to be able to move. You could look into goalkeeper undershirts more than actual jerseys these days. They tend to provide better protection overall. They also allow you to compliment your outfits better with any short sleeve jersey that you may have in the closet already.         

Benefits of Long Sleeve Soccer Goalie Jerseys

Are there actual benefits to wearing a long sleeve soccer goalie jersey? I’ve said this already, that if you just think logically even if it’s a thin layer of fabric that’s between your skin in the ground I’d rather have that than not have it. The reason why I think this is a bit controversial is that you can still get all scraped up wearing a long sleeve goalkeeper jersey. So a lot of goalkeepers claim that they don’t see the point. I always maintain that I have in fact gotten all scraped up wearing a long sleeve goalkeeper jersey. Without a doubt though my worst experiences have taken place when I’m wearing a short sleeve jersey.

I really cannot understand why goalkeepers who train on turf fields want to do so with short sleeves. It doesn’t make sense to me, you’re taking punishment that you can avoid. I’ve talked about the same thing when it comes to the short shorts that a lot of lady goalkeepers love to wear. I cannot imagine what your knees are going to look like at the end of the session. With that in mind, the better argument should be, do goalkeepers need to wear long sleeve jerseys or maybe step their game up and use elbow pads? That answer would have to come down to the type of field that you’re regularly playing in. Like I said, some of the tough turf fields are really going to take a toll on the body if you’re not wearing the right gear.     

Youth Goalie Pants Soccer - How They Should Fit

Are There Drawbacks To Wearing These Jerseys?

I’m kind of still on the same rant here. It’s really obvious to me though that long sleeve jerseys give you at least like a said a slim layer of protection. Yet, we still see pro goalkeepers head out to games in short sleeve shirts. So what gives? The thing with pro goalkeepers wearing short sleeve shirts is that they are typically doing so only in games, and you also have to take into account that most of the guys or girls that we see on TV are playing in top leagues with great fields. When you’re doing that then you can afford to let go of some of the extra protection. Going back to that downside of wearing long sleeves at times you can feel a bit heavier than you’d like to with long sleeves. 

Also, if you’re playing in really hot weather, then any pads or sleeves that you put on can increase the heat you’re going to feel. When you’re playing a game the last thing that you want to do is feel like you’re being weighed down by the gear that you have on. These are some of the main reasons why we see goalkeepers on game day with short sleeve shirts. The reality of the situation is that 99.9% of them are going to be training on a daily basis with a long sleeve soccer goalie jersey. Some of them may even add extra pads to their outfit. Another reason why they do this is because you’re going to be diving a ton more in practice than you would in a game.     

Is It Worth It To Buy A Brand Name Goalie Jersey?

Yes, and no actually to this one. For example if you find a really cheap cotton jersey that you can wear, but you live in an area that gets extremely hot then you’re probably not going to be too much of a fan of wearing long sleeve jerseys. Maybe you’re going to wish that you paid more for an Adidas dry fit jersey that’s going to allow you to play more comfortably. There are brands like Rinat or Storelli that sell goalkeeper jerseys at considerably lower prices than Adidas and Nike. Although what you can also do is bargain hunt and check for clearance jerseys from both of these brands.

The problem with looking for clearance items is that you’re likely going to want to pull the trigger on a jersey that’s not your size just because it’s on sale. When you do that then you have all of the issues that I talked about with older jerseys creeping back in. The other two brands that I mentioned, Rinat, and Storelli may be two good starting spots. You’ll be able to find a jersey from a brand name that’s not too expensive. When it comes to the Rinat jerseys you may want to stay away from the cotton ones that I believe they still sell. They’re extremely durable, I still have one from like 15 years ago. The problem is you are going to be getting pretty hot!   

Scracthed Up Elbow

How To Deal With Scrapes Once They Do Happen

This may be something that I’ll do a full article on some day. The reason why I say that is, because goalkeeping forces you to do a lot of things that are counterintuitive when you do in fact have a scrape or a cut. It’s simple you may have scraped yourself on a Tuesday that doesn’t mean that the injury is severe enough to keep you out of training or Wednesday. It seems like every time that you have a cut, bump or bruise you keep hitting yourself in that same exact spot over and over again. What could you do to be able to avoid this? The first thing I would say is not to shy away from band-aids. They can help you protect the wound quite a bit. Don’t use anything cotton based because if it moves around it can actually get into the wound.  

Maybe you can look into wearing pads on those particular days. They can be elbow pads or knee pads. Particularly if you want to make sure that you can hold a band-aid or whatever it is that you want to put on yourself in place. A lot of times it’s not necessarily easy to not favor the side of the wound. In this case I guess it wouldn’t be favoring but trying to avoid it. A lot of times though you can hurt yourself in other places if you’re trying to alter your diving technique to make sure that you don’t get hurt. More often than not there’s going to be some pain tolerance needed for you to be able to continue on.     

Yassine Bounou - Morocco

When Can You Wear Shorts and a T-Shirt & Be Ok

The field has to be good. Like really good, the point where you’re not going to have a problem sliding your arm across it because you know that the grass is perfect. Even in situations though when the field looks good sometimes what can be a problem is that it’s too hard of a field. That’s common with a lot of these fields now that are cut razor thin. There’s an argument to be made that you won’t have to worry about dealing with scrapes and things of that nature. What you are going to have to worry about though is how you land. When the field is too hard, good technique is key to make sure that you don’t hurt yourself. 

Now arguably like I said you won’t have to worry too much about the field scraping your arms or what not. So you could wear shorts and a T-shirt on a level grass field. Even if that field is a bit too hard. Then again, that can take a toll on your knees. That’s why for example you can see some goalkeepers that decide to wear knee pads only in turf fields. Turf fields are typically a lot harder than regular fields. That’s one of the problems that you’re going to have to adapt to if you play on one of them regularly.