Soccer Goalie Elbow Pads - What To Look For

Soccer Goalie Elbow Pads – What To Look For

Elbow pads can certainly be a good asset for a goalkeeper. What I always say when it comes to wearing extra padding is that just because we don’t see a lot of the pros wearing it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t wear it. However, you do have to take into account the different reasons why we maybe don’t see pros wearing soccer goalie elbow pads. Actually if you look at the history of goalkeepers elbow and knee pads were commonly part of their gear through the early days of the game. Yet as we get closer to the modern era they kind of fell by the wayside. So what happened? The simple truth behind the situation is that fields got considerably better! That’s one of the reasons why pros don’t wear soccer goalie elbow pads as frequently anymore. 

That reason why pros don’t wear elbow pads is actually not good enough to make sure you as an amateur forgo wearing them as well. There’s actually a good chance that as an amateur goalkeeper you’re going to have to play in fields that are nowhere near as perfect as the ones that the pros play in. Therefore, you’re going to benefit more from wearing elbow pads. Now, it is also true that another one of the reasons why pros don’t wear soccer goalie elbow pads is because they lose mobility in that part of the body. If you’re dealing with an injury you may not have a choice, but if you don’t have an issue you may choose mobility over protection. Another one of the main topics that I cover when I talk about gear. Should you wear soccer goalie elbow pads? 

Soccer Goalie Elbow Pads – Potential Benefits

The benefits that you’re looking to obtain from elbow pads is obviously a sense of added protection. One of the things that you’ll want to keep in mind though is that there could be different reasons why you want that added protection. If you’re dealing with an injury and that’s the reason why you want more protection on those elbows it could be a good idea to check with your doctor to see what type of elbow pad is going to work best for you. Maybe what you’re looking for in those cases is not just extra protection from direct impact with the ground. What you may be looking for is a way to even limit your mobility a bit.

This can be a real issue because in general I would recommend looking for elbow pads that don’t limit your mobility. What you want is added protection without that being an issue that reflects negatively on your play. I went off the rails with this point a bit. In any case what you want out of elbow pads is usually protection from impacts with the ground. In surfaces like turf you could also benefit from elbow pads to help prevent those dreaded rug burns. I’ve said plenty of times on this site that I truly admire the guys and girls that go out on turf or even dirt fields in shorts and a T-shirt. It’s just never a good idea in my book.     

Downside To Wearing Elbow Pads

Another one of the reasons why there was potentially this shift in goalkeepers no longer wearing elbow or knee pads was the fact that the game got more dynamic. That meant that goalkeepers were asked to do a lot more than just stand in goal and dive a couple of times a game. What that meant was that heavy pads were weighing these guys down. Today, apart from the fact that we play on better fields, goalkeepers don’t want to wear pads because they feel that they can weigh them down. I kind of talked about this in the last paragraph. Unless you have an issue that forces you to cut down on that mobility you don’t want to limit your mobility. 

This is an issue that you’re going to come across with any type of pads that you wear as a soccer goalie. So essentially what you have to do is figure out if the extra protection that you’re wearing is worth the discomfort or whatever it is. Now, I do think that modern elbow pads have gotten to a point where they are not so bothersome anymore. Now they are made from lightweight materials that are meant to not limit your mobility as much. With that in mind there is a chance that we’ll see yet another shift back towards pads from modern goalkeepers. Although most of the goalies that wear extra padding today do so because they’re dealing with some type of injury.    

What You Want To Look For If You’re Keen To Wear Soccer Goalie Elbow Pads

What you want to look for if you just want to buy pads for extra protection are ones that are made from stretchy materials. What you don’t want are some of those old school pads that feel heavy. Also, there are some pads out there that can get itchy. Particularly those made out of cotton, polyester and some of these other materials. They can be tricky because it would seem that they’re going to be comfortable. Wear them out there in the sun for a while though and you realize that maybe comfy wasn’t what you were looking for. Also, you don’t want pads made from materials that absorb a lot of water. On wet days those pads can get heavy and therefore hamper your performance. 

Does it make sense to look for hard pads like a skateboarder might wear? I would say that in general that would be a no for goalies. Just because if the pad is actually too hard you may even hurt yourself more on the ground if the ground is not hard enough. That’s a weird thing to think about. For the most part though in soccer what you’re looking for is something that will help you deal with scrapes from the grass or the turf. If the ground is so hard that you feel compelled to wear hard elbow pads you may want to rethink where you’re actually playing. Over time playing on such hard surfaces can take a huge toll on your body. Even if you’re wearing the right pads.    

Do Jerseys With Elbow Pads Help?

The short answer here is yes. I’ve made this comparison before on the site. My recommendation is always to play with a long sleeve shirt because you’ll obviously be getting more protection than you would with a short sleeve shirt. If it has pads on it, then you can add to that protection. For the most part, all of the goalkeeper jerseys that have that extra protection are not going to hamper your movements at all. Also, you won’t have to worry about carrying around more gear. When you put it altogether there are certainly positives to wearing padded jerseys. At the same time I do think that there are just some fields where they won’t provide enough protection.   

Knowing that there are some very hard fields out there it may not be a bad idea to kind of have soccer goalie elbow pads at home. If you’re on a travel team, and you never really know where you’re going to play, keeping some extra gear around won’t hurt. The last thing that you want to have happen is to get to a game and realize you’re going to be uncomfortable throughout. Without the right gear you’re going to be at a higher risk of getting hurt. Even if you don’t get hurt per se, the fact that it does hurt more to hit the ground can get to your head. That’s not something that you want to be thinking about. With this in mind, here are a couple of soccer goalie elbow pads that I would recommend.  

Storelli BodyShield Arm Guards

There are very few goalkeeper gear brands out there that have embraced all of these add-ons like elbow pads in the way that Storelli has. The fact that they are actually a goalkeeper brand that’s offering pads presumably tailored to the needs of goalkeepers is something that makes them appealing. In that same breath, it’s hard to purchase these soccer goalie elbow pads at their price point when you can find a ton of similar products going for 20 dollars less. In any case, what I really like about these arm guards is that they are tight enough to where they are going to stay in place. When it comes to elbow pads you don’t want to buy sleeves that are loose. At the same time the elbow protection is good on these pads.

You’re going to potentially sweat a lot on these though. You could say that about a lot of pads. So there is a process of getting used to wearing elbow pads. That’s something that you’re going to have to go through regardless of what pads you ultimately buy. At the end of the day you just kind of have to commit to it, and maybe even be uncomfortable for a while. Essentially I would say that these are the pads that provide the best protection for goalkeepers. There are other options on the market that are maybe not geared towards goalkeepers that you may want to look at.       

McDavid 6440 Hexpad Knee Or Elbow

It’s not that I’m necessarily recommending this particular brand. I really like the concept though behind these pads that double down as knee or elbow pads. The foam that they are made from makes it, so they’re not going to be heavy on you. That’s something that you have to look for with these types of pads. The only thing that may be an issue with this particular model is the one size fits all situation that they got going on. A lot of these pads are going to be one size, and unisex. The problem with that is that overtime the materials are going to loosen up, so you may have to replace your pads not because they’re all scratched up, but because they just don’t fit anymore. 

As I said if you can find a similar model that you like whether it be online or at a store they can be worth a shot. Particularly if you’re not spending a ton of money on them. Just make sure that the pads do feature enough foam to the point where they are able to mitigate some of the impact against the ground. If you’re wearing something that really doesn’t help you feel less of an impact, then you really shouldn’t be wearing anything at all. If you can find a product like this that doubles down as knee and elbow pads, and you like the fit in both areas then you could kill two birds with one stone. That’s always a plus!

Soccer Goalie Elbow Pads – Conclusion 

There may be different reasons why you want to wear soccer goalie elbow pads in the first place. You really want to make sure that what you wear helps the goal that you’re trying to achieve. Direct impact with hard ground is not the same as trying to avoid scrapes on your elbows. Also, the one size fits all issue is one you want to watch out for. Elbow pads need to fit in place and stay in place to be able to work. If the elbow pads on your forearm by the second time you dive it’s not going to help you. Be very careful with the size issue before you make any type of purchase!