For us goalkeepers, finding the goalkeeper gloves that fit just right and give us that boost of confidence that we all need to make clean catches while costing less than 100 dollars is like finding the holy grail. Goalkeepers who train on a daily basis are going to be hunting for these deals because you know that those 100 plus dollar gloves are going to wear out fast with the amount of training that you’re doing. When you just start out in this process of daily training you may be surprised to find out just how quickly your gloves and your gear in general are going to wear out. With all this in mind I wanted to throw out here a couple of tips that I use and give to my younger goalkeepers when it comes to finding goalkeeper gloves.
I’m going to be throwing in a couple suggestions as well as gloves that I feel fit the bill of being good goalkeeper gloves at a decent price. At the same time though, I recognize that each goalkeeper is going to have his or her own key elements that make up a good glove for them. For example, I like a thicker palm area than what you get from most modern gloves. Especially if I’m going to be using these gloves for daily training. There are other goalkeepers though that would rather forgo that, and look for better mobility. Therefore, a thinner glove will work best for them. In any case, I’m going to try and provide some of the key elements that you’d want in a goalkeeper glove that you’re going to use a lot.
Look For Gloves From Brands That Are Not So Popular
One of the biggest mistakes that goalkeepers who are starting out or parents of goalkeepers make is looking to the big brands like Nike and Adidas for their first pairs of gloves. What you’ll find is that the good options are mostly two expensive for a hobby that you don’t really know how long it’s going to last at this point. The cheap options don’t give you decent protection. There are other things that you don’t get from the cheap brand name options. The main thing that I worry about though is that you don’t get the right protection from the glove. You’re at a point in your career when you don’t have the best technique because you just haven’t been at this long enough. You then go and start using gloves that don’t protect you enough? That’s a recipe for disaster.
Luckily there are a ton of brands that manufacture goalkeeper gloves that can provide decent options at reasonable prices. Just off the top of my head I would say go look into Rinat gloves, Storelli, Renegade in the USA does a fine job. Some of the more well known brands like Reusch or Uhlsport don’t necessarily carry cheaper models that make sense. So you may find yourself in the same spot as you would with Nike and Adidas if you look into these brands. You can of course find very good options, but you’ll have to dish out at least 100 dollars for a pair of gloves. Like I said, that may not be the price point that you want to start out at.
How To Know If A Glove Is Going To Be Durable
Another one of the things that you’d probably like to have in a goalkeeper glove is for it to be durable. The problem is that you can’t really know how long a particular model is going to last when you buy it. I’ll let you in on a little secret. You also have to be kind of lucky sometimes when it comes to durability. I’ve had gloves from the same exact model with one pair lasting a ton and the other ripping apart after two games. There are different variables in this equation as well. Where you play is a big one and whether you use the gloves just for games or you put them through daily grueling training sessions. In any case, here are a couple of elements to help determine a glove’s durability.
You’ll want a glove that won’t unravel in the stitching part. So a glove that is well glued or plastered together however you want to look at it is typically more durable. In fact, what you want to look for are gloves that look like they are made from one piece, and not a bunch of elements stitched together. The palm area is the most important when it comes to durability. A lot of times the softest palms with the most grip are not going to be the most durable. If durability and affordability are your main concern you may want to gravitate to gloves with a bit harder palms. That’s why for example, the turf collection from Rinat gloves features much harder palms. Yes, you’re sacrificing grip, but the gloves are going to last longer, and therefore might be a better investment.
Don’t Worry Too Much About Natural Grip
This feeds into what I was just talking about. I’m going to give a couple of examples of actual gloves that fit the bill with the different characteristics that I’ve been talking about. In this case, like I’ve said, to be able to find a durable glove at a decent price you may need to sacrifice some natural grip. This is mainly because the gloves with the best grip typically feature very soft latex palms. That’s the type of glove that you’ll find 99.9% of professionals wearing. The gloves the pros wear though, are usually not cheap or durable. They are made to play on the best fields. As an amateur goalkeeper you may not have access to those top fields. So you may end up sacrificing some of that natural grip.
Even if your gloves don’t have great natural grip you can produce some grip with substances like GloveGlu. Especially if you want your gloves to feel a bit stickier. Also, just making sure that your gloves are well taken care of can help you keep as much grip as you can. I’ve talked about this before on the site, dirty gloves have a tendency to get slick. What happens is that dirt particles or rubber pellets from turf fields rub up against the latex palm and embed themselves in there a bit. That typically causes the glove to lose some of its natural grip. Just by being diligent about keeping your gloves clean you can maximize their natural grip. If you need a little extra help you have things like GloveGlu.
With Renegade goalkeeper gloves I’m still on the fence when it comes to the higher models that they carry. Just because they’re at a price point where I feel I’d probably still lean towards some of the more recognizable brands. When it comes to these Renegade GK Fury Goalie Gloves, it’s a whole other story. They are a great middle of the pack glove in a very traditional cut. You can get a pair of these gloves for about 60 dollars. Maybe the only complaint I have is that I’d love them to be priced in the 50s. If that was the case I’d tell everyone to go buy them.
You’ve got the mesh backhand spots that give you a sense of better mobility. Really love the wrist area with these gloves because I feel the strap allows you to stabilize that part of your hand. For me that’s key especially if you’re going to be using these as training gloves. When you can feel comfortable with the way your practice gloves fit around your wrist without tape that saves you a ton of time. Let’s face it, a lot of us around the amateur circuit these days are busy with other things in our lives.
You won’t have a ton of patience to arrive early to training or the match to tape your hands the right way. When I was in the pros that was the job so you were there early, but these gloves can be great for kids or up and coming teens as practice gloves. The grip is not amazing, but it’s ok. Again, for practice these gloves are perfect.
HO is one of those goalkeeper gear brands that tends to fly under the radar a bit. However, they produce some of my favorite gloves. This value option that they’ve presented with these Legend SSG negatives can be a great asset to a ton of goalkeepers. They are right around the same price point of 60 plus dollars as the Renegade gloves. You can expect HO gloves though to feature an upgrade in the grip department. This brand has always been known for the soft latex that they use on their gloves that provide very good grip. Another thing that stands out with these gloves is the cut with thinner fingers.
The glove cut can be hit or miss for some goalkeepers. I get the sense that these are a great option for those goalkeepers who are into modern cut gloves that favor mobility over finger protection. Yet, you want to have a back-up pair of gloves or a training option. That way you don’t have to wear out your premium gloves that you use for games. As is the case with some of the other options that I’ll be talking about here if you want to use these gloves as your go-to option for everything you can. Although they have better grip than the Renegade gloves in my estimation there is a bit of a drop-off if you pair them to the premium line of HO gloves. That’s certainly something you’ll want to keep in mind.
If you look into these gloves you’ll realize that they are the cheapest option that I’m throwing out there and that they are available more for kids and teens. There are I believe options in larger sizes, but in any case these are a good option for kids coming up the ranks. If this was the first pair of goalkeeper gloves that you were to buy for your kid it’s not a bad start. For one, you’ll only be paying 30 plus dollars for a pair of these. It’s not too fair then to compare them directly with the other 2 options that I’ve thrown out here already. What I like about these gloves is that they are in a very traditional mold, but they can allow young goalkeepers to truly feel what goalkeeper glove grip should feel like.
One of my biggest knocks on the cheaper goalie glove options that are available for kids is that the materials that are used for the gloves don’t match what you’ll find in adult gloves. What happens is that you may get to a point in your career or life where you don’t have a clue what you should be looking to get out of the gloves you wear. In this case, these gloves have a thick palm area for decent protection. The wrist part features a large enough strap to secure that area. For the price point that these gloves go for you could do a lot worse. That’s why I’m including them as a suggestion here.
This is the space where Rinat as a brand really thrives. When I’ve criticized their gloves it’s mainly because the premium options that they have are not considerably better than what they offer in this middle of the pack price point. This particular model is currently going for about 55 dollars a pair. They’re very similar to the HO option when it comes to the thinner finger cut. You’ve got the mesh on the backhand that can provide a little better mobility. For those people looking for gloves with finger protection they bring that to the table as well. When it comes to grip you’ve got the standard for the Rinat brand. Plus, there’s a turf option with this same model.
If you’re not familiar with the Rinat Turf palm they are made from thicker latex that’s meant to hold up well on harder fields. They are typically a good option for goalkeepers that play precisely primarily on turf fields. One quick thing though about the turf palm is that it does offer less natural grip than the regular Rinat latex palm. That’s certainly something that you’re going to want to keep in mind if you want to purchase these gloves. Just like basically all of the options I’ve provided I feel that these gloves are a solid middle tier option.