Why Goalkeepers Should Have Multiple Jerseys To Wear

This is probably something that not a lot of goalkeeper parents or goalkeepers who started out as adults want to hear. Playing goalkeeper already comes with a set of added costs when compared to the other positions on the field. Yes, I’m going to talk about one more expense that makes a ton of sense to have. That is having multiple goalkeeper jerseys that you can wear depending on where you play. Some goalkeepers are going to be immune to this rule for sure. If you’ve just joined one team and play once a week on the same field then you don’t really need more jerseys. Just make sure that you buy a jersey that protects you well in the type of field that you’re playing in. 

For goalkeepers that are playing more than once a week and are potentially playing on multiple different surfaces having the right gear to match is key. Otherwise, the only thing that’s going to happen is that you or your kid goalkeeper are going to come home to scraped elbows and those burns from the turf. I’d rather scrape my knees or elbows on dirt fields than to do so on hot turf. Those scrapes on poor quality they can hurt a bit you may even be a bit more swollen because of the initial impact. When it comes to hot turf though, those wounds burn instantly. Let’s not even get started with what happens when you get in the shower. Unless you want to burst into tears as you shower every weekend it could be a good idea to have multiple jerseys to wear. 

Does It Make Sense For Goalkeepers To Even Have A Short Sleeve Jersey?

Yes, but having a short sleeve goalkeeper jersey is more of a vanity project than anything else. Actually, it’d be hard to justify the purchase of one of these unless it’s from a team that you support. Maybe even a goalkeeper that you like. For example, I don’t even support Real Madrid, but back in the day I bought a ton of Casillas jerseys. If it’s going to be a jersey that you’re going to wear it be one that matches an outfit you’ve picked out. A lot of times when I’ve ended up wearing the short sleeve jerseys it’s because that’s the team jersey that I was given.

In that case it’s the team jersey I like to represent. You don’t always have to go out of your way to wear a long sleeve jersey like you would for training. There’s a way to represent your team with a short sleeve jersey and still get protection with longer sleeves. I’m going to be talking about that a bit here. The only time that I’ve actually trained in short sleeves was a season in El Salvador. There were some particulars in that case that made it “ok”. One was the fact that the grass was incredibly long and soft on those fields. Plus, it gets really hot down there at any point in the year. If you’re in that type of situation I’d justify the short sleeves for sure.    

If You Play On Turf Get The Jersey With The Best Protection

This is perhaps the realest advice I’ve ever given on this site. I was thinking the other day some of you are going to think that I hate playing on turf. It’s something I’m always critical of. To be honest, I love playing 7v7 games, and I do think that the turf surface makes for a faster and more challenging game. If I didn’t have to skid across that turf though to make saves I’d be better off. I do have a love-hate relationship with turf. Make of that what you will, it doesn’t change the fact that when you play on turf I’d recommend using a jersey with as much protection as you can. 

Maybe I’ll amend this a bit. Use as much protection as you can feel comfortable with without losing mobility. That’s perhaps the most honest answer that I can provide. With a lot of things in goalkeeper gear we’re always having to find that line between protection and mobility. In most instances I’m not a major proponent and sending kids out there with a ton of protective gear that’s limiting their movements. The down side to this is that this reduction of mobility can make it more difficult for them to learn the right technique or feel confident diving to the ground. That may sound counterintuitive because it’s going to hurt them less. If you feel you can’t give yourself enough impulse to dive for the ball that can be a problem. It’s maybe not about the jersey with the most protection, but one that gives you a good balance.    

Youth Goalie Pants Soccer - How They Should Fit

Size Does Matter When It Comes To Goalkeeper Jerseys

I’ve said this quite a few times on the site already. It’s pretty obvious why you’d want goalkeeper jerseys to fit just right. Especially the ones that have padding on them. If the jersey doesn’t fit right the padded areas are not going to be covering the part of the body that they are supposed to protect. That’s the main reason why I’ll never recommend that you get jerseys for your kids that you expect them to grow into. Unless you feel like the quality of the field that they play in is good enough. So they won’t hurt themselves too badly even if the protection particularly in the elbow areas doesn’t fit just right.  

For teens onward it doesn’t make sense to wear some of these rather loose jerseys. Some of us still do it as a bit of a fashion statement if you will. I still have some old jerseys that allow you to roll up to the field in a very 90s look. When all of the clothes that we wore were a bit baggy. These days though, you probably won’t find many options out there that are too loose to begin with. Most of the goalkeeping gear has moved to the compression jersey space. That’s actually an idea that I’m going to be doing a deep dive into in the next paragraph.    

You Could Use Compression Long-Sleeve Shirts With Short Sleeve Jerseys

We’re certainly in the era of undershirts, and under everything. That’s evident in things like goalkeeper leggings. In many ways they’ve come to replace the traditional goalkeeper pants. When it comes to jerseys or tops however you want to put it there’s an argument to be made that we’re also seeing a similar transition. Since these jerseys are again much tighter the padding on them is going to be more effective than it would be just on a regular jersey. Also, you can wear the undershirt and then just put your team jersey on top of that. That’s another one of the reasons why we’re seeing this look permeate throughout the pro game. You’ve got sponsorship deals that you have to honor. To do that and still get enough protection a good undershirt is the way to go.  

When it comes to having multiple jerseys if you get an undershirt you can wear anything on top. So in that case with a couple of undershirts you could have a very extensive outfit if you’ve got team gear that you want to wear. Since it’s an undershirt you can put anything on top of it and not feel like you’re wearing the same outfit every single day. The thing with undershirts or even jerseys that are now tight is that you don’t want them to be too tight. Be careful with buying something that’s going to make it difficult for you to stretch out your arms. That can impact your game in a very negative way.   

Goalkeeper Padded Shorts - Do They Even Work?

How Many Jerseys Should You Have?

To be able to answer the previous question you may need to answer a couple of other ones first. The first thing that comes to mind are the amount of training sessions, plus games that you’re going to be realistically participating in throughout a weekly basis. Let’s say that you train 3 times a week, and you play on the weekends. You’d need at least 2 undershirts that you could wear to training and the games while having each of them washed in between uses. If you’re going to be going the traditional goalkeeper jersey route you may need up to 4 jerseys for that amount of training and games. I’ve known guys that have their goalie jersey in their bag, and they use the same jersey in 2 sessions back to back. That’s gross in my book.   

Apart from it being generally gross because you’re putting on a sweat filled item that was stuck in your bag for a day you’re making all of the rest of the things in your bag stink. One of the best ways to make sure that your goalkeeper bag stinks is to keep socks, shirts or anything you’ve worn inside the bag after you’ve worn it. I’d rather have 3 or 4 jerseys in that case to make sure that I won’t have to put on the soggy shirt that stinks up the place. You can never go wrong with more jerseys. To be honest you’ll probably get to a point where you just don’t use all of the jerseys that you’ve collected over the years. If you’re actively training, having 3 jerseys on hand is probably the fewest number of jerseys that you’ll be able to work with.