Adidas goalkeeper gloves are popular the world over. There’s a big reason for that. Mainly because the brand was a pioneer when it came to the fabrication of gloves back in the early 60s. Although different brands like Uhlsport or Reusch that are fully dedicated to goalkeeper equipment started popping up Adidas were essentially the only mainstream brand that made goalkeeper gloves for a long time. Nike was naturally late to the party because Americans just weren’t too much into “soccer” when the brand got its start. So ultimately they didn’t start developing goalkeeper gloves until maybe the 90s. In my opinion that gap showed for a long time. In the sense that Nike didn’t know how to make goalkeeper gear. Why do I want to talk about youth Adidas goalie gloves though?
Well since they are a major brand like I explained there’s a good chance that their merchandise is going to be more widely available. Admittedly this was a bigger problem when I was growing up in the United States before online shopping really took off. When you needed youth goalie gloves not a lot of brands were widely available. Particularly the European brands that were dedicated strictly to goalkeeper equipment. Again, now it’s easier to access merchandise from more brands, but if you want goalkeeper gloves at a store particularly in America, Adidas goalie gloves are likely the option that you’re going to find. With that idea in mind I want to help you understand what gloves could be a good buy from the brand and which others you want to stay away from.
What To Look For In Youth Goalie Gloves
Whenever I make recommendations on any type of goalkeeper gear I like to give my reasons as to why I would go in one direction and not the other. In doing some research for this particular article I came across an uncomfortable truth about youth Adidas goalie gloves. That is the fact that the cheaper versions of their gloves are mostly gloves that you want to stay away from. Why is that though? The price point has nothing to do with it. The materials that the gloves are made from, and particularly the quality with which they are made varies drastically. Hence, the massive difference that we can find in price sometimes.
In youth goalkeeper gloves I’m usually looking for a glove that’s thicker than most options out there. I want to make sure that glove has a strap on it. You want to secure that wrist particularly for young kids, you don’t want to be taping their hands for every practice just so that they can wear the modern glove that their idols wear. I do think that moving into strapless gloves has hurt goalkeepers all over the globe. The reason why the wrist straps and the thicker gloves are good starting points is because they’ll help younger goalkeepers mitigate the impact of a shot better than cheaper gloves will. You could make the argument that it’s not a big deal at this point because the kids they’re playing against won’t shoot that hard. Do you want to take that risk though?
Stay Away From: Training Predator Goalie Gloves
I hinted at this already, so I’m going to get started with a glove that you’re likely going to find at many of the sports stores across America. At least the ones that are still in business. There are a couple of things that I know are going to draw parents to this glove. The first thing is the price point. You can find these gloves for almost 20 dollars if not lower in some places. You’re going to find out quickly that this is a very low price for goalkeeper gloves. Particularly youth Adidas goalie gloves. Your thought process may be, well I don’t know if my kid wants to be a goalkeeper for much longer. So it doesn’t make sense to buy more expensive gloves. I totally get that, but there’s still a downside to this.
If your kid is just starting out in goal their technique is going to be subpar. For a goalkeeper having subpar technique is going to put you at a greater risk of injury. Add cheap goalie gloves to that mix, and the risk becomes greater. Ultimately even the best gloves aren’t going to guarantee no injuries will happen, but the percentage of a serious injury can decrease. Why are these gloves not a good idea then? Well, they are a lot thinner than you’d like them to be. So your kid’s going to feel the heat on more shots. Also since they’re so thin the fingers feel like you’re just holding paper over them. They are not going to get a sense of grip that you can get from a real goalkeeper glove.
Instead, Look For: Match Fingersave Goalie Predator Gloves
There are a couple of things that these gloves have over their training counterparts. For one in this example these match predator gloves have fingersave technology. Which is the popular metal or plastic rods on the backside of the fingers to help protect them. That technology is sometimes a bit hit and miss. For the most part, I’m not a goalkeeper that’s fond of finger protection, but at the same time I have pretty crooked fingers. With that in mind it may certainly be a good idea to make sure that your kids get used to wearing gloves with finger protection from a young age. With any type of gear or extra padding it can be hard to incorporate into your outfit later on. So starting young is a good idea.
Getting back to these particular gloves though, it’s not just the finger protection that’s going to be a benefit. They are much thicker in general, and particularly in the palm area than the training gloves under the same name. Again that’s something that’s going to help young goalkeepers deal with some of the harder shots that they can face. Ultimately they can also help youngsters get used to what it’s like wearing a real glove. There’s a chance that they may feel their hands a bit heavier at the beginning, and that can feel uncomfortable. Like I just said though it’s always a positive when you can start wearing the right type of gear so you can get used to it, and it hopefully won’t feel uncomfortable down the road.
Stay Away From: Tiro Club Goalkeeper Gloves
This is a pair of gloves that would certainly be a great add if you happen to have a collection. If you are or were a goalkeeper yourself, and now you’re buying gear for your kid this is one pair of gloves that can really bait you. The reason why I think this is that they look a lot like the gloves that many of us had when we were little. There’s a certain nostalgic element to these gloves that you do have to fight off. There’s even an adult version of these gloves more along the lines of the match line, and they look the part to be honest.
Again though one thing is buying gloves that look real nice and classic and going after gloves that are going to be useful to young goalkeepers. From my perspective these Tiro Adidas goalkeeper gloves give you that classic clean look. Particularly in the black and white version that they come in. Ultimately though, you’ll end up having to deal with some of the same problems that I highlighted for the Predator training version. They are gloves that are too thin, and they don’t really provide any of the advantages that you can hope to obtain with modern gloves. Also, the fit and the way that grip works with modern gloves does not apply to this model. Which means your kid’s getting used to something that’s not going to be realistic throughout their career.
Look For: Pro Predator Goalie Gloves
If you’re keen on buying youth Adidas goalie gloves then these are the ones that I would recommend. You do get the look and feel of the modern glove, but it does come with a strap. That’s something that I think is super important for youngsters. Notice that I did not include in the list of options any of the modern cut gloves that don’t feature a strap. The reason behind this is that I feel that kids need that extra support. With this glove as I mentioned you’re getting that extra support, but at the same time you’re really testing out the modern glove with real time grip. This is what the big boys wear.
For a lot of parents the question is going to be is this model worth the price tag? It’s a hard question to ask no doubt. Maybe if it’s going to be your kid’s first pair of gloves I wouldn’t go here. The predator match option could be a better bet. Just in case they decide out of the blue that they don’t want to be goalkeepers anymore. That way the investment that you made in their fling with goalkeeping won’t be so steep. If on the other hand you’re seeing that your kid is getting real serious about goalkeeping this could be a buy. As I mentioned you’re getting the real look and feel of a modern glove with the added protection.
Don’t Love The Price? Look Into Another Brand
I did this article on youth Adidas goalie gloves because as I mentioned I know that they are a brand that is going to be widely available. At the same time I do get worried that some of the parents that are new to goalkeeping will gravitate to some of the cheaper options. Plus, they choose Adidas over other brands because they know the brand. Other times on this site I’ve talked about Elite Sports gloves and their youth goalie gloves as great options. Also, there’s even options from lesser known brands that sell their products on Amazon at cheap prices that may be better buys. If you trust Adidas, though, and you’d like your kid to build some brand loyalty, the Pro Predator option may just be the best one out there for you.
Is there any benefit to building brand loyalty when it comes to goalkeeper gloves? I think there actually is. As I mentioned before, you want to get used to the things that you wear. A lot of times with goalkeeper gloves the cut is going to remain similar even as models progress. So there is some value to starting young with a brand that will likely be around your whole career. Ultimately though there is of course life outside of Adidas gloves and there’s no shame in looking into other brands as well.