Being a goalkeeper is tough, right?
You have to throw yourself in front of every shot, your team’s fate is often in your hands and even if you make a hundred saves, you will very rarely be the game’s hero.
When I was asked by TheChampLair.com to write a top 10 guide of the best goalkeeper gloves on the market, I knew the task wasn’t going to be easy. As a goalkeeper myself, I own more than 30 pairs and I had to make my choices on cold hard facts, rather than the emotional attachment I may have for some of these.
A goalkeeper glove becomes part of him, it is an essential tool that must be of great quality in order to protect the hand and also perform optimally.
The gloves reviewed in this guide are professionally graded, often worn by the best goalkeepers in the word and most importantly, will help you annihilate the competition.
The Top 10 Best Soccer Goalkeeper Gloves
This pair of soccer goalie gloves is simply a classic from the world’s best-known sports brand. Timeless, these Nike Vapor Grip 3 goalkeeper gloves have received little to no improvements over the years. It’s hard to improve what is already perfect. The different variations of this product are very similar, in fact, only the design and colours are the most notable changes.
The Nike Vapor Grip 3 has a very characteristic patented cut that allows for a greater contact surface with the ball.
The glove’s palm is made of Nike’s new 4mm Contact plus foam which is efficient no matter the weather, and also one of the best grips you can get. Thanks to the high-end materials used in the conception of these soccer gloves, they happen to be the most durable and sturdy option on the market.
The Germans really know how to produce great goalkeepers. From Oliver Kahn to Manuel Neuer and everyone in-between, they have a huge goalkeeping culture; it’s only fair they have manufacturers that create equally amazing gloves.
Uhlsport is a German brand that designs and manufactures all sorts of sports equipment. They are leaders in many national markets when it comes to selling goalkeeping gloves.
These Uhlsport Eliminator Aquagrip gloves came out quite some time ago but they are already classics, as they are worn by a World Champion Goalkeeper: Alphonse Areola.
The patented Supergrip latex offers incredible control over the ball, no matter what the weather is outside. It feels as if you had put rubber on your gloves, very rarely have I had this sensation. Even when it rains they don’t get slippery and I would not hesitate to wear them, even if the weather forecast indicates bad playing conditions.
These goalkeeper gloves from Uhlsport are very comfortable to wear with a very tight fit, and are extremely durable (I have used them for two seasons and they are still in store-bought condition).
I actually have some emotional attachment to these gloves. Funny story, I was playing a very important game that was a must-win for us. While packing my things, I was in a hurry and I could not find my go-to gloves. I picked the first ones I could find; these Reusch goalie gloves.
We won the game 1-0; I ended up making 11 saves and the cherry on the cake: I was elected MOTM (Man of the Match). Surely, these gloves have played a major part in this great game.
Weighing only 3 ounces (88 grams), this minimalist pair of gloves has a clean look to it thanks to his Evolution Negative cut. Wearing it almost feels like a second skin but no worries; your hand is well protected.
I also want to mention that these gloves offer an incredible touch and control. The unique Latex G3 Fusion used by Reusch to manufacture these gloves is simply amazing, and efficient even if it rains.
If you want light gloves without compromises, you can buy these without any second thoughts, they are amazing.
Even though these gloves have been on the market for quite some time now, I still believe they are amongst the best. Featuring everything we could want in a premium pair of gloves, they are very sturdy and are efficient even when it rains.
When it comes to technical features, these gloves really do pack a punch with their Giga Grip technology which improve ball control. The main focus of the Renegade Fury is to allow the palm to spread wider and provide an amazing grip in all weather conditions (and they do).
Another really cool technical feature displayed by these gloves is the Pre-Curved technology that positions your hands in a catch-ready position by default.
The last thing I want to talk about is how cool these gloves feel. Your hands will barely sweat at all thanks to the breathable material used in the conception of these goalie gloves.
Are you looking for good gloves you can bring to practice without paying a premium fee for it? I got you covered. These Ace Replique Adidas goalkeeper gloves are the best value for your money you can get. Let’s look at some of the features they offer.
The excellent grip provided by the EVO Zone Tech II latex is what really stands out in these gloves. I actually believe that your training gloves shouldn’t be too different from your game ones. My reasoning behind this is that you shouldn’t have to adapt the way you play to the gloves you’re wearing.
Another aspect that is often overlooked, and that is super important when you are buying a budget product, is durability. Yes, these gloves are cheaper, but they are also more durable. The cost per game played or per years of usage is incredibly low. If you’re on a budget but don’t want to give up on quality, these gloves are your absolute best option.
These Nike Spyne Pro are also quite decent, I especially like their design and breathable fabric. The inside grip is best used if your glove is perfectly fitting your hand so I would order one size below what I normally wear if I had to order these again.
What is very unique about these gloves is the inside grip. It’s quite comfortable to wear and you can be sure that they won’t slip.
The palm does a relatively great job at absorbing impacts, the grip is above average and more importantly, the Bio-align technology sets your hands in a ready to catch position at all times.
Great straightforward gloves overall but there are definitely better options in this price range.
Okay, we all know that the best goalies in the world have a tendency to wear Adidas soccer gloves. Manuel Neuer, Iker Casillas, David De Gea, and their mothers just to name a few, have always preferred the three stripe company to protect their goal line.
These Adidas Predator Competition gloves are in my humble opinion, the most versatile model. Adjustable to the user’s hands, very stable thanks to the new tech strap, these gloves feature two foam latex palms that enable a homogeneous glove that is great for both catching and releasing.
With his perfectly fitting structure, this model contains minimal seams and showcases a slick and elegant design.
I also want to talk about the amazing Fingersave spine. A pretty cool feature that will greatly reduce the impact a shot can have on your hands/fingers, and significantly reduce the risk of injury. Without any doubt one of my favourite pair of gloves of all time.
Another pair of Puma goalie gloves, made of latex and a flat cut, these EvoPower Protect 3.3 especially shine because of one thing: Their atrociously low price for gloves of this quality, it’s an absolute steal.
These really would rank higher on my list if the fingersave could be removed. High-quality and protection thanks to the flexible PFP spines, these gloves also feature a multi-grip latex palm for all weather conditions.
If you like to have extra protection, enjoy a flat cut and are looking for gloves on the cheaper end of the spectrum, look no further and pick these, they are incredible.
When gk gloves are worn by Gianluigi Buffon and Petr Cech, it already is quite a good indicator of their quality.
These Puma goalkeeper gloves have one big particularity that sets them apart from its competition. They have an innovative closing device; A disc placed on the backhand that can be used to tighten or loosen the gloves.
The RC/IS Hybrid cut will give you a wider catching zone and thanks to the Ultimate Grip latex on the palm and on the thumb area, your grip is maximized.
On the backhand part, the punching areas branded Strikezone by Puma are extremely efficient for clearances.
Another cool feature on these gloves is the fact that they stretch half the way up the forearm. I really like this because it protects your wrists more efficiently than any other gloves.
If you like cool high-tech products that still do the job they were initially built for, then absolutely go for these. If Iron man was a goalkeeper, he would wear these Puma evoDisc gloves, no doubt about it.
If your kid is a goalkeeper, I would strongly advise the use of these awesome gloves. Security and protection are pinnacle and these gloves really fit the bill here.
The wrist protection is amazing thanks to the stiff material and the 360° tightening system, and the strong embedded fingersave skeleton are here to prevent most of the injuries goalkeepers are prone to.
Available in 2 colours only but in 6 different sizes, the gloves are not only the best suited for kids, they’re also incredible value for your money. If you’re looking for the best goalkeeper gloves for your kids, there’s no going wrong with these!
Choosing the Best Goalie Gloves – The Ultimate Buying Guide
What are goalkeeper gloves and why you should use them?
The goalkeeping position requires some special gear, some play with a helmet, others play with a mouth guard but EVERY serious goalkeeper plays with gloves.
Not only they are the most important equipment you can have because of its protection abilities, but they are also incredibly helpful and will help you make more saves, more catches and be a more confident player when defending your goal line.
Way more important than your shoes, the gloves you will pick need to facilitate your job by having a great grip, reducing the injury hazard, and also be comfortable to wear.
What are the main features of goalkeeping gloves?
The most important question to ask yourself when you’re shopping for keeper gloves is rather simple: Will these gloves help me with my goalkeeping tasks?
This alone puts the quality of the grip as your number one priority. Other important factors to consider are sturdiness and comfort.
Usually made of latex and foam, gk gloves will vary in shape and form from one brand to another. I suggest you always check that they do beforehand because these materials are essential to protect your hand while giving you optimal movement freedom.
Goalkeeper Gloves Size Charts
Of course, none of what I said above would matter if you picked gloves that don’t even fit your hand. That’s why I have attached a chart below that will help you know exactly which size will fit your hands.
It is essential that you religiously follow this size chart to obtain optimal results and maximize the glove’s gripping ability.
It is possible that there is a slight difference from one brand to another so make sure you double check their size charts as well before ordering.
Remember, if the tips of your fingers reach the end of the glove, they are too small. You want to leave a little bit of extra room. Also make sure that the glove doesn’t slip out of your hand when you are wearing it.
Different goalkeeper glove cuts
As a goalkeeper, this is the first thing you’ll notice. Everyone has their own preferences and it is important to know what each of these cuts brings to the table to help you find the perfect gloves.
1. Negative Cut
Gloves with a negative cut have seams on the inside. Specially designed for slimmer hands, the contact area is usually quite wide and protects your hands very well. These gloves are usually a tight fit, which enhances your gripping ability.
2. Flat Cut
The flat cut is the most common and traditional. The palm, in this case, is made of a single flat foam piece. Gloves with a flat cut usually target a more amateurish audience and are a great first buy as a beginner goalkeeper. They offer less grip than the other cuts but are also quite often way cheaper.
3. Roll Finger Cut
Designed to bend your fingers forward, this cut offers a large contact area and an efficient catching stance. They are great if you have a tendency to get easily injured as they offer better protection. This can also sometimes be referred to as a “Gun Cut”.
4. Hybrid Cut
You guessed it; the hybrid cut is a mix of the above-mentioned ones. Modern gloves are overwhelmingly built with a hybrid cut of the negative and flat cut. Look for a combination that gives you the pros of two different cuts while eliminating the cons.
The different parts of a goalie glove
A goalkeeper glove is composed of three main parts; the backhand, the palm, and the closure. They are all equally important in the making of a great glove and will be major factors to your performance on the pitch.
1. The Backhand
As the name suggests it, the backhand is located at the back of the glove. Its main role is to protect your hand when you punch the ball.
The protection will differ from one glove to another but usually, for the cheaper gloves they will be made of a foam layer while the more expensive options will be made of latex and a will include a spine structure for increased finger protection.
2. The Palm
The palm is also pretty self-explanatory; it consists of the inside part of the glove. Its main role is to offer maximum contact area with the ball, provide the best grip possible while protecting the palm of your hand.
You absolutely want to take special care of this part as it is the most fragile and yet, the most important one. Their texture can either be smooth or dimpled. Smooth equals high quality, dimpled gloves may be more durable but they offer a lesser grip and are mainly used for practice.
As far as thickness is concerned, high-quality gloves will have a thicker palm than their cheaper counterparts.
3. The Closure
This part will greatly depend on your personal preferences. Some goalkeepers prefer to secure their gloves very tightly while others will prefer to loosen it. Whether you want an elastic closure or a more standard hook and loop is really up to you and your own comfort.
Are Fingersaves mandatory?
A lot of coaches will tell you to get fingersave spines on the backhand part of your glove. This supposedly reduces the risk of injury. I personally think they are useless and strongly advise against it in general. I only make one exception for the Adidas Ace Trans Fingersave Pro.
They restrict your movement quite a bit, they are uncomfortable, they usually boost the price of the gloves up, and finally, if your fingers rely too much on the spines, they will get injured more often because they won’t develop any strength.
Frequently Asked Questions
Goalie gloves are made of different materials such as rubber, leather, latex, plastic, polyurethane and different types of fabric.
Fingersaves are usually placed on the backhand part of your gloves and are basically a plastic spine that supports your hand. Fingersave goalkeeper gloves are essentially gloves that have a spine embedded on the backhand.
In case you’re wondering if you should put your gloves in the washing machine, just don’t. The best way to clean them is to put them in a plastic tub with hot water (not too hot), add some soap and rub them together.
There are several ways you can make your gloves stickier during the game, spitting on the palms is a good example. You can also use baby wipe or simply bring a second pair.
You can refer to the size guide in this article and check which size will fit your hands. Make sure you measured your hand’s length properly.
I have included links to where you can find the gloves I reviewed throughout this article. Amazon is where I recommend getting them as their logistics and customer service are absolutely stellar.
When it rains, the playing conditions are altered, the ball being wet, is more slippery and tougher to catch. You can absolutely wear your gloves when it rains but you want to use an “Aquasoft” grip, designed to function even when your gloves are wet.
Picking the Best Goalkeeper Gloves Wraping up
While many people may think that goalkeeper gloves are a pretty straight forward product and picking the right one shouldn’t be rocket science, I sincerely hope I was able to demonstrate that there is a bit more to it.
Technology is becoming a bigger factor in elite sports. It’s only fair that we take advantage of the edges it can provide and any serious competitor will always look to make educated purchases when looking for sports gear.
Ultimately, picking the best goalkeeper gloves for you will come down to personal preferences and what features you absolutely need them to have. Hopefully, I was able to break it down quite simply for you and was able to help you with your purchasing decision.
What’s your take on my picks and reviews? Do not hesitate to share your opinion and experiences with these goalie gloves in the comments below!