This is a common question that many goalkeepers and parents ask when in the market for goalkeeper gloves. Unfortunately, there is not a "one-size-fits-all" answer for the question. There are a lot of factors that go into the life span of goalkeeper gloves. We will discuss a few of the most important factors that all goalkeepers, and parents, should consider when purchasing and using goalie gloves.
How well do you take care of your gloves?
Like most things in life, if you don't properly care for your goalkeeper gloves then they most likely won't last very long. Oftentimes, the supplier is blamed for a problem that could be rectified at home. Throwing your goalkeeper gloves in your bag and not taking them out until the next training session is not a great way to keep your goalie gloves in the best possible condition. You have to be intentional about cleaning and caring for your GK gloves.
While I understand that youth practice schedules can be hectic, and not leave a lot of time in between sessions, it is still important to be consistent about washing your goalkeeper gloves. Starting from college, I made sure to wash my goalie gloves at least twice per week. This may be a bit excessive and time consuming but I wanted to get the most life out of my goalkeeper gloves that I could. Not sure how to wash your goalie gloves? Take a look at our Goalie Glove Care article to give you all the information you need to know!
How often are you training?
Your training schedule is a major factor for how long your goalkeeper gloves will last. Training once per week should get you plenty of mileage out of your goalie gloves. As you start to train more often, that mileage starts to add up and take a toll on your gloves. You can clean them as much as you want, which will help extend the life a bit, but if you are training multiple times per week consistently then your goalkeeper gloves will only last so long.
Rotating goalie gloves is probably the easiest way to extend the life of your gloves. During my playing career, I made sure to have at least one practice pair and one game pair of goalie gloves at all times. Once the game pair of gloves became a bit too worn, I rotated them to practice goalkeeper gloves and broke in a new pair for my game gloves. If you have a pretty heavy practice schedule, having multiple pairs of practice gloves wouldn't be a bad idea either. I understand buying multiple pairs of goalkeeper gloves can be expensive but in the long-run it can save money since you won't have to buy a new pair every month because of excessive wear and tear. Check out the goalkeeper glove options we have available in our online ship HERE.
What surface are you training on?
You may not think about it very often but the surface that you train on consistently plays a part in the lifespan of your goalkeeper gloves. A lot of youth clubs train on synthetic turf because of its durability and weather resistance. Unfortunately, turf can really damage goalkeeper gloves if you aren't careful. Little things, like getting off the ground, can lead to you constantly rubbing the palms of your goalkeeper gloves on a pretty tough surface. This is where a lot of the "early-life" rips and tears come from. It is obviously hard to focus on taking extra precautions to care for your goalie gloves while trying to stop the ball from going into the back of the net, but being cognizant of how you treat your goalkeeper gloves on these surfaces can be helpful in the long run.
Grass fields have their own issues that impact the durability of goalkeeper gloves. The dirt and mud that can get caked on your gloves from playing on these fields can be just as problematic. This will eat at the latex if it isn't dealt with properly from the beginning. It isn't really something you can avoid as a goalkeeper but it is definitely something you can manage by being diligent with washing and cleaning your goalie gloves.
There are obviously many other factors that impact the lifespan of your goalkeeper gloves. How tight do you wear your gloves? What quality of materials are your gloves made of? What is your technique like? I went into detail on some of the most important factor but it is also important to consider some of the others. As a general rule of thumb, I typically tell parents that you can expect goalkeeper gloves to last 2-3 months. If you have multiple pairs, rotate properly, and take good care of them, then you can stretch that timeline out a bit farther.
It also depends on when you consider a pair of goalie gloves to be "used up". I used to purposely keep an older pair of goalkeeper gloves to train with every now and then because I wanted to focus on technique as opposed to relying on the grip of my goalie gloves. I used the same pair for YEARS. I simple imperfection in the latex doesn't mean it is time for a new pair of goalkeeper gloves but when that time comes, be sure you have a plan to make them last. To see the wide variety of training and match goalkeeper gloves we have available, head over to our online shop now! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and Youtube!