This is a question we get a lot here at Prime Focus Goalkeeping. Everyone wants to know what the top goalkeepers wear so they can be just like them. That is understandable; why not emulate the best players at your position? There are A TON of different goalkeeper glove brands out there that offer a wide variety of goalkeeper gloves. If you watch a random game from any top league around the world, you'll see some of the biggest goalkeeper glove brands being worn by professional goalkeepers. Nike, Adidas, Reusch, Uhlsport, etc. If you look closely though, you will start to see more and more professional goalkeepers wearing smaller, maybe lesser known brands.
It's not just about the name recognition of the goalkeeper glove brand anymore; professional goalkeepers want to wear the best quality gloves that fit their needs. And yes, different goalkeepers have different needs when it comes to goalie gloves. They are an essential piece of equipment for any professional goalkeeper. These gloves are specifically designed to provide a secure grip on the ball and protect the goalkeeper's hands from impact. Let's take a look at some of the key factors that play a role in the decision-making process for professional goalkeepers when it comes to choosing which gloves to wear.
First and foremost, it is about the fit of the gloves. Goalkeepers tend to be very different when it comes to how they like their gloves to fit on their hands. As a former professional, I like my goalie gloves to fit pretty snug. I liked the tight fit because it felt more comfortable for me when catching the ball. I tended to rely on finger protection as well, which ultimately made my goalkeeper gloves fit a bit tighter. My favorite glove to wear in games, that met my needs perfectly, was the Locus Pro. Easy to get on, fit perfectly snug on my hands, and felt very secure on the wrist strap.
Some goalkeepers prefer to wear their gloves a little bit more loosely. There were professional goalkeepers I trained with that would wear their goalie gloves a size or two larger than what would traditionally be considered their size. They did this because they felt it gave them an extra inch or two when diving to make saves. Regardless of the brand, or the glove cut, they would always wear a larger size and that was what worked for them.
Another important factor to consider is the material of the gloves. Most professional-grade gloves are made from high-quality latex, which provides a strong grip on the ball and is also durable and long-lasting. Some gloves also feature a foam backing, which helps to absorb impact and protect the goalkeeper's hands. There are a number of different latex types used in the production process for a variety of gloves and brands but I will run through a couple of the main ones that professional goalkeepers use.
"German Contact Latex" is essentially the high-end, luxury style of latex that most professionals prefer. It is a high-quality latex that provides the level of stickiness that many of your favorite social media goalkeepers show off in their glove unboxing videos. This type of latex tends to perform well in both wet and dry conditions, and if taken care of properly, can last for a long time. Contact latex will typically be found on all of the more expensive goalkeeper gloves. This type of latex features on a number of our goalkeeper gloves, including our Prime Focus Cyclone.
Another professional-quality option for goalkeeper glove latex is "Giga Grip Latex". This latex offers similar qualities to the Contact latex but performs a bit differently in various conditions. Like any goalkeeper gloves, if not cared for properly they will lose their effectiveness quicker but the durability of this latex tends to be a bit less than the Contact latex. Giga grip also tends to require dampening of the palms more often than Contact latex. Overall, it is another good option for quality latex.
Glove Cut & Features
It is tough to really pinpoint a type of glove cut that is preferred by professionals. There is such a wide-variety of cuts and goalkeeper preferences that choosing one seems impossible. Some goalkeepers like a negative cut because of the flexibility it gives their fingers, some prefer a roll cut because of the snug fit and natural shaping of the hands for catching. Others prefer a "hybrid cut" which can be a combination of multiple cuts in one goalkeeper glove.
More and more these days, you are starting to see strapless goalkeeper gloves. This tends to make the process of putting the goalkeeper gloves on a lot easier. But it also takes away from the secure feeling of a wrist strap. Most professional goalkeepers, that I've seen play and currently train with, still prefer the wrist strap design but there are plenty out there that have gone strapless. There are other product features to consider as well like breathable mesh, inner silicone gel to avoid finger slipping, and rubber punching zones to enhance distance and punching control. There are a lot of options that professionals consider but at the end of the day, it's all about what you are most comfortable with.
There is yet another aspect that professional goalkeepers consider when deciding on which brand to wear during practices and games; the sponsorship aspect. Many goalkeeper glove companies offer professional goalkeepers free or paid sponsorships to wear their goalkeeper gloves. These sponsorships can range anywhere from a few free pairs of gloves to yearly salaries to wear, and promote, their brand. This is important to point out because youth goalkeepers (and parents) have to understand the financial implications of professional goalkeeper glove choices as well.
When you see professional goalkeepers switch from wearing one brand to another, it isn't necessarily because brand B makes better goalie gloves than brand A; it could simply be that brand B offered a better sponsorship package than the other brand. I've had goalkeeper glove sponsorships before as a professional so I understand the tough decisions that have to be made. Our brand also offers professional goalkeeper glove sponsorships so we have an understanding from both sides of the discussion.
When it comes to choosing the right gloves for a professional goalkeeper, it's important to find a balance between fit, material, and design. With the right gloves, goalkeepers can have confidence in their grip and be ready to make those game-changing saves. The best goalkeeper gloves for kids aren't necessarily the most expensive, professional gloves that you see on your tv screen every weekend in the Premier League. Finding the right gloves for you, and the level of play that you are at, can be a trial and error process. Many parents want to know what the best goalkeeper gloves under $50 are because they don't want to break the bank buying goalie gloves for a teenager. We do our best to offer a wide variety of goalkeeper gloves at different price points to meet the needs of all of our goalkeepers. Check out all we have to offer in our online shop now!