Best Goalkeeper Gloves

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

18 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
112 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best goalkeeper gloves

Last Updated November 2019

What’s in a glove? For soccer goalkeepers, quite a lot. The gloves do much more than just keep their hands warm while they’re waiting for play to shift their way. Goalkeeper gloves enhance the grip on the ball to improve catches, protect against scrapes and cuts from sliding across the field, support the fingers and knuckles when punching the ball, and keep the hands comfy and warm.

That’s a lot to ask of a simple pair of gloves, and it’s why goalkeeper gloves vary so widely in price. Materials and manufacture count for quite a bit, and the quality of those factors is what takes the biggest bite out of your wallet.

Whether you’re a parent buying goalkeeper gloves for a season of youth soccer or an avid player looking to improve your game, choosing the right gloves is a question of overall value and how much of an edge those gloves will provide. How to choose? Stick with BestReviews and we’ll guide you through the features and highlights to consider when picking the right goalkeeper gloves for your needs. When you’re ready to buy a pair, check out our top picks.

Experienced goalkeepers own at least two pairs of gloves – one for practice and one for matches.

Key considerations

The first thing to think about when deciding on a pair of goalkeeper gloves is where and how you plan to use them. This seems obvious – on the field, right? But the condition of the soccer field, the playing surface, and the weather all affect how well goalkeeper gloves perform. The player, too, has an individual style and skill set that dictates the kind of grip and finger support needed.

Fit

Size is a primary consideration when choosing the right gloves. Remember that youth and adult glove sizes are different, so be sure you’re buying gloves for the correct age group. Youth gloves usually have a designation like “Youth,” “Junior” or “JR” with the size to avoid confusion.

In general, goalkeeper gloves should fit a little big, with the fingers of the gloves extending about half an inch beyond the fingertips. To get the best fit, follow these steps:

  • Measure both palms by wrapping a measuring tape around each hand just below the knuckles. If one hand is larger than the other, use the larger measurement.
  • Round up the measurement to the next whole number (for example round 7.5 up to 8 inches).
  • Add 1 to that number to get your correct glove size (8 + 1 = size 9).


​​​​​​​Glove types

Goalkeeper gloves aren’t sold as “game day” or “practice day” gloves. However, dedicated players tend to keep a favorite pair just for matches and a second (or even third, fourth, or fifth) pair to wear during practice. Gloves designated for practice tend to wear out much more quickly depending on how often the player practices. Youth players who attend just one or two practices a week and play a few games per season or who are new to the game can do just fine with one pair of good all-around goalkeeper gloves.

EXPERT TIP

To maximize the performance of your goalkeeper gloves, dampen them with clean water just before use.


Staff  | BestReviews

Goalkeeper glove features

Components

Palm: The palm may have less padding than the rest of the glove to make it easier to hold the ball. A layer of latex or other grippy material here assists with catching and holding the ball, especially in wet conditions, and this material sometimes extends to the fingers. The texture of this layer determines the effectiveness of the grip. You can check the packaging or the product details for the thickness of the latex, usually indicated in millimeters (mm). The most common thickness is 3mm to 4mm.

Backhand: The back of glove at and behind the knuckles is normally padded with an extra layer of foam to provide protection when the player punches the ball. More expensive gloves have a latex layer on this side as well.

Fingers: Goalkeeper gloves are designed to support and protect the fingers from strikes, falls, and awkward catches. The fingers, usually padded with foam, can be hard to bend fully. Some gloves have plastic spines inserted along the top of each finger to provide even more protection and prevent hyperextension.

Closure: The closure holds the glove securely in place. This may be hook-and-loop, elastic, or a bandage-style wrap.

Construction

The cut of a goalkeeper glove refers to how the palm is made and provides important clues to the glove’s intended use and how expensive or inexpensive it is.

Flat: This is the “classic” cut of a goalkeeper glove. The palm is completely flat, with seams on the outside of the fingers. The advantages of this glove include a wider catching area on the palm and a looser fit, which many goalkeepers prefer.

Rolled finger: This type of cut rolls the latex grip surface around the fingers of the glove, increasing the contact area to make catching and holding the ball easier. The fit of this type of glove is tighter, allowing for much greater control of the ball.

Negative: This newer type of cut puts the seams on the inside of the glove. The result is a much tighter but comfortable fit. The biggest advantage of this cut is a marked improvement in ball control.

Hybrid: This is any combination of the above cuts for gloves that are designed for specific handling, control, or protection.

DID YOU KNOW?

It’s normal for the latex covering on the palm of a goalkeeper glove to show signs of wear within the first few uses. Grip performance won’t be affected until the underlying foam layer wears completely away.

Goalkeeper glove prices

Inexpensive: These goalkeeper gloves cost about $17 to $35. They’re good for practice and first-timers learning the ropes.

Mid-range: For those who need better quality or a good general-purpose glove for either practice or matches, you can expect to pay from $35 to $75.

Expensive: High-end gloves with specific performance details and gloves with additional finger support cost anywhere from $75 to $190.

Tips

  • Try different glove closures before you buy. Bandage-style wrist closures do the best job of keeping the gloves in place, but some players find them uncomfortable. Many players prefer hook-and-loop closures.
  • Splash some clean water on the gloves before starting a practice session or match. Goalkeeper gloves perform best when they’re damp.
  • Rinse the gloves with clean, cool water after every couple uses. Squeeze the water out of each glove separately. Don’t use detergents or soaps. A specially formulated goalkeeper glove cleaning solution can be used occasionally for very soiled gloves. Let the gloves dry naturally by hanging them up in a spot with good airflow.
  • Store goalkeeper gloves in a cool place. Don’t store goalkeeper gloves in direct sunlight or next to a heat source such as a clothes dryer or radiator. Wrap them in a towel or place them inside an old pillowcase to protect from heat and sunlight.
FOR YOUR SAFETY

The finger spines inserted in many goalkeeper gloves provide extra support and can reduce, but not completely eliminate, injuries from being kicked in the fingers, an all-too-common occurrence.

Other products we considered

Style shouldn’t dictate the purchase of goalkeeper gloves, but the Renegade GK Talon Goalie Gloves really caught our eye with stand-out styling that shows off their performance-enhancing cut, ultra-secure closure, and good all-around performance. For youth goalkeepers, the Brine King Match 3X Goalie Gloves keep little fingers safe with durable metal inserts while helping improve ball-handling skills with 3mm German latex palms.

Field conditions dictate which type of goalkeeper gloves to use. For example, artificial turf demands a thicker, more durable glove.

FAQ

Q. What role does the texture of the palm play in getting a good grip on the ball?
A.
The latex palm of a goalkeeper glove can be dimpled, textured or smooth. A smooth surface provides the “stickiest” grip, but it tends to wear out quickly, so many goalkeepers reserve gloves with this type of palm for matches. A dimpled or textured surface helps the goalie grip the ball and tends to last much longer, making this type of glove better for practice.
 

Q. Is there a glove that’s best for indoor soccer?
A.
Look for goalkeeper gloves that have more rubber than latex in the palm or a textured grip and backhand. These are more durable than smooth latex grips, and they perform better on artificial turf.
 

Q. The palm of my glove is cracking and starting to wear away. Does this mean it’s time to replace the gloves?
A.
Unless the foam padding underneath the palm is wearing away, too, or the gloves are badly worn all over, you should be able to use your gloves for plenty more practices or matches. If the wear is starting to affect the overall performance of the gloves, it’s time to look for a replacement pair.
 

Q. I left my gloves in my gym bag and now they smell like mildew. Is there any way to get rid of the odor?
A.
Try rinsing the gloves in warm, not hot, water. You can also use a detergent specifically designed for goalkeeper gloves to remove more of the dirt and mildew. Don’t use regular laundry detergent or other cleaners, especially bleach, which can damage the glove materials. After rinsing away the dirt and/or glove cleaner, hang the gloves up to air-dry, but keep them out of direct sunlight and away from heat.

 

The team that worked on this review
  • Amber
    Amber
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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