Nothing like a new pair of soccer gloves for the new season, I can smell the newness from here! That nice soft feeling as your fingers slide into their new beds for the season. Whether you're buying your first pair of soccer gloves or you've been around the block it's always good to refresh the mind on some things to look for with your new pair. Fit, comfort, size and of course look (like common I can't clash) are all important pieces to consider when getting your next pair of gloves.
Let's not forget that outfield players can wear gloves from time to time too, say what? Ya you heard me outfield players will wear a thinner lightweight glove to help combat cold weather, to keep their hands dry off of a throw in and many more reasons only soccer players know why. Either way find out the things you need to be sure to have your radar up about when trying and eventually buying your new pair, good luck young Ter Stegen!!
1. Fit - Of course you want the gloves to fit just right to your liking. Most goalies prefer them a touch big so their hand has some room to breathe while others prefer a really tight fit so their hand can have a close feel with every inch of the ball. No matter what your preference be sure to get a good feel for the glove and see what it's like wearing regularly and with a ball in your hands.
2. Flexibility - You want the glove to have a bit of a solid feel to it especially in the finger region. When players are blasting balls at incredible speeds you want a pair of soccer gloves that can withstand the impact and touch the ball over and around the goal when necessary. Although the amount of flexibility in a glove is completely down to preference you do want to find that right combination of sturdy fingers and ones that have the room to move and breathe a little.
3. Comfort - Be sure to get a pair of gloves that feel comfortable on the hand while you're playing. Too tight in the wrist, itching in the palm or crowded in the fingers are all things you want to avoid when choosing your next pair of soccer gloves. Comfort is king when it comes to soccer boots and gloves so be sure that you find the right pair of gloves that can do the job on the pitch and feels good while you're doing it too.
4. Grip - The grip on the inside of the glove varies from brand to brand so you want to be sure the pair you go with has the right amount of grip you're looking for. Gloves come up with super sticky grip and other with a bit of a smoother natural hand like feel, whichever you go with know what the glove is going to provide you because grip could be the difference of making the big save and watching from the sidelines.
5. Look - Alright now the fun part, we all want to look good while playing so it's okay to get the gloves that match your boots, socks or jersey or the one with the design you like. Just make sure it checks all of your other boxes in terms of fit and comfort before you go chasing after the pair with the bright shiny colours or blackout design. As the old saying goes, if you look good, you'll feel good and if you feel good you'll play good (great English right?)
1. Buying Without Testing - This is rule number one for a reason, never buy something for your game that you haven't previously tried on tested out. Even if it's trying on a friends pair for five minutes that is better than blindly buying something online that looks like it may work. Whether it's from a friend like I mentioned or going into a store and trying them on be sure to get your hands in a few pairs of gloves to see what best suits your game and your hand.
2. Buying Because Your Favourite Keeper Wears Them - Ya they may work for Ter Stegen or Neuer but that' doesn't mean they are necessarily the right fit for you. Don't go solely on what your favourite keeper wears because their hand and style of play may require a completely different type of glove than yours. No issues if you go and try it out first but don't be blindly going and buying a pair of what Buffon is wearing just because you like the way he combs his hair.
3. Changing What Works - I know we all love switching things up from time to time but try and stick with what works by staying with your same brand. If you're going to change gloves be sure to stay within the same type of brand and just change styles before you go too dramatic and change everything about your gloves. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
4. Going Off Brand - Be careful of going with some foreign European brand of gloves your cousin told you about once. Stick to the name brands when it comes to goalie gloves and you won't go wrong. In case you're wondering what are some reliable glove brands try Uhlsport, Adidas, Nike and Reusch, you can't go wrong if you stick to these four major brands that have been a staple in goalies arsenals for decades.
5. Going Too Cheap - I know everybody loves a good sale but you want to be picky with you new pair of soccer gloves. Going too cheap will have you back in the store in a week wishing you could use the money you spent on the cheap pair towards the better quality pair. Anything under $40 you probably want to stay away from and try and get to at least that medium level of soccer gloves. Getting into that medium to high range will save you money in the long run because of how long the pair of gloves will last you, spend a little bit more and save a lot more later, literally!
1. Cold Weather - This one is pretty obvious and is one of many reasons players wear soccer gloves while playing somewhere besides keeper but is worth mentioning. Cold weather can really affect a player who is only wearing shorts and a jersey while freezing cold temperatures and wind invade the pitch. Keeping those hands and fingers from freezing off is the name of the game here.
2. Wet and Rainy Day - On a wet and rainy day you also may want to throw on a pair of soccer gloves to protect your hands from all the rain coming down. Even if they do end up getting wet from hitting the ground or whatever other reason it is still nice to have the hand warm and protected for a short while.
3. Keep Hands Dry For Throw Ins - We've all played those teams with players who can throw the ball in like 30 plus yards at a time and with all the throw ins in a game and the effectiveness of it that player may want to keep their hands dry in between each throw. Even though these gloves tend to have a little grip on them usually you will see players take them off before launching a ball into the box for the royal rumble to begin, a nice little party trick to have up your sleeve.
4. Covering Up A Cut - If you get a cut on your hand of finger and even though it's wrapped up you don't want to risk reopening it some players tend to wear gloves for that little extra protection. Even though it always seems to hit that spot where you got cut at least this way there is a little bit of protection around it.
5. Protecting An Injury - Different from a cut you may have a finger, wrist or hand brace the officials may not let you play with so covering up with a glove may let it go unnoticed to the untrained eye. So if you have a bit of an injury of the hand or wrist feel free to bandage it up first then slip your glove over it to fly under the officials radar, it will be our little secret.
1. Clean and Wash Regularly - After every training or game be sure to give them a good wipe down and clean to avoid any unnecessary wear and tare damage. Clean out those rocks and pick out the dirt so they're ready for the next day when you'll them and you to be at your best.
2. Use Them Only For Soccer - Okay so no matter how good of an idea it is to help your parents do some gardening in them or move some stones around the house avoid wearing them for non-soccer activities. They weren't designed to lift bricks or rip out roots so only use them religiously for when you're at training, practicing at your own or in a match, other than those three places you don't own a pair of gloves as far as you're concerned.
3. Don't Lend Them Out - I don't want you to be a jerk here to your friend but do your best not to make a habit of lending them out to teammates and friends unless it's a dire situation. Chances are nothing will happen to them but they always seem to come back a little stretched or scratched up more than you originally remember, save your babies for your hands only.
4. Don't Leave Them Outside - Every pair of everything has a shelf life too it so try and avoid putting them in temperatures that will speed up the natural wear and tear of them such as outside or your garage. Yes I know I'm being a bit dramatic but if you want to squeeze every last save out of these bad boys then take care of them like you'll only ever have one pair.
5. Dry Right Away - If you're coming back from a wet practice or game don't wait and let the gloves air dry as that will get water into places you don't want and risk damaging your soccer gloves. Get paper towels in their or even a blow dryer to get them dry as quick as you can then wipe down and clean for a professional look to them. Now that's how you take care of your gear.
Of course they do. Now they do have a lot more access to all these types of apparel and accessories but yes of course pro's are the ones that made them fashionable of course. Cold, wet, rainy, injury or even for some sort of fashion statement pro's will show off a pair of their gloves if they see a reason to wear them no matter what country they play in. It's not a bad idea to invest in a pair and throw them in your soccer bag and forget about them, you'll thank yourself in a few months when the heavens open up and you have a pair of gloves to protect those withered old hands Agnus!