It takes a special kind of person to become a goalkeeper.
Deciding to cast yourself in front of a ball that has been driven goalwards defies great sense. But there’s something commendable in being that final line of defense.
If you’ve selected to place your body on the line, you’re going to require all the help you can get – and the right pair of goalkeeping gloves can create a big difference.
Like all sports gear, be it football boots or cricket bats, the appropriate choice doesn’t have to be expensive. Different players prefer different gloves. For instance, you might favor a lightweight pair to support quick hand movements, sticky palms to aid with catching, or a thicker pair to give you the confidence to pitch yourself at the biggest strikers’ feet.
To assist you in making a decision, we will present the most popular pairs and reveal what sets them apart. In addition, we will go through how goalkeeper gloves can differ and suggest some of our favorites.
What to Look For in a Pair of Goalkeeper Gloves?
The way a glove is built plays a huge part in its shape and fit, the grip and the level of protection given, and how long they’re likely to endure the beating. Each cut has its advantages and drawbacks, and what’s right for you depends on what you prefer.
The box or flat palm is a common cut that is frequently found at the more affordable end of the market. A particular piece of latex for the palm and fingers is sewed to the back of the glove with gussets. Using gussets makes the glove more fixed, but they don’t give as much latex coverage which suggests they allow less grip than other cuts.
A negative cut is comparable to the box cut, but the gussets are sewed on the inside of the glove. Meaning. the glove is more fixed to the hand and gives a slightly improved grip, although it will obtain wear and tear more quickly than a glove with the box cut.
Roll Finger Cut
The roll finger or “gun” cut covers the latex around the finger and joins it directly to the rear of the glove. Not applying gussets provides a bigger latex area, which enhances grip. However, it also means that the fingers aren’t as snug so it may not feel as fitted.
This cut can also come with negative stitching on the interior of the glove to additionally develop the latex surface area, but again this indicates wear and tear occur quickly.
Rather than holding to a single-finger style, some gloves apply different cuts on different fingers to mix the benefits of different styles.
For instance, a glove may possess a roll cut on the index and fifth finger of the glove to enhance latex contact for grabbing, but a negative cut on the inside fingers to enhance overall comfort and flexibility.
Like shoes, gloves also come in an array of sizes, commonly between 4 and 12. While this sizing should be compatible, it can differ between brands. So, it’s worth deciding on a pair before you buy (or reviewing the returns policy when purchasing online) to ensure you have the correct fit.
Glove sizes should match the chart below. Measure at the knuckles, obtaining the greatest width.
Glove size Hand width (cm)
The material used for the palm of the gloves plays a big part in its performance on the field.
Professional players prefer latex for enhanced grip, but this isn’t the toughest of materials and will deteriorate over time. Rubber or a mixture of rubber and latex will prolong the lifetime of the gloves, and these are often more suitable for practice or playing indoors.
The density of the palm also plays a part, with thinner palms providing a greater feel of the ball but less protection and cushioning. Most gloves are tailored with a palm around 4mm thick, which is considered a good mid-point to start at if you’re uncertain what suits you.
Almost all brands now build gloves with some form of finger protection, often emphasizing a plastic spine down every finger to stop hyperextension injuries. These are great options if you have experienced an injury in the past. However, they don’t defend against more frequent injuries like stubbed fingers or having your hand stepped on.
There is also a discussion that if your fingers end up relying on the spines they become more sensitive to injury because they may not exhibit suitable strength. For this reason, we would suggest avoiding these types of gloves unless you have a current injury.
What are Goalkeeper Gloves Made Of?
The best goalkeeper gloves are normally made of foam and latex combo. The nature of the palm will conclusively judge the overall quality of the gloves since this will play a large impact on grip, durability, and control. Obviously, these three elements are essential for all goalkeepers out there.
While the cut influences fit and comfort, the application of latex in the palms is all about enhancing performance and handling. Most gloves will also contribute substantial padding on the fingers and backhand to promote protection, which is important when punching the ball out and making saves.
However, you should keep in mind that latex palms aren’t the most long-lasting choice, so random players wanting cheap goalkeeper gloves may be better off going for rubber palms alternatively.
The Best Goalkeeper Gloves
So, which gloves are best? Although they’re more costly, the best gloves will feel amazingly comfortable and give an outstanding grip. Since there are so many for you to decide from, we’ve ranked the top 10 goalkeeper gloves you can get your hands on.
Let’s get things off to a truly powerful start. The Uhlsport’s Dynamic Impulse range allows an unbelievable balance of strength and grip, presenting it as one of the most dependable, well-rounded gloves available. More importantly, there are masses of different models possible for players of all budgets.
The Supergrip HN (half-negative cut) is probably the best goalkeeper’s pick of the bunch here. It’s a reasonably-priced glove that works just as well as the more costly models. The Reflex might possess flashier features, but it’s also much tighter – suggesting some will find it pretty damn awkward at times.
Either way, the level of grip here is excellent. You’ll be more Peter Parker than Peter Schmeichel with these, maintaining a strong hold of fizzing shots and dodging any unfortunate spills. Trying to crawl up walls is not recommended, though. Even the 3D Shockzone won’t save you from doing such a movement.
At first look, there’s a definite lack of fancy features on these gloves (but bear with us, there are always unusual features). The design is a regular box cut without even negative stitching so you’d expect them to be quite slack around the fingers and not quite responsive. However, as soon as you wear them on, you’ll realize something is working beneath the surface that makes these gloves fit far more satisfying than you would expect.
Under Armour has added two features that provide this enhanced fit and flexibility: Finger lock structure and ClutchFit. The latter applies to the American sporting cliché expressing crunch time, rather than shifting gear in a car.
The finger lock compresses the space for all fingers while the clutch wrist lining wraps around the wrist from a point halfway within the thumb and wrist. This suggests that when you strap it up, it draws not only around the wrist but also down the hand.
The effect is a snug glove that feels responsive and should also be more hard-wearing than its negatively sewed rivals.
The palm is a 4mm latex foam that gives a lot of grips and the fingers are hard enough to provide relief without impeding movement.
The Future is already here – and it’s very darn sticky. After abandoning the Nike Vapor Grip3 back in 2019, Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak has been pitching Puma’s Future gloves ever since. He’s really not half-bad between the poles – so if the gloves are good enough for him, they’re definitely good enough for everyone.
Although the takedown variants are excellent for those on a budget, it’s the Future 5.1 Hybrid which is really the lead of the show. This is the elite selection for any dangerous stoppers out there, with the fully-sewed backhand fitting like, well, a glove. Honestly, these are comfy enough to use on your next winter walk in the country.
Just like the boot silo of the same name, the Future is a remarkably flexible and light glove that has you performing all kinds of crazy saves. There’s no surprise that one of Puma’s best keeper gloves may turn you into one giant cat with amazing great handling skills.
If you’re after a glove that fits your hands well, this is the right pair for you.
Used by the likes of Manuel Neuer, Iker Casillas, and David de Gea, the Adidas Trans Pro surely comes with professional lineage. It feels light and flexible, but it doesn’t serve well on protection.
The glove applies a negative cut to give a close fit to the hand, with a cut between the palm and thumb for a secure and responsive fit. This presents a great feeling of control but on the other hand, it is lightweight, and it’s not optimized for grip.
The back of the glove does have rubber segments to help deliver punches with some power, and these are segmented so the glove can still flex, allowing a bit of resistance but not ample protection.
As used by Petr Cech, the EvoDisc is the first to apply a disc as a fastener. Instead of straps, the glove has a cable down the back of the hand which acts like a shoelace to secure the glove to the hand. The fit can then be compressed or loosened by rotating the disc.
In theory, this seems like a good idea, although rotating these dials while you have the gloves on in practice is pretty tricky. This also means that it didn’t feel as tight as some others, particularly at the wrist. However, the capability to tighten the body of the glove means it feels solid and better suited to other parts of your hand.
Having the fastening on the back of the glove also provides the latex to move down the wrist, extending the area that affords grip. In fact, the glove is pretty much a tremendous piece of latex spread around your hands so you have the best grip not only around the fingers but also the side of the hands and wrist. This suggests that if you still can’t catch a ball using these gloves, you can’t catch a ball.
The back of the glove is a bit more sturdy than the latex on the palm and although it doesn’t give a lot in terms of protection, it is still quite fine for making a decent punch on a ball.
It’s not difficult to notice why these are worn by over 220 professional goalkeepers. The Reusch Fit Control G3 places the bar in innovation, claiming one of the most superior foam palms currently on the market.
Using the fantastic G3 technology, this material grants incredible grip in all conditions, considering some of the German brand’s most exquisite work to date. The hands are shielded by Pro-Flex technology, which also enhances mobility and flexibility, and the effective AirVent system guarantees the gloves are as breathable as possible.
These gloves are available in different ranges of cuts and dazzling colorways. They’re also a uniform all-rounder for keepers at the very highest level. Jam-packed with excellent features and technologies, these remain just as powerful as ever.
This glove from Umbro employs a mixture of cuts: Negative finger rolls for the index and middle finger, and a negative cut for the last two fingers.
This improves the grip, particularly when combined with the latex rolled throughout the thumb. It also allows greater movement to the last two fingers to help get a grip on the ball quickly.
The back of the glove combines a more durable, padded “3D punch zone” for getting distance on punches, and the back of the glove implements aid for the thumb and first two fingers. The final two fingers are left almost unsupported, but this does go a long way allowing some freedom of movement.
The Neon Pro Shotgun feels like a firm, unfussy option, giving a good mix of protection and flexibility.
If you’re trying to look for a pair of training gloves or just don’t want to pay too much for your match gloves, this pair from Nike is a good bet. The box cut formed on the middle two fingers and a roll cut formed on the index and fifth fingers are a more common combination than the others on our list.
It doesn’t rest as close to the hand as a negative cut glove, but grooves around the thumb and either side of the knuckles indicate that the palm side angles easily to the hand without losing any thickness.
The colors may not surely be for everyone – the grape purple around the wrist is unusually striking – but have you noticed the colorways strikers assume they can get away with these days? But fashion aside, this is a no-nonsense pair for a fair price.
This is a very controversial choice. When Adidas issued the Predator 20 Pro, it sure felt like Apple had taken away the headphone jacks all over again. This time, it’s our precious strap that has been taken away rather, arguably producing the most costly washing-up gloves of all time.
Once you get used to it, though, these are proper for much more than just washing the dishes. Thanks to its superb Demonskin on the backhand, the current Predator is unlike any other keeper glove you can buy on the market, with all those tiny little bunches receiving some real welly behind any punched clearances.
Imagine using the famous Predator control and power but on your hands instead of your feet. Well, that’s pretty much what these gloves give. This is in addition to the Primeknit materials, grippy URG 2.0 latex, and an amazingly snug fit.
Even if you don’t like the negative-cut, strapless version, this is still the most competitive goalkeeper glove ever made.
The life of a goalkeeper is certainly a tough one. Often recognized more for their errors than any heroics between the poles, embarrassing howlers are every keeper’s worst nightmare.
Focus, positioning, and lightning-quick reflexes are necessary to become an outstanding goalkeeper. Although, it also benefits if you’ve got height (and big hands) on your side.
However, you are also required to get hold of all the best equipment, since this makes sure you’re always protected and confident as the last line of defense.
In a nutshell, these goalkeeper gloves are just a little bit extraordinary. That’s precisely why they’re at the top of this list.
There’s a large selection of goalkeeper gloves to pick from. Various brands, materials, cuts, and price tags indicate that there’s something out there for keepers at all levels. Regardless of whether you’re a professional shot-stopper or the person who receives a lumped-in goal at five-a-side, the one thing all keepers look for is the best value for money. Since they’re unquestionably the most important thing in your locker, you’ll want to make sure you’ve acquired the best goalkeeper gloves money can buy.
Who knows? This may be your start of turning into the next Gianluigi Buffon or Massimo Taibi.