One of the most commonly asked questions in the goalkeeping universe!
What’s the right answer? then that gives you a little boost of confidence when you’re catching volleys or diving for low balls. The best goalkeeper gloves are the ones that are right for you.
This may change from goalkeeper to goalkeeper and it may evolve throughout your goalkeeping career. As a professional, I’ve worn at least 5 different brands of gloves during training and games. I wasn’t always wearing the gloves that were best for me and I could always feel when it just wasn’t right. The most expensive Nike or Adidas gloves may not always be the best option for you personally. It may also turn out that the youth goalkeeper gloves you loved may not be the brand of adult goalkeeper gloves you choose to wear. Your needs change so your goalkeeping equipment may need to change as well.
Unfortunately, it tends to be a lot of trial and error. I’ve had gloves that I’ve only worn once or twice because I realized, once I started goalkeeper training in them, that they weren’t the gloves for me. The first thing to focus on is what size goalkeeper gloves you generally tend to wear. In today’s day and age of goalkeeper gloves, a size 9 doesn’t always have the same universal fit. The general rule of “measure around the widest part of your palm and add one” doesn’t always work out when switching from brand to brand. You should always have a general idea of what size goalkeeper gloves you wear but also understand what cut of glove fits you best.
Roll Finger Cut:
The roll finger cut is a very popular goalkeeper glove variation in the goalkeeper world. The cut refers to the fingers of the glove being rolled or curved to shape around your fingers and provide the maximum catching surface on the glove. The fingers of the glove aren’t as tight as some of the other cuts we will discuss.
Simply put, the negative cut fits “more like a glove”. This cut is more of a true fit to your hand when wearing the correct size. It is a bit snugger on all of the fingers and the palm. This specific goalkeeper glove cut allows for more flexibility and natural hand movement. Unlike the roll cut, the fingers of this glove don’t curve to the shape of your fingers.
There are a wide variety of hybrid cut gloves available on the market. When you see the phrase “hybrid cut goalkeeper glove” it is referring to a combination of goalkeeper glove cuts used on one glove. Often times, the combinations are more specific to certain goalkeepers and how they prefer their gloves to fit in certain areas and also how they prefer to catch the ball. For example, you can have a hybrid roll/negative cut with the two middle fingers being negative cut. This provides a tighter feeling when catching the ball while the outer two fingers are roll and provide the extra surface area to really feel secure.
What about goalkeeper gloves with finger protection?
Goalkeeper gloves with finger protection are readily available almost everywhere you look these days. They are all about personal preference. Some goalkeepers, especially youth goalkeepers, like to use them to give them added protection when catching the ball. Most soccer goalkeeper gloves with finger protection will have the ability to remove or replace them. Finger protection can be an added benefit but can also add to the bulk of the glove so it will all depend on how it feels when you put the goalkeeper glove on.