Goalkeeper gloves come in a lot of types and having the background knowledge of how to choose the best goalkeeper gloves for kids is very important. They are necessary gear to protect your kid’s hands and can be a determining factor whether his or her team wins or loses.
After all the goalie is the last person who will stop the opponent from scoring and the gloves will come in handy at the critical moments.
Make your kid proud and provide him or her the best gear for the job.
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Why Do Soccer Goalkeepers Wear Gloves?
The goalkeeper wears the glove for better handling of the ball because the material on the palm helps with grip when catching or throwing the ball.
The second reason is that it helps to protect the goalie’s palms, fingers, knuckles, backhands, and wrists from injuries. A lot of balls kicked into the goal are hard shots and gloves help absorb the impacts on the palms and the knuckles.
They also help when a goalie falls to the ground by supporting the wrist.
Lastly, gloves keep the goalie’s hands warm during cold weather.
Although not required by FIFA, it is only common sense to wear one during practices and games.
Types Of Goalkeeper Gloves
There are basically 3 types of gloves in the market and they are Flat or “Box Cut”, Roll, and Negative.
They are named according to how they are stitched on the seams.
i. The Flat
Or “box cut” gloves are the traditional design and is still widely used by goalkeepers.
They are loose-fitting gloves that have squared finger stitching on the outside and they look flat and boxy to allow more catching area.
ii. The Rolled Finger
The rolled finger gloves are the popular types preferred by goalkeepers that have the same stitching as the Flat but they are roundish at the fingertips.
They do fit nicely with the goalkeeper’s hands and have a better feel for the ball.
iii. The Negative
The negative gloves are stitched inside as opposed to the Flat and Rolled Finger gloves, thus the term negative.
This type of glove provides stability and a better fit for players with little fingers and thinner hands which matched the size for kids and girls
What Are Goalkeeper Gloves Made Of?
The gloves are made of a wide range of materials for the backhand, palm, fingers, and closure.
The backhand is the knuckle area, the palm area is used to catch the ball, and the closure is the wrist area where the glove is secured from slipping off.
The backhand is usually padded with thick foam to provide protection to the goalie’s hands when punching the ball away.
Latex is also used on the backhand but they are more expensive gloves.
The palm is the most used area during the game because the goalie handles the ball more often, especially when blocking hard-kick shots from the opponent.
The common material used is latex because they offer a good grip on the ball. A thin layer of latex provides a better grip but less protection to the goalie’s hands and also not durable.
So you might decide to get a thicker glove for protection and durability for your kid. The fingers are padded with foam for flexibility and protection from hard-kick balls and falls.
Some gloves come with plastic spines inserted above the fingers to protect against hyperextending the fingers or bending backward.
However, they limit flexibility and could hamper goalkeeping skills during training. It is best for those who want additional protection and for players who have a previous injury to the fingers.
The Closure secures the glove to the wrist and they come in many options such as hook and loop that a player can loosen and tighten, elastic, and Velcro.
The high-end gloves used the wrap and bandage closures which offer the best wrist support.
Other materials used are polyurethane, nylon, polyester, artificial leather, breathable mesh on the backhand, and fleece for cold weather.
Other materials offer a cooling system, enhanced grip, and shock absorption.
What Glove Size Will Fit My Kid?
Below is a general guide to children’s glove size:
When buying gloves for your kid, the first thing to confirm is the size that fits your kid’s hands. If you are shopping online, then you will need a ruler to measure your kid’s hands.
Measure from the tip of the longest finger to the bottom of the palm where it meets the wrist. Then you round up the measurement to the next inch plus another inch.
For example, if your kid’s hand is 4.5inch you round it to 5inch and then add 1 to make it 6inch. Therefore, your kid’s glove size is 6.
You must measure both hands and use the biggest measurement to determine the size of your kid’s glove. Glove sizes ranged from 4 for kids to 12 for adults.
For a beginner, I would recommend you choose a glove that is well padded. Kids are prone to fall easily or bump into each other.
For older kids who are goalies for some time, they may opt for a high-performance glove instead.
Enjoy soccer and take care.
Please let me know your thoughts on choosing goalkeeper gloves.