Everywhere you look in the Goalkeeping world, there is a new range being promoted and even some old ones appearing back on the scene (Looking at you Sondico!).
Now, some of you will have your old favourites that you stand by regardless, others will like to try something different in the hope of finding a master piece that will stop every shot and stick to everything no matter what the conditions, a glove that will last for months playing on 3G and where the latex won’t start to wear.
As we are all well aware, this glove doesn’t exist. Latex deteriorates regardless and every glove will be relegated to the training bag and then for garden use, only to end up in the great glove graveyard in the back of a cupboard somewhere.
What I would really, really love is a massive Goalkeeping store. One where you could wander in, try on the gloves for fit, to see if you prefer 3mm or 4mm palms. Try all the various different cuts and fits. If you are new to the game and even if you have been keeping for a few years, it can be quite daunting, not to mention confusing with all the different styles, cuts, designs, manufacturers and prices.
So how do you choose between all these names and colours. Your choice for the season usually ends up being the gloves that your favourite keeper wears or your best mate or your goalkeeping idol. Truth being, maybe they wouldn’t be your idols’ first choice but that particular manufacturer happen to be his sponsor so he wears them. You see him wearing them and decide to buy them too. Does it mean you can now play like your idol? No, probably not, but on a psychological level, it probably does make a difference confidence wise.
When choosing gloves, I tend to think hands are a bit like feet. You usually have one slightly bigger than the other. Some are wider and the digits can be a whole range of different lengths. Therefore, you can go into a shop and try your shoes on so why not gloves. Different manufactures shoe sizes always come up differently. I have found the same can be said for glove manufacturers. They tend to vary slightly; a size 8 from one will fit differently to a size 8 from another manufacturer.
Even in the best sports shops, there is usually a very small range of Goalkeeping apparel and then its only from the big sports manufacturers i.e. Nike, Adidas etc. You will be very lucky to find stock held of the less well known suppliers such as Alert, ProGK, F-Line which just because they are smaller does not make them of inferior quality (Check out some of our reviews!).
So what to do when it’s time to invest in the most vital part of your kit. There is no massive super store that you can wander around trying on glove after glove. So do you stick to your old faithful, tried and tested or go for the new glove on the scene that was used in the last big football event. There is no right or wrong answer, what ever works for you and your budget.
It doesn’t stop me dreaming, imagining walking into a sports shop with row upon row of Goalkeeping gloves. Somewhere you can try them on. I can picture it now, like a page out of the best fashion magazine, goalkeepers walking up and down the aisles twirling in front of the mirror, checking out their ¾ trousers, new shirt or gloves.
Now that would be a sight to behold!