Glove Care – The Basics
It sounds like an obvious thing to say but goalkeeper gloves do not last forever, so you need to look after them. Generally, the more you pay for a pair of gloves the more superior the grip will be but the glove will age and wear faster if used for both matches and training. Extremely soft and high quality latex palms which are used in top end gloves have an excellent grip but will not be as durable as some lower priced gloves, which will not have quite the same quality grip but should be more durable. The problem isn’t a matter of quality but rather related to the softness of the latex.
So, you will have to give up some of the high quality grip if you buy a lower priced glove with more durability. Although there is no exact life span of a pair of gloves, top end match gloves might last up to a dozen or so games prior to them losing their performance and starting to show signs of wear, depending on how often they are used and of course how well you care for your gloves.
The life span of your gloves is also about your technique to some degree and how you dive and catch the ball, which determines how much stress the gloves will go through during their life. Also, the type of playing surface that you train and play matches on will have a big effect on the life of the gloves. So it’s up to you to find the right gloves within your price range to meet your requirements. But whatever gloves you decide to buy you should always look after them to extend their life.
In our opinion a good goalkeeper is also a responsible keeper, so you should take good care of your equipment (yes that includes your gloves!) as after all you are the last line of defence! At HO SOCCER we believe that dedicated goalkeepers realise that the upkeep of their gloves are at least as important as their boots and more important perhaps! A well maintained pair of goalkeeper gloves will always perform well and will help give you more confidence to perform at your best. To keep your gloves in peak condition they require regular and correct care and attention, because the time that you should NOT be thinking about your gloves is during a game or training session.
Pre Washing New Gloves
Pre washing your new goalkeeping gloves is the first thing that you should do when you get them home. Firstly, remove all tags and packaging and then wash them gently in lukewarm water. The reason that pre washing your gloves before using them is very important is because during the manufacturing process special chemicals are put into the latex to preserve the properties of the latex. It would not hurt to even pre wash the gloves twice to make sure all of the chemicals are removed from the latex to ensure that you get the best performance out of the latex. Remember, the latex in your gloves will only work correctly if these chemicals are removed before you use them. After pre washing your new gloves you should allow them to dry naturally and slowly by air (i.e. normal room temperature) You should never dry the gloves on a heater or radiator as this will damage the performance and softness of the latex and could result in splits or cracks in the gloves. The last thing you want with a new pair of gloves fresh out of the bag!
Taking Care of Your Gloves
Washing and carefully drying your gloves after they have become dirty, wet from rain, or from perspiration is important as this will keep the latex performing as you want them to perform and will also help to increase the life of your gloves. So, after a training session or match when you have had your shower and got home, if your gloves are wet and dirty we recommend that you clean them asap and not just leave them in your kit bag. Your gloves should be cleaned in the same way as you did when they were new but to help remove the dirt you can use a mild laundry detergent. Remember, your gloves should be washed gently and only dry them slowly with natural air (as mentioned above – do not use hot air or put them on a radiator to dry your gloves!) as this is bad news for the latex and the performance of the gloves.
Do not be tempted to wash your gloves in the washing machine as goalkeeper gloves are not designed to be washed in this way and doing so could ruin the latex and general performance of your gloves. If you do, then be prepared for the fact that your gloves will not last as long as if you hand washed them by hand in luke warm water. Also, to repeat again, absolutely under no condition should you ever speed up the drying process by using artificial heat such as a hair dryer, the sun, radiator or a dehumidifier. Also, avoid leaving your gloves inside a hot vehicle as this is not a good idea and very quickly the natural moisture will be sucked out of the gloves making them dry or brittle. Never think of taking a short cut by putting your gloves in a tumble dryer, as this will also affect the performance of the latex and your gloves may even shrink!
Take some time to find out more about our different glove latex
HO SOCCER have several different latex designed for different conditions. For example, we have gloves with an Aqua latex palm that are designed to perform better in wet conditions. We also have the Aqua Control latex that performs very well in both wet and dry conditions due to the unique formula that we use in the latex. For our mid end gloves we use a popular latex called SSG or Super soft latex, which is very good for both wet and dry conditions.
Use your head
If you train and play 2 to 4 times per week, it would be a good idea to have gloves just for training and then also keep a good pair for matches only. This is because whilst training you will often repeat training drills so the palms of your gloves will wear quicker than during a match situation. So be aware that if you use a top end quality glove with a softer performance palm for training, these will wear quicker. Therefore, it’s a good idea to always have at least 2 pairs of gloves with you at all times whilst training and on match days.
As a suggestion, after you have used your match gloves for a while and they begin to wear, you can begin using them as your training gloves and get a new pair for matches and so on.
Get the right size gloves
Just like with boots make sure that you get the right size gloves, as poorly fitting gloves can not only be uncomfortable but they can also affect your performance as well, as poorly fitting gloves will put extra stress on the fingers of the gloves which may result in them splitting. To help you figure out your glove size, your fingers should extend to approx a quarter to a half an inch from the glove’s tip but note that the gloves would be to big if you had an inch or more room at the end of the fingers.
See our Size Guide.
Before and during the game
To take care of your gloves before a game, you should keep the glove palms moist with a little water if you are playing in dry conditions, although note that palms made of extra soft latex may get too slick if they are overly moist.
After the game
Once your game is over, never throw your gloves in your bag and leave them there until you need them again. If you are planning to play or train again in the next day or so we recommend that you remove any surface dirt from your gloves with a damp towel, as washing the gloves before the next day’s game could mean the gloves will not have enough time to dry out naturally.
If this is the situation, wrap up your gloves in a damp cloth so they can remain slightly moist for the next day’s game, as the last thing you want is to have your gloves dry with dirt and sweat still in the palm when you next put them on. The choice is yours of course but if you don’t care for your gloves eventually dirt and perspiration will soak up the normal moisture and the glove will become dry, flaky and may peel. Also, your gloves will begin to smell and could even grow fungi if stored for more than a day in wet conditions. When you are not using your gloves, we recommend that you store them correctly, with the palms facing away from each other, so that they don’t stick together or tear when you separate them. A glove bag is the best solution for storing your gloves but remember that the latex needs to be exposed to the air and be allowed to breathe naturally.