Best goalkeeper gloves 2023 (+ fitting guide)
You don’t have to be crazy to be a goalkeeper, but it helps. Never has a truer word been said.
Regularly taking up the most underappreciated role on the pitch is what you do. And for that, we only have praise.
Taking crosses, late tackles and rocket volleys to the chin are all goalkeeping bread and butter to you.
But don’t forget, you do it all in partnership with your trusty allies. A pair of humble goalkeeper gloves.
Those five-fingered mitts of material are the very things that can propel you from weekly drubbings to clean sheet glory.
There’s a lot of mixed info out there about goalie gloves, so we’re here to deliver straight facts. Plain and simple.
Feel free to rush off your line though, because we’re also spilling the beans on which are the best ‘keeper gloves in the world.
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How to measure goalkeeper glove size
This really is step one. Getting the right fit for your new gloves is extremely important.
We’d all love to wear Gladiators-style foam fingers to cover the majority of the goal, but it’s just not in the rules. Damn.
Finding perfectly fitting goalie gloves will give you more control with the ball and ultimately, breathe confidence into your performance between the sticks.
As the ‘keeper, a ‘perfect fit’ is personal preference. It’s entirely up to you. Some prefer snug, some prefer loose. Your choice.
As a general rule, you can find your goalkeeper glove size by measuring from the bottom of your palm at the wrist, up to the tip of your middle finger (as pictured).
Be aware that the thickness of the glove you’re buying will also add a little extra bulk to the measurement.
Always remember, if you try a pair of new gloves and they aren’t right for you, then most retailers will allow for a free exchange. No worries.
How to choose goalkeeper glove cut
Step two. This is when things have the potential to get a little complicated. But that’s where we come in to simplify it.
Glove cut is the shaping which is given to the fingers of the goalkeeping gloves, including how it’s moulded and stitched together.
Each of these subtle changes can give an entirely different feel to ball handling and overall comfort.
In our example (pictured above), we’ve given you the five most common types. Although, some manufacturers offer their own bespoke mixtures and hybrids too.
Flat palm cut (FP)
This type of goalie glove is generally known to be the entry-level option, for the casual ‘keepers amongst us. Here are the key features of flat palm gloves:
- Flat palm gloves are the original design of glove
- Classic and basic looks
- Latex one-piece attached to the back of glove with stitched gussets in between fingers and palm
- Gussets are on the outside to give a looser feel on the hand
- The cheapest glove cut to buy
Roll finger cut (RF)
Another traditional type of glove for goalkeepers. The roll finger cut has latex which has been curved around the fingers.
- Roll finger gloves are still traditional and highly popular
- Latex is curved or ‘rolled’ (hence the name) around the fingers giving a closer feel
- The backhand is attached to the palm without gussets
- Commands a looser fit vs. negative cut gloves, but much tighter than flat palm
- Typically more expensive than flat palm options
Negative cut (NC)
A much more modern option, the negative cut has become increasingly popular over the last decade or so.
- Single piece of latex attached to the backhand using gussets
- Gusset stitching is hidden inside the gloves (opposite to flat palm)
- Delivers a more natural fit with tighter finger spacing
- Offers more ball feel and control
- Expect to pay premium prices for this type of cut
Negative roll cut (NR)
Here we have a popular ‘hybrid’ type of glove. A combination of negative cut and roll finger designs.
- Fingers are rolled as with a roll finger cut, but palm is stitched inside like negative cut
- Modern aesthetic for modern goalkeepers
- Streamlined design gives improve flexibility and ball feel
- Even closer feeling fit than the negative cut
- Falls within the premium pricing bracket
This is a catch-all. A hybrid cut simply refers to any glove which uses any combination of the above (or bespoke cuts).
- Combine your favourite glove attributes to suit your style
- Offers lots of options to test out
- Popular combinations include roll finger-negative and flat palm-negative
- Brands use different model names for their own hybrid cuts which can be confusing
- Due to the complicated build, premium prices should be expected
The 5 best goalkeeper gloves this year
Now that you know your exact size and you've found the cut that suits your game, it's time to head into our list of the best 'keeper gloves of the year...
5. adidas Predator Edge GL Pro NC
It’s time to get the Edge over strikers with this eye-catching strapless, negative cut design from adidas’ Predator GK range.
Built with a silicone Zone Skin coating and an adaptive knitted backhand, it’s ideal for punched clearances in the wet.
The URG 2.0 latex palm will help you cling on to the ball like it’s your newborn.
Available in tons of colourways, and even in kids’ sizing too.
Who wears adidas gloves?
David de Gea, Marc-André ter Stegen, Mary Earps, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Aaron Ramsdale, Cristiane Endler and Emi Martinez.
4. Uhlsport Speed Contact Supergrip+ NR
Uhlsport have long been involved in the ‘keeper game. And these latest Uhlsport gloves are as good as they’ve ever produced.
The negative roll cut gives a clean feeling to the fingers, whilst Airprene material lends breathability and cushy comfort.
Supergrip+ is the foam that’s used and it’ll give you serious traction, even on a damp Tuesday night in Stoke.
The Dual Fix System at the wrist will have you locked down for 90+ minutes, letting you concentrate on the job at hand: a clean sheet.
Who wears Uhlsport gloves?
Yassine Bounou (Bono), Alphonse Areola, Stephanie Labbé, Mike Maignan and Oliver Baumann.
3. Reusch Attrakt Duo Evolution Adaptiveflex Hybrid
Top gloves come from top manufacturers, and that’s Reusch. They’ve always been at the forefront of ‘keeper tech.
Duo latex packs the palms, giving ultimate ball control. Whilst the Adaptiveflex fastening offers support and lockdown for the feel that you demand.
This is a true Reusch hybrid with its negative cut on the backhand and regular cut on the palm. Delivering expanded Duo latex in combo with a snug fit.
It’s a good looking glove, no doubt about it.
Who wears Reusch gloves?
Samir Handanović, Hugo Lloris, Tinja-Riikka Tellervo Korpela, Dominik Livaković and Unai Simón.
2. Puma Ultra Grip 1 Hybrid
Be your team’s last line of defence and do it with Ultra Grip on your hands. Puma have now truly emerged at the top of the glove game.
Its mixture of negative and roll finger cuts make it a streamlined glove, perfect for improved handling and distribution. The latex thumb wraps on these Puma gloves gets a thumbs up from us too.
The 4mm of Superior Grip latex tops the whole package off, giving the #1 who dons them total control.
A classic wrist wrap is in place to secure extra support and a perfect fit throughout those gruelling matches where you’re endlessly pummelled.
Who wears Puma gloves?
1. Nike Vapor Grip3 NR
Nike owns the boot game, so why wouldn’t they own the glove game too? These negative roll finger Nike goalie gloves have everything you’ll ever need from a five-fingered ally.
Grip3 refers to the latex which wraps around the index finger, thumb and small finger on each hand. It offers complete coverage.
All Conditions Control sits across the palm on top of 4mm Contact Plus Foam, helping you avoid any dreaded fumbles in the rain.
This glove is super breathable with its mesh backhand, including a classic wrist strap which offers comfortable lockdown.
So, that’s #1 for you, #1. If it’s good enough for Alisson, Naeher and Courtois. It’s good enough for anyone who commands an 18-yard box.
Who wears Nike gloves?
Alisson Becker, Alyssa Naeher, Thibaut Courtois, Peng Shimeng, Robert Sánchez and Adrianna Franch.
Goalkeeper gloves: FAQs
How do you make goalkeeper gloves sticky?
It’s simple, good old-fashioned water will do the trick. This is why you’ll see pros on TV squirting their water bottle at them during breaks in play.
How do you clean goalkeeper gloves?
Wash your gloves with warm water, immediately after matches. This helps to clean any dirt off that could decrease the grip.
NEVER use solvents or harsh cleaning chemicals as this will damage the latex. You can use specialised glove cleaner, if you wish.
Only ever wash your gloves by hand and DO NOT put them in the washing machine.
When did goalkeepers start wearing gloves?
Goalkeeper gloves have been around a lot longer than you think. The first goalie gloves were patented by William Sykes in 1885, three years before the Football League was formed!
Clearly it didn’t catch on, because it would take more than 80 years until England’s Gordon Banks trialed gloves at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
Still on the hunt for your perfect pair of gloves for this season? We compare deals on 100s of goalkeeper gloves, right here.
Find the lowest price online as we compare Nike, adidas, Puma, Pro:Direct and more. Save more with us, on and off the pitch.