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Goalkeeper Glove Care and Glove Cut Guide

Introduction

This page is intended to give a guide to the various goalkeeper glove cuts available on the market. As it is only a guide it covers the most known cuts. Variants have been noted where possible but some brands may have modified a particular cut for themselves. It is also possible that other cuts have either been or currently used by one or more brands.

Roll Finger - This style has gained popularity in recent years. It is very popular with goalkeepers in Great Britain. This style does not use gussets. Instead the palm is attached directly to the backhand, which results in the latex rolled or wrapped around the fingers. This style fits snugger than traditional flat palm. It also has the best ball contact as the cut ensures that latex is always in contact with the ball when catching or throwing. As a result many consider this to provide better ‘feel’ when catching. Some however find that it feels bulkier than the other styles. 

Surround Cut  - There are a few variants of this cut and the style is dependent on the glove company that has produced it. In general the palm of the glove wraps around the outside of the hand (pinky side) and forms part or the entire backhand. The result is that the palm and backhand is formed using a single piece of latex with much less stitching used. This style has been used with Flat, Roll and Negative cut styles. The advantage of this cut is that there are fewer seams on the glove making it more comfortable. It also is more suitable for wider hands as it is not as snug as a roll-finger or flat palm. Keepers will often move down a half-size to obtain the snugness and comfort level that they desire when using this glove style.

Rolled Index / Rifle cut This cut that combines the best features of a flat-palm and a roll finger glove. Like a roll-finger it is made from two pieces of latex. The Index finger is rolled like a normal roll-fingered glove but the remaining three fingers are constructed like a traditional flat-palm. This cut ensures that the latex on index finger is always in contact with the ball when catching or throwing the ball. It also fits snugger than a traditional flat palm. This particular palm isn’t widely available via retail from many brands but is Everton’s Tim Howard’s choice for his Nike gloves. 

Contact Maximiser or Wide Cut – This cut originally developed by adidas with their response pro range which has since become the predator glove range and again used by other brands is essentially a flat palm but with more latex on the fingers. It tends to almost roll around the fingers but stops short of being a roll finger. It offers a larger catching area and a different feel to the standard flat palm. 

Negative Cut inseems - A popular glove cut choice in Europe especially in Germany. It is similar to the Flat-palm cut in that the palm is made of a single piece of latex. This style of cut also has gussets between the palm and the backhand. The difference is that the stitching that attaches the latex palm to the gussets is done so that the seam is on the interior of the glove. As a result of this glove style fits snugger than a traditional flat palm, many consider it offer better ‘feel’ when catching and throwing. Its fingers are not prone to twisting which results in better latex to ball contact when catching. Those with slimmer hands may prefer this cut. Negative cut’s popularity has soared in recent years meaning it is probably the most used type of cut by professionals worldwide. 

Flat Palm - Flat Palm or Regular Cut– Is the traditional goalkeeper glove, this palm style is usually made of a single piece of latex and has gussets between the palm and the backhand as well as between the fingers, the gussets tend to be made of neoprene or mesh and on some occasions latex. If you look at how each finger is constructed it looks like a box (hence name of box-cut used by some) as it consists of the backhand on top, two side gussets and the palm on bottom. The stitching that attaches the latex palm to the gussets is done so that the seam is on the exterior of the glove.

This style of glove typically fits looser than many other styles. Those that prefer a snug fit but still want a traditional gloves often wear a glove that one half to one full size smaller than their normal size. This is also the most popular cut used for finger protection gloves.

Hybrid  – A hybrid glove is a palm that combines two or more of the above glove cuts. Hybrids have become more common in recent times with a host of brands mixing roll/neg, roll/flat, flat/neg on the fingers to create unique palms in terms of fit and comfort. Selsport and HO Soccer are 2 brands well renowned for their takes on Hybrid palms with a lot of their endorsee goalkeepers having their own personal choice of hybrid.  There are also a few new glove cuts recently developed that are versions of Hybrid palms.

Negative Roll – Another new concept of latex glove palm is negative roll. The latex rolls around the fingers in the same way as a roll finger glove does from the backhand without gussets but where it differs is the palm on a Negative Roll is stitched on the inside like a Negative cut glove. It creates an extremely snug fitting glove like a negative cut but with more latex in contact with the ball like a roll finger. Umbro’s Speciali was the first glove built in this way and has since been developed and tweaked by a number of brands to create a modern favourite with goalkeepers.

Shotgun or Double Barrel – This glove is a twist on the Negative roll in that it is a type of hybrid featuring negative roll and negative on the same palm. The index and middle fingers are negative roll with the ring and pinky fingers a normal negative cut thus creating a double barrel palm and hence the Shotgun name from Umbro. This cut is the favoured cut of England’s Joe Hart.  

Caring for your goalkeeper gloves

Great-save.com top 5 goalkeeper glove cleaning and care tips.

1. Avoid putting your goalkeeper gloves in the washing machine. The combination of the washing detergents, the spinning motion and temperature is very likely to reduce the durability and performance of your gloves.

2. If you love your gloves, treat them like a you would a new car by using a simple 3 step routine: Firstly give them a quick rinse to remove the excess dirt. The second step is good wash using a decent glove wash and finally rinse and dry well.

3. Use a glove wash in a spray bottle, this has a key benefit. You use less as the spray allows you to apply it directly to the areas where it is needed most.

4. The sooner you can wash your gloves after a match the better. It means that the dirt doesn't have time to dry into the latex and also reduces the chance of bacteria developing.

5. When drying your gloves all you really need is a towel and some pressure. Wrap the gloves in the towel and use either your hands (or even your feet) combined with your body weight to apply pressure to the gloves. Once the majority of the moisture has been removed, just air in normal room temperature until nearly dry. Avoid putting your gloves on a radiator or in a airing cupboard at all costs, this will damage the latex on your gloves.

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