Few people can imagine how deep relationship every goalkeeper has with his gloves. Very often, it is the gloves what decides whether the ball will drop to legs of an attacking player from the other team, causing a small tragedy, or the ball will be safely sealed in the goalie´s hands, making him the hero of the moment. Gloves turn goalkeepers into legends and win titles but they never do that for free. In return for that, they require almost maternal care and loving treatment.
It is important to rinse your gloves in warm water (35 – 40°C) to remove unwanted residues from production before using them for the first time. The same rule also applies to gloves designed for wet weather as the water activates material that will provide adhesion. Then, you can put your gloves on and get familiar with them. To ensure the maximum ball grip, it is recommended to keep the gloves moist (but never wet!). This will also protect your gloves from minor scratches and they will surely reward you for that in the match. The proper care doesn’t stop here though. After every use, try to remove small stones, soil grains, grass and other particles as soon as possible since latex is a very delicate material and these things could damage it.
Forget about the washing machine…
Once you get home, take your gloves from the bag and go to bathroom. The maximum temperature of water to wash your gloves should be 40°C but the Bohemians 1905 legendary goalie Radek Snozik always used tepid water. “I used to do that in the league and I have been doing that in lower competitions too and my gloves are still perfectly sticky.”, he said. Remember that you should never put your gloves in the washing machine, even when you are in a bad mood after conceding ten goals in a game. If you do that, the result might be even worse next time. Let your gloves soak in water with soap for 5 – 10 minutes, cool yourself down with a FIFA game and then, you just wash all the dirt away. It will be easier if you think about the good saves you pulled off in the match during the washing. Filip Nguyen says: “I wash my gloves manually after every training and match. Then, I just let them dry freely on a dryer. But never on direct sun! I also use special shampoos that protect the gloves from hardening.”
…and the sun
We could write a whole chapter on how to dry goalkeeper gloves correctly. As Filip Nguyen says, never use the sun to dry your gloves but you should also avoid the drying machine and the heater. This is a very important rule that you should always keep in mind. Radek Snozik hangs his gloves on a dryer cord while other keepers use the towel pack method – you wrap your gloves in a towel and dry them by thorough pressing. Then, you spread the towel out, put the gloves on it (palm-up) and leave them dry completely.
It is also important to carry the gloves in the right way. They shouldn’t be carried with other dirty and wet things in one bag, which is why special protective cases can be bought to make your gloves happy.
As we already mentioned, there are certain similarities between goalkeeper gloves and women. They are demanding, they require gentle and discreet handling and they will treat you just like you treat them.