A Guide To Understanding Goalkeeper Glove Grip (aka; latex)

Let’s start with the basics, the palm of a goalkeeper glove. The palm of the GK glove is often manufactured using a layer of foam and a layer of latex. The latex is the most important and also the most expensive component of a glove. This component can be as much as 30-50% of the manufacturing costs of a glove. No matter how many unique features a glove has, it all boils down to the quality of the latex, and that's why goalkeepers and parents of GKs need to know a little about the different types of latex.

There are many types and names of latex, making it challenging to navigate and understand. Here are a few rules of thumb to get started with:

  • Softer the latex = better grip or tackiness
  • Harder the latex = better durability
  • Thicker the latex = better the protection

If you need more than rules of thumb, keep reading as I'll go through the most popular types of latex for goalkeeper gloves. It is crucial to keep in mind there is no universal way to categorize the different types of latex. My goal here is to simplify by breaking them down into four different categories: 

  • Beginning to Junior
  • Up and Coming to Advanced
  • Top Youth and High Performing High School
  • Elite High School to College and Professional

Beginning to Junior:

This category of latex for goalkeeper gloves often goes by the name Soft Grip, and it's a latex that you’ll find on junior and starter gloves. The latex offers excellent grip, and it is very durable. Latex is divided into subcategories based on the latex thickness, for instance, Starter Soft, Soft Pro, Soft Advanced, etc. This latex is excellent for starters as it gives a relatively cheap and durable glove that encourages the goalkeeper to learn essential catching techniques.

Gloves equipped with this category of latex:

adidas ACE Training, ACE Junior, Reusch Serathor SG, Uhlsport Eliminator Soft Pro, evoPOWER Vigor Grip 4.3

Up and Coming to Advanced:

This category of latex for goalkeeper gloves often goes by the name Super Soft Grip, and it is an upgrade to the Soft Grip latex. It offers an improved grip compared to the Soft Grip. Gloves with this type of latex are especially suited for young players and amateurs as the price is low, the durability is excellent, and the grip is very satisfying. Like the Soft Grip latex, this type of latex encourages the goalkeeper to train and focus on technique.

Gloves equipped with this category of latex:

Adidas ACE Republique, ACE Competition, Reusch Serathor Prime S1, Uhlsport Eliminator Supersoft, Puma evoPOWER Vigor Grip 3.3

Top Youth and High Performing High School:

This category of latex for goalkeeper gloves is an excellent upgrade from the Super Soft Grip. This latex category often goes by the name Mega Grip or Giga Grip and has some of the best latexes. The grip is notably better; however, the durability is not as good as Soft and Super Soft Grip. Latexes in this category have very different names depending on the brands. It is also usually found on some top models as well as all of the best takedowns.

Examples of other names are Absolutgrip (Uhlsport), EVO Zone Tech II (adidas), Ultimate Grip (PUMA), Soft Contact (Select)

Gloves equipped with this category of latex:

adidas ACE League, Reusch Serathor Prime M1, PUMA evoPOWER Grip 1.3, Uhlsport Absolut Grip, Select 99

Elite High School to College and Professional:

The latexes in this category are the best available, and the type often goes by the name German Contact or Supreme Grip. This latex has the best grip in all conditions, which naturally makes it the most expensive and the least durable compared to other types of latex. Some latexes in this category are recognized by the small granulates or high grip elements added to the surface for enhanced grip. This latex is perfect for pros and ambitious elite players.

Examples of other names are G2 Ultra Soft (Reusch), Super Grip (Uhlsport), Nova Grip (Select), Elite Grip (PUMA), EVO Zone Tech (adidas)

Gloves equipped with this category of latex:

AGK Pro Courage, Reusch Serathor Supreme, adidas ACE Trans Pro, PUMA evoSPEED, evoPOWER Super 3, Uhlsport Supergrip, AGK Pro Shield, AGK Pro Sting, AGK Pro Everest

Latex for the Wet Conditions:

Some brands equip a few of their gloves with an Aqua Grip latex which is for wet conditions. Most of the professional latexes perform well in wet and dry conditions. Aqua Grip is, therefore, an excellent supplement to Super Soft Grip or Mega Grip latex.