Goalkeeper Padding – All You Need to Know

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Goalkeeper padding – Well, most of the goalkeeper gear that you are going to find in stores or online including but not limited to jerseys, shorts/pants, and even undergarments can come with padding. On the site, there are other articles about knee pads, helmets, and other protective gear.

This article though is going to explore mostly the jerseys with padding, shorts, and literally the underwear. One of the things that I always like to mention is that parents are usually going to want to protect their kids as much as they can. If you are a keeper and you are exploring this option it could be because you keep having a particular type of pain. Here are a couple of things that you should know.

For me, the rule with padding is pretty simple. As it is with extra gear like helmets or knee pads if having the padding or wearing the extra gear does not affect your mobility you are good. I would never recommend that you sacrifice mobility to put on more gear and make sure that you don’t get hurt. I know that the last statement goes against what many doctors want to say. Remember that this isn’t skateboarding or something else where you can fall on gravel and really do some damage.

Speaking of where you are going to be falling I do believe that this should play a role in what you are going to wear. For example, I usually liked to wear short-sleeved shirts for training and playing. If I am playing on hard ground or some of the oldest astroturf that you can come across, going with a short sleeve shirt is a perfect way to condemn yourself to end up with scrapped forearms and elbows. At the very least you should be looking at a long sleeve shirt for these cases.

Goalkeeper padding

Goalkeeper Padding: How Much Padding Is Too Much Padding For Goalkeepers?

As I just mention for me the line has to be drawn at mobility. I do think that there are certain things that you may have to get used to wearing. This is something that I explained in the knee pad article. For example though, if you are wearing external knee pads why would you wear pants with knee padding? Is that really something that is going to give you extra protection? A lot of times what it can cause is for the external knee pads to come loose because they keep rubbing up against the padding.

I’m not sure if I have talked about this, but I’m not a fan of the super large shin guards. The outfit that you are going to be wearing as a goalkeeper many times can dictate the rest of the gear that you are going to wear. Pants, socks, and large shin guards were never a great combination in my book. Know that leggings are very much in the picture. Adding high socks and large shin guards to the equation is not a combination that I would recommend. In this case maybe not because you are going to be losing movement per se. The issue that I’ve seen is that your legs are going to tire out much quicker with high sox, shin guards, and leggings than they would with another type of outfit.

I wanted to wait until later to bring this up, but there are some undershirts with padding that are meant for use in rugby and American football. In my view, these shirts do limit a lot of mobility for the soccer goalkeeper. Also, they add padding to some areas that aren’t overly exposed for soccer goalkeepers such as the chest area. Yes, you can get a ball to the chest, but if you can’t deal with that you probably shouldn’t be playing in goal in the first place.

Does Padding On Goalkeeper Jerseys Make A Difference?

This information that I’m giving out is based on 20-plus years of wearing this type of gear. The truth is that in many cases wearing jerseys with padding, particularly elbow padding is just not going to make much of a difference. If you continue to slide your elbows and your arms through the dirt you are bound to get scrapped up at one point or another. Now, would I rather have a padded jersey, particularly on the rough ground rather than wear a short sleeve jersey as I just mentioned? Yes, every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Having said this, I do think that I need to rephrase some of the things that I just talked about. You can’t expect that a jersey with padding is going to guarantee that you won’t end the day without any scratches on your elbows and arms. There are other factors that are going to contribute to you potentially injuring yourself or not. As I’ve mentioned quite a bit to this point the type of terrain that you are playing in will play a huge role. You should think about adapting your outfit to the terrain that you are playing on.

Back to the original question I do have to say that it can make a difference. Would you rather hit the ground with your bare skin or with a long-sleeve jersey that just so happens to have some padding on it? That being said, there are other pads on some jerseys besides the aforementioned elbow pads. There are some jerseys that have some light shoulder padding as well. Scrapping your shoulders is usually not going to be the main concern. Most shoulder problems come from some type of direct impact or twisting of the arm. The padding on the jersey will do nothing for you there.

Goalkeeper Padding: How Should A Goalkeeper Jersey With Padding Fit?

I’m no fashion expert, but when it comes to goalkeeper jerseys I would definitely say that there is a “right fit”. As with any type of clothing, there’s a bit of a line that you can walk across. Where the right fit for some people is going to be different than for others. In goalkeeper jerseys what I would say the right fit is, a bit tight to the point where the padding is able to essentially wrap around the right areas. One of the main reasons why padding essentially doesn’t seem to work is because if you wear a jersey that is a bit too loose then the padding is going to slide down to your forearm and not protect the elbow area as it mostly should.

Here is the issue though, you do want to use jerseys that essentially fit tight, but aren’t suffocating you. This isn’t a huge deal with kids if you’re training regularly you’re going to be rather fit. For those of us in Sunday league games, your waistline can begin to expand. Especially if you are down a couple of beers after those games. In these cases finding that right fit to where the padding is going to be useful, but you won’t feel like the jersey is literally sucking the air out of you can be challenging.

There are certain jerseys that are a little tighter in the forearm or elbow area than they are around the waist. If you don’t like the overall tight fit that’s probably something that you could be looking into. With kids, it can also be tough to find the right size. Since they are going to outgrow some of this equipment rather quickly. It could be a good idea to buy jerseys that allow them to grow into them a bit. This isn’t something that I would recommend that you over though. Again jerseys that are too loose won’t really provide any type of protection.

The Emergence Of Undergarments With Padding

One of the things that I could say has become much more popular over the last few years is to use of undershirts with pads on them. This is certainly a viable option. There are a couple of things that I would definitely caution against. You do have to make sure that you’re using undergarments that fit tight, but not too tight. It’s pretty much the same deal that you have with a jersey. You want to make sure that you’re protected, but you don’t want to be using something that is going to hamper your movements.

Another thing that I would certainly caution against is some of the undershirts that are meant for American football. I’ve seen certain kids play with these. I guess if you can find that they fit comfortably for you it’s ok. For the most part, though a lot of the excessively padded options are going to limit a player’s mobility. That’s something that you don’t want to have. Ideally, you’re going to be looking for balance in that regard. You want to be as safe as you can be of course. Yet you also want to make sure that you are not wearing too many things to where your mobility is affected.

Goalkeeper Padding: Can Scrapes & Scratches Get Bad?

I think that in my experience one of the biggest problems that you’re going to have if you’re playing constantly is that you really don’t give a lot of scrapes and scratches enough time to heal. I do remember certain issues lingering on for quite a while. When you have a scratch or even an open wound it seems like you’re always going to hit yourself right on that same spot. A lot of times what ends up happening is that you end up dealing with an issue that could be minor for months. Most of the issues that you are going to be dealing with are not going to be life-threatening or anything like that.

I know I just said that you’re probably not going to go through any type of life-threatening experience, but I do have to say that freak accidents can happen. Especially if you find yourself playing constantly on very tough ground on dirt fields and things of that nature. You can hit a rock at just the right angle to have it open up a gash. Throughout the site, I’ve talked about the fact that there are certain “dangers” with the position. I know that a lot of parents are much more concerned with having their kids do dangerous activities. What I always say is if you know what you’re doing there is less of a chance to get hurt. Freak accidents do happen though.

Goalkeeper Padding: What Is The Minimal Amount of Padding That You Recommend?

Do goalkeepers wear padding or padded goalkeeper trousers? Honestly, many goalkeepers especially these days have gone into using quite a bit of padding. Knee pads and elbow pads are a part of their game-day setup. I always like to say to wear something that you’re comfortable with. At the same time though, you could feel super comfortable walking down the street in shorts for example. If you’re going to be playing on a hot turf field with just a pair of shorts on you’re probably not going to be as comfortable because you know what’s coming. Therefore, when we are talking about comfort level here you also have to take into account what makes you feel comfortable enough to dive and do everything that you need to do in goal. Some people value mobility much higher than they do protection. Other goalkeepers are the exact opposite.

For me, it really depends on where you are going to play as I just mentioned. There are perfect grass fields where you are going to be fine with a pair of shorts and a tee shirt. Usually, some type of knee protection is the first thing that I look into with harder turf. That can come from the pants that you wear or even knee pads when you know that the ground is too hard.

For the upper body, I would say almost always a long sleeve shirt at the very least. It doesn’t have to be the jersey with a bunch of protections. I have to be honest with you the only reason why I don’t wear the long sleeve shirt is that I have an outfit that looks cool. Some of us goalkeepers are dumb enough to think we’d rather look cool than be protected. If you’re choosing an outfit with the right mindset, a long sleeve shirt is going to be a feature that you want to pretty much always add! Do goalkeepers wear padding? Most of us do!

Conclusion – Goalkeeper Padding

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