You may have seen in a previous article I wrote about why a sports bottle is a goalkeepers best friend that it can be useful to keep your gloves wet. But why is this important? At first it might seem a little bit counterintuitive at first as “wet” normally means “slippy” but with the latex on most goalkeeping gloves (and all Renegade goalie gloves) the reverse is actually true. Let me get into it and I’ll explain a few reasons why keeping your gloves wet is best.
Keeping your gloves wet can actually help your gloves last longer. When the latex on your gloves gets dry, it is susceptible to becoming brittle. This is when cracks and splits in the material start to occur and can weaken the structure of the glove, shortening the lifespan of the glove. Basically, it will start to fall apart and the latex will start to peel off the glove.
But if you keep your gloves wet during a game, and make sure they don’t dry out completely in storage, then you should be able to make your gloves last longer. Just be careful that you aren’t storing your gloves soaking wet. They will get damp and will become mouldy - gross!
Yes, as I already mentioned, keeping your gloves wet will help your grip on the ball. Here at Renegade GK, we use a range of different German Giga Latex on the palms. Some are designed to grip better, whilst others are more durable. However all of them will benefit from keeping the latex wet.
Dry gloves are slippy gloves. Remember that and you will be surprised how much better a wet glove will grip the ball.
Why is wet latex more durable and more grippy than dry latex?
Without getting too technical, latex is a foam. It is made of thousands of tiny holes, much like a kitchen sponge. When the materials that makes those tiny holes is dry it becomes hard and brittle. When they are wet the holes expand and the material becomes softer - again like a sponge.
This means that they are more flexible and won’t split as easily. This also means that they can mould around a shape more easily and provide somewhat of a “suction” effect to the ball.
One last thing: Don’t spit on your gloves. Some people suggest that the enzymes in your spit can actually break down the latex material and that could lead to them falling apart quicker.
You might see a lot of pros doing this, but they aren’t necessarily as concerned about the durability of their gloves. They probably have sponsorships or their team pays for their kit.
Also it’s pretty disgusting! Eugh.