Straps on gloves have been vital to proper goalkeeper gloves for years. Traditional latex straps, asymmetrical Velcro systems and elastic double straps all served the same purpose. There were always individual attempts to optimize the strap, but these could not get a foothold on the market.
Shortly after the launch of the NIKE Mercurial 2018, the strapless goalkeeper gloves have become crucial, especially for younger goalkeepers. Even professional keepers have used them. But how effective are these gloves for real? We took a closer look at the top models:
The most prominent strapless goalkeeper gloves have to be the Predator Pro models from adidas. After years of playing in the "elastic double strap league", the launch of the Shadowbeast (Mutator Pack) in January 2020 introduced the Predator gloves to the strapless world. The change did not come falling from the sky, a transition from the elasitc double strap happened in two steps. In 2019, they introduced the removable, double strap before finally dropping it for going full strapless.
Compared to the old model, the entry has been extended significantly to guarantee a perfect fit. Even the new Predator GL Pro NC models come without straps! The revised knitted material on the backhand adapts perfectly to any wrist. The best thing about these gloves? The gloves offer excellent stability when catching and fisting even without a strap.
Find out more about the technical Details of the Predator models? We do have an inside man for you: watch the video for the KEEPERcast episode with Michael Iann Mills, adidas' product manager:
"Is this real? It looks futuristic!"
- the exact words of Tim Howard when he put on the Mercurial Touch goalkeeper gloves for the first time after the 2018 launch. The gloves were much lighter and thinner than traditional models. NIKE got the "strapless trend" rolling.
Initial difficulties are always part of something new. The Mercurial gloves were revised and have been extremely popular with younger goalkeepers ever since. There are two strapless versions: in addition to the Mercurial Touch Elite, the Mercurial Touch Victory is a reliable and more affordable alternative. The stretchable gloves fit your hand perfectly. A tighter fit is achieved through less elastic material used compared to other gloves in this category.
Get your strapless goalkeeper gloves from NIKE:
The FUTURE goalkeeper gloves from PUMA offer something unique. They are the only strapless models with an additional closure system. The straight zipper on the side provides extra support. Nevertheless, they still belong to strapless goalkeeper gloves.
The initial design featured neoprene glove body, but the extremely flexible knit glove body proved to be the better choice. The knitted entry in combination with the unique 3D-shaped latex backhand has ensured a tight and comfortable fit. Some professional keepers such as Jan Oblak or Alexander Schlager have also put their trust in these modern gloves.
Find out more about PUMA's technology? Listen to the #AskKSepisode with Thomas Schwarz, PUMA's product manager: