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You have a solid chest protector and the perfect helmet that balances vision and protection, but what about your hands?
Proper lacrosse goalie hand positioning leaves them vulnerable and your thumb is often exposed to numerous hard shots over the course of a game. All it takes is one shot to break your finger, leaving you sidelined for a few weeks or a season.
To combat injury in the cage, you need a solid pair of lacrosse goalie gloves. In this guide, we break down the best lacrosse goalie gloves on the market to protect your fingers when between the pipes.
Best Lacrosse Goalie Gloves
To make life easier for you, we scoured the market to find the best options in protection and feel for goalie gloves. What follows is our list of some of the top candidates we came across.
Keep in mind that goalie-specific gloves are not usually available in youth sizes but you may consider the smallest available adult sizes for your young player.
Best Lacrosse Goalie Gloves:
1) Maverik Max Lacrosse Goalie Glove
- Colors: Black, Grey, White
- Increased thumb protection to a normal glove
- Extra padding at the back of hand
- DuraStretch panels for flexibility and comfort
- Increased moisture and cooling tech
- Suede palms for improved stick feel and control
The Maverik Max goalie gloves live up to the max in their name with no element spared when it comes to protection.
TorqueLoc2 design and Shark Gel inserts provide extra protection along the thumbs. Triple density foam and inserts along the back of the hand and thumb reinforce the usually vulnerable points for a goalie.
Built-in flexibility in the DuraStretch panels and a suede palm for a natural feel provide added mobility and stick control. The freedom of motion will not slow you down when making those quick movements to stop that hard shot to the top corner.
The main downside is the price point of this top-of-the-line goalie glove. Given that the glove is designed to provide as much protection as possible, it utilizes more material and is, therefore, more expensive than a lot of alternatives.
Also, even with all of the protection provided with the Maverik Max glove, a 90 mph shot to the tip of your thumb will still not be a good time. Even if it does not make you invincible, the Max gloves will provide you with peace of mind when it comes to your feeling of protection between the pipes.
2) Maverik M5 Goalie Glove
Drip Level: 4.8/5
- Colors: White, Black, Gray
- Key Features:
- TorqueLoc 2 tech for superior thumb protection
- Ax Suede palm for a durable soft and natural feel
- Increased airflow and moisture protection
- Adjustable Cuff for a customizable fit
Another Maverik goalie glove has entered the chat, this time the M5. This goalie glove is the updated version of the very popular M4 glove line.
One of the great aspects of the M5 Goalie glove is its customizable fit at the wrist. Maverik gives you the choice between more protection or mobility in its adjustable cuff, perfect for those goalies who prioritize one over the other.
The quickdry Ax Suede liner, Flowcool venting, and inhaler mesh palm all help keep your gloves dry, giving you that ever-important grip on your stick.
On the downside, since this glove was just released in 2021, there aren't any longterm customer reviews available yet. While it seems to be of quality build, only time will tell how the M5 Goalie holds up.
The M5 is a great glove to consider for anyone turned off by the price of the Max but who wants some of the same protection and fit customization options that Maverik offers.
3) Warrior Nemesis Pro Goalie Gloves
Warrior pops up like Old Faithful in the goalie conversation with the Nemesis Pro gloves.
The Nemesis hosts specifically built-in foam along the major contact points for the glove—D30 foam at your fingers and IMPAX foam along the knuckles—for added protection. The extra thin palm allows for the maximum feel of your stick whether going for a save or cradling.
The major con to the Nemesis is the limited thumb protection. The glove does sport a Lock-Thumb system but the coverage area and success of this element pales to some of Warrior’s competitors in the market.
Overall, the Nemesis is a fine addition to the game and worthy of consideration for those Warrior-centric goalies looking for new mits.
4) STX Cell 5 Goalie Gloves
Drip Level: 4.6/5
- Colors: White
- Key Features:
- GeoFlex II & flexible thumb guard for max mobility
- Ventilated palm guard helps with breathability
- AX Suede provides great feel of the shaft
- Comes with Guard Lock that holds mouth guard when not playing
STX enters the mix with its newest goalie glove—the Cell 5.
The STX Cell 5 Goalie Glove features everything that the Cell 5s for field players have plus an extra external plastic thumb guard.
While this guard definitely provides good protection, it can be a bit of an eyesore, especially considering that it's black and the glove only comes in white.
The Cell 5 Goalie Gloves come with GeoFlex II technology to help with mobility along with STX's AX Suede palm that provides unmatched feel.
The C3 cuff system allows you to adjust the cuff to your preferences and the Guard Lock strap is designed to hold your mouthguard when you're not in play.
Overall, the STX Cell 5 Goalie Gloves are a great choice for goalies of all levels. They provide good protection and are flexible and breathable.
5) Maverik Rome Goalie Gloves
Drip Level: 4.4/5
- Colors: Black, Grey, White
- Key Features:
- Cuff-less design for maximum wrist mobility
- Hyper-extension prevention thumb design
- Poron XRD foam for a soft feel that hardens on impact
- Pro Palm with Ax Suede for maximum feel
ANOTHER Maverik glove?! Yup. Maverik has made themselves into one of the top outfits when it comes to goalie gloves and the Rome is another option worth your consideration.
The Rome is built on the same protective principles as the M4 line but was designed specifically to meet the needs of elite level goalies. In addition to the usual thumb protection, the Rome reinforces the back of the hand with Poron XRD foam that is comfortable to wear but hardens on impact.
Maverik also focused specifically on mobility with the Rome. Its cuffless design maximizes the range of wrist roll and mobility while the pro palm suede provides a full feel of your stick. This glove was made for the goalie who prides himself on quick, pinpoint clearance passes.
To the downside: the price tag. This is usually the most expensive glove on this list (depending on if you buy it on a sale day or not), but it is also the most complete so you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.
The Rome is a great glove to consider for those goalies playing in the most elite levels of lacrosse. The quality and protection of this glove makes it one of the best options available if you can swallow the high price tag.
Cheap Lacrosse Goalie Gloves
If checking out the above gloves hasn’t indicated it already, goalie gloves are not cheap. They are notoriously looked at as a premium item and tend to be one of the highest cost products you may need to purchase to take the field.
But, as with all things lacrosse, there are cheaper options available. The caveat is that you may have to concede some of the extra protection and mobility that more expensive gloves provide.
Here are a couple of affordable goalie gloves worth considering.
STX Shield Goalie Glove
The STX Shield is a great glove to consider for a young player looking to make the leap into goal. It packs a lot of the design specs of the more expensive STX products but with a trimmed down price tag when it comes to the material. This is definitely a worthy starter glove for any young goaltender and clocks in at nearly half the price of its more expensive relatives.
Warrior Nemesis 19 Goalie Glove
Drip Level: 4/5
The Warrior Nemesis is another youth-oriented goalie glove that sports many of the same features as the more expensive Pro version. This maintains much of the same thumb and back of hand protection but with half the price tag as the Pro. The price cut comes from the simplification of certain design aspects in terms of both style and protection. Unfortunately, this means certain coverage areas that were problematic with the Pro will be further exposed with this glove. Still this is another great starter glove for a young goalie.
Lacrosse Goalie Glove Buying Guide
Beyond identifying some specific products, we like to provide you with the tools to find quality gear on your own should you choose a glove outside of this list.
Here are some elements to consider when looking for lacrosse goalie gloves.
It goes without saying that if you’re looking for gloves, this should be number one on your list of things to consider.
Protection is not just key to avoiding injury but giving a goalie the peace of mind that they are protected. That assuredness goes a long way in keeping a player’s focus on the field and not the dreaded “what ifs.”
There are some key areas to pay attention to when it comes to goalie glove protection, number one being the thumb. Most gloves on the market now have some form of molded plastic or similarly stiff but malleable material to reinforce the thumb’s position on the stick. This is extremely important to preventing hyper-extension injuries when it comes to saving that laser beam wind-up shot from the top of the box.
The back of the hand and knuckles are also major points to keep in mind. No one wants to take a ball off the glove, but they especially don’t want this if their glove lacks the added padding to their knuckles.
When it comes to being in goal, it’s not so much a question of if you get hit in the thumb or back of the hand but when. Even all the protection in the world may not prevent a broken digit as users of even the most expensive gloves on our list have pointed out. But, good it can help cut down on the frequency and possibility of such an injury.
2) Comfort & Flexibility
Here comes number two in what to consider—freedom of movement especially when it comes to the hands and wrists is an invaluable quality of a good goalie glove.
Some of the products on our list feature flexible protective padding that only hardens in response to contact giving your hand a bit more mobility and comfort. A snug fit also helps with promoting security during contact and as you move for a save or cock back for a clearing pass.
When it comes to the wrist, companies have been experimenting with adjustable cuffs and even “cuff-less” models. These provide a wider range of motion which is great for those goalies that like to be the ones touching off a fast break or helping out in a set clearance.
As with all protective gear, you want to find a glove that fits your natural movements with as little obstruction as possible but still meets your needs when it comes to protection.
Goalie gloves are a major investment so you want something that will last for multiple seasons and withstand a barrage of contact should need be.
Certain glove models have definitely thrown out the extra frills that can pop up on gloves, things like exterior moldings and snag points that can wear down or break with only a shot or two. It is worth looking into the durability of any extra thumb protection provided by a particular glove you are considering because some products seem built to guard against major contact only once.
A lot of the gloves we covered in our list are newer models so we are not quite aware of how these will stack up three or four seasons down the line. So, it is worth considering the durability and trustworthiness inherent to the usual output of the company you are purchasing a glove from. When in doubt, stick to the top lacrosse brands like STX, Maverik, and Warrior.
Do not overlook the breathability of goalie gloves when finding the best option for you. The last thing any goalie wants is to have their hands soaked in sweat as they try to control their stick on a clearance. It does not feel great and it does not play great either.
Back of hand ventilation is an element you should be looking for in a glove. Any form of tech that will keep the air flowing and recycled around your palms is a huge bonus.
Another major element is the moisture-wicking material. You want something that is breathable and keeps your hands as dry as can be for the most part, especially if you’re playing into the dog days of summer.
In addition to the material around your hand, look to the feel of the palm as well. The gloves above throw out some different types of palms, some sounding a lot more breathable than others. This may not be something you can wrap your brain around until you physically have the glove but is worth keeping in mind if you have the opportunity to try products on.
5) Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are the Holy Grail of our research and worth major consideration before you splurge on goalie gloves.
Do your due diligence and seek out every website and resource you can for some first-hand input on how any of the above four elements are for a given product. Other users can provide actual feedback to the fluffy sounding designs and paddings laid out in a glove’s product listing.
Additionally, reviews can be helpful in finding out any quirks to a glove’s fit or the buying process. Such feedback can be helpful in avoiding the pitfalls that may have ensnared other customers.
And don’t forget to leave your own review for whatever gloves you choose. It’s always good practice to pay it forward.
Find something that fits your budget…this is easier said than done when it comes to goalie gloves but still worthy of consideration.
Always keep in mind that if you’re cutting costs now, you’re likely giving up something in the future, whether it be the durability or extra protection of a more expensive glove. Pinpoint where exactly a product is saving you money and consider the implications of that cost-cutting to your safety and wallet in the long run.
A lot of gloves go on sale in the offseason if you are trying to save a few bucks. Alternatively, you can look for older models of elite gloves to save.
Lacrosse Goalie Glove Size Chart
If you are unsure which size goalie glove to buy, the following table may be able to help you out. This general information comes from Lax.com. I suggest you read the manufacturer's site to see if their size suggestions differ.
You can also print out a glove sizing page that you can place your hand on to see your ideal size here.
Other Lacrosse Goalie Buying Guides
If you found this guide helpful, you may be interested in some of our other goalie gear guides. Here is what we've published so far:
- Best Lacrosse Goalie Gear
- Best Lacrosse Goalie Heads
- Best Lacrosse Goalie Shafts
- Best Lacrosse Goalie Chest Protectors
- Lacrosse Goalie Helmets & Throat Protectors
Photo credit: Flickr