Every once in a while, you’re caught playing lacrosse on one of those chilly spring days. Your fingers can get stiff with the cold and possibly interfer with your stick handling.
To help your hands stay cozy and help you play your best through games and practices, consider a pair of lacrosse gloves.
WHY WEAR THEM?
Gloves, while not typically required outside of the goalie position in women’s and girls’ leagues, can provide protection during game play. They are designed to help guard your hands, can cut down on some of the sting of an opponent’s stick or a renegade ball, and help keep your hands warm, too.
Finally, a good pair of gloves with the right inner lining and added features can also help increase your grip on your stick. This is especially true if your stick is textured.
FEATURES TO LOOK FOR
On the surface, many gloves can seem quite similar. For instance, they’re almost all made of suede with mesh for breathability. But there are some additional features that can set one pair apart from another.
Some models have targeted padding at the knuckles and finger joints. The padding is usually thin, so as not to hinder mobility, but can provide additional protection on the field. As an alternative to traditional foam padding, gel can offer additional protection without weighing you down.
If you’re having trouble keeping your stick steady in your hands, look for gloves with textured palms and fingers at the points of contact with your stick. These can help improve your grip, rain or shine. Alternatively, some models have targeted mesh in those areas designed to help improve your stick control by enhancing feel.
Gloves with mesh can also boost breathability — great for reducing sweat on your palms and odor in the glove. Some models have mesh up and down the sides of the fingers. Others have it along the palm or the back of the hand.
You want your gloves to help improve your grip and stability on the shaft. To do that, they need to fit well. They should be a bit snug at first, but they will wear in after a few uses. At the very least, your fingers must fill out the fingers of the gloves. You’ll still want enough room in the glove that you can get a good grip on the stick, though, so make sure you can comfortably curl your fingers.
Sizes can vary depending on the manufacturer, but some companies include helpful charts on their packaging to help you choose. Generally, though, your gloves will trend close to your normal glove size. When in doubt, opt for the smaller size. You want to make sure the glove fully covers your palm and your fingers are not pushing through the tips.
Most gloves come with an adjustable strap that securess the glove around your wrists, making sure you can get that ideal fit.
Goalies, who take a lot of heat during the game, are required to wear a more protective style glove. When you’re in goal, you’ll want the extra protection offered by increased padding or hardplates along the thumb and back of the hand, as well as an extended wrist guard. While some wear goalie gloves specifically made for women, others opt to wear men’s lacrosse goalie gloves.
With the exception of goalies, women and girls aren’t required to wear gloves, but for certain players they can offer beneficial protection and warmth. The right pair of gloves can help give you a boost of confidence when you hit the field and help you focus on the game.