Focus on Fit – Smaller Hands Need Smaller Gloves
As the youth lacrosse season kicks off, making sure your young player has properly fitted equipment should be a top priority for lacrosse parents. Ill-fitting gear, especially gloves, can hinder your child’s performance and even increase their risk of injury. For younger players with smaller hands, finding lacrosse gloves that offer the right fit is crucial.
Lacrosse gloves help players securely cradle the ball in the stick head while protecting their hands from checks and passes. But gloves that are too big will slip around and lack the snugness needed for excellent ball control. Oversized gloves also leave fingers vulnerable to jams and bruising. On the other hand, gloves that are too small restrict hand movement and flexibility, also affecting ball handling.
So how can you ensure your pint-sized player gets gloves tailored to the size of their hands? Here are some top tips for finding the perfect youth lacrosse gloves this season:
Measure Hand Size
The starting point for dialing in lacrosse glove fit is measuring your child’s hand size. Have them spread their hand out on a flat surface and measure across the widest part of the palm in inches. Compare this measurement to sizing charts from top lacrosse gear brands to find the right fit.
Youth glove sizes generally range from 8 inches to 11+ inches. Many brands offer half sizes as well for an even more customized fit. For young kids under age 7 or 8, look for gloves in the 8-9 inch range. Older youth players may need 10-11 inch gloves depending on their hand size.
Prioritize Palm Width
Pay special attention to palm width when choosing gloves. A glove palm that is too narrow will feel uncomfortable and restrict flexibility. Go for a wider palm design sized specifically for smaller hands. Brands like Warrior, Maverik, and Brine all offer youth fits with wider palms and smaller fingers.
The cuff area also factors into overall fit. Cuffs that are too loose won’t provide enough wrist support while overly tight cuffs limit mobility. Seek out gloves touting adjustable cuffs to help dial in the right snugness.
Try Before You Buy
Because every player’s hands are slightly different, trying on lacrosse gloves in person is the best way to assess fit. Visit your local lacrosse specialty store and have your young athlete try on multiple glove sizes and brands. This lets them get a feel for the fit and flexibility of different options.
Have them hold a stick while wearing the gloves and simulate cradling, scooping ground balls, and passing. The glove should move with their hand yet deliver a tight fit through the fingers and palm. If you can only order gloves online, review sizing charts carefully and order 1-2 sizes to try. Send back what doesn’t fit!
Focus on Features
Youth lacrosse gloves tailored for smaller hands also incorporate other specialized features to enhance fit, flexibility, and performance.
Look for gloves made with flexible materials able to move with young hands. Spandex blends, segmented or articulated finger construction, and four-way stretch palm linings are ideal. Thinner gloves and those with perforated palms and cuffs also promote airflow and mobility.
Consider gloves with added palm protection such as extra foam or reinforced padding. This cushions impacts from catches and checks. Some youth gloves also have extended palm wraps to protect wrist joints.
Shop Top Youth Glove Brands
All the top lacrosse gear companies offer gloves specially designed for younger players. Here are some of the leading youth glove options for 2023:
- Warrior Burn Junior: Featuring the brand’s Slidetex palm lining for flexibility plus extended wrap-around cuffs.
- Maverik Rome NXT Youth: Articulated TrueFeel 2.0 liner and widened palm design enhance fit.
- STX Stallion Youth: Mesh back improves ventilation and mobility.
- Brine Octane Junior: Quad-stretch fabric for maximum dexterity.
- Nike Vapor Jet Youth: Anatomical elastic cuff pocket improves secure fit.
For players with smaller hands just starting out in the sport, cascade also offers an affordable R Junior glove with a stretch mesh back.
Replace Gloves Annually
Because young player’s hands grow rapidly, lacrosse gloves should be replaced yearly. Don’t just size up this year’s gloves. Look for new gloves sized specifically for your child’s current hand measurements for optimal fit and performance.
Ill-fitting gloves are a common issue for young lacrosse athletes but one that’s easy to rectify. By taking hand measurements, prioritizing fit features, and selecting the right youth glove model, you can ensure your young player takes the field this season with gloves that help – not hinder – their development.
High Quality Materials – Durable Leather Provides Protection
As a lacrosse parent, you want your child to have gear that enhances their performance and provides maximum protection on the field. Quality and durability should be top priorities when choosing lacrosse gloves for your young athlete.
Lacrosse is a rough, high-contact sport. Even youth players face tough physicality like stick checks, errant passes, and hard-thrown balls. The right gloves can help deflect and absorb these impacts while allowing players to securely cradle and handle the ball.
When shopping for youth lacrosse gloves this season, be sure to inspect the materials used. Higher grade leathers and smart protective padding make a real difference in glove performance and safety.
Why Leather Matters
The palm, fingers, and back of the hand take the most abuse in lacrosse. Leather offers an ideal protective barrier in these high-wear areas. Premium leathers stand up to routine contact over a full season of play.
Full-grain leather palms give gloves structural integrity to maintain their shape and snug fit after repeated impacts. Leather fingers provide abrasion resistance from scooping ground balls. Durable leather backs shield the hands from routine checks.
In addition to strength, quality leather gloves offer improved “feel” for cradling and ball control. The tackiness of leather palms gives players a better grip on the stick shaft and ball.
Palm Padding for Protection
Reinforced padding in the palm boosts the protective qualities of lacrosse gloves. Extra foam or added stitching in key palm zones helps absorb intense vibrations and diffuse impact forces.
Look for gloves with memory foam or extra padding across the heel of the palm to protect the vulnerable wrist joint. Padding at the base of the thumb and padding between the palm and fingers also enhances protection.
While palm padding adds cushioning, it shouldn’t restrict flexibility. Seek gloves with strategically placed padding that doesn’t hamper hand movement or feel.
Ventilated, Flexible Materials
While leather palms enhance gloved protection and performance, flexible and breathable materials are ideal for glove backs and liner
Mesh backs allow air to flow through gloves to keep player’s hands cool and dry. Four-way stretch lining materials like spandex or Lycra move naturally with player’s hands for unrestricted mobility.
Some youth gloves feature perforated palms, cuffs, or finger gussets to offer both protection and breathability. Articulated fingers sewn with segmenting seams also improve finger dexterity.
Durability Over Time
Youth lacrosse players are tough on their gloves! Look for stitching, materials, and construction built to withstand rugged play. Avoid lower-cost all vinyl or synthetic gloves prone to rips, tears, and diminished performance over a season.
Reinforced double stitching on seams adds structural integrity. Durable cuff closures stay secure but are easy for young players to fasten and adjust themselves.
Washable glove materials allow you to regularly clean gloves to maintain optimal grip and feel. Some leathers require occasional reconditioning treatments to maintain suppleness.
Trusted Brands Use Quality Materials
The top lacrosse gear manufacturers consistently utilize high-performance materials and protective padding in their youth gloves. Brands like Maverik, STX, Brine, Nike, and Warrior offer durable leather and reinforced padding in their youth glove lines. Some models to consider include:
- Maverik Rome Youth Gloves: Premium leather palms plus TacticalShield padding.
- STX Stallion 100 Youth: Full grain leather construction with vented back.
- Warrior Regulator Youth: Flexible Spandex cuff and Flexpoint thumb.
- Brine King Youth: Poron XRD foam palm padding for protection.
- Nike Vapor Jet: Leather palm with mesh fingers and back for breathability.
While these big brands offer proven and protective materials, also look at gloves from upstart companies like Epoch and StringKing who bring material innovation to their designs.
Replace Gloves Yearly
Even the most durable lacrosse gloves wear down over a season of youth play. Expect to replace gloves annually as materials break down and palms wear smooth. Give your player fresh gloves each season for optimum protection and performance.
Don’t settle for lacrosse gloves made with flimsy all-vinyl palms, thin padding, or cheap materials prone to tearing. Seek out gloves constructed from quality leathers, smart protective padding, and flexible breathable materials. Premium materials provide the safeguarding and responsiveness growing young players need to take their game to the next level.
Wrist Support – Essential for Avoiding Injury
As a fast-paced, high-contact sport, lacrosse poses many potential injury risks. For young players, wrist and hand injuries are among the most common. The right pair of protective gloves can help minimize these risks.
A leading cause of wrist injuries in lacrosse is overextension. This occurs when the hand bends back farther than its normal range of motion. It happens frequently when cradling and passing the ball.
Tight gloves with adequate wrist support help stabilize youth players’ wrists and prevent overextension. Snug-fitting cuffs are crucial for injury prevention.
Cushioning Reduces Impact
Lacrosse gloves act as shock absorbers, helping soften the blows hands take over the course of a game or practice. Padded palms diffuse and distribute impact forces.
For the vulnerable wrist joint, look for extra foam padding or additional seams around the inside cuff. This boosts protection to the delicate wrist bones most prone to bruising.
Cushioning around the thumb and back of the hand also contributes to impact absorption. Lightweight Poron or D30 foams offer excellent cushioning without bulky thickness.
Snug Fit Prevents Slippage
A secure glove fit is crucial for injury prevention. Gloves that are too loose will slide around the hand when playing, leading to potential jams and sprains.
For smaller youth hands, seek out gloves with adjustable cuffs to create a custom fit. Traditional hook-and-loop closures allow easy adjustability. Some brands now offer innovative self-fitting cuffs as well.
A snug wrist helps keep the gloves anchored in place even during rapid hand movements. This stable fit provides key wrist support when scooping, cradling, or catching passes.
Flexible Construction, Responsive Feel
While wrist support is vital, lacrosse gloves must also flex and move freely with a player’s hands. Excessively rigid gloves restrict motion and feel.
Flexible four-way stretch liner materials allow gloves to move naturally with the contours of players’ hands. Mesh or perforated backs aid ventilation and mobility.
Articulated fingers with pre-curved shaping and segmenting seams optimize finger dexterity as well. This responsiveness translates into enhanced ball control.
Length Protects Forearm
For complete arm protection, optimal wrist support extends upward toward the forearm. Longer cuffs shield more of this vulnerable area.
Many youth lacrosse gloves feature extended wrap-around cuffs for extra coverage. Added adjustable straps on some gloves let players customize forearm protection.
Full forearm padding is not permitted for youth players, so extended glove cuffs help provide that extra guarding.
Brands Tuned for Youth Wrists
All the major lacrosse gear companies engineer wrist support into their youth glove models. Some notable options include:
- Brine Octane Junior: Fixed cuff with extended wrap for stability.
- Warrior Rabil Youth: Flexible cuff with adjustable hook-and-loop strap.
- Maverik Rome NXT: Self-fitting Flex cuff adapts to wrist size.
- Nike Vapor Jet Youth: Anatomical cuff pocket improves secure fit.
- STX Stallion 100 Youth: Injection molded foam protection.
Upstart glove brands like Epoch and StringKing also emphasize adjustable wrist support in their youth lines. Trying on different glove makes in person allows players to get a feel for the right level of flexibility and security.
Replace Gloves Yearly
Lacrosse gloves lose their supportive qualities over time as materials break down. For growing young athletes, replace gloves at least annually to ensure proper wrist stability.
Don’t overlook the importance of proper wrist support in youth lacrosse gloves. A stable, adjustable fit works hand in hand with protective padding to help young players avoid painful wrist and hand injuries. Invest in quality gloves providing flexibility along with security right where players need it most.
Palm Padding – Absorbs Impact from Catches
As a fast-paced contact sport, lacrosse exposes players’ hands to repeated impacts from scooping, catching, and cradling. Palm padding in lacrosse gloves helps diffuse and absorb these forces before they reach young athletes’ hands.
The palm area takes the brunt of vibration and shock from snagging passes, batting checked sticks, and scooping up ground balls. Extra foam cushioning in key palm zones provides protection.
When shopping for youth gloves, pay close attention to the quality and placement of palm padding. Reinforced padding makes a real difference in deflecting impacts away from growing players’ hands.
Targeted Padding Placement
For the best protection, palm padding should extend across the entire glove palm including the fingers, heel, and thumb. Padding only in the center of the palm leaves some areas exposed.
Also look for gloves with extra padding segments in the upper palm and along the outer palm by the pinky finger. These zones help diffuse forces from checks.
The wrist joint is particularly vulnerable to bruising. Seek out gloves with additional padding at the base of the palm surrounding the inner wrist for added protection.
Padding needs the right density and materials to effectively absorb impacts. Softer, shock-dispersing foams work better than hard pads.
Many gloves use lightweight EVA or PE foams to cushion palms. Higher-end options may incorporate advanced materials like Poron XRD or D30 that offer superior shock absorption and rebound.
Mesh or perforated padding also allows airflow to keep palms cool and dry while providing protection.
Balancing Padding and Feel
Extra padding cushions hands but can’t overly restrict flexibility or feel. Bulky pads make it hard to grip the
Here is a 1000 word article on the importance of ventilation in youth lacrosse gloves:
Ventilation – Keeps Hands Cool and Dry
When shopping for youth lacrosse gloves, breathability is a key factor many parents overlook. Proper ventilation keeps young players’ hands cool, dry, and comfortable even during intense games and practices.
Lacrosse is a spring and summer sport played primarily in warm weather. Sweaty hands lead to decreased grip, wasted energy, and overall distraction. Breathable gloves enhance performance.
Moisture-wicking liner materials and vented glove backs allow air to flow through the gloves and evaporate sweat. Well-ventilated gloves ultimately lead to increased stamina and better ball control.
Ventilation helps lacrosse gloves maintain an ideal internal temperature for active young hands. Excess heat causes fatigue, reduced dexterity, and sweat build-up.
Mesh backs with punched ventilation holes encourage air circulation. Spandex and stretch nylon liner fabrics draw sweat off the skin and transport it outward. Many youth gloves also feature perforated palms or cuffs.
Vented gloves regulate temperature by releasing heat. Players exert less energy fighting glove heat and stay energized longer.
Nothing impacts ball handling more than wet, slippery hands. Ventilated gloves help players maintain a controlled grip on their sticks for better cradling, scooping, passing, and shooting.
Moisture-wicking liners pull sweat away from the palm, while mesh backs evaporate excess moisture. Glove palms stay drier for better traction and control.
Ventilation minimizes the need to re-chalk sticks during games and allows players to keep a focused handle on play at all times.
Aside from performance benefits, breathable gloves simply feel better on young players’ hands. Kids notice overheating and sweaty gloves much more than adults.
Ventilation reduces irritation, discomfort, and distraction. Players can focus on competing rather than being bothered by their gloves. This allows them to better sustain energy and remain dialed into games.
Materials that Breathe
Many materials used in modern lacrosse gloves promote airflow and cooling. Some key options include:
- Mesh backs allow maximum ventilation.
- 4-way stretch fabrics like spandex or Lycra wick away moisture.
- Perforated palms, fingers, and cuffs provide ventilation zones.
- Lightweight synthetic leather breathes better than natural leather.
Even robust leathers can be manufactured with perforations or laser-cut holes to aid breathability while maintaining durability.
Youth Glove Ventilation Features
All the leading youth glove makers incorporate ventilation into their designs. Some standout options include:
- Brine Octane Junior: Airflow gussets between fingers.
- Maverik Rome NXT: Perforated palm and TruVent mesh back.
- Nike VPR Youth: Mesh fingers paired with leather palm.
- STX Stallion 100: Full mesh back for maximum airflow.
- Warrior Regulator Youth: Ventilated neoprene cuff.
Let young players try on different gloves to feel the ventilation firsthand. Breathability impacts comfort and helps maximize performance.
Ventilation Extends Glove Life
Proper airflow also keeps gloves smelling fresh! Well-ventilated gloves resist bacterial buildup and odors longer. Take steps to keep gloves clean and sanitize them regularly.
Don’t overlook glove ventilation when equipping your young lacrosse athlete. Cool, dry hands enhance grip, control, endurance and focus. Breathable gloves help inspire your child’s best play on the field.
Aesthetics – Fun Colors and Graphics Inspire Players
While fit, protection, and performance take priority in lacrosse gloves, let’s not overlook the power of aesthetics. Vibrant colors and bold graphics help get young players excited about taking the field.
For youth athletes, a glove’s appearance creates an emotional response that impacts motivation and confidence. When gloves look and feel good, players are eager to put them on and show them off.
Today’s top lacrosse brands offer youth gloves in a wide range of stylish color schemes, prints, and visual elements. The right aesthetics help inspire your young athlete’s passion for the sport.
Customization Reflects Personality
Youth lacrosse gloves with energetic, youthful graphics allow players to showcase a bit of personality on the field. Dynamic color combinations help them stand out.
Options like personalized name embroidery and number prints enable customization. Young athletes take pride in gear that feels unique to them.
Some brands offer completely customizable gloves through online design studios. Letting players create their own one-of-a-kind aesthetic engages them more deeply in the product.
Bright Colors Instill Confidence
Eye-catching lacrosse gloves in bold secondary colors like orange, neon green, and bright pink infuse young players with motivation and self-assurance.
Vibrant gloves help kids feel like superheroes dashing around the field. Bright colors create excitement and energize performance.
Bold youthful shades also aid visibility. Seeing their gloves flash helps build kids’ confidence handling the ball and moving it quickly around the field.
Cool Graphics Spark Inspiration
Dynamic lacrosse gloves sporting iconic prints and graphics ignite young imaginations. Players love edgy emblems, camo flag patterns, and images of favorite pro players.
Today’s gloves feature everything from superhero logos to retro club prints. Graphic accents on palms or cuffs add stylistic flourish.
Visually compelling gloves make the sport come alive. Cool graphics help motivate kids and get them fired up to compete.
Team Pride Appeals to Young Athletes
For team-oriented youth players, gloves showing team spirit resonate strongly. Youth lacrosse gloves in team colors or featuring a mascot build unity.
Matching team gloves create a sense of togetherness. Players feel like part of a family working toward shared goals on the field.
Limited edition gloves in special team colors or prints add exclusivity. Players feel like part of an elite squad.
Notable Youth Glove Aesthetics
Leading lacrosse companies create fresh new looks annually that capture young players’ imaginations. Some current youth gloves with standout aesthetics include:
- Brine Octane Junior: Available in 10 vivid colors with sparkle accents.
- Cascade R Junior: Bold prints like DigiCamo, Circuit Board, and Shark.
- Maverik Rome NXT: High energy colors and unique Speed graphic.
- Nike Vapor: Wide range of vibrant colors and prints.
- Warrior Regulator: Comic book and superhero inspired graphics.
Let players browse all the options to find gloves with looks that excite them. Their inspiration fuels better performance on the field.
Change Designs to Maintain Excitement
To keep engagement high, consider switching up glove colors and graphics season to season. This maintains the freshness kids appreciate.
While core fundamentals like fit and protection set young athletes up for success on the field, don’t underestimate the power of aesthetics. Fun, energetic lacrosse gloves ignite passion in developing players.
Brand Reputation – Trusted Names Like Warrior and STX
When investing in lacrosse gloves for your young athlete, brand reputation counts. Established gear companies with proven track records for performance and protection should top your list.
Lacrosse has exploded in popularity over the last decade, sparking an influx of equipment brands. But household names like Warrior, STX, and Maverik still lead the way in glove innovation and technology.
Their cutting-edge gloves undergo rigorous testing and development to ensure top-notch quality and durability. Trust these veteran brands to keep your child’s hands safe.
Heritage lacrosse brands design gloves able to withstand the rigors of youth play. Advanced leathers, padding materials, and construction techniques yield supremely durable gloves.
Warrior leverages insights from its baseball glove business to build reinforced palms and fingers able to take abuse. Maverik pioneers materials like D30 foam that dissipate high-impact forces.
Established brands field test gloves under real game conditions to guarantee resilience and longevity product-wide.
Innovative Protective Features
Drawing from decades of glove engineering, leading brands incorporate the latest protective features into youth models.
STX injects high-grade foam into glove palms for impenetrable cushioning. Brine extends its gloves’ cuffs high into the forearm to protect developing joints.
Established lacrosse brands stay on the cutting-edge of safety technologies to keep your young athlete’s hands safe in any situation.
True Fit Consistency
Through years of data collection, renowned brands have mastered consistent glove sizing to ensure accurate fit.
Warrior glove sizes correspond directly across all models for reliable hand matching. Maverik’s FitCore sizing system aligns glove dimensions for precision fitting.
Leading brands fine-tune lasts and molds over time so you can trust their size charts for a great fit.
Attention to Detail
Veteran gear makers sweat the small stuff when engineering lacrosse gloves, like strategically placing padding and streamlining seams.
Cascade anchors all embroidered elements for a clean game-ready look. Epoch adds silicone grips on cuffs to secure arm guards in place.
Established brands possess the experience to get the little things right for better comfort, fit, and performance.
Youth Gloves from the Pros
For youths following the pro game, gloves from major brands endorsed by the sport’s elite resonate strongly.
Brine’s Octane Junior gloves mirror designs worn by top stars like Connor Fields and Matt Rambo. STX’s Stallion Youth takes cues from the acclaimed Stallion 500 pro glove.
When players recognize a brand from the pros they look up to, product appeal and trust grow.
Leading Youth Glove Brands
Some of the most proven and prominent names in lacrosse gear that offer advanced youth glove options include:
- Warrior – Regulator Youth and Burn Junior gloves
- STX – Stallion 100 Youth and Cell Youth gloves
- Maverik – Rome NXT Youth and Max Youth gloves
- Brine – Octane Junior and King Youth III gloves
- Nike – Vapor Jet Youth and Vapor Elite Youth gloves
While less familiar upstart brands may offer budget-friendly gloves, established brands’ reputation for quality and innovation makes them a smart long-term investment.
Budget – Great Gloves Available at Every Price Point
Finding high-performance lacrosse gloves tailored for smaller youth hands doesn’t have to break your budget. All the top brands now offer entry-level gloves packed with features at affordable price points.
In today’s market, advanced glove technologies like proprietary leathers, 3D-molded palms, and adjustable cuffs filter down to value-minded models quicker than ever.
Choosing the right lacrosse gloves involves balancing protection, comfort, and flexibility. But you can get all that for under $50 if you know what to look for.
Palm Protection Priorities
Focus first on glove palms when assessing budget options. Reinforced padding here cushions checks and absorbs vibrations.
Basic synthetic leathers or padded Nash palm material offer robust palm defense at low costs. Multi-layer foam or added stitching boosts padding strength.
Palm protection compromises handling, so ensure budget gloves still deliver a natural feel.
Cuff Closure and Adjustability
Even entry-level gloves should include an adjustable cuff closure for a secure fit. Traditional hook-and-loop straps allow custom tuning.
Some brands now engineered innovative self-fitting cuffs without closures to cut costs. But adjustable closures help fine-tune the fit and remain worth the minor added cost.
Mesh Backs Enhance Airflow
Full mesh backs with perforated palms and fingers provide ventilation without adding expense. Breathability prevents overheating and slippery hands.
While premium gloves may use high-tech lightweight German mesh, basic nylon mesh backs work fine for airflow and flexibility in budget gloves.
Simplified Finger Construction
Articulated fingers with segmented seams and pre-curved shaping optimize fit and feel but raise costs. Single-piece fingers simplify construction.
Though not as contour-hugging, single-piece fingers still allow solid flexibility in affordable gloves. Reinforced index fingers enhance durability.
Notable Budget Youth Gloves
Leading lacrosse brands now offer low-cost gloves with excellent protection and playability:
- Warrior Rabil 2 Youth – Under $50
- Brine King III Youth – Under $40
- STX Cell 100 Youth – Around $30
- Maverik Charger Youth – Under $50
- Nike Vapor Lite Youth – Around $35
Cascade’s R Junior glove also provides a quality youth fit for under $30. Newer brands like Epoch and StringKing also offer budget-friendly tiers.
Shop End of Season Sales
Check for last year’s glove models on clearance when shopping. Sites like LacrosseMonkey routinely run discount promotions.
Older gloves often get discounted up to 60% off but still deliver ample protection and playability.
While prioritizing safety, don’t overspend on features your young player may not fully utilize. Get the key protective elements while staying budget-conscious.
Position Specific – Goalie and Field Gloves Differ
Lacrosse gloves serve unique functions for different playing positions. Goalies in particular require specialized gloves tuned for their unique needs in net.
While field players focus on dexterity and ball control, goalie gloves prioritize padding and impact absorption. The added protection helps them withstand repeated ball strikes.
For parents of aspiring young goalies, be sure to choose gloves designed specifically for the rigors of the position. Don’t just opt for oversized field gloves.
Added Padding in Key Zones
Youth goalie gloves feature extra foam or stacked padding layers across the entire palm, fingers, and thumb to diffuse ball impact.
Dense cushioning on the inside edge of the thumb and pointer finger provide padding at common ball impact points. Added foam across the back of the hand protects against long-range shots.
Superior padding in goalie gloves reduces sting and allows young goalies to stay focused after hard saves.
Thermal Plastic Rubber (TPR)
TPR plastic on the outside edges of goalie glove fingers provides an extra layer of durable shielding against ball strikes. This added protection is not legal for field players.
TPR doesn’t inhibit flexibility like traditional plastic. It moves with fingers to allow goalies to maintain control while flicking away shots.
Reinforced Palms and Thumb
Goalie gloves feature added material reinforcements across the entire palm and inside thumbs to prevent blowout and tearing.
Synthetics like ballistic nylon or extra full-grain leather provide supreme durability to withstand the demands of goalie play.
The palm and thumb see the most wear and tear as goalies direct balls away, so extra reinforcements are essential.
While field gloves employ minimalist segmented fingers, goalie gloves utilize pre-molded curved fingers for superior protection.
The pre-shaped contouring allows for a closer fit to provide full finger and knuckle coverage. Curved fingers stay protected as goalies reach to make difficult saves.
A shot to an unprotected wrist can sideline a goalie. Specialized goalie gloves integrate extra foam or plastic shields into the cuff to protect this vulnerable area.
Full forearm guards are prohibited for youth players, so heavy cuff padding is essential for young goalies. It improves confidence making saves down around the feet.
Leading Youth Goalie Glove Options
All major lacrosse brands offer goalie-specific gloves for youth players including:
- Warrior Nemesis Youth Goalie Glove
- Maverik Rome NXT Goalie Glove
- STX Shield 100 Youth Goalie Glove
- Brine King Goalie Glove
- Cascade R Junior Goalie Glove
Let your young goalie try on options to find the right fit. Goalie glove size often runs slightly larger than field gloves.
Investing in goalie-specific gloves gives aspiring youth netminders the protection and confidence needed to excel at one of lacrosse’s most demanding positions.
Where to Buy – Lacrosse Specialty Stores Best Option
So you’ve done your homework and decided on the right pair of lacrosse gloves for your young athlete. But where’s the best place to purchase them?
While big box sporting goods stores carry popular gloves, lacrosse specialty retailers offer far deeper selection from top brands. Their expertise can prove invaluable for finding the ideal gloves.
Visiting a store dedicated to lacrosse gear ensures proper glove sizing and customized fittings. Take advantage of knowledgeable staff to make the right choice.
Wider Gear Selection
Lacrosse pure play stores stock gloves from all the major brands like Warrior, Maverik, STX, Brine, and Nike. Shelves overflow with the latest models and colors.
Specialty stores also carry gloves from smaller upstarts like Epoch and StringKing not found in mainstream retailers. More choices make it easier to find the perfect pair.
A broader selection of gloves in different sizes, cuts, and protection levels facilitates comparing fit and flexibility across top brands.
Skill Level and Position Specific
Leading lacrosse stores organize gloves by youth, high school, college, and pro levels. Further segmenting by attack, midfield, defense, and goalie simplifies shopping by position.
Staff expertise guides you to gloves tailored for your player’s age, skill level, and needs on the field. Get the right amount of protection and dexterity.
Try Before You Buy
No digital sizing chart beats slipping on gloves to assess fit and feel. At lacrosse stores, players can try on multiple sizes and brands to determine what works best.
Test flexibility by mimicking cradling and scooping motions. Ensure ample fingertip reach within gloves for gripping crosses. Verify a snug, secure fit across the palms and wrist cuff.
Specialty shops encourage hands-on testing for confidence in purchasing the optimal gloves.
Proper Sizing Guidance
An experienced lacrosse salesperson simplifies the fitting process by measuring your child’s hand and bringing suitable options to sample.
Staff can diagnose fit issues with current gloves and explain sizing nuances among brands. Let them guide glove selection based on factors like hand measurements and playing position.
Lacrosse Community Hub
Beyond purchasing gear, lacrosse shops serve as community hubs for meeting fellow players and bonding over the sport.
Youth players get inspired seeing walls plastered with college and pro stars. Equipment expertise gets shared player to player.
Specialty retailers fuel the passion that makes lacrosse such a unique lifestyle sport.
Leading Lacrosse Specialty Stores
Some of the top national chains dedicated to lacrosse include:
- Lacrosse Unlimited
- Lacrosse Monkey
- Lax World
Nearly every region also boasts smaller independent shops catering to local lacrosse communities. Search for well-reviewed options in your area.
For the best glove selection and service, head to specialty retailers steeped in lacrosse expertise. The right gloves get your young athlete’s season off to a flying start.
Try Before You Buy – Ensure Proper Fit In-Store
Finding just the right pair of lacrosse gloves for your young athlete starts with sampling sizes and models firsthand. Never rely solely on a website’s sizing chart to determine fit—always try gloves on in-store.
Because every player’s hands differ slightly, testing out gloves remains the only way to truly assess comfort, flexibility and protection. Stores allow all the sensory feedback needed to make the optimal choice.
Take advantage of lacrosse shops’ try-before-you-buy policies. Don’t order gloves sight unseen—visit a store and put top options through their paces.
Assess Overall Fit and Feel
Beyond just length and palm width, in-store sampling lets players gauge overall glove contouring and snugness.
Do the fingers extend properly or pinch off? Does hand flex cause binding or restriction? Is the palm loose or tight across motion zones?
Trying gloves mimicking gameplay arm motions tests total fit better than just static hand insertion.
Determine Finger Dexterity
Subtleties like finger segmenting and pre-curve shaping hugely impact lacrosse gloves’ flexibility. But you can’t assess finger dexterity just looking at pictures online.
In-store, have your young athlete flex each finger independently and make a fist to evaluate overall ease of motion. Ensure no finger jamming or resistance through the gloves’ full range.
Evaluate Grip and Touch
The texture and tackiness of glove palms and fingers factor into handling and control. Different leathers and materials create differing grip feels.
At stores, players can cradles sticks and handle balls to compare gloves’ grip. Soft, supple palms with some grab offer ideal playability.
Test Cuff Security
If lacrosse gloves are to provide wrist stability, the cuff area must anchor firmly without slipping. Stores allow cuff inspection.
Pull gloves tight across the wrist and flex to verify ample fastening and tension. Cuffs that rotate or loosen may sacrifice support.
Verify Palm Protection
Don’t assume all lacrosse gloves offer equal palm padding. At stores, press into gloves’ palms to compare cushioning density.
Heavier foam padding or added shielding provides superior shock absorption. Analyze padding placement as well in key areas.
Feel the Ventilation
Breathable mesh backs make a huge comfort difference, but don’t show up in online images. Trying gloves permits ventilation assessment.
Mesh flexibility and porousness can vary glove to glove. Prioritize ample airflow to keep young hands cool and dry.
Sample Multiple Brands and Models
Each lacrosse glove maker utilizes proprietary lasts, cuts, and design elements. Stores allow sampling across top brands like Maverik, STX, Warrior, Brine, Cascade.
Don’t limit options before determining the right combination of fit, feel, and features. Try gloves at multiple price points as well.
For confident purchasing, visit a store and try on gloves. Don’t compromise comfort or protection by blindly ordering a model unseen online.
Read Reviews – Learn from Other Players’ Experiences
Before purchasing lacrosse gloves for your young athlete, read reviews to gather insights from those who’ve tested them in action. Fellow players’ perspectives help determine which gloves best meet your needs.
Look beyond just marketing claims and specifications. Actual users highlight positives and negatives you can’t glean from simple features lists or product photos.
Reviews identify shortcomings around sizing, durability, and comfort. They also validate which gloves deliver on promised protection and playability in real gameplay.
Reviews provide sizing wisdom to identify potential glove models that run small or large. This narrows choices and helps select the right fit.
Players note difficulties getting the right hand snugness with certain gloves. Reviews flag sizing outlier models compared to category norms.
Fit and Comfort Feedback
Beyond just scale, reviews spotlight gloves’ overall contouring, flexibility and feel during play. Comfort gets discussed.
Gloves with cramped fingers or loose palms get revealed. Reviews identify models offering unrestricted hand motion and responsive grip.
Don’t overlook the importance of long-term glove durability, especially for active youth players. Reviews assess longevity.
Expect some palm wear over time, but gloves shouldn’t lose shape or see premature ripping. Reviews flag if certain models underperform.
Reviews verify if gloves deliver as promised cushioning hard checks and absorbing sting. This safety reassurance is invaluable.
First-hand accounts detail how well palm and wrist padding shielded hands from harm. More reviews equal more confidence.
Marketing hype won’t reveal a glove’s true on-field handling and ball control. Players’ reviews shed insights here.
Responsiveness during cradling, scooping, passing, and shooting all get reported. Reviews confirm which gloves become “second skin.”
Because they endure unique demands, goalie glove reviews warrant special attention. Durability and sting suppression are paramount.
Reviews by fellow goalies reveal if gloves withstand high-velocity shots over time. Padding effectiveness and cuff protection also get discussed.
Read plenty of reviews across retailers, forums and lacrosse sites. Filter to youth glove experiences as needed. Let others’ gloves wisdom guide you to the ideal pair.
Compare Features – Understand Differences Between Models
With so many youth lacrosse gloves available from top brands, it helps to compare features across models to make the optimal choice for your young athlete.
Move beyond just assessing fit and feel. Dive into the materials, construction techniques and technologies that set gloves apart.
Factor in your player’s position, skill level and needs on the field. Not all features matter equally for every young athlete and play style.
Palm Materials and Padding
Palm padding construction varies glove to glove even within the same brand. Compare not just padding amount but foam density, layering methods and materials used.
Multi-layer palm padding better diffuses vibrations from checks. Variable pad thickness in key zones boosts protection.
Basic single-piece fingers offer decent flexibility, but segmented and pre-curved articulated constructions allow more natural motion for enhanced ball control.
Look for features like memory foam inserts, air vents or gussets between fingers. Neoprene finger sidewalls optimize fit.
Extending palm padding up onto the back of the hand guards developing wrists from hack checks. Not all youth gloves integrate this extra protection.
Compare coverage area and material used—stretch mesh for mobility or dense foam for cushioning. Added shields defend knuckles.
Basic cuffs secure with hook-and-loop flaps, but some models employ innovative closureless or self-fitting cuffs. Compare adjustability range and forearm coverage.
Foam or plastic wrist shields boost protection for goalies. Check for middle cuff flexibility to prevent jamming.
Mesh glove backs encourage airflow, but compare additional ventilation features like perforated palms, cuffs or fingers. These purposeful perforations enhance breathability.
Vented gussets between fingers and articulated joints also improve moisture dissipation and temperature regulation.
Premium leather palms enhance durability and feel, but newer synthetics mimic leathers’ performance at lower costs. Compare full glove material breakdowns.
Stretch fabrics like spandex or neoprene boost flexibility and movement. Antimicrobial liner treatments reduce odor buildup.
Vibrant colors and bold prints motivate young players, so compare gloves’ aesthetic visual elements beyond basic colorways.
Striking accents and design flairs add excitement. Unique palm prints provide grip and style.
Balancing features and cost remains key. Prioritize protection and fit over frontrunner fanciness. Compare materials justifying higher price points.
Let your young player test top contenders on-field to determine which features they really need. Optimize bang for buck.
Care Instructions – Proper Maintenance Maximizes Life
Investing in high-quality youth lacrosse gloves represents a significant purchase. Properly caring for gloves extends their lifespan and retains optimal performance.
Basic glove maintenance allows you to get the most bang for your buck. A few simple habits keep gloves playing and protecting like new.
Following brand-specific care guidelines maintains material integrity and helps young players get the most out of their gloves season to season.
Before storage, gently wipe down gloves to remove accumulated dirt and debris. Use a damp cloth with mild detergent or specialized glove cleaner.
Spot clean heavily soiled areas. Getting gloves crisp white again may take some elbow grease. Allow to fully air dry before packing away.
Regular disinfecting inhibits bacteria growth and minimizes glove odor. Sanitize inside and out with antimicrobial sprays or wipes.
Non-scented baby wipes work well for a quick disinfecting between games. Follow any brand cleaning guidelines.
Keep Gloves Dry
Moisture damages glove materials and promotes mold. Thoroughly dry gloves instead of shoving them wet into a cramped bag.
Insert crumpled newspaper inside to absorb interior dampness. Let air dry fully extended instead of tightly packed.
Over time, leather and synthetic palms get dry and brittle. Regular reconditioning restores suppleness and tackiness.
Massage special conditioners into glove palms per product instructions. This revitalizes grip and feel.
Inspect for Damage
Routinely inspect youth gloves for wear and tear. Catching problems early better protects developing hands.
Look for rips, loose stitching, or padding coming unglued. Repair small holes with glove tape before they expand.
For prolonged off-season storage, thoroughly clean and recondition gloves before stowing away.
Keep stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sun, moisture, and extreme temperatures. Loose packing retains shape.
Break-In New Gloves
Gently working new gloves speeds the break-in process. Periodically flex palms and fingers before first use.
Hit a ball pocket with soft balls to pre-form shape. Don’t play an entire game in stiff, unbroken-in gloves.
Avoid Heat and Direct Sun
Excessive heat can damage glove materials and shorten life. Never leave gloves baking inside hot cars.
Prolonged sun exposure can also fade colors and weaken materials. Keep stored away from direct sunlight.
With some basic care, youth gloves easily deliver multiple seasons of trusted protection and performance for your young athlete.
Right Size Matters – Pick Gloves Based on Hand Size
Finding the right lacrosse gloves for your young athlete starts with determining the optimal size based on their unique hand measurements.
Youth hands come in all different shapes and sizes. Don’t rely on age or height to pick gloves. Use each player’s exact hand size for precision fitting.
Well-fitted gloves allow for natural flexing and movement while providing a secure, protective feel. Size right for both performance and safety.
Measure Hand Size
Have your child spread their hand on a flat surface, fingers together. Measure across the widest part of the palm in inches to get hand size.
For greatest accuracy, capture hand dimensions at the end of the season when hands are larger after months of play and growth.
Consult Size Charts
Leading lacrosse brands provide detailed glove sizing charts matching hand measurements to recommended sizes. Find these on company websites or product packaging.
While general sizing ranges exist, individual brand scales differ slightly. Always reference each maker’s specific chart.
Try On Gloves In-Store
Even after measuring, have your young athlete try on suggested gloves in person before purchasing. Everyone’s hands vary uniquely.
Trying gloves on validates comfort, flexibility and protection based on exact hand contours, not just scale. Fine-tune fit at home if needed.
Prioritize Palm Width
Focus first on getting palm width right when determining size. Palms too narrow restrict motion while loose palms lack security.
Gloves sized up may fit length-wise but cause palm looseness. Scale down until palm snugly fits across hand.
Allow Finger Length Clearance
Adequate finger clearance ensures flexibility without jamming. Measure finger length versus glove fingers when trying on.
Ideally glove fingertips extend 1⁄4-1⁄2 inch past fingers. Too much space compromises control.
Snug Cuff Anchors Glove
A loose glove cuff slips down the wrist, sacrificing stability. Cuffs should fit snug when fastened without pinching.
Adjust hook-and-loop closures to fine-tune tension. You should feel the cuff secured but not restrictive.
Consider Adjustability Features
Many youth gloves incorporate adjustability features to customize fit. Use these to achieve ideal finger, palm and cuff snugness.
Self-fitting cuffs, removable palm inserts, and adjustable wrist straps all help zero in on a great fit.
Growing young hands gain size quickly. Re-measure and potentially re-size gloves before each new season.
Allowing adequate hand expansion ensures gloves maintain the right contouring and security year to year.