Hand injuries make up a full 23% of the total injuries sustained by lacrosse players each year. In fact, they’re the most common injuries on the field. Which is why you need to ensure your gloves have the best available protection, from the best lacrosse gloves.
Having a pair of high quality lacrosse gloves might mean the difference between you scoring the winning goal or watching from the sideline, hand in a sling. Of course, protection isn’t the only factor to look for when hunting for the best lacrosse gloves.
When you go shopping, remember the three F’s:
If you want to know what separates high-quality equipment from second-rate swag, we’ve got you covered.
By the time you finish this article, you’ll know how your glove should feel (fit). You’ll recognize whether or not your glove is ventilated and built to last (form). And you’ll identify its level of protection and playability (function).
Features of the Best Lacrosse Gloves
Here are some of the aspects to consider before purchasing your new lacrosse gloves.
Fit and Feel
Just like great ski boots, the best lacrosse gloves will give you snug fit. Snug does not mean tight. The front, back, and sides of your fingers should touch the gloves. Your fingertips should touch the gloves only when you flex your fist. Otherwise, you want to feel a little space. If you feel your fingernails or fingertips jamming against the glove, you need a larger size.
Sizing Your Golves
Lacrosse gloves offer the following sizes:
- Small (Youth Size) Lacrosse Gloves: 8″ (70lbs and under || 4’6″ and under)
- Small (Youth Size) Lacrosse Gloves: 10″ (70lbs-100lbs || 4’6″-5’2″)
- Medium (Adult) Lacrosse Gloves: 12″ (110lbs-140lbs || 5’3″-5’8″)
- Large (Adult) Lacrosse Gloves: 13″ (150lbs-180lbs || 5’9″-6’0″)
- Extra Large (Adult) Lacrosse Gloves: 14″ (170lbs and over || 6’1″ and over)
Youth sizes typically correspond to kids ages 6-12. Around age 12-13, most teens will need to upgrade to the adult size 12″. Afterwards, it’s time to move up to a 13″. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll hit 14″.
Save your hands from nasty slashes and checks (not to mention wild 100 mph shots). Most gloves available today offer solid protection. The same can’t be said of gloves 20 years ago.
If you plan on buying second-hand gloves, stay away from anything older than ten years old. Padding even then was questionable. Furthermore, check to ensure the gloves don’t show signs of heavy wear. If they do, toss them back.
Otherwise, buy new. If you buy new, look for a price that’s middle-of-the-road or higher. Cheap gloves tend to skimp on padding.
Next look at the padding itself. Does it cover your entire hand and wrist? If not, it won’t pass muster. If you’re wondering whether or not it’s time to replace your old gloves, try the following. Put them on and use your fingers and push on the padding. Is it soft? Firm? Rigid? Gloves with free joint flexibility and firm padding are the best lacrosse gloves.
Remember, protection is your number one priority. Otherwise, you might as well not wear gloves.
The second most important factor to look for in a quality glove is the grip. If you purchase second-hand gloves, the grip is usually the first thing to go. So be wary when you purchase used gloves.
When you try on new gloves, keep your lacrosse stick nearby. Slide the glove on, and grab your stick. Then have a friend or parent try to pull the stick out of your hand. Try it with a couple different gloves. You’ll feel some gloves held like glue. Others did a less impressive job. Shoot for the former.
Ventilation and Moisture Wicking Lacrosse Gloves
Without the proper ventilation, your hands will sweat. Your wet hands will slide around your lacrosse gloves more easily. That’s exactly what you don’t want.
To find the best lacrosse gloves, look for ventilation holes in the wrists, back of the palms, and even thumbs. You want something breathable. Having sweaty hands is natural, but you need a breathable shell that allows air to wick that sweat away.
Proper ventilation ensures your stick handling won’t become sloppy. Don’t neglect it when you evaluate glove features.
Don’t Forget Your Thumb
As we already mentioned, hands get injured more than any other body part. Well, 59% of injuries to the hand occur at the thumb. So once again, take extra care when weighing this feature against others in your glove. Your thumb’s vulnerability is crucial. Without it, you lose all stick control, and you’ll have to call it quits for the season.
Thumb protection varies. Take a look at your prospective gloves thumb segmentation. Where are the pads? Do they allow for easy maneuverability? The more segments it has, the more flexible the glove will be. Does your glove have any extra reinforcement around your thumb? Look for plastic or carbon composite inserts in the best lacrosse gloves for attack or defense. They’ll help counter the impact of stick checks and other collisions.
The quality of the material on the palm is usually an indicator of the quality of the glove. If you want to find the best lacrosse gloves, look here first. Unfortunately, the palm’s quality usually goes hand in hand with its cost. The more expensive the material, the more you pay.
Axe Suede is arguably the highest quality material on the market. It gives you the most natural stick-feel. Other materials, like Nash and Mesh, provide durability but skimp on comfortability.
Another key feature to look for is additional layers in the palm. They cut down the effects of wear-and-tear. Sometimes, you’ll also find a gray, abrasion resistant material. It serves the same purpose as additional layers.
Try the gloves on and try some stick moves.
Have you found the best lacrosse gloves? Or do you need to move onto the next pair?
Women’s Lacrosse Gloves
Did you know 73% of injuries that occur to women lacrosse players could be easily prevented? It just takes the right gear. That means the best lacrosse helmet and best lacrosse gloves. Women’s lacrosse rules limit contact. That means their equipment requires significantly less padding. Their gloves often use thin, lightweight fabrics. Light padding scores the back of their thumbs and hands.
That’s where you start. Look to make certain your glove’s padding covers the entire posterior side of your hand and thumb.
Next look to make certain your glove has a secure wrist closure. It’s essential, especially on wet days.
Lastly, double check all the suggestions written above. They pertain to women’s gloves as much as they do to men’s.
5 Best Lacrosse Gloves
Now that you know some of the features and benefits to look for, here are a handful of suggestions for you to choose from. All of the best lacrosse gloves in our list are made from the highest quality materials, and will benefit different positions on the field, protecting hands of attackers, defenders, and goalies.1. Brine King Superlight 2 Lacrosse Glove
Lacrosse Gloves With Best Grip2. Maverik Lacrosse M3 Goalie Glove
Best Goalie Lacrosse Gloves
Best Lacrosse Gloves for Defense5. Women’s Under Armour Illusion Lacrosse Field Glove
Best Women’s Lacrosse Glove