Elite Sport Black Real goalkeeper gloves for soccer games review KeeperStop.com black gold affordable goalie gloves

Elite Sport Black Real Goalkeeper Glove Review

Elite Sport Black Real goalkeeper gloves for soccer games review KeeperStop.com black gold affordable goalie glovesA top-of-the-line game glove from Elite Sport, the Black Real features a roll finger cut, grippy Contact latex, and five removable finger spines. This goalkeeper glove is intended for use in all weather conditions and should be worn by those who want as much latex-to-ball contact as possible; but before you drop $85 on them, let’s find out how they perform between the sticks.Elite Sport Black Real goalkeeper gloves for soccer games review KeeperStop.com black gold affordable goalie gloves

Tech Specs

The Elite Sport Black Real goalkeeper glove is a quality option from Elite Sport, featuring 4mm of black German Contact latex and 4mm of backing foam for cushioning and shock absorption. Elite Sport is known for using some of the best latexes on their goalkeeper gloves and selling them for a fraction of what the big brands’ gloves cost, and the Black Real is no exception. Contact latex is an extremely grippy latex found on some of the most expensive and best performing goalkeeper gloves on the market, so paying $85 for the Black Real is simply a bargain. When you peel the protective plastic off the latex palms, you’ll know you’ve got a top level, elite game glove.

Moreover, this glove features a roll finger cut which provides great latex-to-ball contact. The latex is rolled around the fingers with no use of gussets, making it slightly less snug than the negative cut which uses gussets for a super snug, finger hugging fit. While it does provide a comfortable feel, some may view the roll finger cut as a slightly “bulkier” cut because of the latex being rolled around the fingers. The Black Real also features a latex wrapped thumb for even more latex-to-ball contact.Elite Sport Black Real goalkeeper gloves for soccer games review KeeperStop.com black gold affordable goalie glovesA striking gold and black design covers the latex backhand, and breathable mesh underneath helps with air flow and comfort. Regarding closure, the Black Real features an 8 cm wide elastic wristband and a 6 cm wide latex wrist strap with a customization window. At the end of the wrist strap, there’s a rubber pull tab for securing the strap safely; this prevents the delicate latex fingertips from coming in contact with the velcro on the wrist strap, which could cause the latex to rip or tear.

Lastly, the Black Real comes equipped with five removable finger spines. Because they’re removable, you get to decide whether you want all of them in, none of them in, or just a few of them in, giving you a truly custom fit. These gloves are intended for games or elite level practices and are available in sizes 7 through 11. They do run slightly small so you may want to size up if you’re at the top end of your current glove size. You can purchase a pair of the Elite Sport Black Real goalkeeper gloves here.Elite Sport Black Real goalkeeper gloves for soccer games review KeeperStop.com black gold affordable goalie gloves

The Verdict

It’s no surprise that Elite Sport offers high quality, game level goalkeeper gloves for low prices, but I’m still amazed every time I give their gloves a run. The Black Real delivers on everything a goalkeeper looks for in a goalkeeper glove: comfort, grip, flexibility, and finger protection. Let’s dig down deeper to uncover exactly what this glove is all about, and if you should spend $85 for a pair of them.

Firstly, the black German Contact latex did not disappoint while I was testing these gloves. Because of its incredible grip in all weather conditions, it held onto every shot with ease, leaving me confident in my abilities to hold every ball that came my way. When I went up into the air to catch a cross, the Black Real was easily able to get a secure hold on the ball. However, as the rule of thumb goes, the better the grip, the softer the latex, and therefore, the worse the durability. The contact latex did start to tear after playing a handful of matches on turf, which was expected since turf is harsher on latex than natural grass is. This tearing was minor, though, but just keep in mind that opting for the best grip possible means sacrificing durability. If you’re playing strictly on natural grass, however, these gloves should last you longer before you start to see some damage.Elite Sport Black Real goalkeeper gloves for soccer games review KeeperStop.com black gold affordable goalie glovesWhile we covered arguably the most important part of the goalkeeper glove, the grip, it’s important to note how they fit and feel on hand to see if they’re right for you. Throughout my intensive testing, I found the Black Real to be an extremely comfortable glove; I often found myself opting to wear these over other gloves because of the grip, stealthy look, and comfort they provide. As for the fit in the fingers, this roll finger cut fits on the tighter side; it’s definitely not as roomy as you might expect it to be. However, it’s not overly snug like a negative cut—there’s just slightly less wiggle room in the fingers. I didn’t mind this, though, since it still felt very comfortable on hand. As a whole, this glove fits pretty snug, and in terms of sizing, it does run a little small so you may want to size up if you’re at the top end of your current glove size.Elite Sport Black Real goalkeeper gloves for soccer games review KeeperStop.com black gold affordable goalie glovesThe Black Real’s full latex backhand and breathable mesh body feels very comfy and flexible on hand. However, since the mesh body is barely exposed on the backhand, the ventilation of the gloves isn’t all that great. In the summer, your hands are likely to get pretty hot inside the gloves, but in the winter, they’ll stay quite warm. The 3D Shock Zone, which is just extra latex padding over the knuckles, takes the sting and pressure out of punching the ball away. It’s nice to see Elite Sport paying attention to minor details like this on their top-of-the-line game glove.Elite Sport Black Real goalkeeper gloves for soccer games review KeeperStop.com black gold affordable goalie glovesIn terms of closure, this glove provides a secure and supportive fit because of the wide latex wrist strap and elastic wristband. Once you wrap the strap around your wrist and connect it to the two points of velcro, it stays put for the entire duration of play without any need for readjustments. The elastic wristband is stretchy, so if you have thicker wrists or forearms, entry into this glove should not be a problem. However, the glove becomes quite snug and narrow as you start to slide your hand into the glove itself, but this could just be because I stayed true to size instead of sizing up. I don’t regret staying true to size, though; I enjoy the snug fit I get from my usual size 7.Elite Sport Black Real goalkeeper gloves for soccer games review KeeperStop.com black gold affordable goalie glovesLastly, the five removable finger spines allow you to decide whether you want finger protection or not. I left the finger spines out while testing the Black Real because they made the gloves fit much more snug, to the point where my whole hand couldn’t even fit inside the glove. I guess I didn’t have much of a choice whether I wanted finger protection or not, because my hands couldn’t have fit inside the gloves anyways. That being said, if you plan on leaving the finger spines in, definitely go up a size for the best possible fit.Elite Sport Black Real goalkeeper gloves for soccer games review KeeperStop.com black gold affordable goalie glovesIf you prefer a tighter fitting goalkeeper glove and are looking for the best grip possible, the Elite Sport Black Real is the glove for you. Better yet, you don’t have to drop a buck fifty on them like you’d have to if they were adidas or Nike. For just $85, you’re getting a highly equipped game level (or elite practice) glove with supreme grip in all weather conditions and a comfortable fit. Not to mention, this gold and black design looks pretty incredible. You can purchase a pair for yourself here.

If you have any questions about goalkeeper gloves or equipment, contact KeeperStop.com in the USA. Thanks to Elite Sport USA for making this review possible!Elite Sport Black Real goalkeeper gloves for soccer games review KeeperStop.com black gold affordable goalie gloves

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These Unreleased Nike Soccer Cleats Will Replace the Magista Silo

Unreleased nike phantom vision elite flyknit football boots soccer cleats replacing the nike Magista silo
Photos courtesy of @ofoballes.

If you haven’t already seen photos of these Nike football boots floating around on the internet (including on our own Instagram page), we’ll fill you in on what they are and what all the buzz around them is about. They’re called the “Phantom Vision Elite,” they feature a Flyknit lace cover, and they will replace the beloved Magista silo in July 2018.Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 12.27.49 AM
The Magista silo has been a major part of the Nike brand since it released in 2014. It redefined how football boots look and perform, and it was marketed towards playmakers of the game. It was the first football boot to employ Nike Flyknit, truly marking the beginning of a Nike Football revolution that changed the game forever. Throughout its four-year life, it has seen one generation update (which was a pretty significant one) and it has received dozens of new colorways. However, all great things must come to an end since it will be killed off in August 2018 when the new Phantom Vision silo is set to arrive.

Unreleased nike phantom vision elite flyknit football boots soccer cleats replacing the nike Magista silo

While the highly anticipated Nike Phantom Vision Elite features existing technologies such as Flyknit and All Conditions Control (ACC), it also features new innovative technologies that we’ve never seen before on a football boot. Firstly, the top tier version features a “Ghost Lace” system which, in simple terms, means the laces are hidden underneath a Flyknit cover. We’ve seen Nike implement lace covers in the past with the Mercurial Vapor 5 and 6, but they were never constructed from Flyknit like they are now. The most recent boots on the market that featured a lace cover were the X 17+ Purespeed and the Messi 16+ Pureagility. Adidas has since gotten rid of the lace cover for their current X 18+ and instead turned the boot completely laceless. The Messi line, however, is completely gone after seeing just two generations, the 15.1 and 16+ Pureagility; nowadays, the name “Messi” gets attached to the Nemeziz silo when he receives his own signature colorways.Unreleased nike phantom vision elite flyknit football boots soccer cleats replacing the nike Magista silo
Secondly, the Phantom Vision Elite features QUADFIT technology which we’ve never seen  before on a football boot or even a sports shoe; therefore, we don’t know much about it just yet. If you had to take a guess, though, what do you think it does?

As with every football boot, the Phantom Vision will have a solid amount of takedown options. The first takedown will keep the “Ghost Lace” system but will have a NikeSkin upper instead of a Flyknit upper. The lowest tier will not have the Ghost Lace system at all; instead, it’ll have the traditional center lacing.Unreleased nike phantom vision elite flyknit football boots soccer cleats replacing the nike Magista silo
If you’re interested in purchasing a pair of the Nike Phantom Vision football boots, they will release in late July 2018. Be sure to follow us on Instagram to be notified when they drop. If you’re interested in purchasing a pair of the Nike Magista Obra football boots before they’re gone, you can find discounted pairs on Amazon.

nike gk premier SGT goalkeeper glove review goalie glove review nike gloves Joe hart

Nike GK Premier SGT Goalkeeper Glove Review

nike gk premier SGT goalkeeper glove review goalie glove review nike gloves Joe hartWorn by some of the world’s best goalkeepers, the Nike GK Premier SGT goalkeeper glove features a laser-etched latex palm among other unique features and is intended for match play. They’ve been on the market for a few years now so you can easily find a pair online for a discounted price; but before you go snagging a pair on sale, let’s find out how they perform to see if they’re even worth purchasing.nike gk premier SGT goalkeeper glove review goalie glove review nike gloves Joe hart

Tech Specs

Diving into the technical side of the glove, the Nike GK Premier SGT comes equipped with a unique laser-etched latex palm. Nike calls this “SGT,” which stands for Sipe Grip Technology. The sipe grip grooves, which are thin slits cut across the latex palms, allow the palms to spread and flex and supposedly provide the ultimate grip in all weather conditions. The palm is 4mm thick and constructed of Contact latex, which is known to be one of the grippiest latexes you can get on a goalkeeper glove. The fingers feature a flat cut with mesh gussets for breathability. On the inside of the gloves, Nike have included their Touch Tactile Nodes to enhance the feel and prevent your hands from slipping inside the gloves. Pre-Curved Bio-Align Technology, another unique technology found on this glove, positions the hands in the catch ready position to reduce stress on the hands. In regards to the backhand, there’s a layer of soft latex on top of a breathable air mesh body. Lastly, the closure is comprised of a 5 cm wide latex wrist strap set on a 7 cm wide elastic wristband for a secure and supportive fit. You can purchase a pair of the Nike GK Premier SGT goalkeeper gloves on Amazon here.nike gk premier SGT goalkeeper glove review goalie glove review nike gloves Joe hart

The Verdict

Palm: Featuring a 4mm Contact latex palm, the Nike GK Premier SGT offers an amazing grip; this was expected since Contact latex is one of the grippiest latexes you can get on a goalkeeper glove. I didn’t know what to expect with the Sipe Grip Technology, though, so I was excited to see how it would fare on the pitch. After intensive testing, the SGT has proven to work quite well. I found that in all weather conditions, the grip of the latex was great and I had no problem holding onto shots.nike gk premier SGT goalkeeper glove review goalie glove review nike gloves Joe hart This glove also has great padding so you don’t feel the sting of super hard shots. In terms of durability, the Contact latex is surprisingly very durable; I only found minor tearing of the latex palms after a full month of use on mostly natural grass but some turf here and there. However, since the latex already has slits it in due to the SGT, this could cause the durability to be worse than other gloves.nike gk premier SGT goalkeeper glove review goalie glove review nike gloves Joe hartCut: Personally, I’m not a fan of the flat cut simply because it fits loose on the fingers, but this flat cut feels slightly more snug than other ones I’ve tried. There’s still a bit of wiggle room on the sides of the fingers when your hands are in the gloves, but then again, I have slim, skinny fingers so of course there’s going to be some wiggle room.nike gk premier SGT goalkeeper glove review goalie glove review nike gloves Joe hartThis didn’t really affect me while playing though; I was still able to hold onto shots just fine because of the Touch Tactile Nodes (grippy silicone dots) that successfully prevented my hands from sliding around inside the gloves. The mesh gussets are a nice touch as they increase the breathability and comfort of the gloves.nike gk premier SGT goalkeeper glove review goalie glove review nike gloves Joe hartBackhand: The latex on the backhand is embossed so there’s a great amount of flexibility and comfort while wearing the gloves. However, there isn’t much protection. The GK Premier SGT is a simple, no-fuss glove with a latex palm, a latex backhand, and a mesh body. It doesn’t feature any protective elements like a rubber punch zone or extra padding over the knuckles—there’s just one level of thickness across the entire latex backhand. This isn’t a dealbreaker as I was still able to punch the ball away on crosses, but I would’ve felt more confident clearing the ball if there was a rubber piece over the knuckles for extra power. The air mesh body is lightweight, comfy, and ventilates the gloves well.nike gk premier SGT goalkeeper glove review goalie glove review nike gloves Joe hartClosure: The closure on the GK Premier SGT is okay, but it could be better. There’s three points of velcro contact the wrist strap makes with the wristband to ensure a super secure and supportive fit. Moreover, the elastic wristband feels comfortable on my wrist. The problem, though, is that there’s no pull tab to grab onto when wrapping the strap around your wrist; this would prevent the delicate latex fingertips from tearing when it comes in contact with the velcro on the strap. I’ve seen this feature on several other gloves and it works great—too bad Nike hasn’t implemented it on their gloves considering how expensive the top gloves are.nike gk premier SGT goalkeeper glove review goalie glove review nike gloves Joe hartFit: The GK Premier SGT fits comfortably snug on my hands—it doesn’t fit tight but it doesn’t fit loose either. I could see this glove fitting just about every goalkeeper whether you have skinny hands or large hands. The flat cut definitely helps make this a glove for just about every goalkeeper since it’s not super snug like a negative cut is.nike gk premier SGT goalkeeper glove review goalie glove review nike gloves Joe hartThe Nike GK Premier SGT goalkeeper gloves perform very well on the pitch making them a great game glove option for any goalkeeper. You feel like you can easily grab onto and control the ball while wearing these gloves. If you’re looking for a simple, grippy, and comfortable glove with new technologies packed in, this is definitely the glove for you. Even better, you can find this top level match glove on sale from most online retailers. You can purchase a pair on Amazon here. nike gk premier SGT goalkeeper glove review goalie glove review nike gloves Joe hart

soccer sports concussion headgear headband protection unequal halo review

Unequal Halo 1 Protective Headgear Review

soccer sports concussion headgear headband protection unequal halo reviewWith millions of sports players getting concussions each year, it’s imperative that players protect themselves to reduce the risk of getting one. Slipping on a lightweight, comfortable, and protective Unequal headband can reduce concussion risk as much as 74%, according to Virginia Tech’s extensive independent research. Knowing you’re protected means saying goodbye to the possibility of having headaches, blurry vision, and difficulty thinking clearly, all side effects of a cerebral concussion. The headband is available to purchase here.

Tech Specs

The Unequal Halo 1 headband is a must have for any sports player who experiences frequent collision and contact during play. What makes it one of the best protective headbands on the market is the fact that it reduces concussion risk by 74% and is rated ‘Best Available’ by Virginia Tech. It provides great protection for falls, collisions, and headers, and is especially great for practice drills where the head is at repetitive risk. It does not alter ball rebound, speed, or direction; it simply absorbs and disperses impact to keep you protected.

Constructed from military grade, patented, and coated aramid fabric, the Halo 1 meets all aspects of American Society for Testing and Materials’ headgear standard and is FIFA Law 4 compliant (The players’ equipment – dangerous equipment or jewelry is not allowed to be worn, but soft headbands are allowed). It features a nylon outer layer, closed-cell Accelleron foam, Kevlar, 360 degrees of impact protection, and velcro for a custom fit. The aramid fabric and other advanced materials handle blunt force trauma and impact shock better than typical plastics and foams, making the Unequal Halo 1 a top choice for players looking for extra protection.soccer sports concussion headgear headband protection unequal halo reviewWeighing in at 4.12 ounces and measuring 10mm thick, the Halo 1 is one of the most lightweight, slender, and comfortable protective headbands on the market. The velcro closure makes it adjustable to your head size, so it can fit your head perfectly without fitting too tight or too loose. Because of its streamlined design and lightweight performance fabrics, you no longer need to sacrifice comfort for protection, and you don’t need to look silly wearing headgear, either. The Unequal Halo 1 headband is available to purchase here.

The Verdict

The Halo 1 sounds like it’s one of the most comfortable and protective headbands on the market, but how does it really perform? I put it through its paces to find out.

I tested the headband for several months in both training and games and I must admit—it’s pretty awesome. Originally, I wasn’t sure that a combination of comfort, protection, breathability, and durability could exist, but Unequal quickly proved me wrong. Aside from the incredible protection this headband provides (which we’ll touch on shortly), my favorite thing about it is how thin and minimal it looks compared to other headbands on the market. We’ve all seen the bulky, full-head helmet worn by Petr Cech, but who really wants to attract everyone’s attention by wearing such prominent headgear? Something as noticeable and bulky-looking as a helmet is what prevents most people from wanting to wear protective headgear in the first place. Thankfully, Unequal is showing us that we can have both protection and a slender design, something that has got more players opting for extra protection on the pitch.IMG_2493In regards to protection, the most important part of the headband, Unequal is unrivaled. The Halo 1 features a battle ready composite fortified with Accelleron and Kevlar. Kevlar is a patented lightweight fiber used in law enforcement and the military, and when woven into a sheet, it’s five times stronger than steel. On the other hand, Accelleron is an elastomer with amazingly durable cushioning qualities that multiplies shock absorption capabilities. With these two protective materials combined into a composite, the Halo 1 is capable of handling blunt force trauma and impact shock better than typical plastics and foams. Whether you collide forehead to forehead, forehead to post, or head to ground, this headband will protect you and lower the risk of getting a concussion.soccer sports concussion headgear headband protection unequal halo reviewWhile testing, I got into several collisions with other players. Some of those collisions were head to head which, without a headband, would be beyond painful and dangerous. In the past, I’ve witnessed my unprotected teammates go in for a 50/50 ball from a throw in, bang heads with their mark, and immediately fall down onto the ground. Tears start rolling down their face and the coaches come running over. In one particular case, my teammate had to be carried away immediately because she had trouble speaking—she was diagnosed with a severe concussion a few days later. It’s always devastating to see these things happen, especially knowing that that could be you. Thankfully, the Halo 1 protected me during those collisions and gave me the confidence to play harder.

Worn by USWNT player Ali Krieger in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Unequal headband is the perfect solution for those looking to up their safety on the pitch. It may just look like any other headband, but it offers serious protection to reduce the risk of getting a cerebral concussion. You can purchase the Unequal Halo 1 headband here.soccer sports concussion headgear headband protection unequal halo review

PARK Pass A Ball Soccer Ball review one for one buy this ball and pass a ball to a kid in need World Cup

PARK Pass-A-Ball Soccer Ball Review

PARK Pass A Ball Soccer Ball review one for one buy this ball and pass za ball to a kid in need World CupWhen brands and consumers work together on a social mission, the impact can be huge. That’s the case with the PARK Pass-A-Ball soccer ball: for every ball purchased, PARK will pass-a-ball to a kid in need. One for one. They’re shipped worldwide, feature hand drawn graphics inspired by street football culture, and are machine stitched for high durability. Want to join in on the mission? Purchase a ball here. PARK Pass A Ball Soccer Ball review one for one buy this ball and pass a ball to a kid in need World Cup

About PARK

Park Social Soccer Co. is on a mission to change the world with the Pass-A-Ball Project. For every ball purchased, PARK will pass-a-ball to a kid in need. With over 4,500 balls already donated, PARK has impacted thousands of kids all over the world; but they’re just getting started. They partner with charities helping disadvantaged kids, refugees, abandoned children, equal rights for girls, and at-risk youth to make sure no kid goes with a soccer ball. They believe something as simple as having one to play with can change a kid’s life, so they’ve made it their goal to provide every kid in need with one. Places they’ve sent soccer balls to include Kenya, Uganda, Sydney, Tanzania, Melbourne, and Lombok. With an insatiable appetite to support grassroots soccer everywhere, PARK are doing exactly what they set out to do: change the world. You can be a part of this social mission, too, by purchasing a ball here.PARK Pass A Ball Soccer Ball review one for one buy this ball and pass za ball to a kid in need World Cup

Tech Specs

We’ve learned that PARK will pass-a-ball to a kid in need for every ball purchased, but what are their balls actually like? Are they durable? That’s what we’re here to find out. 

PARK soccer balls feature hand drawn graphics inspired by street football culture and are machine stitched for soft touch and high durability. The number of stitches on each panel of the ball is a sure fire way of quickly checking the quality, and PARK balls have a lot of them. PARK uses something called a ‘Kick Test’ to ensure the quality of their balls; they put them in a machine that kicks them 4,000 times against different abrasive surfaces, and they have to survive this to be called a PARK ball. They’re designed to withstand being kicked on many different surfaces, but they will survive longer on softer surfaces like grass. PARK Pass A Ball Soccer Ball review one for one buy this ball and pass a ball to a kid in need World CupA butyl bladder can be found inside each ball for great air retention. The surface of the ball is 100% TPU. As for the different colored balls available, they’re designed to highlight the spin through the air with bright colors being the easiest to track. In addition to this orange soccer ball, there’s also a blue soccer ball, a teal match ball, a gold eye soccer ball, and a futsal ball. PARK balls ship deflated and packaged, and are available in sizes 3, 4, and 5. This orange soccer ball costs about $30 USD ($40 AUD). Interested in purchasing one? Click here. PARK Pass A Ball Soccer Ball review one for one buy this ball and pass a ball to a kid in need World CupIn addition to selling soccer balls, PARK have teamed up with Melbourne glove brand UNBRANDED to bring the world’s first one for one goalkeeper glove. They feature soft latex palms to absorb shot impact, an XL wrist cuff for enhanced wrist support, and a wrap around wristband for easy on field adjustment. They’re available in sizes 6, 8, 9, and 10 for about $50 USD ($65 AUD) per pair. Interested in purchasing a pair? Click here.PARK Pass A Ball Soccer Ball review one for one buy this ball and pass a ball to a kid in need World Cup Goalkeeper gloves

Concave Volt+ Knit Soccer Cleat Review

IMG_2432After watching the big three sports brands (Nike, adidas, and Puma) implement and perfect knitted football boots, Concave is now taking a stab at it as well with their new Volt+ Knit. Featuring an advanced micro-yarn upper with a knitted “sock” design, the Volt+ Knit caters to the changing demands of the game while staying true to the brand’s identity. In typical Concave fashion, you can find Concave’s patented Powerstrike element integrated into the upper. They’re available to purchase here. IMG_2418Tech Specs

The Volt+ Knit, labeled as a “speed” boot, features a Micro-Yarn Techstitch upper that provides a lightweight, soft-touch feel without compromising comfort and durability. This latest innovation includes a fully integrated Concave Powerstrike Design that is built into the upper, including a knitted “sock” design for extra comfort. The outsole is clear print TPU injection with a moulded, oval stud configuration for high traction on all natural surfaces. F3 (Football Form Fit) unique dual-lacing system technology snugly supports players’ feet without contorting the foots natural form. The Concave Volt+ Knit football boots are available to purchase here. IMG_2417The Look

When I first laid eyes on these boots, I’ll admit it—I thought they looked like clunky baseball cleats. If I’m being honest, I still think that. For Concave’s first try at a knitted boot, it doesn’t look terrible, but since it’s considered a “speed” boot, looking clunky definitely does not help its case. Also, for $249.99, many Nike and Adidas boots arguably look much better than these. Concave definitely has their work cut out for them for the next generation of Volt+ Knit. The Blue/White/Red colorway is nice and simple; if you’re a USA, France, or England fan, you’ll probably like this colorway. IMG_2420Performance

The main feature of the Concave Volt+ Knit is, of course, the knit “Techstitch” upper. On foot, it feels pretty comfortable and flexible. The knit feels soft and high quality, and the boot feels quite durable. However, I wouldn’t consider this “speed” boot thin or lightweight. Compared to the Vapor 12 Elite, Nike’s current speed boot, these definitely feel a bit heavier, clunkier, and thicker. The touch on the ball has a decent amount of grip and feels slightly more padded than the Vapor 12 Elite. The knitted “sock” design is basically a one inch thick elastic knit ring around the ankle that lacks any sort of protective coating, making it very stretchy and soft like a sock. This reminds me exactly of the adidas Ace 16.1 Primeknit from early 2016, since that boot had the same exact thing. IMG_2425Concave masterfully integrated the patented Powerstrike Design into the knit upper of the boot, a task that seems tricky considering the soft nature of the upper. Originally, I was skeptical of the plastic Powerstrike piece laying underneath the knit in the “tongue” area as I thought it would bunch up or move around, but Concave have reinforced this piece very well by stitching a supportive, padded base with a pull tab directly underneath it. However, it’s extremely difficult to tell whether this piece adds any power to your strikes (its intended purpose), and since it just creates unnecessary bulk in the laces area, it may be doing more harm than good. I’m sure this boot would look and feel a lot less clunky and bulky without this piece, but then again, the whole point of a Concave boot is that every model has this plastic Powerstrike element that’s supposed to increase shot power. IMG_2428The TPU soleplate is very durable, flexible, and lightweight. Concave has been using this material for years now, serving as a perfect example of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” The oval stud configuration provides great traction on firm, natural grass. There’s a pull tab at the back of the heel to help you get the boots on easier, but it’s completely useless because you can’t even put a finger through it. A larger, more functional pull tab would make getting on the boots much easier. IMG_2424Fit & Feel

In the beginning, it felt awkward tying the laces directly on top of the plastic Powerstrike element, but with time, I got used to it. You’re still able to achieve a snug fit and proper lockdown despite the element adding extra bulk in the laces area. When the laces are tied tightly, the knit upper hugs your foot nice and snug and provides a comfortable, secure fit. In typical speed boot fashion, the Volt+ Knit fits pretty narrow; if you have very wide feet, I recommend staying away from these boots. In terms of sizing, I recommend going down half a size to achieve the best fit possible. IMG_2421The Verdict 

There was a lot to be said with the comfortable yet clunky-looking Volt+ Knit; from the soft micro-yarn upper to the unique Powerstrike Design element, there’s a lot going on with this boot. It’s arguable whether it’s worth the $249.99 price tag. However, one thing is clear: Concave did a decent job for their first ever knitted boot but need to improve on some things for the next one. You can purchase a pair for yourself here. IMG_2413

Reusch Prisma Pro G3 Fusion Evolution LTD Goalkeeper Glove Review

IMG_2087Designed for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Reusch’s new limited edition goalkeeper glove features a bold colorway and G3 Fusion latex with durable and wet weather latexes sprinkled throughout. They also feature an evolution cut, a new wrist band area, breathable mesh, and a striking design for this summer’s hottest tournament. They’re available to purchase here.IMG_2090Tech Specs

Palm: G3 Fusion Ultra Soft latex with hard ground and wet weather condition latexes randomly sprinkled throughout.

Cut: Evolution cut with air mesh gussets and Ergonomic Support System (ESS). Latex wrapped thumb.

Backhand: Pro latex. Pro Flex technology increases flexibility and Air Vent System increases breathability.

Closure: Asymmetrical slip-on cuff and extended breathable mesh wrist area. One piece half wristband velcro closure. Pull loop stitched onto the cuff.

Finger Protection: None. The Prisma Pro G3 Fusion Evolution Ortho-Tec LTD is the same glove but with finger protection, and they’re available to purchase here.

The Reusch Prisma Pro G3 Fusion Evolution LTD goalkeeper gloves are available to purchase here.IMG_2142My Thoughts

Palm: The G3 Fusion Ultra Soft latex excels in dry weather when kept damp but it works well in all weather conditions. It’s very grippy right out of the package and it remains grippy the more you wear the gloves and when the gloves are properly taken care of (washed regularly and kept damp). I was more confident making saves knowing that the grip wouldn’t fail me. The hard ground and wet weather condition latexes randomly sprinkled throughout are a great touch since they make the latex much more durable and better equipped for wet weather; this is a feature that I don’t see on many other goalkeeper glove models so I was glad to see it on this one. Overall, the grip of the latex and how long it remains grippy for is very impressive; that’s why these gloves are intended for advanced and pro level goalkeepers.IMG_2130IMG_2115Cut: While testing these gloves, I really enjoyed how well the evolution cut fit on my fingers. It fits snug but not overwhelmingly so; it’s very comfortable on the fingers and true to size, and the mesh gussets in between the fingers increase breathability. The latex wrapped thumb increases latex-to-ball contact; this is a feature that seems to be on most goalkeeper gloves nowadays. The Ergonomic Support System (ESS) uses a pattern that helps the fingers to be pre-splayed, enhancing the glove’s comfort and supporting the hand’s natural catching position. This feature makes a noticeable difference while playing in the gloves; having the fingers be pre-splayed feels much more natural and comfortable than having them not be pre-splayed, and it makes me feel more prepared for shots coming my way since it supports the hand’s natural catching position. If I had to pick a pair of game gloves and had a choice between pre-splayed fingers and non pre-splayed fingers, I’d definitely go with pre-splayed.IMG_2132IMG_2138Backhand: The Pro latex found on the backhand is a very soft and high quality latex, which I expected since this is a $135 Reusch game glove, after all. It’s embossed, meaning it has natural flex grooves that allow for a flexible fit on hand. You also get flexibility from Pro Flex technology, a horizontal four-way stretch insert that keeps the backhand flexible in all directions. The Air Vent System, which basically means an air mesh glove body, does a great job of providing maximum ventilation inside the glove. IMG_2128IMG_2135Closure: The asymmetrical slip-on cuff and extended breathable mesh wrist area is something I’ve never seen on a goalkeeper glove before; it serves as a testament to Reusch’s dedication to constantly innovating and improving their goalkeeper gloves. Because it’s asymmetrical, the slip-on cuff or “wristband” extends further down the forearm, making for a more natural and comfortable feel on hand. Just like Nike’s Dynamic Fit Collar is designed to offer a seamless transition from leg to foot, Reusch’s asymmetrical slip-on cuff is designed to offer a seamless transition from arm to hand. In addition to the ESS pre-splayed fingers, this is another reason why I would prefer to wear these Reusch gloves in a game over a pair of gloves without these features. These small details really add up to make a big difference. I was uneasy about the one piece half wristband velcro closure at first since I didn’t know if it was going to provide enough security. After wearing the gloves in several games, this concern quickly went away. Once you wrap the half strap around your wrist and secure it to the velcro, it does not come undone and it actually provides a very secure and supportive fit. The pull loop stitched onto the cuff is a great feature seen on previous Reusch gloves that I’ve reviewed, and, years later, I still love it just as much. It can handle an impressive amount of tugging and pulling without worrying if it’s going to rip off or not, and it really helps with getting the gloves on quickly and easily. IMG_2141IMG_2140It’s one thing to make goalkeeper gloves and another thing to make them equipped with the most useful technologies, super grippy and durable latex palms, and a natural and comfy fit like no other; without a doubt, Reusch makes some of the best gloves on the market. Their combination of the latest technologies as well as their own innovations is tangible with all of their goalkeeper gloves, and especially with the Prisma Pro G3 Fusion Evolution LTD. Not to mention, they’re undeniably good-looking. If there is a glove I highly recommend purchasing, it’s this one. You can purchase a pair for yourself here.IMG_2085IMG_2086

aviata sports black mamba v7 soccer goalkeeper gloves

Aviata Black Mamba V7 Goalkeeper Glove Review

aviata sports black mamba v7 soccer goalkeeper glovesWhile the Black Mamba V7 is a more affordable model in Aviata’s glove range, it comes equipped with features that have trickled down from the top models and is best suited for intermediate players. Some of these features include a flat cut, a 3D breathable mesh body, a double wrap wrist strap, a latex wrapped thumb, and a punch guard pad. They’re available to purchase here. IMG_2064Tech Specs

Palm: 4mm + 3mm German New Soft latex.

Cut: Flat cut with breathable mesh gussets and a latex wrapped thumb. 

Backhand: Soft latex with a punch guard pad on a 3D breathable mesh body.

Closure: Double wrap wrist strap on an 8 cm wide elastic wristband.

Finger Protection: Five removable fingersaves through the zipper above the wrist.

The Aviata Black Mamba V7 goalkeeper gloves are available to purchase here.aviata sports black mamba v7 soccer goalkeeper glovesMy Thoughts

Palm: After a pre-wash, the 4mm of German New Soft latex gets a decent grip on the ball. This latex is not as grippy as the latex on the top glove in the Mamba series, the Black Mamba Aero Pro (which we reviewed here), but it has a good enough grip for intermediate players. For advanced and elite players, I would take a look at the Black Mamba Aero Pro instead of the Black Mamba V7 if you’re looking for a top tier, grippy, and comfy game glove. Concerning durability, the German New Soft latex holds up pretty well on natural grass and can get away with only a few minor tears after playing on turf/artificial grass.vaviata sports black mamba v7 soccer goalkeeper glovesCut: The Black Mamba V7 features a flat cut and a latex wrapped thumb. Personally, I’m not a fan of flat cuts because of the loose and roomy fit they provide, and the cut on this glove holds true to that statement. There is a decent amount of wiggle room in the fingers, but then again, I have skinny and slim fingers; if you have thicker or larger fingers, I’d imagine this flat cut will fit you quite well. The mesh gussets are a nice touch as they increase the breathability of the gloves, leaving me with no complaints there. IMG_2054aviata sports black mamba v7 soccer goalkeeper glovesBackhand: The soft latex backhand is quite durable which I expected since it’s a tough latex in general, and also because it’s been on a lot of goalkeeper gloves I’ve tested in the past. The “punch guard pad,” which is on top of the knuckles, is basically just an area where the soft latex is thicker than on other areas of the backhand. Combined with the solid structure of the fingersaves, the punch guard pad does a good job of dispersing shock when punching the ball away. In general, the soft latex backhand feels comfortable and flexible on hand and the 3D mesh body is greatly exposed (as on most Aviata gloves), increasing breathability and maximizing ventilation of the gloves.aviata sports black mamba v7 soccer goalkeeper glovesIMG_2058Closure & Fit: The double wrap wrist strap is something I always prefer on my gloves whenever I play because of the tight, secure, and custom fit it provides. Coupled with the 8 cm wide wristband, the strap provides just that; a secure, supportive, and snug fit. The five fingersaves are removable through the zipper above the wrist and they do a good job of protecting your fingers from overextending. When the fingersaves are in the gloves, the fingers are more structured and the flat cut fits slightly more snug. IMG_2047aviata sports black mamba v7 soccer goalkeeper glovesFor $49.99, the Aviata Black Mamba V7 is a decent glove option for intermediate goalkeepers considering its decent grip and durability. It’s a comfortable fitting glove but the fit is overall pretty loose and relaxed due to the flat cut so if you’re into that, I recommend picking up a pair. You can pick up a pair for yourself here.aviata sports black mamba v7 soccer goalkeeper glovesaviata sports black mamba v7 soccer goalkeeper gloves

Bamboo Shin Guards Review (Legend Soccer Co.)

IMG_1790While Nike J Guard and Mercurial Lite shin guards have dominated the market for their protection and affordability, there are a new pair of shin guards on the market that are worth taking a look at. They’re called the LEGEND 1, they’re made out of bamboo, and, as the company claims, they’re the only pair of shin guards you’ll ever need to buy due to their strength-to-weight ratio higher than graphite. They’re available to purchase here.IMG_1782

Tech Specs

Designed for high performance, LEGEND 1 is ridiculously lightweight, relentlessly strong, and offers a low-profile that gives you the freedom to play. With a 100% bamboo shell, this is the world’s first sustainable shin guard, so LEGEND 1 makes a statement. The shin guard weighs in at a staggering 1.5 oz, which gives a player the feeling that they’re not even there. Utilizing the natural properties of bamboo, the outer shell has a strength-to-weight ratio higher than graphite, a higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel, and a higher compressive strength than many mixtures of concrete. LEGEND 1 has been tested in 20,000+ hours of game time and can withstand any tackle in a match. 

LEGEND 1 span just 7’’ long and 3’’ wide and have 1/8 inch padding to protect against the highest of impacts. Through their innovative tear drop design, they’ve provided 7 inches of protection at the highest impact zone while maintaining a minimal profile. Through the anti-microbial properties of both bamboo and their closed cell protective padding, LEGEND 1 shin guards are nearly odorless. This high performance foam will help protect from moisture, mildew, and keep the shin safe at the same time.IMG_1771LEGEND 1 is presented in a customized box, which has a set of shin guards and their custom Legend sleeves. Their sleeves complete the package by keeping your guards tight to the shin to prevent movement while playing in the game. Everyone wears their guards differently, but they recommend using the sleeves to keep LEGEND 1 up and out of the way.

LEGEND 1 shin guards run one size fits all (ages 13 and up), are shipped worldwide, and can be customized for teams, tournaments, and camps with names, numbers, tournament logos, or team crests. Whether it’s a gift for your team, a tournament prize, or a gift for your camp attendees, Legend Soccer Company can make it happen. The LEGEND 1 shin guards are available to purchase here.IMG_1784

The Verdict

Intrigued by the idea of the world’s first sustainable shin guard, my expectations were pretty high when I first received my pair of LEGEND 1 shin guards. After putting them through their paces, my expectations were not only met, but exceeded. 

At first, I was a little taken aback at how small they are, only spanning 7 inches long and 3 inches wide, but after playing in them for a few hours, that concern quickly went away. As Legend Soccer Company states, they really do provide protection at the highest impact zone while maintaining a minimal profile. They sit comfortably on my shins with their custom Legend sleeves wrapped snugly over them and they’re so lightweight, only weighing in at 1.5 oz, that I often forget I’m wearing them. When I put these on at practice, my teammates always look and ask about them since they’ve never seen shin guards like these before. I gladly inform them that they’re made out of bamboo, they weigh in at just 1.5 oz, and they’re nearly odorless. They look at me like I have ten heads, wondering how there’s a shin guard as revolutionary as this one, but there’s no denying that there is. And on top of all that, they have a higher compressive strength than many mixtures of concrete, the solid material that we walk on everyday. IMG_1774I did experience a few tackles while testing these shin guards, which I was thankful for to see first hand just how strong they really are. I must say, the strength, protection, and durability of the LEGEND 1 is very impressive, making it worth its $59 USD price tag. Not only are they stronger, lighter, and much less bulky than many of the popular and inexpensive shin guards currently on the market, they’re also less smelly due to the anti-microbial properties of bamboo and the closed cell protective padding which protects against moisture and mildew. Having played in both the LEGEND 1 and Mercurial Lite shin guards on extremely hot, sweaty days, this closed cell padding on the LEGEND 1 is a real game changer.

With all the affordable shin guards currently on the market from top brands like Nike and Adidas, I’d be skeptical of spending $59 USD for a single pair of shin guards, too. But unlike those shin guards, these are much lighter, stronger, less stinky, and smaller yet still more protective than all of those shin guards; and since you haven’t tried out these revolutionary shin guards, you just have to take my word for it—these are worth every penny. You can purchase a pair for yourself here. 

Click here to watch our LEGEND 1 unboxing video.Legend+1+Package-03

reusch pulse pro a2 ortho tec goalkeeper gloves wet weather soccer with finger protection

Reusch Pulse Pro A2 Ortho-Tec Goalkeeper Glove Review

reusch pulse pro a2 ortho tec goalkeeper gloves wet weather soccer with finger protectionThe Reusch Pulse Pro A2 Ortho-Tec is a quality match glove with an impressive grip in all weather conditions. It features high quality materials such as A2 Aquatech foam and a neoprene wristband, and it comes equipped with Reusch’s popular Pro Flex technology and Ortho-Tec fingersaves. They’re available to purchase on Amazon.reusch pulse pro a2 ortho tec goalkeeper gloves wet weather soccer with finger protectionTech Specs

Palm: A2 Aquatech foam for a superior grip in wet and dry conditions. Because of the additives, this foam lasts longer than Reusch’s softer foams. 

Cut: Flat cut with a latex gusset found on the inside of the pinky finger and a latex wrapped thumb. Ergonomic Support System helps the fingers to be pre-splayed for a better hand position on the ball. 

Backhand: Super Softi embossed latex and Reusch’s stretchable P.U. backhand material makes for a more comfortable fit. Reusch’s Pro Flex technology found just above the wrist offers great flexibility.

Closure: The 5.5 cm wide latex wrist strap is set on a 7.5 cm wide neoprene wristband. Reusch’s Pull Loop system allows you to get the gloves on quickly and easily. 

Finger Protection: Five Ortho-Tec fingersaves are removable through the zipper above the wrist.  

Extras: The 3D Thumb Crotch between the thumb and the index finger eliminates any seams that can bother the keeper in an area that takes a lot of stress. 

The Reusch Pulse Pro A2 Ortho-Tec Goalkeeper Gloves are available to purchase on Amazon. 

My Thoughtsreusch pulse pro a2 ortho tec goalkeeper gloves wet weather soccer with finger protectionPalm: After soaking the palms in warm water for almost an hour before my games, the additives in the foam activate, making the A2 Aquatech latex extremely grippy and sticky. The latex gets a great hold on the ball not just in wet conditions, but in dry conditions, too. Because it’s not as soft as Reusch’s other foams, it can withstand a bit more abrasion, making it more durable and less likely to rip or tear. The latex will still eventually deteriorate with use, just not as quickly as a softer foam would. reusch pulse pro a2 ortho tec goalkeeper gloves wet weather soccer with finger protectionreusch pulse pro a2 ortho tec goalkeeper gloves wet weather soccer with finger protectionCut: I’m not a big fan of flat cuts because of the loose and relaxed fit they offer; however, while there’s still a little amount of wiggle room in the fingers, the Ortho-Tec fingersaves help the cut feel tighter and more snug on my fingers. The latex gusset found on the inside of the pinky finger is there to keep latex on the ball until the very last moment when distributing the ball. Whether this little addition of latex makes a difference is hard to tell, but I guess it’s the thought that counts. I like how the Ergonomic Support System makes the fingers pre-splayed/spread out so I can get a better hand position on the ball; this was a feature I wasn’t expecting to make a big difference during play, but to my surprise, it actually does. reusch pulse pro a2 ortho tec goalkeeper gloves wet weather soccer with finger protectionIMG_4989Backhand: The Super Softi embossed latex is extremely soft and noticeably high quality, and is great for punching the ball away with power. Reusch’s stretchable P.U. backhand material makes for a flexible and snug fit which feels great on hand. I found this P.U. material to be effective since it doesn’t allow water to seep into the gloves when playing in wet weather, but on the other hand, it makes the gloves lack breathability. Since this is a wet weather specific glove, I don’t see it as being much of a dealbreaker. Reusch’s Pro Flex technology, found just above the wrist, increases the flexibility of the gloves.IMG_4970IMG_4979Closure: The 5.5 cm wide latex wrist strap coupled with the 7.5 cm wide neoprene wristband makes for a very snug, supportive, and secure fit. Once you wrap the strap around your wrist, it stays put throughout the duration of play and doesn’t need to be readjusted or redone. The Pull Loop System stitched onto the wristband is a feature I’ve seen on a handful of other goalkeeper gloves, but it’s exceptionally well implemented on this one. It’s simply a nylon pull loop that allows you to get the gloves on quickly and easily. The neoprene wristband adds to the comfort of the gloves. reusch pulse pro a2 ortho tec goalkeeper gloves wet weather soccer with finger protectionFit: When the Ortho-Tec fingersaves are in the gloves, the Pulse Pro A2 Ortho-Tec fits more snug on hand. When they’re not in the gloves, the fit is more relaxed and less snug, fitting like a traditional flat cut goalkeeper glove would. The 3D Thumb Crotch between the thumb and the index finger eliminates any seams that can bother the keeper in an area that takes a lot of stress.

Overall, the Reusch Pulse Pro A2 Ortho-Tec is a quality wet weather match glove for elite goalkeepers. Its impressive grip in wet and dry conditions, durable latex, availability of protection, and comfortable fit makes it a great option worth looking into. You can pick up a pair for yourself on Amazon.reusch pulse pro a2 ortho tec goalkeeper gloves wet weather soccer with finger protection