There was once a time when goalkeepers didn’t even wear gloves, then a time when the goalkeeping glove didn’t really change for several decades.
The latter was up until this very point, but with the new Mercurial Touch Elite Goalkeeper Gloves, Nike have reinvented the wheel. The creation process began by throwing out all assumptions about what gloves are supposed to have simply because they’ve always had them (things like straps, bulky padding on top of the hand, multiple components and so on). At the same time, they applied key learnings from other gloves Nike has developed across a wide spectrum of sports, including surfing, baseball, American football and golf. The result is a glove that delivers everything goalkeepers need and removes anything they don’t in an innovative design tuned to the modern game.
By reducing the bulk and stiffness of traditional mitts, the gloves are designed to unleash the ultimate potential of a goalkeeper’s hands. The strap has been replaced by a flexible wrist cuff that extends from the joint to the lower forearm for mobility and comfort.
The glove’s minimalist aesthetic is a result of a 66-percent reduction in the number of components than the previous glove. And, thanks to the removal of superfluous padding on the back of the hand, it’s also 33-percent lighter and 47-percent thinner.
Each glove is constructed with a one-piece gusset, similar to the style that Nike are applying to their Flyknit boots. The high-grip palm features Nike’s proprietary ACC (All Condition Control) for mastering the elements. These features are designed to support saves as well as ball distribution, giving the modern goalkeeper everything he needs.
The gloves release to the public in May, but the professionals are likely to be using them before then. Expect to see a lot of these at the World Cup in June and July.