Why Do Soccer Players Wear Gloves? The Answer May Surprise You!

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Do you know why soccer players wear gloves? It’s not just to keep warm – there are other reasons! In this article, we explore the many reasons why professional soccer players wear gloves, and discuss the various benefits that they offer.

From keeping hands warm to helping with protection gloves have a lot of practical uses. Not to mention, they make for a great fashion statement! So whether you’re a fan of the sport or just curious, read on to learn more.

7 Reasons Why Soccer Players Wear Gloves

Here are our top reasons for players to wear gloves.

  • Fighting Against The Cold Weather
  • Wearing Gloves For Commercial Reasons
  • Protection from the playing surface
  • As a fashion statement
  • Superstition or for good luck
  • Better grip when throwing the ball back into play
  • As a goalie, but this one doesn’t count – all goalkeepers wear gloves and we take an in-depth look at goalie gloves in another article.

Fighting Against The Cold Weather

Your hands are one of the first places you’ll notice the cold weather. The blood vessels in your hands constrict when it’s cold outside, which reduces blood flow and makes your hands feel cold.

Our bodies do this to ensure that our vital organs continue to get blood pumped to them. If you’re outside in the cold for a long period, even if your running around and sweating during the match your hands can get cold and feel numb.

This can lead to a loss of concentration and you need to be switched on for the full 90 minutes.

Wearing Gloves For Commercial Reasons

Soccer is big business especially outside of the US

Soccer outside the US is big business in fact according to sportsbrief.com soccer is the biggest sport in the world and is enjoyed by more than 4 billion people worldwide, that’s more than half the population.

With that level of engagement and following it’s no wonder brands like Adidas and Nike have huge sponsorship deals with both clubs and individual players.

These brands pay millions to the likes of Messi and Ronaldo to wear and promote their brands.

Protection from the playing surface

Wearing gloves is a great way to help reduce the wear and tear on the hands. Gloves help protect the hands from the playing surface and turf burn.

Turf burn is a type of friction burn that occurs when you fall heavy on grass or artificial turf causing the exposed skin to rub against the turf peeling away the layers of skin.

Gloves help to create a barrier between the playing surface and your skin to reduce the risk of burns and infection.

As a fashion statement

Soccer Gloves as a Fashion Statement

Soccer players are icons across the world, yet for every game, they turn out in the same strip as the other 9 (excluding the goalie) players on the pitch.

There are only 2 points of difference between the outfield players that you can change to differentiate yourself from the rest of the team and that’s your boots and gloves.

Some players have been known to personalize their game gloves with their shirt number or their personal brands and logos.

Superstition or for good luck

Soccer players are a funny lot, they spend hours training in all weather to be the best they can be and so they are prepared once they enter the field of play for almost every circumstance, yet many of them will do everything they can to gain that extra edge.

From sitting in the same seat on the team bus to cutting holes in their match-day socks these players can be a superstitious lot.

One such player was Arsenal’s Thierry Henry, it was often said that as soon as it turn cooler the long sleeve shirts with gloves and the socks pulled right up would come out. This gave Henry an edge and it was a terrifying sight for any defender. Check out the video below showing some of Henry’s best moments.

Are soccer players allowed to wear gloves?

It may come as a surprise to some, but professional soccer players are allowed to wear gloves during matches. There is no specific rule about wearing gloves, but there is some guidance around safety.

Safety is key and gloves must not be dangerous to the player wearing them it any other player on the pitch. I’m guessing boxing gloves would be a no!

Better grip when throwing the ball into play

The long throw-in has become a part of the modern game. Some players can now throw the ball significantly further than I can kick it.

For some players wearing gloves when going for a long throw makes the ball feel slippery like you’re throwing soap, and you lose the connection with the ball, but for other players who choose to wear gloves feel they help to improve their grip allowing them to get better distance when throwing the ball back into play.

Are Some Players More Prone To Wearing Gloves?

While many professional soccer players will wear gloves at some point, some players are more prone to wearing gloves than others.

Many of the world’s elite players are from much warmer climates like Brazil. Brazil has some fabulous players playing all over the world in places like the English Premier League.

I played soccer in England, in January, in the freezing rain, and it’s miserable and I’m from Washington so I know cold, but that was awful.

Now imagine growing up in Brazil, Portugal or Spain and then moving to the UK and playing in those conditions. For these foreign players, it will be a shock to their systems and may take time to acclimatize.

How do players choose the right gloves?

Most professional soccer players’ primary concern when wearing gloves is to protect their hands from the cold weather. However, there are other factors to consider and ultimately it comes down to individual requirements.

Players need to choose the right gloves based on the weather conditions and the size of their hands. If you are unsure how to size your hands then check out this easy-to-follow video.

What are the most popular brands of gloves?

The most popular soccer gloves are those that are warm, comfortable, and provide a good grip. Some of the most popular brands include Nike, Adidas, and Puma.

Here are the best soccer gloves from each brand.

Adidas Pro Field Player Gloves

image of the Adidas Performance Field Player Fleece Glove with a breakdown of features and benefits

Nike Men’s Therma Fit Gloves

image of the Nike Mens Therma Fit Athletic Gloves with a breakdown of features and benefits

Puma Soccer Field Player Gloves

image of the PUMA Soccer Field Player Gloves with a breakdown of features and benefits


In conclusion, there are a few reasons why soccer players wear gloves. Gloves can help protect a player’s hands from the cold weather, they can help a player get a better grip on the ball, and they can help a player avoid getting injured.

So the question shouldn’t be Why do soccer players wear gloves? The question should be in the depths of winter how can you go out on the field without them? If you liked this article and you want to know more then please check out our other sports gloves articles. 

Thanks for reading.

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The founder and chief editor here at solelygloves.com. I'm a freelance writer in the health and sports world. When not working I can be found on a sports field playing a range of sports and team games or hanging with my young family.