Gloves designed for different sports vary greatly in their function. They may improve grip, protect from impact, and help to deliver the defining blow of a match or provide protection from the elements. These different functions demand very specific materials designed to do the job.
The Sells Total Contact Exosphere Guard H20 Goalkeeper gloves (1) feature Outlast® in their backs, a plastic-based, temperature regulating acrylic which absorbs, stores and releases heat as required. On their palms they have 4 mm of a proprietary form of latex which claims to have unsurpassed gripping qualities in wet weather. Rowing gloves or ‘pogies’ (2) are made from a soft polyester fabric with a cuff made from 80% Supplex® and 20% Lycra®. They are designed to accommodate a rowing oar inside the glove and are worn when training providing protection from the elements whilst affording the rower direct contact with the oar.
The Lonsdale club training boxing glove (3) has been developed to incorporate materials which produce a lightweight glove with good durability. They have a dense foam padding for increased shock absorption and cushioning in a lightweight synthetic leather shell. They are padded at the back of the wrist for additional support and have a mesh moisture wicking inner palm providing ventilation and the regulation of temperature to optimise performance. The wrist closure is elasticated with hook and loop to maximise support and fit.
The fencing glove by Leon Paul (4) incorporates a medium density closed cell plastic foam on the back of the hand, an area which is perhaps closest to the opponent and very vulnerable. The foam (5) is designed to dissipate energy and offers added protection. Impact resistance is also a primary consideration in the Robo hockey goalkeeper’s glove (6) where the goalkeeper uses the padded shield to stop and deflect a ball which can be moving at speeds of up to 100 kph. Moulded from closed cell foam this hand shield is lightweight, protective and has good rebound characteristics when the ball is deflected by the goalkeeper. It is designed to accommodate both hand and stick and is shaped in such a way that the stick can lie flat on the floor to prevent the ball from passing underneath. An additional 3mm layer of lightweight polycarbonate is incorporated to provide extra protection.
The Reebok NFL Equipment Velocity Grip Gloves (7) are of a type favored by wheelchair rugby players. The ball used has a soft, textured surface to help with grip and these gloves are coated with Griptonite on the palms and sides of the fingers to assist grip further. The palms of the gloves incorporate a lightweight mesh which aids ventilation and wicks away moisture.