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Real Madrid’s first-choice goalkeeper – Thibaut Courtois – is widely regarded as an outspoken lad who frequently finds himself in the sporting headlines.
He’s never afraid to speak his mind on matters concerning soccer, and his confidence is a large part of what makes him a great goalkeeper.
The Belgian-born player has arguably risen to the pinnacle of the game in the span of a decade, as his performances are watched by millions of Spanish fans as well as spectators from other parts of the globe.
With such a magnified lens positioned over the 6 foot 7 inch goalkeeper’s head, a lot of questions about the player are bound to arise over time.
You can probably take a guess as to what a lot of Real Madrid supporters would like to know about Courtois, such as how long he intends to stay at the Spanish club and even what gloves he wears to matches!
Now, the latter query is something that this website is particularly interested in.
Thibaut Courtois uses a customized version of Nike’s Vapor Grip 3 Promo goalkeeper gloves for professional fixtures.
At this point you may be wondering, how does the article writer know this?
Well, for starters, a simple look at Courtois’ Twitter account reveals this information.
If you look closely at the image above, you’ll recognise the famous “Nike swoosh” logo as Courtois celebrates in a recent UEFA Champions League game.
Here’s another photo showing him wearing these gloves:
You may also notice the reduced size of the Nike logo on these gloves, which is slightly different from the larger “swoosh” size present on a normal pair of Vapor Grip 3 gloves.
The reason for this is that UEFA has specific protocols put in place for Champions League matches that prohibit manufacturer identifications exceeding 20cm2 in any position on each goalkeeper glove.
So, in order to adhere to these rules and be compliant, Nike had to produce versions of the same glove with a smaller logo size for their brand ambassadors like Courtois.
Features of Thibaut Courtois’ goalkeeper gloves
There’s certainly a lot to like about the gloves that Thibaut Courtois uses, but for the sake of keeping things short and sweet I’ll only talk about two key product highlights.
On the same note, I’ve already written an article on the goalkeeper gloves that Alisson Becker wears, which covers the exact same pair that Courtois puts on.
In that post, the design elements of the glove were explained in detail so it would be a little redundant for me to offer a thorough breakdown once more here.
So, let’s now take a look at what these gloves offer…
1. All Conditions Control (ACC) technology
Right now you’re probably thinking what in the world ACC does!
Well the truth is it’s a quite straightforward piece of proprietary technology that Nike came up with for earlier versions of their soccer cleats.
Here’s what the company had to say about the mechanic at the time:
“Nike All Conditions Control (ACC) technology allows the boot’s surface to maintain the same level of friction, touch and control on the ball in wet and dry conditions.
It ensures the surface of the boot upper delivers consistent friction between boot and ball in wet weather conditions allowing the player an assured touch similar to the feel of the ball in dry conditions.”Source – Nike News
Translating those benefits over to goalkeeper gloves is relatively simple.
Goalkeepers get the advantage of a more consistent feel of the soccer ball.
So, a player such as Courtois can expect to feel the same degree of grasp on a ball during a match played in the summer heat when compared to one taking place in wet and wintry conditions.
This is a game-changer because it means goalkeepers no longer have to allocate as much preparation time towards specific routines like catching soccer balls that roll quickly along wet grass.
2. Lower positioned wrist strapping
Nike really outdid themselves here and I’ll explain why.
You see, a traditional pair of goalkeeper gloves typically has the wrist strap located at the joint of the body that connects the lower arm to the rest of the hand.
This strapping has to be tightened before games otherwise goalkeepers could find themselves in an undesirable situation where a glove falls off before a soccer ball is hit towards them!
Where the problem lies is how high up this wrist strapping rests.
On a standard goalkeeper glove, this strapping can interfere with an athlete’s natural hand movement, which can be detrimental to overall goalkeeping performance because the position relies on having complete hand mobility and flexibility.
By lowering the position of the wrist strapping on these Vapor Grip 3 gloves, Nike solved a problem.
Goalkeepers who wear this brand and model of gloves can move their hands much more freely because the wrist strapping doesn’t interfere with their hand movement.
This allows players performing this role to make stronger punched clearances and parries.
Video review of Courtois’ gloves
To round out this article even further, I thought it would be good to give readers a better glimpse of what this product has to offer by showcasing some video footage.
In the review below, Vapor Grip 3 Promo gloves are put through some interesting bits of performance testing:
Where can you buy Courtois’ gloves?
Unfortunately, the specific pair of Promo gloves that Courtois puts on can’t be found on Amazon.
However, they’ve got a standard Vapor Grip 3 listing available:
- Adjustable waistband
- Grip3 technology for high control
- Elasticated fabric for optimum freedom of movement
But if you’re really dead set on getting the exact type that Courtois wears, check out this page from just-keepers.com.
You’ll notice the size of the Nike logo on these is a lot more compact, plus the colours match exactly what you can see in Courtois’ very own Twitter posts.
So, that wraps things up!
But just to recap…
Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois sports Nike Vapor Grip 3 Promo goalkeeper gloves for his professional matches.
If you find these gloves great, you might want to take a look at some of the finest goalkeeper gloves that money can buy in the present.
Reading that product roundup article will likely leave you with a goalkeeper glove selection headache!