As with most sports, even though football is a non-contact sport it is important that you thoroughly protect yourself during this sport, this varies depending on your position in the squad. Footballers who play in positions such as defence, midfield and upfront must wear shin pads, these protect your shins and some also protect your ankles depending on how much money you are prepared to spend. For the goalkeeper who has to stop footballs from hitting the back of the net, they must wear both shin pads and goalkeeper gloves. For example the Adidas F50 Goalkeeper Gloves are a popular choice.

Goalkeepers have a very important job; if the opposition manage to dribble the ball past your own defence then the goalkeeper must jump in and try to save the ball if the player decides to shoot. Depending on the force of the strike you must try to get your body behind it and block the shot which will also protect your fingers.

Using our body weight along is not the best protection, although it does help, goalkeeper gloves 

goalkeeper glovesare a must have if you are going to be playing in goal. You would not be physically allowed to play if you did not have your gloves with you. If you receive a particularly forceful shot then you could risk sprained fingers or even worse, dislocated or broken.

If you are new to buying your own gloves, you may be shocked to know that there are so many different types of glove available on the market, these are made from different materials and contain all kinds of multiple technologies. There are many different things to look for which include;

- The Glove Cut - This will come down to your preference, there are three different types of glove cut, these are: The flat palm cut, these are the traditional cut which were first invented, these are also known as the 'box cut' gloves. These are less popular nowadays as it is known that you cannot grip the ball as well as you can with a 'roll finger cut' glove' as the material is not skin tight to the fingers. Victor Valdes, Pepe Reina and Julio Cesar are just a few well known keepers who use this range.

- The Roll Finger Cut - This cut has become very popular over the last five years, and is used by many professional goalkeepers. The difference between the roll finger and the glove cut is that these gloves are very much skin tight giving you a much better grip, they are great for throwing the ball also, so these goalkeeper gloves receive quite high marks from me.

- Negative Cut -The negative cut is a similar style to the glove cut design, they are made in the same way as far as the stitching together goes. These gloves are said to be better for people with 'slimmer' hands, many female footballers wear. Other keepers such as Iker Cassilas, David James and Ben Foster have all been seen wearing the negative cut. A great example is the Adidas F50 goalkeeper gloves.

As well as the style of your soccer goalkeeper gloves you must also looks closely at the descriptions and read about their technologies. Some manufacturers integrate extra protection to their products. These could also be known as 'spines', these can be found in each finger and help to give extra protection for the fingers and prevent them from being bent backwards.

Soccer gloves with 'spines' are often used by many younger children in football; this proves extra protection which is important for finger growth as a child. Finger save gloves are fantastic for protection but have been known to make it more difficult for the goalkeeper to grip the ball.

Another factor to look at when buying your gloves is the latex type. You can choose from three different types including Giga, Soft or Super soft. Do be careful when buying soft gloves, even though these are comfier than the giga types they have a shorter lifespan. Using these on AstroTurf is a bad idea as they can wear down very quick.

Always take a look at the 'back hand' of a glove before buying. These can be made from latex, similar to what is found on the palm of the hand, mesh material which is best for hot weather conditions and embossed PU, this one however does not give as much protection. Most professionals use the latex type of back hand. The final factors you must look out for are the wrist type and strap type, this will determine the fit of your glove.

In order to keep your gloves in great condition;

- Always clean your gloves after use with lukewarm water
- Store them in a clean place where they will not damage
- Bye separate goalkeeper gloves to train with
- Buy the correct size
- Do not store them in direct sunlight
Following these tips will make your protective gloves last longer.

In your opinion which type of glove do you shop for?
Do more expensive gloves last longer than a cheaper version?

Emily writes exclusively for Soccer Box, here you can purchase a range of football merchandise, along with some great protective items such as the Adidas F50 Goalkeeper Gloves.