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Play Test Review: Under Armour Desafio Premier Gloves

During my goalkeeping career, I earned First Team All-Conference Honors in high school where I won a state championship and earned MVP Awards. I went on to become the starting keeper at The University of Alabama for three out of my four years. 

There, I earned All-SEC, All-Region and Team MVP Honors. I tied the school record for most shutouts in a season and finished my career tied for second in shutouts in program history.

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With Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster leading the charge and rocking the brand, Under Armour has made a lot of noise in the goalkeeper world. They recently launched the UA Desafio Premier, and we got our hands in a pair to see what they are all about.

First Impressions

I was eager to see how Under Armour would approach goalkeeper gloves as these are the first they’ve ever brought to market.

Even before putting them on, I could tell that the backhand was supportive and the wrist area was sturdy. The glove material was thick and provided enforcement and protection without being bulky. It had a sleek feel and color scheme with the bright yellow standing out against the black wrist wrap.

When I went to pull on the glove, I immediately noticed the material of the wrist sleeve. Most gloves have a stiff wrist-area, but this glove was form-fitting and comfortable.

Advantages

The Desafio has a flat palm with a slight curve to the overall shape of the glove. This allows your hands to easily shape to the ball and cover a broad surface when catching and handling shots.

This glove has a unique wrist strapping system unlike any I had ever used. It gave the backhand and wrist quality enforcement. The strapping system wraps around the wrist and continues up the back of the thumb. This technology gave me premium protection and support when facing even the toughest shots.

The extended ClutchFit wrist sleeve was one of my favorite features. The sleeve, combined with the wrist wrap, locks down the hand. This made the glove comfortable and secure from the start and kept my hands from moving inside of the glove.

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Disadvantages

Although it’s fairly common, there was a slight window for breaking in this glove. The palm was slick for the first session, but the longer I played in them, the better the grip became. Wiping down the palm with water can speed up the grip improvement process, and I would recommend doing that with this glove.

While the wrist wrap technology provided protection for the thumbs and wrist, there are no finger saves in this glove. Personally, I don’t like finger saves and favor more flexibility and a better range of movement, but I know some keepers, finger saves are a must.

Final Thoughts

Going into this Play Test, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had never played in UA gloves, but I was pleasantly surprised.

With the Desafio Premier, Under Armour has created a top-notch glove that is one of the best I have ever put on in between the posts. If you are looking for a glove that provides support but is balanced with flexibility and comfort, this is the glove for you.

Shop the Under Armour Desafio Premier Gloves here at SOCCER.COM.