Monday, August 22, 2011
Sells Wrap Elite Aqua Gloves
Inspired by astronauts, and worn by Premier League stars, I thought it was time to see whether Sells goalkeeper gloves could really make a meteoric difference to my game. So, with a Milky Way in one hand and a shiny new pair of gloves in the other, I trotted to a galaxy far, far away (Clapham Common is at the other end of the Northern Line!) and put them to the test.
Now, I'm sure that gloves as innovative as those produced by Sells, one of the most progressive manufacturers around, have to pass some fairly stringent exams before they graduate to the shelves and websites of planet Earth. But I am also fairly certain that while they may have been exposed to some hefty G-force and perhaps even a zero-gravity chamber, the Sells Wrap Elite Aqua gloves will never have been put through the paces of a 12-hour charity football marathon.
Extreme circumstances indeed, but I am happy to report that the gloves passed this endurance test with flying colours - a very impressive achievement on what was a day of pretty much non-stop torrential rain in south-west London.
Putting the gloves on in the warm-up, I immediately felt confident - the 4mm soft latex foam engulfs your fingers, ensuring superior comfort and guarding against pain from even the fiercest of shots. The grip offered felt top notch - so no chance of any Massimo Taibi-style slip-ups - and I was so confident about my handling that I was diving and jumping around like a child. Not really a great idea for someone with ankles as dodgy as mine!
Two games into the mammoth tournament and the rain came. It stayed around for the next 15 matches and remained on and off for pretty much the rest of the day. So how did the gloves perform in such torrid conditions?
In the wet, the grip of the Sells Wrap Elite Aqua gloves was still impressive and even when caked in mud they seemed to perform better than any gloves I've worn before. The design appears simple, but the classic white look belies the technical excellence of this model. There are grip points all over the gloves so as well as aiding the bread-and-butter of catching and palming shots away, you can punch without any fear of the ball skidding off in bad weather.
The water did eventually seep through to my hands - something that initially made me question the 'Aqua Stem' water-repellent lining - but this is fairly forgivable as I was battered by rain incessantly for about nine hours. In a normal 90-minute game, I don't envisage it would be a problem. General wear and tear would have been expected after such an intense workout, but the gloves lasted extremely well considering they were in constant (soaking wet) use for 12 hours. A little of the surface has started to perish in the palm region but in my experience this happens pretty early from heavy use and the level of grip has remained high.
Founder Adam Sells has built a brand to be truly proud of over the past decade by constantly striving to make revolutionary gloves that can help improve the game of amateurs and professionals alike. The Sells Wrap Elite Aqua gloves are another offering that cements their reputation as the Armani of the goalkeeper market: you pay a little bit extra for what is a guarantee of quality.
Sella goalkeeper products can be bought here