Written By Justin on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | 8:52:00 PM
This is Werden Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese. And those things on his hands are not props from the next Spiderman film. They're the latest from Uhlsport, the Akkurat. Tim is smiling, but it looks a bit forced to me.
Uhlsport made the gloves of my dreams for years and years. But about 10 years ago, new glove companies came along, companies that listened to what goalkeepers wanted and met those needs. The specific companies are Selsport, Sells, and HO. In their glove ranges you find multiple cuts and styles - whereas Uhlsport still predominantly offers only flat palm designs (along with corporate giants adidas and Nike). Tim's gloves feature negative cut, but you and I can't buy those. Like most of the gloves worn by Uhlsport endorsees, they are specially made for him. Whereas you can buy, off the shelf, the exact same gloves worn by the endorsees of Sells, Selsport, and HO.
While they have kept up in terms of grip, Uhlsport have also missed the boat on innovations keepers want. You won't find wrapped thumbs or internal latex models from Uhlsport. They have only one negative cut model, a lower-end glove. And their palms tend to be painfully thin. I have a pair of ProFM Aquasofts with a palm that can't be more than 2 mm.
It's not all bad. The Cerberus and Chimera lines feature excellent rollfinger models. But I sure wish Uhlsport would get with the times, listen to their customers, and offer us the same gloves their endorsees wear. And I can only hope the Akkurat is a temporary stain on the goalkeeping landscape.