Company: Under Armour / Product: Player Gloves / Price: $159.99
The year is 2012, and another big name brand has finally entered the lacrosse market. As a first-year lacrosse gear manufacturer, many have wondered about the integrity of Under Armour’s 2012 products. It’s only natural for us hardcore lacrosse players to assume that UA products have room for improvement as we know how hard it is to create great gear, but is the UA gear respectable? Are they worthy? Can they withstand my testing? We will soon find out!
Today I am reviewing the Under Armour Player Gloves we purchased from Lacrosse Panda. You wouldn’t want to buy a car before test driving it, and you definitely wouldn’t want to buy a pair of gloves without at least knowing what you’re getting into first. And that’s why I’m here! Onward friends!
Initially, I was indifferent to the “stormtrooper” look. Under Armour didn’t seem to be trying anything too fancy. However, the clean look of the gloves grew on me as I put them on and started checking myself out in the mirror (I kid…). Honestly, these gloves look like a high-end Gait glove, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
The first thing that really caught my attention were the “Knuckle Spacer Pads.” In all the gloves I’ve owned, getting hit on the knuckles has never really been an issue, so these spacer pads seemed kind of gimmicky to me. However, I’m leaving it open for debate for now. Like the general look of the gloves, these mini pads grew on me as well as time passed.
Another interesting thing I noticed right off the bat was the cuffs. They are a little big, and they stick out from the back of the glove. However, one cool feature of the Player Gloves is that the cuffs are actually made to be removable, so you can take them out easily. All-in-all, it is a pretty sharp looking glove, especially if you want a job with The Empire!
These mitts were very comfortable from the moment I put them on. The thumb is a little stiff and I felt like it took longer to break in than other pairs of gloves I’ve worn, but this ended up being a good thing, which I’ll talk about in the next section below.
One of the product specs for the gloves is a new revolutionary “Molded Skin” technology for reduced weight and improved flexibility. The gloves definitely feel more contoured to my hands right out of the box than most, and after a couple hours of wall ball and shooting, they broke in fairly easily.
The only areas that really gave me trouble in regards to flexibility and overall comfort were the wrist pads. They are made up of two really large pads on each side of the wrist that became kind of a nuisance while moving my wrist in certain directions.
The liner of the gloves feature Under Armour’s HeatGear Technology, making the breathability highly noticeable as I started to sweat. Compared to other gloves I’ve worn in the past, it definitely added to the overall comfort of my hands inside the gloves. Chalk one up for those laxers living in high-humidity environments!
This was the hardest aspect of the Player Gloves to evaluate. While I was very impressed with the backhand and wrist padding, I felt like there was a lack of overall protection at the top of the wrist and around the fingers. This is an area of concern, since I want a glove that is completely protective of my hands – being that they are an important contributor to my playing abilities.
As I mentioned in the Comfort section above, I found that the cuffs seemed kind of big for the gloves. Even with trying different combinations of tightness for the cuff and wrist sections, I still had a largely exposed area right on top of my wrist – you may as well have taken the cuffs off, which I eventually did. Taking some strong checks to those areas in Chumash made me wish I had my other gloves back on.
The fingers also presented a real problem, as they were super stretchy – like “Stretch Armstrong” stretchy. When I closed my hands around the stick, this happened:
Even though my hands are rather large, this still worried me quite a bit. If the tips of my fingers are that exposed while my holding a stick, a nice check on my hands could do some real damage. But since I have big hands, I asked one of the kids at my gym to try the gloves on, and he noticed the same thing before I even mentioned it to him.
There was a great aspect to the protection on the Player Gloves though… Remember how earlier I mentioned the stiff thumbs? I love them! The thumb unit is slightly more stiff because the padding actually curves around your thumb a little. It is more protective than your average thumb pad, and after a while it breaks in just the same as the rest of the glove.
The Triple Density Foam featured on these gloves helped in some areas as well. The back of my hands and fingers felt just fine despite facing some solid checks.
Overall, these are pretty well made gloves. Kudos to UA for aligning with an experienced manufacturing partner!
After thorough usage, there are a couple stitches coming loose on my pair, but overall the glove is in good shape. With extra leather lining on key areas, the palms seem like they will continue to hold up as well. Like I said earlier, it strikes me as a high-end Gait glove made with quality Under Armour material.
At $159.99, the Under Armour Player Gloves are lined up against many other top of the line gloves from other manufacturers. To me, this kind of makes the flaws in the gloves stick out like a sore thumb – or finger, in this case. If Under Armour was able to fix the cuff and finger issues, I would have given it a better value. For now though, I’m going to stick with a one, because if I’m paying a top of the line price, I expect a top of the line model.
That being said, the UA brand is something that can’t go unnoticed. Many people out there LOVE Under Armour and their approach with HeatGear technology, and they’d jump at the chance to pay a top of the line price for this model. I can’t hold anything against them for that! It’s all about personal preference, right?
Overall Score: 6.2/10
I really appreciate a big brand like Under Armour jumping into the fire this year and taking some chances with the Player Gloves. I could see UA becoming a big time contender in the lacrosse world if they fix a few of the main issues I detailed in my review. While I hope more companies take note of the thumb design and follow suit (awesome feature I haven’t really seen used before), UA can and WILL definitely do better as they dive deeper into our sport.
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