Lacrosse goalie gloves are arguably one of the more important pieces of protective equipment a goalie needs when stepping into the cage.
The hands and especially the thumb are fragile and exposed when goalies are holding the stick in their hands so finding gloves that provide you with protection against hard shots hitting your hand and worse causing bone breaks is extremely important.
That is why in 2021 a pair of gloves really caught our eyes – the Nike Vapor Pro Goalie Gloves.
Heading into the 2021 season you began seeing many college goalies such as Taylor Moreno, rocking these unique goalie gloves with a massive thumb which had many people in the goalie world really intrigued.
Then you started to see goalies in Athletes Unlimited such as Mira Shane, Kady Glynn, and Britt Brown rocking the Nike swoosh.
Once 2022 came around the likes of Kimber Hower (Syracuse), Patrick Burkenshaw (Penn), Delaney Galvin (Richmond) and Bobby Gavin (Syracuse) were all rocking the Nike Goalie Gloves.
But what is it about these gloves that have many of the top college goalies switching to the Nike Gloves?
Read our review to learn more.
Helping us out with our review today is Athletes Unlimited goalie and former Michigan alum, Mira Shane.
In terms of gloves what we want to look for is protection, comfort, fit, durability, look, and price. In this review, we will go over all of these aspects and provide you with our final thoughts at the end.
Nike Vapor Pro: Protection
The thing that stands out most with the Nike Vapor Goalie Gloves is the massive protective thumb guard.
It’s probably one of the bigger pieces of thumb protection we’ve seen on goalies’ gloves ever with the only gloves rivaling these being the Maverik line of goalie gloves.
The thumb guard is made up of a hard piece of plastic that covers the entire thumb which is something that is very unique when it comes to goalie gloves because many just have a protective thumb cap at the top of the thumb or partial coverage of the thumb.
With the Nike glove you get full coverage so regardless of how you hold your stick, your thumb is going to be protected against hard shots.
The sad state of lacrosse goalie thumb protection is such that no thumb is safe in any glove. I know goalies who injured their thumb in every line of gloves. One goalie swears by a certain pair of gloves, the next goalie broke their thumb in the same model. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know lacrosse goalie thumb protection needs to get better.
That said, one of the first shots I took with these gloves was right off of the thumb and I felt the glove really protected me well against those hard shots.
One of the biggest concerns about having such a large protective piece on the thumb though is “am I going to be able to move my thumb in these gloves?”
The Vapor Pro Goalie Glove features a break in the middle of the thumb which allows the gloves to flex and bend as you move your hand.
We won’t lie to you these gloves did take some time to get used to. It’s a big change if you’re used to using gloves with minimal thumb protection so we wouldn’t recommend hopping into the net during a game without first putting testing these gloves out.
However, once you get a few practices in with these gloves you’ll start to notice that the gloves will begin to break in and you’ll feel more and more mobile in them.
Nike Vapor Pro: Comfort & Durability
The Nike Vapor Goalie Gloves feature a Premium Ax Suede palm that provides excellent grip while also boasting one of the “softest” feels in lacrosse.
These gloves provide an awesome grip when holding your stick. While in many gloves you may feel like you need to cut the palms out in order to provide you with optimal grip these gloves allow you to hold the stick firmly in your hand and also transfer from getting ready to make a save to pass with ease.
The Nike Vapor Pro’s are incredibly lightweight and offers a streamlined design. The Ventilation in the palm helps keep your hand cool.
Outside of the thumb protection, this is the feature we liked most about these gloves. They do a really great job of allowing your hand to breathe and keep your hand cool on those hot summer days
As Mira put it: “Think Maryland hot muggy summer heat, sweating non-stop. These gloves still sit great in your hands and don’t hold in sweat like others might”.
The velcro strap cuffing system allows you to choose to wear the glove super tight or loose to your wrist depending on your preference in the cage. While there also is an option to add a skate lace if you want to make it even tighter.
I’ve been using these gloves for about 6 months now and have noticed some wear and tear with some light fraying of the stitching of the gloves, but the glove has maintained intact really well.
Mira has been using these gloves for over a year now and she has noticed that due to friction between the index finger and the thumb there has been some wear on the palm but that is with playing 3 games a weekend over 5 weeks of intense games and practice which could be the equivalent of any other normal season.
The Nike Vapor Gloves should easily last you two if not more seasons of use.
Nike Vapor Pro: Look & Fit
The Nike Vapor Pro Goalie Gloves come in stock in all white only. They don’t come in any other color options unless you choose to order a custom team set of gloves.
These gloves might get a bad rap because of the size of the massive thumb but they actually have a pretty cool look to them and honestly, if we’re focused on safety and protection these are probably one of the most protective gloves on the market today. If you’ve broken, your thumb before in the cage you definitely know what we’re talking about.
We also really love the style of fresh whites which as long as you can keep them clean will always look great. The material on the fingers is a different style of fabric that does scratch up pretty easily.
In terms of fit, these gloves do fit a lot bigger than normal and might provide you with a bit more room than normal so you may want to consider that when purchasing your gloves.
The gloves I had were large and they fit my hands really well when I used them. LacrosseMonkey has a great size chart on their website that recommends what size glove to purchase based on your hand size.
Nike Vapor Pro: Price
The Nike Vapor Pro Goalie Gloves come in at the price of $149.99 which is similar in price to a lot of the other upper-end gloves on the market such as the Maverik Max ($159), the STX Cell 5 ($159), and the Warrior Nemesis Pro ($159).
Here is a video that Coach Damon, Evan, and Mira did talking about the Nike Vapor Pro Lacrosse Goalie Gloves.
Huge thanks to Mira Shane for helping out with this goalie gloves review!
We’d recommend these gloves to any goalie at the high-school level or even a younger goalie working towards higher levels of play who’s had thumb issues and is looking to get a glove that provides you with great protection to keep your hands safe in games.
In terms of gloves, a lot of goalies want to feel protected, but they also want to feel like they can maneuver freely with the gloves as well. While these gloves were certainly stiff out of the box over time the glove will start to break in and you will be able to move freely with it.
Especially as shot speed increases as you get older you’re going to want a pair of gloves that are going to provide you with optimal protection and the Nike Vapor Goalie Gloves definitely achieve this.
While some may be apprehensive about using a set of goalie gloves with a thumb this size many who use them warm up to them quickly with reps.
Lacrosse is my passion! The game has given me so much and this blog is my way of giving back to the lax community. Specifically the most bad a$$ part of that community - the goalies! After learning to play goalie from scratch, I wanted to create a site where I could share what I learned with others so they too can become champions in the crease and in life. Learn more about Coach Damon.