To Thumb or Not to Thumb

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To Thumb or Not to Thumb

Posted on September 07 2016

Finger Protection is something that we see over 80% of American Goalkeepers wear, one question we get a lot is - what about the thumb?  Many Keepers don't understand why all gloves don't come with thumb protection.  

The answer is quite simple, but can be broken down like this

  1.  The thumb does not move like the rest of your fingers, so even with finger protection in a thumb, it really isn't protecting anything.  The most common injury for a thumb is a Jam not a hyperextension like we see on fingers.
  2.  Simply put, you need your thumb to be flexible and free in order to help you secure the ball - A Thumb save actually works against you making a clean save.  West Coast creates almost all the gloves to have very flexible thumbs, in order to help you make a better catch!
  3. We know a lot of Pro keepers that wear fingersaves today - we cannot think of 1 Pro Keeper that wears a Fingersave in the Thumb!

The only instance where we would recommend a thumbsave is in the case of a pre-existing injury, and then we would most likely recommend taping your thumb over a fingersave!  

If you feel you need thumb protection you can add it to almost any glove, except gloves that have wrap over/wrap under thumb (as we stitch the thumb and there is no pocket).

Also remember that fingersaves are not the cure all against injury, we recommend doing exercises to increase hand strength in younger keepers!   If you have any questions about Finger or Thumbsaves you can always shoot the West Coast team a question at or on twitter @WestCoastGK -

Stand Your Ground

Shawn Norris, President

West Coast Goalkeeping


  • Shane J Flannery: January 31, 2017

    Could you post a video on proper taping techniques for fingers and the thumb. Thanks

  • West Coast GK: September 08, 2016

    Great Question! This is the perfect example of needing to tape. It depends on how deep the sprain is, however it is not uncommon for the thumb to have repeated issues once there is a deep sprain or dislocation. A heavy tape around the base of the thumb is ideal, a thumb save may help, but taping should be your first step!

  • Tammi S Boyer: September 07, 2016

    My daughter sprained her thumb last week and was told by the doctor that she will be prone to reinjury because of it. I know you said the only time you would recommend it was with a pre-existing injury. It’s there a specific type you sell that has the segmented thumb guard?

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