To Thumb or Not to Thumb

September 07, 2016 3 Comments

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

3 Responses

Shane J Flannery
Shane J Flannery

January 31, 2017

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

West Coast GK
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
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?

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Updates & News

Premier League

November 30, 2019

We have a motto we say here at West Coast, 'the only difference is skill.'  What we mean by that is we work really hard to make sure every keeper has Amazing Quality, Pro Gloves at a great price!  So the only difference between you and that top level Pro is Skill. 

Read More
Helix Honor

October 18, 2019

The new wider wrist strap hides an extended palm to help with control of the ball and playing out of the back, we are confident you will love it!

The Helix Honor was made to HONOR all of those Breast Cancer Survivors and those amazing ones, who fought so bravely but succumb to the terrible illness.

Read More

August 31, 2019

In the Aloha we worked hard on Increased Flexibility
  • Added new XTEND Wrist, which incorporates a Wider more secure wrist strap from Latex & Elastic 
  • A rad hidden Extended Palm, which will help you with distribution, front smothers and general ball control. 

Read More