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Growing up, I always thought playing goalie was exciting, though I was pretty much limited to playing the position during the evening scrimmages at soccer camps. Even then, I was fairly limited to playing goalie during goofy games that were just for fun. Despite my lack of real game experience, I understand what you need out of your jersey. Today I’d like to talk about the Nike Park III goalkeeper jersey in green, which is a justifiably higher end jersey in our shop.

Choosing a keeper jersey has basically the same criteria as choosing a pair of boots: looks, performance, function, and durability. The Park III jersey isn’t necessarily among the flashiest or most stylish of goalkeeper jerseys, probably owing to more emphasis on function and performance, but it still has a style all its own that is recognizable from a distance. The torso is left blank so that the green, which is, as best as I can judge, is a “sea green,” from the Wikipedia pallet, can stand out enough for players to clearly see the keeper. The action happens entirely on the sleeves. Starting at the sleeve cuff, you have a solid black cuff that sees green dots appear at the start of the wrist. These dots repeat in a growing fashion until they start to evaporate around the shoulder, ultimately terminating at the collar with the only remnants being the black squares that once separated the circles. The only other visual element is the mesh abdomen sides, which also serve a functional purpose.

Alright, everyone still with me? Good. I was hoping everyone could cross that rocky, unstable segue I tried to build with the mesh comment. So like I said, this jersey is justifiably higher end due to the quality functionality and quality construction. It’s made out of 100% polyester and with Nike Dri-Fit technology, so it’s both lightweight and well-ventilated. The jersey is thin enough to allow for efficient moisture evaporation, but it isn’t so thin that it feels like tissue paper. It’s also elastic enough to bend and shape with your movements while also being loose enough as to allow for a large range of motion.

Perhaps the greatest quality resides with the elbow pads, though. The pads actually have some thickness to them, which separates this jersey from the lower priced shirts, and the pads are also separated into independent little guards, both stitched into the elbow. Not only does this make the padding more flexible with your elbow, this design also makes the pads sturdier by decreasing tension points. You’ll still be protected by lower end jerseys, though to a lesser degree, and it’s my opinion that this keeper jersey will last you longer as well, depending on frequency of use. These jerseys seem to run fairly large as I couldn’t even fit into a small, though this is probably more to do with my body frame than the shirt itself; I tried several other jerseys on with similar results. In any case, don’t be shocked if you have to look at a couple sizes before finding your preferred fit.

As I’ve said time and time again, this jersey is a quality made and quality designed product for a highly reasonable price. It won’t draw the eye of those seeking a flashy, brightly colored shirt, but it should definitely catch the attention of those looking for a quality product that will allow them to perform to their capabilities. Expect to pay $69.99 or so for a shirt, which understandably seems a bit high. Factor in that the lower end jerseys are only about $20 cheaper, and the price for the Park III isn’t so bad. In any case, I suggest you give it a chance at the very least.

Written by: Kris Dyer, soccerprose.com


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