Product: King IV Gloves
Company: Brine Lacrosse
Going in to this review, I was admittedly excited to try out the new Brine King IV gloves. I figured by the fourth generation of a glove, a company would have their design down pat and perfected, and since the King glove line is regarded highly amongst glove lines, I hoped the IV would more than live up to prior incarnations. When it came to performance, the glove didn’t disappoint in any way, shape or form…
The King is a definite eye catcher, and the color blocking is really well done, especially outside of the all-white model. UCLA has already customized a pair that look great, and I’m excited to see where the top level teams go with this glove. Overall, the gloves looks really good, and the backhand vent is attractive, and scary looking, all at the same time.
The glove’s appearance is definitely modern, and the only reason I knocked .5 off is because I think the open back hand portion of the glove could frighten some people away. Don’t worry too much… I’ll get into whether or not that is a legitimate concern a little later.
This glove is extremely comfortable, and I could say that immediately upon putting them on. The glove was soft and flexible from the first time I donned the mittens, and while they got softer and more flexible as I wore them, they didn’t break in too quickly. Frankly, I really didn’t need them to break in much at all.
The backhand mesh and padding definitely lets the glove breathe, and allows for great mobility and flex straight away. The articulated thumb is a great product feature, and is one of the reasons the gloves are good to go right out of the bag. The material seems to be high quality, but it’s also soft and flexible on the palm, and throughout the pad structure.
Even though I think the look of the gloves could scare some people off, the protection will not. I wore them playing in two games and got some good whacks on the hand in both. I never felt like the backhand mesh and padding system was putting me at any risk, and the gloves were as good in the protection category as any other top of the line model. I was a little surprised by this (given the size of the vent) but the proof is in my un-bruised hand.
The thumb pad system also stood out, again, in the protection area. The thumb portion of the glove seems to wrap your digit in padding, but it still flexes and moves with your hand fluidly. It’s impressive, protective and efficiently designed. The fingers all flex, but are also well padded. The palm is tight, and your fingers don’t move around at all. It’s snug and soft in the glove, but well padded on the outside. The look may be aggressive, but Brine nails it in the protection area!
The wrist area is a bit short for my liking, but this is the trend with lacrosse gloves of today, and few gloves go up much further, so with no company doing anything that different, I can’t really subtract points for that.
The gloves can take a beating. They showed no signs up loosening, breaking or losing thread. The pads stayed tough and the glove got better with time. Overall, these gloves are well put together, and should last you for at least a full season, even if you’re playing every day. It’s a top of the line product and is put together like one.
While the gloves perform like a top of the line product, they are also priced like THE top of the line product. At around $190, they are the MOST expensive glove on the market today, and for this reason they lose out in the Value category. Yes, the product is excellent, and yes, the thumb and backhand design are almost revolutionary. But the ever-increasing price tag for innovation kills the value in these gloves, and brings the overall score down quite a bit more than it would otherwise.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
If you get free gloves, then the Brine King IVs are an easy choice. They are comfortable, function very well, and look aggressive and cool. The custom options should be excellent and these might be the best gloves I’ve worn in along time. But the price kills their value, so if you’re buying your own gear, the gloves may lose some of their luster for you. If price is no object, the Brine King IVs will serve you well.