Wearing the best hockey goalie equipment is essential for protection and safety. Hockey goalies use their bodies to stop fast moving pucks, and for safety reasons, they should select equipment with appropriate padding for their level of play. Similar to player gear, junior and senior goalie equipment is usually the same apart from sizing, and smaller goalies often wear less expensive junior gear. Hockey goalie equipment includes skates, leg pads, gloves, blockers, helmets, chest protectors, goalie pants, and goalie sticks.
Goalies must wear specialized goalie skates that incorporate plastic guards around the edges to prevent pucks from injuring their feet. They also feature specialized blades designed for stability, as opposed to speed. Bauer’s Supreme goalie skate line, and CCM’s U+Pro G and V 04 G skates are some of the best goalie skates available.
The shape of pads you choose depends on whether you are a butterfly or standup goalie. Butterfly goalies typically purchase pads curved pads, while stand up goalies need straighter pads. This is because a curved shape makes fast up and down movements easier, while a straighter design can prevent pucks from sneaking between a goalie’s legs. Goalie pads manufactured by Vaughn and Brians are some of the best on the market. Vaughn Vision and Velocity, and Brians DX, Beast and Thief are all excellent models, depending on your style of goaltending.
The glove and blocker are used to catch and stop pucks, respectively, and it’s for safety reasons it’s essential to purchase a set that properly fit, and provide enough padding for the league in which you compete. Bauer, Vaughn, and Koho are among the best manufacturers of glove, and blockers for all levels of play, from novice to professional.
The best goalie helmets and facemasks, often referred to as goalie masks, are customized with a shape to fit your level of play, and a design to match your personality. You can buy a custom mask from a reputable company like Warwick Mask, or purchase a mask from a well-known manufacturer such as iTech, Eddy Vaughn, or Bauer then have it painted, or decorate it.
A vital piece of equipment, padded chest protectors protect your chest, shoulders, arms, and spine from fast moving pucks. The best protectors fit snugly enough to protect your body, but aren’t so bulky that they’ll hinder your movements. A good chest protector is also gap-free, preventing pucks from tagging you during play. You can purchase chest protectors from well-known companies such as Brians, Bauer, and Reebok, but the best one for you is ultimately the one that molds to your body when you try it on.
Goalie pants provide protection for your thighs, abdomen, and groin. Some pants also provide room to insert extra padding. In addition to pants, you should wear protection such as a cup or pelvic guard. Some of the best manufacturer’s include Vaughn, iTech, Bauer, and Koho.
When purchasing a goalie stick, you should select a length that falls between your chin and nose, or it will be difficult to control the puck. The paddle length and weight depend on your style of play, and you may have to test multiple sticks before you find the one that best suits you. Having multiple isn’t a bad thing, because you’ll typically at least one on hand for backup. Well-known manufacturers include Sherwood, Vaughn, Koho, iTech, and CCM, and any of these sticks can be the best, depending on your style of play.