The hockey gloves are an essential accessory while playing the sport. It helps you maintain your firm grip on the stick. It avoids accidental slippage and enhances your performance during puck handling, shooting, and passing the puck.
Besides the grip, you should have your gloves on for safety purposes. It can save you from specific minor injuries that otherwise can be bothersome at a later stage. With so many options to choose from, how to determine the best hockey gloves for you?
We have prepared the buyer’s guide to help you with your perfect hockey gloves. Moreover, we have also reviewed the ten best hockey gloves which you can look forward to in 2021.
Let us focus on the significant aspects of your perfect gloves purchasing journey. Please remember that these are not the only factors, but you can count them as major ones to help you narrow down your search.
The prevalent kinds of materials for hockey gloves are nylon and synthetic leather. You can also find gloves that have a combination of both nylon and synthetic leather. You should aim for those to have both durability and comfort.
Nylon gloves are incredibly light-weight. They are breathable and make holding the hockey stick very comfortably. Their durability is shorter compared to a synthetic leather glove. However, if you are slightly budget conscious, then you can start with nylon hockey gloves.
Initially, the gloves were made from actual animal leather. With the growing popularity of veganism and stringent anti-animal cruelty laws worldwide, synthetic leather is the next-stop solution.
Synthetic leather is made from fibers with a plastic polymer coating. It is considerably more durable than the genuine leather and nylon gloves and is water and sweat-resistant.
Types of Fit
There are three broad fit classifications – anatomical, tapered, and classic fit hockey gloves.
Anatomical fit gloves are on the tighter side. They are closed on the fingers and wrist and loose on the palms. It sometimes creates a bulk on the palms, but the gloves stay in position even during the swiftest wrist movements.
Tapered fit gloves are neither too tight nor too loose. Their fitting is just right not to face any hindrance during the game. It is the most popular fit choice amongst professional players. They are tighter on the fingers and looser on the wrist, making it perfect for wrist movement while maintaining a firm grip on the stick.
Classic fit gloves are the loosest as compared to anatomical or tapered fit hockey gloves. They offer all sorts of hand and wrist movements but may not provide the best grip on the stick. It can be inconvenient during handling the opponent player when the hockey sticks are in collision mode.
Parts of a Hockey Glove
The essential parts of hockey gloves are the thumb, palms, and cuffs. Apart from these, there are fingers, cuff rolls, and back rolls.
Thumb locks are a plastic insertion inside the gloves to prevent your thumbs from bending in the opposite direction unnaturally. Most of the gloves these days are manufactured with this crucial feature.
While tackling with opponents during puck-control, your thumb could get bent backward without a thumb lock. It can cause severe injuries like fractures, causing you to retire from the game.
Hockey Glove Palms
The hockey glove palms typically consist of more than one layer of material to provide extra protection. The most common material for palm is Nash. The quality of Nash varies for different price ranges of the gloves available.
Few gloves also consist of reinforced material for providing better durability and grip. You should try different gloves to determine the best grip for you and your hockey stick.
Long Cuff vs Short Cuffs
Hockey gloves majorly have two kinds of cuff lengths – long cuffs and short cuffs.
Longer cuffs provide better coverage and protection. However, they can restrict your wrist movements to an extent. Shorter cuffs give exposure to your wrist. Even though you can perform all kinds of movements in a short cuff glove, there is always a risk of getting an injury. Longer cuffs prevent injuries to your wrists and forearms.
Despite the safety factor, shorter cuff gloves are more predominant in the market. Because of it, you might have to spend extra dollars on wrist guards. Safety first!
You need proper fitting gloves to give your best performance during the match. We present you with a step-by-step process of determining the correct length for your gloves.
- Bring your arm forward and bend it at the elbow
- If you are looking for longer gloves, then measure from your elbow’s tip to the end of your middle finger. If you are looking for shorter gloves, measure from the bottom tip of your palm to your middle finger’s tip.
- Round the measurement to the nearest inch (on the upper number, like if the measure is 12.5, then opt for size 13; else, the gloves will be tight for you).
- Try both tight- and loose-fitting gloves to determine your comfort during the game. Make a fist and check if it still gives you comfort.
For increased mobility, we suggest you choose shorter cuff gloves. If you are looking for extra protection and want to save money on wrist guards, we suggest you choose longer cuff gloves.
Usually, the hockey gloves have three to four layers of padding in different shapes and sizes to fit in the gloves’ other parts. These pads help in flexing your hand inwards or outwards without bulking up. The fingers have separate thinner pads to shield from injuries.
Multiple pieces of foam with different shapes are put inside the gloves’ palm and finger region to match the dimensions. Additional padding near side of players’ hands is advisable. All the different layers of foam are then woven together inside durable nylon or synthetic leather material.
Padding does not restrict wrist movement. It prevents any unnecessary bend of fingers and palms.
Honestly, there are several brands out there that specialize in manufacturing top-notch hockey gloves. With so many varieties and options to choose from, making a decision can get confusing.
We have identified some of the famous brands for buying your perfect hockey gloves. These are highlighted below in no particular order.
Warrior Sports is based in Michigan. It specializes in manufacturing all sorts of sports equipment and apparel. The firm’s prime focus, however, is on lacrosse and hockey equipment. Their wide range of hockey glove designs is quite popular. They have many series of collections for gloves, namely Covert, Vapor, Alpha, etc.
The product materials are of superior quality. The company does several rounds of testing and trials before releasing it to the masses.
Bauer focuses only on ice hockey equipment. Their massive range of sticks, gloves, protective gears, skates, etc., place them on top of the charts. Bauer hockey gloves are a common sight among beginners and pro-level players. We have also reviewed a few of their best hockey gloves in the product review section. Their hand gloves are incredibly durable and do not restrict any movement.
CCM is a Canadian brand of hockey equipment. They specialize in all Hockey related gear and accessories. Their hockey gloves are of premium quality and can be found all across the United States. A lot of pro players can be seen sporting these gloves. Apart from Hockey, they also manufacture other sports equipment.
We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions with regards to hockey gloves.
What Gloves Do Professional Hockey Players Wear?
The pro players prefer tapered hockey gloves. They are an excellent blend of anatomical and classic gloves and fit rightly. They also offer the best grip on your hockey sticks, especially during puck handling. These gloves are light-weight, comfortable, durable, and do not compromise on your safety during the play. You have the freedom to perform all sorts of wrist and forearm movements to take your shot.
How to Size Hockey Gloves?
To find your right hockey glove size, you need to measure the distance between the base of your palm and the tip of your middle finger. For example, if the length measures 6 inches, you need to buy a 12 inches long glove. If your measurement lies in between two sizes (like 12.5 inches), opt for a 13 inches long glove.
Suppose the gap between your fingertip and your glove’s fingertip is uncomfortably more. In that case, you need to consider changing your gloves. The cuffs should cover the wrists for a proper fit. The cuffs and elbow pads should not overlap at all.
How Long Do Gloves Last For?
Durability is a critical factor while purchasing any sports equipment or accessories. Your hockey gloves’ life depends on the quality of the material and the frequency of its usage. Some gloves can last five months, and some can stay for as long as five years. It also depends on your maintenance methods.
The primary reason for your gloves’ replacement is the damaging of the palm region. The palms are in constant contact with your hockey stick. It generates friction. Also, with continuous wearing, it loosens over time. These factors lead to a decrease in performance during the game. You are bound to replace it afterward.
How to Break in Hockey Gloves?
“Break in” simply means softening your hockey gloves. When you buy gloves, they are very stiff. They loosen up after multiple uses. Many times, the players don’t do anything about the stiffness. They continue wearing them, and they loosen eventually. But you want to speed up the process of breaking in. You can try a few tricks.
You can wear them at home for a few hours daily to fasten the softening. You can also practice shooting your puck in your backyard wearing the gloves and have in-house practice sessions. Another traditional way of breaking in is by steaming the gloves to replicate the sweating scenario. However, this could damage your gloves if you are not careful about the temperature control.
How to Get Rid of Hockey Glove Smell?
Wearing the hockey gloves for a longer duration will accumulate sweat on your palms inside the gloves. After a long day of practice, you will notice a pungent smell when you remove your gloves. We are not saying that your palms will stink from day one, but they will surely do after continual usage.
Mostly the gloves come with removable liners. Separate the liner and wash the shell with a mild detergent in cold water. Allow it to dry thoroughly. If there is any moisture left, it can cause rashes to your skin. Expose the liner to sunlight and let the air run through it. Once the shell is dry, insert the liner back and spray the gloves’ interior with an anti-microbial spray.
Before using an anti-microbial spray, do an allergy test on your skin.
We have listed the ten best hockey gloves for your consideration.
#1. Warrior Alpha DX
The Warrior Alpha DX hockey gloves are a perfect blend of anatomical and classic-fit gloves. Its Impax+ feature helps with a supreme level of protection. The high-end VN and HD IXPE foam provide excellent padding to your gloves. It saves you from the harshest impacts and accentuates puck control.
The Wartech FNC inner liner material gives extra comfort and does not restrict any mobility. It does not let sweat accumulate on your hands, thus preventing glove smell.
The Pro Palm+ palm material gives the best feel while holding the stick. It does not let the padding bulk when you make a fist.
The Hybrid Flex Cuff enables a wide range of problematic wrist and arm movements during tackling and puck shooting.
The Hybrid Taper Fit of the gloves allows it to contour to the shape of your palms, fingers, and the upper hand.
If you are a beginner and looking for supreme quality performance-enhancing gloves, then Bauer’s Vapor 2X Pro is the perfect choice for you. It is also a prompt choice for experienced hockey players.
It is one of the lightest gloves (9.4 ounces) available in the market. The SHOCK LITE foam gives maximum protection from injuries and impacts.
The lining is a combination of THERMO CORE and HYPERSENSE to provide maximum mobility to your fingers and wrists.
The material used on the palms enables you to hold your stick with a fantastic grip. It avoids losing stick control during intense tackles.
These gloves are easy on your pockets and will last longer.
#3. CCM Jetspeed FT1
CCM’s Jetspeed FT1 are premium quality pro-level hockey gloves. Its design is ergonomic and keeps the players’ interests a priority.
These gloves are extremely durable and provide the best protection to your hands.
The Velcro enclosure keeps the gloves intact. You can adjust the fitting based on your comfort and compatibility.
The Jetspeed FT1 gloves are light-weight due to three different product materials – D3O, PE, and Zotefoam. The D3O helps have a stronger hold on the stick while Zotefoam keeps the gloves light in weight.
The exterior of the gloves is made from high-end synthetic leather and polyester to extend the overall durability. The liner inserted is soft and prevents the accumulation of sweat odor.
These gloves come with a massive 90-day warranty period.
The Supreme 2S hockey gloves from Bauer are an excellent choice for players of all age groups. The anatomical fit provides maximum comfort.
The cuffs are slightly open. It enables you to move your wrists more freely.
The 2S comes with double-density foams and poly insertion for blocking all harsh impacts.
The Thermo Max+ liner resists any odor and gives maximum mobility to your fingers. It keeps the gloves dry throughout your game, and they are effortless to clean and maintain.
These Bauer gloves come with pre-installed thumb locks to avoid bending your thumb in the opposite direction.
The Active Motion Cuff maximizes your motion and stick-control during shoots and passes.
Puck-handling and swift passes feel effortless with Warrior Sport’s Alpha Pro premium quality hockey gloves.
The Hybrid Taper and Hybrid Flex technologies give maximum mobility possible without any discomfort. It fits very well.
The Dynamic Strike technology gives balance to your stick-handling moves.
The Pro-Palm anti-microbial feature prevents unpleasant sweat odors. It keeps the gloves dry throughout the game using the Wartech FNC liners.
The Bauer Vapor X2.9 hockey gloves are suitable for both experts and beginners.
The three-piece finger design gives freedom to your knuckles for movement and secures the grip on the stick.
The two-piece thumb flex prevents injuries and provides excellent protection.
TAKTILE palm technology increases durability and enhances the soft feel.
The THERMO MAX lining keeps the gloves dry and smell-free for a longer time. It does not damage your skin and makes the overall experience very comfortable.
These gloves are available for players of all age groups.
The Covert QRE PRO is another fantastic hockey gloves from Warrior.
The shell of the glove is of excellent quality synthetic leather to provide longevity. The finger gussets are breathable and avoid trapping sweat in them.
The SMART PALM design technology gives the best control over your stick. It enhances your performance during the shooting and passing of the puck.
The AxyFlex thumb feature gives maximum security and prevents unnatural motions.
These QRE gloves have open cuffs so that your wrists have maximum freedom to move and handle complex shots.
It is a relatively newer product by Warrior. It is already attracting a lot of attention amongst the experienced professional players.
The Vapor X900 Lite hockey gloves are another premium glove available from Bauer.
The dual-density foam and poly-inserts give maximum comfort and protection and keep the overall gloves light on your hands. The gussets on the fingers are poly-knit.
The thumbs have two-piece flex lock technology to prevent unwanted injuries. The rest of the fingers have three-piece construction to enable knuckle movement with ease.
The gloves have a tapered fit. The THERMO MAX liner technology adds to the protection and avoids bulking during fist rolls.
The cuff rolls mold to provide extra protection to your wrists.
The overall product is durable, light-weight, affordable, and easy to maintain.
The Supreme S29 collection from Bauer is designed to give your hands a fantastic feel and control during your practice sessions.
The exterior of the gloves is of nylon mesh and is extremely durable.
The double-density foam gives high-end protection to your hands.
The mobility of your fingers increases due to the two-piece flex thumb lock. It prevents injuries and improves your control of the stick.
The liner is HYPERSENSE and THERMO MAX for additional comfort. It also keeps your gloves dry from inside.
The overall fit is anatomical, providing the best comfort and control during the match. It enhances the general stick-feel experience.
The palm area uses AX Suede Quattro technology to present better durability.
#10. Bauer NSX Gloves
NSX is a budget-friendly, performance-enhancing, and superior-quality hockey gloves by Bauer. It is a prevalent choice among people who are just starting to learn Hockey.
The backhand and fingers consist of MD foam, while the palm material is of Nash.
The exterior of gloves consists of A-grade polyester material.
The overall gloves have a tapered fit, giving your palms and fingers a breathing space.
The liner is made from hydro-resistant mesh to prevent sweat odor building.
The mobility of your fingers and wrist is best in these hockey gloves. It enables you to have good control of your stick. It doesn’t bulk up when you roll your fists.
The key feature of Bauer NSX gloves is the ergo-flex thumb protection.
Keep in mind the nature of your hold on the hockey stick while purchasing the best hockey gloves for yourself. Have your measurements in place and ensure that the gloves are a perfect fit. The grip should be apt, and the gloves should not restrict any kind of hand movements.
We hope that our guide and product reviews help you with your purchasing decision.