Self-protection for goalies is very crucial in hockey. A goalie’s front side of the body is exposed to puck impacts. When a puck flies at an extreme speed, it can do some severe damage. Thus, having every protective gear on the body is essential. One of the essential kits is the goalie pads for the front leg area.
Numerous factors contribute to goalie pads. There is a huge risk of the goaltender seriously injuring himself in the absence of decent leg pads. We will be discussing some of the major pointers when it comes to knowing the perfect pads for yourself. We have also put in major research work reviewing the ten best hockey goalie pads that you can buy in 2021.
To understand more in-depth about various factors and types of goalie pads, we have presented you with our guide. In this buying guide, we will tell you about the significant kinds of goalie pads. We will also talk about the different materials that brands are incorporating in the manufacturing of their products. Later we are also reviewing the ten best hockey goalie pads that you can choose from in 2021.
Types of Goalie Pads
Every individual player has his preferences when it comes to sports-related equipment and gear. Every goalie has his definition of comfort. The requirements also differ in prioritizing factors like mobility, fit, body dimensions, game moves, etc. Some bulky goalies manage to save without jumping much, while the others need to deliver acrobatic moves.
There are two broad classifications of leg pads based on the two kinds of styles – Butterfly and Hybrid.
Butterfly pads are flatter compared to other pads. Goaltenders who prefer to deflect the shots down low generally prefer keeping their pads flat on the rink. These pads feel stiff from thighs to the knee region.
The creases around the knees are lesser in comparison to hybrid pads. It helps maintain a goalie’s leg strength when he decides to dive for a save. The butterfly pads are bulkier and do not let you move very conveniently. But the protection is incredible.
You should opt for a pair of hybrid goalie pads if you like moving freely around the net. The knees possess an additional flex cut in comparison with butterfly pads. The deep shin cradles enhance the leg movements.
If you are a goaltender who prefers more mobility and comfort, you should choose hybrid pads for yourself. These pads are cheaper than the butterfly pads. It might be challenging to protect your legs from severe impacts. The vibrations may seep through.
In earlier days, the goalie leg pads were stuffed with shredded packing foam and horsehair to avoid leg injuries. But these materials were not suitable. There was no proper protection and an absence of evenness throughout the padding. If a high-speed puck hit the leg, it would still hurt despite the protective layer. To avoid more harm, the elite manufacturers are using various materials to stuff in the pads.
The essential objective is to provide both comfort and safety. Different components of the goalie pad use different materials. Altogether, the finished products are very durable and of excellent quality. Let us look at some of the superior materials that the brands incorporate.
Foam is used as internal padding. Because of its softness and ability to absorb most of the shock vibrations from impacts, it is a popular material in use. XRD, Flex Pac, Shred Pac, and VD are some of the high-density foams used on the sides and front of the goalie pads. It drives the shape of the pad and also determines the stiffness. For breathability and comfort, lower density foams are placed on the interior channels of the pad.
Synthetic leather is mostly used in making the outer covering of a goalie pad. Synthetic leather is comparatively cost-effective and more durable. It also provides better breathability and protection compared to a nylon exterior. A good chunk of professional goaltenders prefers synthetic leather pads.
Nylon pads are cheaper as compared to synthetic leather pads. It is suitable for beginners to practice in them initially and then upgrade to the better-quality pads.
If you are a street player or a low-level hockey player, you can consider spending money on the nylon pads instead. It is an excellent moisture absorbent. It might not offer better protection than synthetic leather pads, but they do manage to block most of the impacts.
Plastic and Metal Clips
The clips are the attachments that help you in securing your legs to the padding. The materials for making these clips are either plastic or metal. Plastic clips are convenient to use. They are generally found in nylon pads.
Metal clips are more reliable and durable than plastic clips. It is slightly inconvenient to handle a metal clip, but it is almost impossible to lose the adjustments once secured.
Picking the Right Size Pads
Picking the right size is essential for a proper fitting pad. To ensure the correct size, you need to know three primary measurements:
- The size of your Hockey skates
- The measurement from your knee to ankle
- The measurement from your knee to mid-thigh
Based on a goalie’s age and bodily measurements, there are four broad classifications of the pad’s size:
- Senior: for goalies above the age of 13
- Intermediate: for goalies between the ages of 11 to 13
- Junior: for goalies between the ages of 6 to 10
- Youth: for youngest players; between the ages of 3 to 6
Hockey Goalie Pad Reviews
It is essential to know the right goalie pad suiting your leg shape, size, and height requirements. Having the perfect fit is vital to avoid losing your focus on the game. To keep your performance intact, we present a list of the ten best Hockey goalie pads that you can look forward to in 2021.
#1. Bauer Vapor 2x Pro Goalie Leg Pads
The Bauer Vapor 2X Pro goalie pads are very flexible due to the high flex score (100). The Curv Composite thigh-rise, along with a dynamic flex core, enrich the mobility and comfort. The adjustable knee wings with a removable moisture-resistant THERMOCORE liner is an excellent feature.
The exterior is made from the best quality synthetic leather, which does not let abrasions affect quickly. The C.O.R. TECH ST Skin knee plate and calf strappings provide stability during complex leg movements. The rebound control is excellent due to the superb product quality.
These pads are extremely durable and are designed to handle the harshest wear and tear. The leg channels are made from soft AX Suede Quattro for better protection and comfort. The Bauer Vapor 2X goalie pads are suitable for goaltenders who incorporate both stand-up and butterfly net mind styles.
#2. Bauer Supreme 2S Pro Goalie Leg Pads
The Bauer Supreme 2S Pro pads are extremely light-weight leg pads that offer the ability to move your legs very freely. It gives the best rebound velocity and facilitates excellent sliding ability. The C.O.R TECH ST Technology on the outer shell provides incredible durability and protection from abrasions.
The inner calf and knee stack materials are very stiff, thus allowing efficient sliding. The knee landing has a flat front design, enabling the goalie to perform a series of jumps and postures. The five-piece CRS Velcro straps help keep the pads secure on your legs without producing a significant amount of friction.
The liner has excellent moisture-wicking properties and provides excellent cushioning from severe impacts. It does not add bulk to the pads, making them very breathable to wear. The Supreme 2S Pro pads are apt for goalies with a broader butterfly.
#3. Bauer Vapor 1x OD1N Goalie Leg Pads
The Bauer Vapor 1X OD1N is designed for aggressive goalies who perform a series of quick movements. The 1X pads give maximum leg coverage, enable complete mobility, and are incredibly light-weight.
The Tapered Flex Core allows the thickness of the pad to narrow towards the outer edge. It provides a maximum landing area along with incredible sliding actions. The tapering of the outer edge also increases flexibility and reduces bulkiness on the legs. The leg channel and Tune Fit strapping offer excellent balance and rotation. The strapping allows the goalie to adjust the fit according to his convenience.
The Curv Composite core, along with AEROLITE lining foam, provides excellent protection from the harshest impacts. It also keeps the pads moisture and odor-free. The Transfer Mesh provides breathability and maximum airflow through the insides. The knee region uses XRD Foam and Curv Composite technology for the best protection.
#4. Bauer Vapor 2X Goalie Leg Pads
The Vapor 2X leg pads from Bauer are another fantastic option for goalies who are torn between protection and convenience. Bauer ensures that these pads deliver the best performance without compromising on product quality and comfort. The Dynamic Flex core, along with Curv Composite technology, equips a goaltender with maximum flex control.
The C.O.R TECH technology on the calf and knee region and the premium quality synthetic material used on the outer shell makes the pads apt for rough usage. The THERMOMAX Liner ensures that the player’s insides remain dry and cool. The liner also provides excellent padding from fierce impacts and prevents sweat accumulation.
The Tune Fit strapping system keeps the pads securely in place. The goalie performs jumps and quick movements; hence the pads mustn’t shift from their position. The adjustable knee wing also enables the goaltender to have unrestricted leg movements. The knee landing features the excellent AX Suede Quattro material.
#5. Bauer Supreme 3S Goalie Leg Pads
The Bauer Supreme 3S goalie leg pads are designed specifically for intermediate and pro-level butterfly netminders. The 151 degrees core flex provides the most accurate rebound control. The thigh region features the exclusive Curv Composite material for better product stability. The external shell is made from a combination of nylon, synthetic leather, and polyester for protection from abrasions.
The Tune Fit strapping is for securing the pads in place. The CORE Tech ST on calf and knee plates enhance the sliding ability. The stability of the pads is further enhanced by inserting Butterfly assist pillows in between the calf protectors.
The core lining offers ample even cushioning from external impacts and does not add extra bulk. The 125 degrees boot flex further enhances the leg movements and overall product fit.
#6. CCM Axis Pro Goalie Leg Pads
The Axis Pro leg pads by CCM are one of the popular choices among pro-level goalies who refuse to compromise on the product quality and range of functionality. These pads are extremely light-weight and do not hamper the player’s performance. The mobility is excellent.
The pads are slightly stiff, thus benefitting the goalies with larger rebounds and broader butterfly. The Axis Pads Flex Profile present below the knee with a single break gives a curve to the shape for better flexibility during saves. The LiteXCore material reduces the product weight and enhances its strength.
SpeedSkin Technology on the exterior material ensures excellent product durability and a great sliding experience. The Quick Motion Strap system, along with calf stabilizers, provides a comfortable feel to a goalie. The leg coverage is supreme, and these pads from CCM are an excellent choice for goalies who are looking to perform complicated moves with minimal bulkiness.
#7. Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic Goalie Leg Pads
The Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic leg pads are designed for professional pro-level Hockey goalies. The pad features Stabilislide Knee Block to prevent secondary leg movements and rotation during butterfly. The ShockLite foam and Bauer’s exclusive Curv Composite technology bring an optimal shape. It makes the core very and durable and enables its shape retention.
The Tune Fit Connect straps stabilize the pads on the goalie’s legs for a longer duration. It ensures a snug fit and eliminates any gap between the pad and legs, hence preventing separate movements. The Butterfly Assist pillow in between the calf plates generates better balance during the action. The adjustable toe-tie provides a tighter fit.
The internal breaks below the knees ensure excellent rebound control. The overall design gives a comfortable and natural feel to the goalie’s legs.
#8. Bauer Vapor X2.7 Goalie Leg Pads
The Bauer Vapor X2.7 leg pads are targeted at intermediate-level goalies looking for protection and comfort. The tapered ends on the outer shell provide maximum flexibility with the least bulkiness. The internal breaks provide excellent flex both above and below the knees.
The synthetic material on the pad’s exterior allows for rough usage. The surface is abrasion-resistant. The Tune Fit Strapping system ensures the tight security of the pads on the goalie’s legs. It also comes with elastic Velcro calf belts on the inside for better fit.
The soft internal core facilitates better rebound control along with excellent moisture-wicking properties. The soft nash material on the knee landing presents an optimal fit and comfort. All the straps are made from premium quality nylon material. The MONSTER H.A.L toe attachments enable the goalie to stay closer to the ice.
#9. Vaughn Velocity V9 Pro Carbon Goalie Leg Pads
The Vaughn Velocity V9 Pro Carbon leg pads offer great quality and comfort to goalies seeking those features. The Quick Slide Technology on the edges of the inner pad enables swift slides. The rebound control is excellent due to the additional coverage on the backside of the legs.
The outside roll is reduced to prevent bulkiness. It allows a goaltender to sit and stand during saves with quick transitions. It also contains a single break with a broad inner leg framework. The RRC Strap, along with the Y-calf strap, provides better stability and security of pads on the player’s legs. The strapping gives a snug feel and prevents excessive bulkiness.
The three-knee roll design and the inner foam core provide excellent vibration absorption from severe impacts. It also ensures no sweat/ moisture retention. These pads are extremely flexible and do not allow a goalie to compromise on their torsional flex.
#10. Bauer Supreme S27 Goalie Leg Pads
The Supreme S27 leg pads from Bauer are explicitly designed for young and entry-level goalies. The pad style is Blocking/ Butterfly. The design elements of S27 are similar to the higher-end counterparts, with only minor differences in the rigidity and material quality.
The core has a stiff profile to help the not so flexible goaltenders. The single internal break is perfect for on-ice coverage. The outer shell is made from good quality synthetic material to provide excellent sliding and better product durability.
The Custom Rotation System strappings come in two sizes to allow the goalie to fit the pads according to his comfort. The knee landing has an adjustable knee lock. It also has a flat construction to enable a comfortable fit throughout the game time. According to its price point, Bauer’s Supreme S27 goalie leg pads are budget-friendly and offer excellent protection.
All ten goalie pads are the best options available in the market. Choose the pad which will help you in enhancing your performance without losing comfort. You can perform well only when your movements feel free. Ensure that whichever pad you choose provides you supreme protection with excellent coverage.
We hope that our buying guide provides informative insights to you before you purchase your gear. Our list of ten best Hockey goalie pads is bound to clear your uncertainties.