What's the Right Hockey Glove for You?
There are 6 things you should look for in every hockey glove. Size, protection level, palm material, maneuverability, ventilation, and price. Let's review each aspect off the hockey glove to determine what's best for you.
If you're choosing a hockey glove for the first time, size 14 is probably a great choice for most adults. The tips of your fingers should be able to lightly brush the inside of the glove. If you are able to push into the tip of the glove, sizing up to size 15 would be a good idea. A size 13 might be best for you if size 14 feels too bulky.
Hockey gloves are typically padded with foam and plastics. Lower end gloves typically offer minimum protection with a softer foam, these are great for training on your own, a day on the pond, or hockey games where little contact is expected. For those looking for a bit more protection, mid-range gloves with dual-density or triple-density foams offer better protection for your hands through the use of harder foams that can absorb more energy from slashes and pucks. Higher end gloves can offer the best protection, offering foams wrapped in a hard plastic that offer maximum protection. Pro-stock gloves that are custom made to player spec may also be found with additional padding, but can be harder to find.
Hockey manufacturers often offer different palm materials for various preferences. The most popular palm is the traditional nash palm. It usually comes in beige colour, and offers a great feel for the stick. Other materials available for palms will be marketed using various names, often with textures or features such as moisture wicking that may offer a more personalized feel. You can also find palms that are reinforced with extra layers of material for increased durability, but often at the expense of feeling less connected with your stick. Palm materials are a very personal choice. Try on several types at the store while holding a stick to pick the right one for you.
We will consider 3 glove features to determine maneuverability.
First, the number of finger segments. Your fingers have 2 joints on them, creating 3 segments. Choosing a glove with 3 segments in the fingers provide you with maximum grip and comfort.
Second, thumb flexibility. Lower end hockey gloves have a static thumb which offers great protection but minimum protection. For improved maneuverability, look for thumbs that offer flexibility to provide you with better contact with the stick.
Lastly, wrist maneuverability is improved with an open cuff, which is offered on most gloves these days. Premium offerings may come with adjustable cuffs to provide you with maximum protection while allowing your wrists to move freely.
While most roller hockey gloves offer ventilation on the top of the hand, ice hockey gloves typically only offer ventilation in the finger gussets. Look for a softer and less dense material on the side of the fingers to provide you with good air flow in the hands. Good ventilation will allow you to play while reducing sweat build up in the glove.
Hockey gloves are priced according to feature. Higher priced gloves will typically offer more protection and maneuverability, while lower priced gloves will only offer a minimum level of protection from those nasty slashes in the hands.
What's Right For Me?
Choose a glove according to your level of play and the aggression level of your opponents. This is one piece of equipment that some players cheap out on, only to realize how much it hurts to take a slapshot off the top of your hand. Test out different gloves to see what feels best for you. If you're looking for great protection at a lower price, prostock gloves are often available for great prices compared to premium retail offerings.
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