|Goalies wear expensive, specialized equipment
for their unique role on the ice. Before
you can try playing the position, you need
the gear. But you may invest in the gear
and find that the position is not suited
to you. This is a big dilemma. As a result,
any prospective goalie should start with
borrowed or used equipment.|
Key aspects of goalie gear include:
- Skates are encased in an outer steel shell
to protect the feet when stopping the puck.
The blades are flat, not rockered. There
is no open space between the sole of the
boot and the blade through which a puck can
fit. Don't learn to skate in these, and don't
buy them unless you or your child are already
playing the game and are committed to being
a goalie. In many young kids' leagues, the
shooting normally is not nearly hard enough
to warrant the protection offered by goalies'
- Sticks are designed for blocking shots, with
an extra-wide blade and a broad lower portion
of the shaft.
- Gloves: one glove is a modified first baseman's
mitt for catching and holding the puck (goalies
are allowed to do this, unlike other players).
The other hand, which holds the stick, wears
a glove with a big rectangular pad on its
back for blocking pucks.
- Chest protection, arm protection and pants
are much more heavily padded than what the
other players wear.
- Headgear is either a helmet with an extra-strong
wire cage covering the face, or a plastic
mask with an opening in front of the eyes
for a wire cage.
- Leg pads are large and distinctive, worn
outside the socks, unlike other players'
shin guards, which are worn under the socks.
- Jerseys for goalies are especially large
and baggy, to accommodate all the extra torso
- A key advance in the design of hockey gear,
especially for goalies' bulky equipment,
is the use of lightweight synthetics instead
of leather and other natural materials that
weigh much more. This has added a lot to
the speed and mobility of players.