Flashing the leather and making a highlight-reel glove save is a matter of practice and execution, but the gear that you bring to the rink each night can make a big difference about your upper body mobility and your glove hand. Which of the most popular hockey goalie gloves are right for you?
If you think that you get what you pay for, you’ll certainly appreciate getting your hands on (or, rather, hand in) an RBK XLT goalie glove, starting at $515. This top-of-the-line catcher’s mitt has been the staple in the arsenal of veterans like Roberto Luongo and Marc-Andre Fleury, using a one-piece thumb and finger unit that adjusts to the impact of the puck rather than a separate thumb piece. Unlike some other gloves, the wrist protector is slightly angled to give it the same power as a curved blocker: when a puck hits the wrist guard square, it will jettison up and away rather than right back out at the shooter for a juicy rebound.
A glove can be measured by many characteristics, but arguably, the most important is how much space it takes up in front of the net. In those regards, the Sub Zero II stands out above the competition because it’s the only glove that opens up to a forty-degree angle (most gloves won’t reach past thirty-five), providing extra coverage for the attacker’s shot. A larger glove space means it closes later, however, so it may be a better glove for positional goalies than reflex goalies, the latter of whom play the shot to hold the puck rather than simply block it.
Hockey fans have probably already seen the Vaughn V5 even if they didn’t recognize it. That’s because Vaughn earned the NHL contract for retro-looking goalie gear for throwback nights, meaning that goalies like Josh Harding who throw on beat-up looking “horsehair” pads threw on a set of Vaughn V5s. Just because they appear retro doesn’t mean they’re the gloves of yesteryear, however: the interiors are heat-molded so that they fit the contours of the goalie’s hand like, well, a glove. Three overlapping pieces provide complete hand protection so that an errant slapshot can bounce of your knuckles all day long without harm.
Are you wondering what the weight advantages are of each of these gloves? Check it out for yourself in our Goalie Glove Weight Database.