Gloves are an important piece of hockey equipment. Not only do they provide grip to help you with your fancy stick handling, but they protect a vulnerable part of your body. When buying hockey gloves, here's how to make the right choice.
Material: Once only available in leather, hockey gloves now come in many advanced materials including Kevlar and nylon; these need less breaking in and stand up to a great deal of wear. These modern gloves also keep your hands cooler than leather gloves, and less perspiration means your gloves won't get wet and heavy during the game.
Padding: Look for extra padding on the outside of the fingers and thumb, because this is an area often exposed to slashes from other players and errant pucks. The cuffs of the gloves should also extend past the wrist far enough to provide coverage and protection. Some players feel that gloves with shorter cuffs allow for better range of movement, but this style of glove leaves the wrists without protection. For the best possible coverage, check that the glove's cuff reaches the bottom of your elbow pad.
Quality: Most pairs of hockey gloves meet their ends the same way: the palms simply wear out. Higher-quality gloves can usually be repaired and re-palmed at a sporting supply store instead of needing to be replaced. In this case, spending a little more on your initial purchase can save you money over the life of your equipment.
Fit: Properly fitted gloves should allow for an unobstructed range of motion in your fingers while allowing you to grip your stick firmly and comfortably. There should be some breathing room at the ends of your fingers, and they should not push up against the inside of the glove. It is better to buy hockey gloves that are slightly too big than a pair that is too small, because you will be more comfortable and better protected.
Care: Hockey gloves need a minimal amount of care to keep them in good condition. The most important care you can give your gloves is to let them dry out completely between games and practices.
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