Hockey Goalie Equipment & Gear

Goaltending equipment

Goal stick - incorporates a larger blade than player sticks as well as a widened flat shaft. These are virtually always made of wood for durability, as opposed to the carbon-fiber construction of modern player sticks, but may have fiberglass or carbon-fiber panels on the blade and shaft for increased impact resistance. Mostly used to block, but the goalie can play the puck with it. Blade may be curved to help play the puck.

Goal skates - thicker blade with a larger blade radius and less ankle support allows a goalie to slide off his skates to make "pad stops" more easily. The boot is closer to the ice surface than a regular hockey skate to prevent pucks from slipping through the area between boot and skate blade. Normal hockey skates are technically allowed as they provide propulsion and adequate protection, but are virtually never seen.

Goalie mask or helmet and wire facemask. Masks are fitted to the player's face and can withstand multiple high-speed impacts from pucks. Most leagues now recommend or require that goalies hang a throat protector (somewhat like a gorget in form and function) and/or wear a padded neck guard to protect against pucks and skate blades.

Chest and arm protector - more thickly padded in the front than a player's shoulder pads, also incorporating forearm, elbow and biceps protection. Protective area extends down to the abdomen and is usually tied onto the pants to provide seamless protection. These pads offer very little spine/back protection to save on weight and material, and to prevent heat buildup.

Blocker, worn on the hand that holds the stick. It is a glove with a rectangular pad on the back, used to deflect shots. Modern innovations include a curved portion to redirect blocked pucks outward instead of up or back, and a specially shaped front portion to allow 'paddle down' saves where the stick is laid horizontally on the ice surface. Blockers are generally limited in overall surface area by league rules.

Catch glove or trapper, worn on the opposite hand, used to gather up the puck on the ice or catch a flying shot. A goalie may freeze play and force a faceoff by holding or trapping the puck in the catching glove, or they may "catch and release" by catching and then dropping the puck behind the net or onto their own stick to play it. Catches are limited by league rules in width of the wrist padding, and in overall circumference of the glove.

Goal jock or jill - better pelvic protection and more padding in front of the cup than a player's jock. Provides lower abdomen protection and a larger/stronger cup.

Goal pants - incorporating thicker thigh padding and additional pelvic/hip protection, but reduced groin protection (this is mitigated by the jock and allows for increased flexibility)

Goal pads - Perhaps the most visible part of a goalie's equipment, goalie "legs" are thickly padded, flat-faced leg pads covering the top of the skate, the player's shin and the knees, and incorporate additional padding on the inside of the leg and knee to protect the knee joint when dropping into a "butterfly". 

Socks, covering the leg from the foot to just above the knee or above. Usually this is the only protection afforded to a goalie's calves, as the back of the cheaper model goal pads are simply a series of straps. Expensive goal pads do offer flexible flaps designed to protect the calf.