There are few pieces of equipment in the game of hockey more important or more time consuming to choose than hockey gloves. Players tend to have different preferences—and also tend to be extremely picky.
Traditional Fit Vs. Anatomical Fit In Hockey Gloves
In today's game, there are two broad categories of fit into which most gloves will fall. The first is the traditional four-roll style, and the other is the tighter fitting, natural or anatomical fit. It's up to the player to try these two styles and feel which is more comfortable.
- The traditional, four-roll style hockey glove tends to have a more capacious design, with greater volume on the inside, a looser feel, and more room for a player's hands. Because of this, the player will enjoy a wider range of motion and less resistance from the glove when moving the fingers.
- The anatomical style hockey glove is built to fit and feel a bit more snug on a player's hand, made to become an extension of the hand by design. Anatomical gloves fit tight, with very little extra space. Tapered gloves are similar to anatomical gloves, but built more ergonomically and designed for a greater range of motion, so they fit tight and protect without sacrificing mobility.
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How To Fit New Hockey Gloves
Once you have tried on some different hockey glove styles and made a choice, fitting the glove is pretty simple. Gloves run from Youth sizes (8”, 9”,10”), to Junior sizes (11”, 12”), to Senior sizes (13”, 14”, 15”). The ideal fit, will be comfortable, and not too tight. An overly tight hockey glove can make you feel like you have more control; some players see it this as a positive. It will also feel easier to move in a tight glove, and feel more broken in right off the shelf, since it is designed for a smaller and likely weaker hand. But choosing a hockey glove that's too small will compromise your protection and force younger players to outgrow the gloves quickly.
You also don't want hockey gloves that are too big – after all, having them fall off wouldn't be terribly productive for you on the ice! Gloves that are too big can also affect your ability to hold, control, or pick up your hockey stick. Although many parents would prefer to save money and buy a size up to anticipate their child’s growth, this can hurt the player's performance and create gaps in protection.
Your new hockey gloves should give you both comfort and control—gloves aren’t much use if they aren’t comfortable with the hockey stick in your hand. To determine the right fit for maximum comfort, make sure your fingertips lie between ¼” and a ½” from the end of the hockey gloves. This space allows you to retain control of your fingers, but still gives them enough leeway that they won’t hit the ends of the glove when you bend them. Then make sure you feel in control of the glove; the easiest way to test this is to pick up a hockey stick off the floor. Most hockey gloves today are almost game ready, so you should be able to pick up your stick with ease.
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