There are few pieces of equipment in the game of hockey which are more important or take more time to choose than hockey gloves. Each player tends to have a different preference - and also tend to be extremely picky.
In todays game, there are two basic, broad categories of fit that most gloves will fall into. The first is the traditional four-roll style and the other would be the tighter fitting, natural or anatomical fit. The choice between these two styles is up to the player to try out and feel which is more comfortable.
The traditional four-roll style tends to have more volume on the inside of the gloves, giving a looser feel and more room for a player's hands. The advantage is when moving their fingers, players will have less resistance. It also feels less noticeable that there is a glove on, as the glove is further from the hand and fingers, so it feels less restrictive. These types of gloves have a large range of motion, due to the extra space built in.
The of glove is built to fit tighter to a player's hand, and feel a bit more snug. The goal for glove manufacturers designing of this type of glove is for it to become an extension of the player's hand. These fit tight, with very little extra space in the glove. Tapered gloves are built more ergonomically and designed for a greater range of motion based on design, so they fit tight and protect without sacrificing mobility.
Once you have tried on some different styles and seen which you prefer, fitting the glove is pretty simple. Gloves run from Youth sizes (8”, 9”,10”), Junior sizes (11”, 12”) to Senior sizes (13”, 14”, 15”). The ideal fit, will be comfortable, and not too tight. An overly tight glove can feel like you have more control and some people see it as a positive, it also will feel easier to move and feel more broken in right off the shelf, since it is designed for a smaller and likely weaker hand. Going with a glove that's too small will compromise your protection, and with growing players, force you to grow out of the gloves quickly.
You also don't want to have the gloves be too big – after all, having them fall off wouldn't be terribly productive for you on the ice! Having gloves that are too big can also affect your ability to hold, control, or pick up your stick. Although many parents of kids would prefer to save money and buy a size up (to avoid growing out of them) this can hurt the player's performance and create gaps in protection.
For an ideal fit, a player will find a glove style they feel most comfortable with, and test the glove out. Be sure to pick up a stick and hold it!!!! Gloves aren't much use if they aren't comfortable with a stick in your hand. Make sure you feel in control of the glove.
To determine the right fit and for maximum comfort, generally your fingertips should be between ¼” and a ½” from the end of the gloves. This allows for your fingers to bend without hitting the ends of the glove, but not too far away to lose control of the fingers. Make sure you can pick up a stick off the floor; this is the easiest way to see how much control you have of the fingers. Most gloves today are almost game ready, so you should be able to pick it up with ease.