Everything you need for a successful hockey season

Hockey & Ice Skating

A hockey team does a group huddle before heading onto the ice.

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What hockey gear should I buy?

Hockey is a fun and rewarding sport if you’re prepared and put the work in. While casual players can get away with makeshift supplies, serious players looking to improve their game will need certain equipment to succeed.

If you live for the sport, you may be wondering how to make the upcoming season your best one yet. Alternatively, you might be a beginner trying to prepare for your new hobby. No matter your skill level, this list will guide you through exactly what you need to succeed this hockey season.

Hockey safety essentials

Safety equipment is one of the most important things to pick up before you even start practicing. Without gloves and helmets, your hockey career can end as quickly as it began. Most leagues — especially youth leagues — require specific safety equipment before they let players on the ice. Consult with your coach or team leader to make sure you know exactly what you need to play safely.

Hockey gloves

In hockey, gloves don’t just protect your hands from the cold. When passing the puck, the vibration of the impact can seriously hurt your hands without a barrier. Additionally, gloves guard your fingers against getting hit by the puck or another player’s stick. Your hockey gloves should be well-fitting but not so tight that they hurt your hands. If they’re too loose, you could lose your grip. The more durable the gloves, the more expensive they’re going to be — quality protection is worth the cost. 

Hockey helmet

It goes without saying that you have to protect your head to have a successful hockey season. Impact-sports players are at high risk for concussions and brain damage. Look for a helmet that’s light enough to be comfortable but heavy enough to take a hit. It should cover at least half of your forehead. There are different sizes of helmets, so you may need to try one on in person or measure your head before buying. If you plan to play goalie, you’ll want to get a helmet that is equipped with a mask as well.

Mouthguard

Mouthguards are inexpensive ways to protect your teeth and head. They can reduce your chances of a worse concussion if you’re hit. Mouthguards are mandatory in all youth leagues but not all adult ones. Regardless of your team’s requirements, it’s worth the small cost to protect your teeth from flying pucks and other player’s limbs.

Neck guard

This is another cheap way to protect yourself on the ice. If you’re a goalie (or you plan on going out for this position), neck guards are absolutely essential. They will protect you from pucks and skate blades if a collision should occur while blocking shots.

Shoulder pads

Hockey is an extremely high-impact sport. Shoulder pads give you extra weight and protect your upper body in cases of collision. If you play in a league where body checking is allowed, you may be able to wear a padded shirt instead (check with your coach or team leader before purchasing one or the other.) Padded shirts are more lightweight and comfortable but still provide protection.

Shin guards and elbow pads

Shin and elbow pads are pivotal in protecting your bones when you hit the ice. Not every league requires them, but they can be the difference between getting back up and being taken out of the game. When buying either of these guards, make sure they’re specifically suited for hockey. Hockey shin guards are different from other types because they cover more of the knee.

Hockey essentials for play

Skates

You can’t get around the ice without a pair of high-quality skates. Hockey skates need to be supportive and comfortable. They come in different sizes and fit types, including tapered, contoured and classic. Skates fit differently than regular footwear, so make sure you go about a size and a half down when purchasing a pair.

Sticks

When buying a hockey stick, you should look at the weight, curve, flex and balance. The combination of these features will depend on your height and playing style.

Hockey sticks typically have one of three kinds of kick points. Low-kick sticks flex at the bottom of the shaft, which is good for twist shots and forward players. Mid-kick sticks flex in the center, which is great for slap shots and quick players. High-kick sticks flex at the top of the stick, which is good for distance shots.

Hockey equipment to up your game

Weighted practice puck

Weighted pucks help you train to hit standard pucks with more power. To have your best season, you should train hard with a quality heavy puck. Not only will your shot game improve, but you’ll build up muscle and endurance as well.

Stick wax

Stick wax increases the lifespan of your stick tape and gives you more control over the puck. You can also get more spin on your shots with a waxed stick.

Best hockey gear

Top hockey safety essentials

Bauer S18 Senior Hockey Gloves

Bauer S18 Senior Hockey Gloves

These hockey gloves are a great option for beginner hockey players. They’re breathable and lightweight while still being durable and protective.

Sold by Amazon

Warrior Senior Alpha Hockey Helmet Combo

Warrior Senior Alpha Hockey Helmet Combo

This helmet features a stiff shell that’s strong but lightweight. It’s designed to handle impact with a soft foam shield and a frontal diffusion plate.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods 

Shock Doctor Gel Max Mouth Guard

Shock Doctor Gel Max Mouthguard

This mouthguard comes in a variety of colors, so you can represent your team while keeping yourself safe. It has a gel lining that forms perfectly to your teeth, extra shock protection and an integrated breathing channel.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Shock Doctor Ultra Ice Hockey Neck Guard

Shock Doctor Ultra Ice Hockey Neck Guard

This neck guard has a contoured wrap design to keep you comfortable and protected. It’s made of a cut-resistant Kevlar that is both soft on skin and durable.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

CCM® Senior Jetspeed Edge Shoulder Pads

CCM Senior Jetspeed Edge Shoulder Pads

These shoulder pads are heavy duty and formfitting without limiting your range of motion.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

The Warrior Junior Alpha DX 4 Hockey Shin Guards

The Warrior Junior Alpha DX 4 Hockey Shin Guards

A secure strap locking system keeps these shin guards firmly in place. They are lightweight, cool and moisture-wicking.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

The Bauer® Supreme 3S Elbow Pad

The Bauer Supreme 3S Elbow Pad

These elbow pads provide next-level protection and comfort. They mold to your forearms and cover the entire area with a split anatomical design.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top hockey essentials for play

Bauer Senior Vapor X3.5 Hockey Skates

Bauer Senior Vapor X3.5 Hockey Skates

These skates feature memory foam ankle pads and a felt tongue with a sturdy guard. They’re supportive but don’t limit your control.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Franklin Sports NHL SX Street Tech Hockey Stick

Franklin Sports NHL SX Street Tech Hockey Stick

A tough birch stick that’s built to help you develop your skills, it’s a versatile and low-budget option.

Sold by Amazon

Top hockey equipment to up your game

A&R 10 oz. Weighted Training Puck

A&R 10 oz. Weighted Training Puck

You’ll be able to spot this brightly colored puck easily among your standard pucks. It’s an affordable way to up your training regime.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Howie’s Hockey Stick Wax

Howie’s Hockey Stick Wax

This wax is easy to apply, and it greatly improves your tape’s lifespan and your shot control.

Sold by Amazon

 

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Anabelle Weissinger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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