by Source For Sports Tips for Parents
Maximize your comfort and protection with proper fitting hockey pants and equipment. Learn the basics when it comes to fitting hockey pants.
Properly fitted hockey pants will not only provide the protection you require, but will also help you maximize your game by allowing you to move and skate around the ice to the best of your ability and without restriction.
As with all hockey equipment, it is important to have gear that fits, not gear to grow into. Equipment is designed to cover specific areas of the body with a snug, not tight, fit and without shifting. Protective equipment that is too large will float on the body as you move, and not properly cover the kidneys, spine and thighs, and will inhibit your movements on the ice.
Hockey pants must integrate with the chest protector and the shin guards for complete coverage without excessive overlap or leaving gaps between each protective piece.
Here are some tips when fitting hockey pants:
Bring Your Other Protective Pieces
When looking for pants, bring in your chest protector and shin guards so that you can try all the pieces on together to ensure you have adequate coverage; the pants are only as protective as the other equipment they work with.
Poor fitting shin and chest pads will directly impact how protective the hockey pants will be.
Pants should have an ergonomic fit allowing you to move your legs quickly and skate in the forward-leaning stance.
The fit around the waist should be snug but not constrictive. Many models have belts to help cinch the waist and keep the pants from moving up and down.
Adjustable suspenders can also be added to ensure that the pants stays put without slipping. Look for suspender buttons that are already on the pants if you choose to use these.
Try on the pants while in store. Drop to your knees and check the length of the pants - the edge of each leg should just touch the floor. Pants that are too long will inhibit your stride, as well as potentially get bound up with the top of your shin guards. With pants that are too short, there will be a gap between the top of your shin guards and the bottom of the pants exposing your thigh area which is susceptible to errant pucks, sticks and skates.
Check the range of motion you have while trying the pants on in-store by lunging to mimic your skating stride. A proper fit won’t restrict your movements, and the pants won’t shift on your body as you move.
Many models have an extension fit, allowing for approximately 1 inch extra in length to adjust the pants for players that grow through the hockey season.
Padding on the legs, groin, thigh, belly, spine and tailbone is vital to the successful protection of players and goalies by all hockey pants. Quality high density foam padding safeguards you from falls, the boards and hits from players without adding weight to the pants.
A kidney collar (the padded area around the waist) is extremely important to protect internal organs, and needs to cover the area it is designed to protect.
Some models have a girdle / shell system that provides additional padding, and reinforces protection by deflecting and absorbing impacts.
Fray and tear resistant fabric that has stretch areas and flex panels offer durability and mobility.
Many manufacturers use abrasion resistant denier nylon overlay which is durable against board burns.
Moisture wicking liners help keep you comfortable and dry, as well as offer anti-microbial properties to reduce odours.
Some models have zippered gussets on the inseam. This helps to ease the pants on, and can also offer ventilation and increased range of motion.
Care & Maintenance
Like all hockey gear, pants should be removed from your hockey bag and allowed to dry and air out after each use.
Professionally cleaning your equipment regularly will remove odours and bacteria that can compromise the material of the pants. Do not attempt to wash / dry equipment in household washers and dryers as this can tear the materials of the pants.
The right hockey pants for you are the ones that provide you with complete protection, comfort, a full range of motion and are right for your body.
The Pro-Formance Advantage Custom Fitting System ensures that you will be fit in hockey pants that will elevate your game.