For any goalie out there, you will need to use the best goalie pads possible in order to be a great goalie.
This means that you need to get pads that fit you well, work how you need them to, and have a level of quality that you really need.
The level that you play at, age, and experience are all contributing factors when it comes to shopping for your goalie pads.
This is all that you need to know about shopping for goalie pads and getting the perfect pair to meet your needs.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Goalie Pads
Your Style Of Play
How you are as a goalie makes a big difference in the types of pads that you will need. Some goalies prefer to move quicker and often, whereas other goalies prefer to block with their physicality.
The different types of pads will either inhibit your movement or they will allow you to move as much as you would like. This has to do mostly with the softness of the pads.
The material of the goalie pads should be considered for several reasons. The first is whether the pad was made using durable fabric or inexpensive fabric. The more you play, the better material the pads will need.
The pads should also be made out of water-resistant material so they do not take in any water when you go down on your knees on the ice. There is no reason to be cold and wet during the game.
Goalies spend much of the game hopping down onto their pads and back up again. The more often you play, the more abuse your goalie pads will receive.
If you are only an occasional player, you will not need the same level of padding that someone who is playing for hours each week needs. If you are shopping for a child, remember they will outgrow the pads eventually.
10 Best Goalie Pads (2021)
1. Bauer Vapor 2X
2. Vaughn Velocity VE8
3. Bauer Supreme S27
4. Warrior Ritual G4
5. Brians GNetik 8.0
6. Vaughn Velocity XFP
7. CCM Extreme Flex
8. Brians Net Zero
9. Vaughn Velocity V9
10. Brians Gnetik X
1. Bauer Vapor 2X Goalie Pads
Best Goalie Pads (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the best goalie pads are the Bauer Vapor 2X pads. These pads have a dynamic flex core with CURV composite.
This makes them light and flexible through the thigh. The flex on these pads goes up to 100 degrees, so you will have no trouble moving around in them. The profile flex point is both above and below the knee.
The front face of the pads is made of synthetic leather, which will help keep your pads dry. The calf and knee plate are made up of C.O.R. TECH strapping, which is good for durability and comfort. There are three leg attachment straps as well with tune fit strapping to give you a more custom fit.
The pad style of the Vapor 2X is reaction/hybrid style. This style is used to make the pads more flexible and have more breaks. This is ideal for goalies that have a narrow butterfly, rather than a wider one. The breaks in the pads are called a double internal, which are softer with more flex built into them.
The pad width with the Vapor 2X is 11 inches, so it should cover the average goalie without any trouble. The toe attachment type on the Bauer Vapor 2X pads is an offset Monster H.A.L., helping to keep the pads where they should be.
Finally, the pads have a 45 degree Stabilislide knee block with an Ax Suede Quattro Knee Wing, helping to keep your knee safe while not restricting your movement.
2. Vaughn Velocity VE8 Pro Carbon Goalie Pads
High Performance Goalie Leg Pads
If you are thinking high performance goalie pads are a better choice for you, then take a look at the Vaughn Velocity VE Pro Carbon pads.
These are modern pads, so they come with all of the technology that you can expect from newer designs. The combination of reduced weight and modern features are what help make these the best high performance pads out there.
These pads have a complete elimination of traditional leather and metal buckles. The straps can be considered revolutionary with the magnetic buckle, allows a quick attach system around both the calf and the boot. Putting the pads on and taking them off will be easier than ever before. The rest of the pad uses Velcro strapping on the knee cradle and calf wrap.
The pads also have a thinned out outer gusset that reduces the weight while retaining its strength with the updated foams and enhanced carbon performance. The stock pad also has an external break below the knee as well as a flexible pro core internal padding. This will help keep your mobile and agile with a nice, snug feel. These lightweight pads are the best performing pads you can get.
3. Bauer Supreme S27 Senior Goalie Pads
Without a doubt, goalie pads do not come cheap, so if you are on a budget, you still are going to want the best protection that you can get. This is why we suggest the Bauer Supreme S27 pads for a budget-friendly option. They are best for an entry-level goalie or a younger player, but they still offer a great amount of protection, even at that price.
The Supreme S27 pads have a similar design as the more expensive models. These are stiff pads, however, so they will not allow the same amount of mobility and agility as the more flexible, higher end pads. That’s why they are better suited for younger players who do not need the agility.
The outside material on these pads is synthetic, which means that they still have a high level of durability. The knee and calf plates are not as high quality as the more expensive models, but they do allow for sliding all the same. The strapping system has two sizes for each strap to allow the goalie to get a proper fit. These have a flat construction with an adjustable knee lock.
4. Warrior Ritual G4 Pro Goalie Pads
Another pair of great goal pads are the Warrior Ritual G4 Pro. They have been repeatedly been proven to be excellent pads.
The Ritual pads are some of the lightest pads that you can get. The pads reportedly only weigh four pounds. The strapping is a sling wrap that goes around the knee and calf. This allows for an active response time and agility. The structure is a slim fit, which is part of what makes the pads so much lighter than other pads that you could get for the same price. The thigh-rise on these pads includes a HyperComp reinforcement that helps keep them both lightweight and strong, so you will be able to move easily, but not sacrifice any protection in the process.
These also have Airslide technology which is engineered to allow you to slide faster and easier than ever before. The diagonal origination of the channels mean that the snow and ice will flow through the pads themselves, causing less friction than you would get from other pads. As a bonus, these pads come with a nylon carrying strap that makes them easy to haul around when you aren’t wearing them.
5. Brians G-NETIK 8.0 Goalie Pads
Another set of great goalie pads are the G-NETIK 8.0, goalies can expect the same craftsmanship, quality and performance that they’ve come to know from Brian’s over the years. These are also cost effective goalie pads, so they will not break the bank as much as higher end pads do, but they are also made of high quality material, unlike some of the cheaper pads that are out there.
The G-NETIK 8.0 has a flat-face design, which helps goalies with blocking and directing the puck. The 8.0, though, uses a double break setup to add maximum flexibility, making it ideal for any style of play as well as any level that you might be at. The full-synthetic knee cradle and improved leg channel increase the durability of the pad and help it rotate more efficiently to the ice.
The design of these pads includes a simplistic, easy-to-use and comfortable Smart Strap system. The 8.0 features this modern strapping system, which helps give goalies a secure, consistent fit with adjustability to find the most comfortable setup. All in all, these pads are comfortable as well as flexible, making them easy to wear and use throughout your entire game.
6. Vaughn Velocity VE8 XFP Goalie Pads
Intermediate Goalie Pads
For intermediates, the best goalie leg pads that you can get are the Vaughn Velocity VE8 XFP.
The Vaughn VE8 XFP goalie leg pads feature the Pure Goalie exclusive XFP core which stands for Xtra Flexible Pure. Vaughn has created a unique core for the XFP series that is softer and more flexible without sacrificing quality or protection, and you can only find it at Pure Goalie. With a lightweight and comfortable feel as well as revolutionary new strapping, these pads are non-traditional. They have a solid inside knee drive block and smooth inside edges for easy movements and the thinned out outer profile and outside roll keep them lightweight.
These leg pads new strapping features the new magnetic buckle quick attach system as well as Velcro on the knee and calf, a leather boot strap and bungee toe ties with Velcro attachment. This strapping design allows for a full range of fit and strapping combinations to provide a snug feel that responds to movements quickly and efficiently without hindering any mobility. The new magnetic buckle quick attach system is easy to use and secures for the entire game.
7. CCM Extreme Goalie Pads
Best Junior Goalie Pads
Junior players deserve high quality goalie pads too, which is why we are recommending the CCM Extreme Flex 4.5. These are made up of a lightweight material with quick motion strapping which allows for strapping around the calf without too much trouble. They are lightweight, easy to use, and flexible to wear, making them ideal.
These pads are made with Speedskin technology, which is made with the intent of improved slidability, so you will still be able to easily dive for the puck when you need to. The dual1tcore technology has a flex profile design for a quicker transition into the butterfly position. The outside also has single break technology, which includes a single break, making it easy to butterfly and get back up without too much trouble.
Meanwhile, the inner flex includes a pre-curved single break core. The boot flex comes with a 90 degree with torsional flex, offering flexibility for power pushes. The boot channel is deep ultra-soft, which allows for ultimate freedom for movement. While there is a strap around the calf, but there is not a strap around the knee. It does have recessed foam with a removable knee cradle.
8. Brians Net Zero Goalie Pads
Youth Goalie Pads
Our choice for youth players are Brians Net Zero. The Net Zero comes standard with a flat faced front and no knee rolls, which allows the pads to give the goalie some predictable rebound control.
The outer edge profile of the pads gradually tapers from the bottom to the top of the pad, to the point where you’ve got a very thin profile at the top of the thigh rise. This saves overall pad weight, and it also allows the tops of the pads to overlap when the goalie takes a wider stance. The inside edge design has a thinner profile, which is also flat with few seams. The landing pads at the knee feature are the widest width allowed, and a max width calf pad as well to give the goalie a wide platform to drop down.
The leg channel has a knee lock that is nice and wide to accommodate separate knee guards, and a double elastic strap here is adjustable to fit the goalies style. The leg channel is also wide to allow for easy pad rotation, and it features Brian’s proprietary Smart Strap system. This system eliminates the need for traditional leg pad straps and it allows for a most custom fit than traditional straps.
9. Vaughn Velocity V9 Pro Carbon Goalie Pads
One of the newest releases for goalie pads is the Vaughn Velocity V9 Pro pads. These are made to be high quality for elite players, but less experienced players would likely enjoy them as well. These pads use a Y-calf strap, an elastic boot strap, and an RRC strap.
On the inner pad edge of these, there is a Quick Slide Technology in place, which is a new material from Vaughn. It allows you to have an increased sliding speed when you go into a butterfly. Since you are likely to rely on your speed to move across the crease, the Quick Slide will make this much faster for you.
These pads are lightweight as well. They use a reduction to the outside roll to help reduce the weight of the pads, but it also allows the pad to sit closer to your leg, even when you are in a reverse VH. The outer pad has also been thinned out in order to reduce the weight as well as the bulk, but it does not mean that the pad is any less safe. In fact, there is good durability, because of the inner core. The core is made of Pure Carbon, which is both strong and light.
The pads also have more torsional flex, which will let the pad to move as you move, making it more of an extension of yourself rather than a pad that might weigh your down. Overall, these are impressive pads that will not disappoint.
10. Brian’s GNETiK X Goalie Pads
Brian’s GNETiK X pads are made to give you an elite-level of performance without being up at the pro level. They have a high level of quality and flexibility that makes them easy to wear with a high level of comfort.
These pads will seal the ice for 5-hole coverage while still offering a high level of flexibility. They have a flexibility core construction with a modified internal knee roll design and soft boot. That way, you will get an increased amount of torsional rotation. They really will work with goalies at all levels of play, from beginners all the way to elite players.
Looking at their performance, these pads have the Primo sliding surface which will give quick butterfly pushes across the crease. This will make them easier to move around with, like a pro, without needing the high level of performance.
These pads also offer a pro level pad with an IV Calf Wrap, Smart Toe Cords, and a Smart Boot Strap. This is an adjustable strapping system that will ensure that you are getting the most customized fit possible. The smart toe cords will take away any strain and tension on your hips and ankles when you are down in butterfly. This uses a kind of bungee toe tie that really helps with movement, but keeps things where they should be.
Finally, the pads have a Smart Boot Strap, which is completely adjustable and made out of a high quality nylon that is normally found in seat belts.
The Difference Between Stiff And Soft Goalie Pads
In goalie pads, you will have the option to choose either stiff pads or soft pads, depending on your playing style. Soft pads are identified by the knee rolls that allow the goalie to move with the puck. They are made to accommodate movement.
That said, they also prohibit the ability to rebound the puck. Because of the soft texture of a soft pad, the puck loses momentum when it hits the padding and is out of play.
A stiffer pad has the same amount of coverage as a softer pad, but they do not allow for the same ease of movement. Many players would have a harder time working with the stiff pads because of how they prohibit movement. Yet, they do have the advantage of rebounding the puck, which you lose with the soft style.
Both types of pads allow you to move in the butterfly position, however.
How Pads Impact Your Style Of Player
The two primary styles of pads are flat-faced and knee-rolled. The flat-faced pads are normally stiffer than knee-rolled pads, but, more importantly, they provide an opportunity to rebound the puck in a predictable manner, especially to you own teammate when possible.
Meanwhile, the knee-rolled pads have three rolls that run across the face of the pads. The rolled pads will help you move and be more flexible than the stiffer flat-faced pads offer. They are much easier to wear as well. They will allow you to be more dexterous as a goalie.
The type of pad that you choose should be based on how you react as a goalie. If you are not as reliant on quick movement and agility, then the flat-faced, stiffer pads might be the right choice. Normally, it is vitally important for a goalie to move to block the puck with ease, but not every goalie will struggle with the rigidity of the flat-faced pads.
Sizing Goalie Leg Pads
Getting the sizing right on your goalie pads can be the difference between safe play and injury. There are four primary sizes of goalie pads: youth, junior, intermediate, and senior.
- Youth: The smallest size of pads, this is meant for the youngest players, normally ages 4 to 6.
- Junior: The junior pads are made for players ages 6 to 10. They are more durable than youth sizes and run wider.
- Intermediate: This size is intended for players ages 11 to13. They are wider than the junior leg pads and offer a little more protection as well.
- Senior: Senior pads are meant for players over the age of 13. These pads provide the highest level of protection, as well as better quality. There are the most options available with this size as far as fit and style go, so you will have the easiest time finding a pair that fits well.
When it comes down to it, you are better off getting a lightweight and flexible pair of goalie pads instead of getting a pair that is overly stiff. The stiffer pads are easier to predict rebounds, but otherwise are hard to manoeuvre around.
All in all, the best goalie pads that you can get are the Bauer Vapor X900. These are high quality, flexible, and durable, making them the perfect choice.
Keep in mind that while you can get less expensive goalie pads, you will not have the same level of flexibility or even the ability to slide and pop back up as you would want to.
Hey there, my name is Shawn and I’m a semi-professional hockey player. I’m also the founder and chief editor here at Hockey Pursuits. I love playing hockey and helping players improve their game and that’s why I decided to start this blog.