Ice hockey gloves are essential pieces of equipment that protect hands and wrists against flying pucks, painful slashes, and hard falls on the ice.
For those in the market for the first time, it’s important to understand that different hockey gloves are made and fit differently.
Let’s slice one open to get a look at the anatomy of a hockey glove:
What Hockey Gloves are Made Of?
The first cut will reveal hockey gloves are mostly made of materials such as leather, Kevlar, and carbon fiber weaves. Since the first padded gloves appeared in the early 1900s, the industry continues to evolve. Some of the modern models include elastic and velcro attachments to help keep the gloves attached.
A hockey glove palm is a key element and is generally made of genuine leather and synthetic leather. Genuine leather is produced via goatskin, while synthetic leathers, which are considered by many insiders to be a more durable product, are manufactured.
Before scanning a hockey glove guide, consider several things before finalizing a purchase:
To determine the best fit for your hand, a unique measurement is taken from the player’s inner elbow to the base of their fingers. Popular adult sizes range from 13-15 inches. Additional junior and youth sizes are available.
While shopping, there are telltale signs for finding quality hockey gloves.
Here are a few clues:
- Quality gloves have layers of foam throughout and additional padding in crucial locations such as the sides of a player’s hands and fingers, instead of padding on just the back of the hand.
- They are united by tough, thick nylon materials designed to cover the padding.
- They have durable leather palms.
- They allow players better mobility in the thumb and wrist areas. All gloves are designed with padded thumbs, preventing them from dangerously bending backward.
When trying on new gloves at a local retail store, use this checklist to make sure your new gloves will be the right gloves.
- Make sure there is at least one-quarter inch of space for the fingertips.
- Make sure the palm material does not stretch when a fist is made.
- Make sure the finger breaks are comfortable and closely line up with your knuckles.
- Make sure the break at the wrist lines up with the back of your wrist.
How to Break in Hockey Gloves
Congratulations! You’ve purchased a new pair of gloves and you can’t wait to wear them at your next beer league matchup.
Be patient. New gloves will be stiff, and it takes time to break them in enough to be flexible enough to wear on the ice.
Here are a couple ways to quickly shape new gloves in the form of your hand:
- Practice shooting and stickhandling pucks or balls at home, nearby parks or local rinks.
- Wear them around the house while repeatedly clenching your fists.
How to Get Rid of Hockey Glove Smell
Hockey players of all eras love giving pesky opponents a good old-fashioned “face wash.” Of course, that’s slang for rubbing a rival’s face with your sweaty, stinky gloves.
However, junior players often must face their mothers, who likely will not want to smell the gloves after a busy slate of weekend matches.
There are ways to keep hockey gloves from smelling too bad.
- Dousing the gloves with an odor spray.
- Drying the gloves with a hairdryer.
- Setting the gloves out in direct sunlight.
- Machine washing the gloves.
- Wearing tight-fighting gloves inside the hockey gloves.
- Attempt to wash the gloves, either by machine or hand, as often as possible, but if time does not permit before the next game or practice, at least air dry the gloves.
How to Repair Hockey Gloves
It was a rough game. You played hard. Face washed several opponents. At some point, one of your new gloves suffered its first tear.
Follow these three steps to repair the hockey gloves:
- Step 1: Cut out a replacement patch by estimating the size of the hole. Remember to cut an extended length of at least an eighth of an inch on each side to make sure the hole will be covered.
- Step 2: After cutting a long thread from a spool, looping it through the needle, and tying the ends together, you are ready to begin the reclamation project. Line up the patch in the center of the hole and begin sewing.
- Step 3: When the patch is bordered, the thread’s two ends should be pointing up. Now, to keep the thread from fraying, pour a drop of super glue over each exposed stitch. When the glue dries, it’s time to play.
Over time, players tend to develop a bond with certain pairs of gloves. Some perform so many repairs, they end up stitching nearly the entire anatomy of a hockey glove.