Best Goalie Pads For Ice Hockey Goalies

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For any goalie out there, you will need to use the best goalie pads you can have. This means you need to get high-quality pads that fit you well and work how you need them.

The level that you play at, age, and experience are all factors you should consider when shopping for goalie pads.

As far as stopping the puck goes, the goalie pads are an essential piece of equipment any goalie uses.

That said, we’re here to help you find the best hockey goalie pads. Our criteria will be the specs, proprietary technology, and value for money.

Moreover, we will focus on the top of the line senior hockey goalie pads from all the major brands. We will break down the hockey goalie pads and place them by feel, rebound control, responsiveness, and cost. 

You really can’t go wrong picking any of the goalie pads we will review as they are all high quality. But each one is tailored to a unique style of the goalie, and we want you to pick the best goalie pads for your game.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Goalie Pads

Style of Play

How you are as a goalie makes a huge difference in the types of pads that you will need. Some goalies prefer to move swiftly and often, whereas other goalies favor blocking with their physicality.

The different varieties of pads will inhibit your movement, or they will allow you to move as much as you would like. This has to do essentially with the softness of the pads.


The material of the goalie pads should be considered for numerous reasons. The first is whether the pad was made using strong fabric or inexpensive fabric. The more you play, the better material the pads will require.

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 cause to be cold and wet during the game.


Goalies spend most of their game hopping onto their pads and back up again. And the more a goalie plays, the more abuse the pads 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 your kid, keep in mind that they will outgrow the pads eventually.

The Difference Between Stiff and Soft Goalie Pads

In goalie pads, you will have the option to choose between stiff pads or soft pads, depending on your playing style. Soft pads are classified by the knee rolls that enable the goalie to move with the puck. They are made to support the movement.

That said, they also prevent the ability to rebound the puck. Because of a soft pad’s texture, the puck drops momentum when it hits the padding and is out of play.

A stiffer pad has the equivalent amount of coverage as a softer pad, but they do not provide the same ease of movement. Many players would have a more challenging time working with stiff pads because of how they prevent movement. Yet, they do have the advantage of reflecting the puck, which you lose with the soft style.

Both types of pads enable you to move in the butterfly position, however.

How Pads Impact Your Style of Player

The two principal styles of pads are flat-faced and knee-rolled. The flat-faced pads are usually stiffer than knee-rolled pads. But more than that, they allow rebounding the puck predictably, especially to your teammate when possible.

Meanwhile, the knee-rolled pads have three rolls that go across the face of the pads. The rolled pads will support your move and be more flexible than the stiffer flat-faced pads offer. They are much easier to bear, as well. They will enable you to be more agile as a goalie.

The type of pad that you choose should be based on how you respond as a goalie. If you are not as reliant on swift movement and agility, then the flat-faced, stiffer pads might be the right choice.

Usually, a goalie must move to block the puck with ease, but not every goalie will strive with the flat-faced pads’ rigidity.

Sizing Goalie Leg Pads

Getting the sizing right on your goalie pads can be the distinction between safe play and injury. There are four main sizes of goalie pads: youth, junior, intermediate, and senior.

  • Youth: The smallest size of pads is intended for the youngest players, typically ages 4 to 6.
  • Junior: The junior pads are created for players ages 6 to 10. They are more robust than youth sizes and run wider.
  • Intermediate: This size is designed for players ages 11 to13. They are wider than the junior leg pads and give a little more protection as well.
  • Senior: Senior pads are made for players over the age of 13. These pads produce the highest level of protection, as well as better quality. There are the most alternatives available with this size as far as fit and style go, so you will have the most comfortable time finding a pair that fits well.

The Best Goalie Pads Money Can Buy

Bauer Vapor 2X Pro – The Best Overall Goalie Pads

Specifications and Features:

  • Weight (lbs) – 4.65
  • Pad Style – Reaction / Hybrid
  • Knee Breaks – 2 Internal
  • Width (in) – 11
  • # of Straps – 3
  • Strap Type – Tune Fitting strapping system
  • Thigh Protection – 1X Knee Guard
  • Toe Attachment Style – Stretch Toe Lace


  • Lightweight Flexibility: The Tapered Flex core gives make the pads flexible. It also has width tapers to the sides, so you have a soft landing area but very lightweight goalie pads.
  • Soft Rebound Control: The Vapor 1X OD1N goalie pads use a Curv Composite internal core for better protection and greater rebound control.
  • Superior Protection: The coverage on these goalie pads is excellent. They have the back of the calves covered with an AEROLITE foam so you won’t feel any sticks or pucks.
  • Great Responsiveness: A significant defining characteristic in any goalie pad is the overall ability to move quickly and stop shots, and these pads don’t let you down.


Not much bad to say about these goalie pads. While the bungee cord of the toe strap feels different, it won’t affect your game.

If you’re searching for the best set of goalie pads that you can use next season, the Vapor 1X OD1N pads might be what you need. The rebound control on these Bauer goalie pads is so soft and comfortable to manage.

The easily customizable Tune Fitting strapping system also lets you manage exactly how much your pad will rotate. Because these goalie pads are responsive, you can meet the cross-crease passes and weak side one-timers without hassle. 

CCM Premier II Pro – Our Second Favorite Pads

Specifications and Features:

  • Weight (lbs) – 4.9
  • Pad Style – Blocking / Butterfly
  • Knee Breaks – 1 Internal, 1 External
  • Width (in) – 11
  • # of Straps – 4
  • Strap Type – 3 Velcro, 1 Nylon/Buckle
  • Thigh Protection – N/A
  • Toe Attachment Style – Toe Ties


  • On-ice Coverage – These CCM goalie pads were made for superior on-ice coverage and mobility. This makes it the perfect pads for butterfly style goalies.
  • Max Rebound Control: CCM has gone and added the max rebound technology with superior foams to carry the shot’s maximum energy, eliminating second chances.
  • Responsive Butterfly Drop – Since these CCM goalie pads are made for butterfly goalies, the fast motion helps with an aggressive butterfly drop and recovery. 
  • Lightweight Performance – Weight 20% lighter than the previous model; these goalie pads won’t slow you down, kicking out the pads and stopping the back door attempt.


There is honestly nothing wrong to say about these pads unless you’re looking for a reaction style.

It’s no surprise that these pads are high on our list. After all, almost half of the goalies in the NHL uses these pads. There’s an apparent reason that number is so high. These pads are aggressive in the net and should not be overlooked.

They aren’t the cheapest pads you could get your hands on, but these are one of the best goalie pads, and their performance speaks for itself.

Vaughn Velocity 7 XF Pro – The Best Value Goalie Pads

Specifications and Features:

  • Weight (lbs) – 4.9
  • Pad Style – Reaction / Hybrid
  • Knee Breaks – 1 Internal, 2 External
  • Width (in) – 11
  • # of Straps – 7
  • Strap Type – 5 Leather Buckle, 2 Elastic
  • Thigh Protection – Attached Thigh Guard
  • Toe Attachment Style – Toe Ties


  • Flexible Performance – An innovative development in design, Vaughn has used sheet foams for a more consistent shape with apertures to allow for more flex and a 15% decrease in pad weight.
  • Improved Rotation – This Vaughn goalie pad highlights a wider leg channel and knee cradle to increase pad rotation further over previous models. 
  • Soft Rebound Control – These goalie pads feature a squarer knee design for better rebound control and maintains the double knee break for flexibility. 
  • Increased Protection – These Vaughn goalie pads have you covered throughout a segmented calf wrap while also keeping the thigh guard for upper leg protection.


Some goalies don’t like the number of straps composed for these pads. But it provides more flexibility and personalization for each goalie. 

If you want to get the most outstanding performance for a reasonable price, these are the pads for you and our recommendation for the best budget pads for this year! True to Vaughns’ exceptional standards in goalie equipment, the 7 XF Pro goalie pads come packed with new technology to help you make every save. 

The shift to perforation foam made these pads even lighter and more flexible, with just the right amount of stiffness.

Brians Optik 9.0 – The Most Advanced Goalie Pads

Specifications and Features:

  • Pad Style – Blocking / Butterly
  • Knee Breaks – 2 Internal
  • Width (in) – 11
  • # of Straps – 4
  • Strap Type – Smart Strap
  • Thigh Protection – N/A
  • Toe Attachment Style – Smart Toe


  • Unbeatable Fit: One of the greatest things about these goalie pads is the comfortable fit you get with the smart strap system. It has a single attachment on the calf and a 2-inch strap for the knee. 
  • Lightweight Response: These pads are ready to hit without any hesitation. The light profile modeled off the FLUX Core construction gives you lightning-quick response time. 
  • Soft Rebound Control: These Brians goalie pads highlight a flat-faced design for exceptional rebound control with great on-ice seal and mobility. 
  • Durable Toe and Boot Straps: Brian has over-engineered their toe and bootstraps to be amazingly durable. Using the same material as a seat belt, you can modify these straps any way you want. 


Some goalies have said these goalie pads are a bit harder than other Brians models, but that is just a preference. 

Brian pads have a customizable look, from flashy to complex for any goalie preference. And 10% of goalies use these pads in the NHL and would never switch.

Brian goalie pads have a reputation for fast responsiveness and soft rebound control, and the Optik 9.0 goalie pads are no exception. These are one of the best goalie pads for 2019 and a brand you should look into if you’re aiming to be a serious goalie. 

CCM Extreme Flex III – Best Mobility Goalie Pads

Specifications and Features:

  • Weight (lbs) – 5.35 
  • Pad Style – Reaction / Hybrid
  • Knee Breaks – 1 Internal, 1 External
  • Width (in) – 11
  • # of Straps – 5
  • Strap Type – 3 Nylon/Buckle, 2 Elastic
  • Thigh Protection – Removable Thigh and Knee guard
  • Toe Attachment Style – Toe Ties


  • Explosive Crease Movement: With an exciting development on the III model, the Speed Skin Technology is designed for quick gliding and explosive crease movement.
  • Maximum Flexibility: Just as it sounds by the name, these goalie pads are made to give you the ultimate flexibility and versatility. The outer flex is just a single pad brake for greater flexibility, while the E-Flex III also has a 90-degree boot with torsional flex.
  • Freedom Of Movement: CCM has designed an ultra-soft and deep boot channel that provides you a wide range for getting to that far side shot. The knee cradle is also quite a bit deeper than the past models and gives you excellent rotational abilities.


As you would expect with a softer and flexible pad, these don’t give you the most excellent rebound control than the CCM Premier II goalie pads.

These goalie pads are built for fast goalies that need to be explosive and own the crease. The E-Flex III system gives you the ultimate in-sliding ability. Moreover, the optimized weight placement in the OWD core gives you more effortless movement in the crease.

These are the best goalie pads for agile goalies who rely on quickness to control the game. 

Bauer Supreme S29

Specifications and Features:

  • Pad Style – Blocking/Butterfly
  • Knee Breaks – 1 Internal
  • # of Straps – 5
  • Strap Type – CRS. Velcro
  • Thigh Protection – N/A
  • Toe Attachment Style – Toe Ties


  • Five Hole Coverage – There is only one internal break on the Supreme S29 pads for responsive stiffness and great on-ice coverage. 
  • Enhanced Sliding – The outer material has a manufactured leather face with COR technology on the knee plates for unbeatable sliding play. 
  • Quick Responsiveness – With Pro HD substances reducing the weight by 10% than previous models, these pads respond instantly and let you kick the pads quickly.
  • Customizable Rotation – An innovative strapping system with two sizes for each strap, enabling the goalie to customize the fit to their game completely. 


No significant disadvantages to see here. These are one of the most-recommended intermediate goalie pads available in the market. 

This is our best pick for intermediate goalie pads. At a price that isn’t crazy, the performance and durability you get are second to none. Designed for butterfly goalies, these are versatile and can play to any goalies style given the lightweight structure.

The calf and thigh protection is elevated, so you don’t need to worry about anything except stopping the puck. 

There is no right or wrong answer in picking any one of these goalie pads. All that matters is what they will do to improve your game.

We want you to choose high-performance gear that will ensure that you’re reaching your full potential every time you’re on the ice. And this involves doing your research and figuring out what goalie pad will fit your style of play. 

When it comes down to it, you are more suitable for getting a lightweight and flexible pair of goalie pads rather than getting an overly stiff pair. The more rigid pads are a lot easier to predict rebounds but otherwise are hard to maneuver around.

Keep in mind that while you can get less expensive goalie pads, you will not have the same flexibility level. Worse, you won’t have the capability to slide and pop back up as you would want to.

Click on this link to browse ice hockey goalie gear that can help you.

Or click on this link to see the Ice Hockey Goaltending Ice Hockey Series from Championship Productions.

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