For anyone new to the game, you may wonder how to put on all the hockey goalie equipment and start playing so hopefully this can be helpful!
For quick reference here is the order, in the following pages you will find detailed instructions including some tips:
- Compression/Wicking under layer
- Athletic Support
- Socks (optional)
- Protective goalie pants
- Goalie skates
- Protective Knee Pads (recommended)
- Goalie leg Pads
- Goalie Neck Guard (optional)
- Goalie Chest Protector
- Goalie Jersey
- Goalie Catch Glove
- Goalie Blocker
- Goalie Helmet
Step 1 – Putting on the Compression/Wicking under layer
Usually comes in a 1 or 2 pieces, fits directly on the skin to wick away sweat. Some have compression which is said to help in performance and recovery.
Step 2 – Putting on the Athletic Support (Jock)
Next up is protecting your family Jewels with the athletic support (or Jock). Make sure it fits correctly so that if you get a shot (which you will at some point) the force is spread onto your legs as much as possible. Goalie jocks are build more rugged than players as they are expected to receive direct shots more frequently.
Step 2.5 – Socks (optional)
I personally find hockey socks too warm, some like them for a bit of extra protection or to match colours with their teammates. Putting them on is really up to your personal preference. You will need some sort of garter belt or support system to get the socks to stay in place (tape can do in a pinch).
Step 3 – Putting on protective goalie pants
Next step is to put on the goalie pants. Some pants are a simple waistbelt, others have suspender systems. Typically goalies take larger sized pants to cover more area and need the suspenders to make sure they stay in the right place. In this case just the waistbelt is used.
Step 4 – Putting on Goalie Skates
Once the pants are on, it’s time to put on the skates. Lace these up and make sure they are properly tightened. Tight enough so the skate provides support but not so tight as to impede motion. Player skates can work but the blade profile is not the same, less stability and there is little to no padding on them so a shot could cause injury. However, if only playing a few times, its likely not worth the expense of goalie-specific skates.
Step 5 – Putting on Protective Knee Pads
While these are optional, I highly recommend them. Most pads have a knee protector of some kind but in most cases a puck will find its way through. If you have thigh boards you might be OK but otherwise get them. A shot to the knee can be very serious.
No ‘putting them on’ picture for this one, but if you take a look at the previous step, you’ll see they are already on ;). Typcially just a couple velcro straps to put on above and below the knee.
Step 6 – Putting on Goalie leg Pads
Now the goalie leg pads! There’s a few steps to this one including getting the toe laces done up which can be tricky at first. The extra bit of pad that sticks out along the length of the pad goes on the outside edge (not inside).
The first thing is to get the toe laces on, put the pad in position on the ground in front of you, take the laces in your hand.
Step 6.1 – Putting on Goalie leg pads – tying toe laces
Some like a bit more space between the pad and their skate and may tie a knot in the laces to create a bit more space there. Personally, I prefer to have them tied tightly. At the bottom of your skates there are 3 holes (some only have 2) for the first part, you want to pass the laces through the hole under your toes.
Next, do the same, passing the laces through the next hole.
You guessed it, pass them through the final hole.
Next up, bring the laces on top of your skate and tie a knot.
Finally tie a bow to keep it all steady. I personally wrap it around my ankle to make sure the laces aren’t too long. If they drag on the ice or get pulled it will loosen and you could either step on it/slip or it will become undone. If this lace becomes undone well, you have to take the entire pad off to tie it up again so make sure there’s no risk.
Step 6.2 – Putting on Goalie leg pads – securing knee/calf protectors
Next step is to lift your pads up into position around your leg and to strap it on. I start with the knee portion before doing any of the buckles. Take the knee protector and strap it around your thigh
In this case, there is a 2nd knee strap that needs to be tied behind the lower leg (just under the knee when it is bent)
As you can see, there are holes on either side of the knee protector and not much padding right when it meets the pad. That’s why you want thow extra knee pads. You may also have a calf protector on your pad so strap that on at this stage.
Step 6.3 – Putting on Goalie leg pads – attaching pad buckles
Next up is the buckles on the pad itself. I start from the bottom and work my way up. Note that there are a variety of strap configurations and types, so your mileage may vary here. Generally I strap my pad tighter at the bottom and quite loose at the top (allows for movement going into butterfly). But some like it loose everywhere, personal preference.
Pass the bottom strap through the hole under your heel and tie it in on the other side (you could use the 2nd hole too depending on positioning)
Next tie in the other straps and buckles on your pad working your way up. And you will have finished putting the pads on!
Step 7 – Putting on the Goalie Neck Guard
Neck guards are mandatory in some leagues and in minor levels. They are intended to protect against a skate cut to the neck and a bit of protection against a shot. I found that my check protector had an integrated version that fell in the right position when I was in butterfly or on the ice so I opted not to use it but make sure this is the case if you want to forgo it.
Step 8 – Putting on the Goalie chest protector
First slip your head in the check protector.
Next, attach the straps around your chest, usually 1 or 2 clips. Next step after that is to put your arms in and attach the straps near your wrist.
Step 9 – Putting on the goalie Jersey
Just like putting on a shirt, head first, then arms! Be careful though, the shirt can get caught on some of the pads on your back or shoulders and in some cases you need to either try again or get someone to help you out.
Step 10 – Putting on the Goalie catch Glove
Put your hand in your glove, and tighten the straps. There are typically 2 straps, one at the back of the hand and one at the wrist level. The last thing you want is the glove coming off when you have a really hard shot in the pocket, so make sure it is properly adjusted every time.
There is usually some adjustments as well for your thumb and pinky, these you can usually get them done up properly once and just leave them.
Step 11 – Putting on the goalie Blocker
Blocker is pretty straightforward, make sure the wrist strap is properly adjusted (before you put your glove on) and just leave it that way. You have a glove on now so you’re not making much adjustments!
Step 12 – Putting on the goalie Helmet
Last step is putting on the helmet! Again, have the helmet adjusted beforehand, there are 5 straps that keep the back part on and 1 strap under the chin. You want it tight enough so it won’t come off easily if you get a shot or someone runs into you, but loose enough so you can put it on easily.
Grab the cage with your blocker hand, push the back part with the back of your head while pulling the mask forward and over your face. Make sure the chin cup is properly positioned.
That’s it! All you need now is to pick up your stick, get on the ice and stop some pucks. If you have any questions or comments please let us know!