Proper fit is essential in any type of sports equipment, and hockey pants are no exception. Players need to feel comfortable and protected on the ice, without hindering their movement or performance.
But, how exactly should hockey pants fit? It can be a difficult question to answer, especially if you’re new to the sport or have never purchased your own gear before. That’s where we come in!
“The right fit will not only improve your comfort but also provide better protection against hits and falls.” -Anonymous
In this article, we’ll go over all the factors that determine the perfect fit for your hockey pants. We’ll cover areas such as waist size, hip protection, leg length, and more to help you find the ideal pair for your needs.
We understand that each player has specific preferences and requirements when it comes to their equipment. That’s why we’ve compiled information from experts and players alike to provide you with a comprehensive guide to finding the right fit.
Whether you’re an experienced player looking to upgrade your gear or a newcomer trying to navigate your first purchase, we hope this article will assist you in finding the best-fitting hockey pants possible.
The Importance of Properly Fitting Hockey Pants
When it comes to ice hockey, the importance of proper fitting gear cannot be overstated. This is especially true for your lower half as you need to protect yourself from impact and remain comfortable during long gameplay sessions.
Protecting Your Lower Body
Hockey pants serve as a critical piece of protection by guarding against falls and blows that could result in bruising or even fractures. It’s important to ensure they fit comfortably so that they don’t shift around on your body while playing, exposing vulnerable areas like your hips, tailbone, and thighs.
One key area of concern is the waistband. Low-rise pants might look sleeker, but a higher waist ensures sufficient coverage for the vital organs in your abdomen and back muscles. Make sure the waistband fits snugly without feeling restrictive — any loose fabric at the top can leave your belly exposed when bending over or crouching down.
You also want to make sure the thigh pads cover the entirety of your legs’ fleshy parts, particularly the front center where accidental stick slashes are often directed. You should feel them resting comfortably above your knee with no gaps.
The kidney-shaped flaps on either side of many hockey pants are meant to protect vulnerable areas in your lower back where shots from behind can cause serious injury. When fastening these pieces, ensure the straps sit tight enough to stay in place without feeling too tight or constricting.
Maximizing Performance and Comfort
Apart from providing physical protection, well-fitted hockey pants will enhance your performance on the ice. Uncomfortable equipment can hinder mobility and distract you from concentrating on the game ahead.
If the pants bunch up or hinder movement while you’re in motion, it can limit your stride or become a tripping hazard. On the other hand, if they’re too loose, they’ll create drag and decrease speed. Thus, you want them to be as tight as possible without restricting movement.
Comfort is equally important during an extended game period, particularly for goalie pants that require more padding than regular ones. Look out for features like moisture-wicking fabric, breathable material, and even temperature-regulating properties.
When trying on hockey pants, remember always to wear all of your equipment, including shin guards and skates. The combination should provide you with enough maneuverability without leaving gaps for sticks or pucks to slip through. Ideally, you also want the shorts underneath not to ride up when wearing your gear over it.
“Having properly fitting hockey pants makes a huge difference in my confidence level on the ice.” – Meghan Duggan
The argument for correctly-sized hockey pants boils down to a few essential points: adequate protection from injury, mobility-enhancing comfort to ensure optimal performance, and general peace of mind knowing that every critical area has sufficient coverage. So, take your time finding the best-fitting pair for you before hopping onto the rink!
What to Look For When Trying on Hockey Pants
The Proper Fit
When trying on hockey pants, the most important thing to look for is a proper fit. You don’t want the pants to be too loose or too tight.
A good way to check if the fit is right is to see if there is any bunching or wrinkling around the thighs and crotch area. If there is, you may need to try the next size up or down.
You also want to make sure that the waistline sits comfortably at your hips, with enough room to tuck in your jersey.
The Right Length and Padding
The length of the pants should come down just above the top of your shin guards. It’s important not to have any exposed skin between the pants and the shin guards as this could lead to painful injuries from pucks or sticks.
In terms of padding, the pants should provide coverage to protect the hip, thigh, and tailbone areas. Make sure the padding feels secure and doesn’t shift when moving around on the ice.
You’ll also want to check how much protection the pants offer for your kidneys and lower back as these can be vulnerable areas during falls or collisions in games.
Comfort and Mobility
Playing hockey requires a lot of movement, so it’s important that your pants allow for comfortable mobility on the ice.
If possible, try skating and performing some basic movements while wearing the pants to test their range of motion and flexibility.
You’ll also want to pay attention to how heavy or bulky the pants feel. Some players prefer lighter weight pants while others like more substantial padding for extra protection.
The Right Waistband
The waistband of the pants should sit comfortably on your hips without feeling restrictive. It’s important to consider how you will be wearing your pants, as some players prefer to wear suspenders or a belt with their hockey pants while others don’t.
If you plan on using suspenders, make sure the pants have loops to attach them securely. If you plan on using a belt, check that there are enough sturdy belt loops to keep it in place during games.
“Properly fitted hockey equipment can reduce injuries by up to 50%.” -Canadian Paediatric Society
Finding the right pair of hockey pants is an important part of staying comfortable and protected on the ice. By paying attention to fit, padding, mobility, and waistband features, you’ll be able to find pants that work well for your playing style and preferences.
How to Measure Yourself for Hockey Pants
Hockey pants are an essential part of the gear for any ice hockey player. They protect your hips, thighs, and tailbone from shots, falls, and collisions on the ice. But buying the right size is crucial for comfort, mobility, and safety. You don’t want them too loose or tight because it can affect your performance and increase the risk of injuries. This guide will show you how to measure yourself for hockey pants so that you can find the perfect fit.
Measuring Your Waist
The first step is to measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape. Stand up straight and wrap the tape around your belly button area, where your pants would sit. Make sure the tape is level and snug but not too tight or loose. Take note of the measurement in inches or centimeters. Use this table as a reference for sizing:
- If your waist measures between 26-30 inches (66-76 cm), you should wear small hockey pants.
- If your waist measures between 30-34 inches (76-86 cm), you should wear medium hockey pants.
- If your waist measures between 34-38 inches (86-96 cm), you should wear large hockey pants.
- If your waist measures between 38-42 inches (96-107 cm), you should wear extra-large hockey pants.
- If your waist measures over 42 inches (107 cm), you might need custom-sized hockey pants.
Note that different brands and models of hockey pants may have slightly different sizing charts, so check their websites or customer service for more accurate information.
Measuring Your Inseam
The second step is to measure your inseam length, which is the distance from your crotch to the floor when you stand barefoot with your legs slightly apart. You can use a measuring tape or a yardstick and another person’s help. Here’s how:
- Stand against a wall with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Place a book or a box between your legs and snug it up to your crotch, simulating a hockey stance.
- Mark the top of the book/box with a pencil or a piece of tape.
- Measure the distance from the mark to the floor.
Take note of the measurement in inches or centimeters. Use this table as a reference for sizing:
- If your inseam measures between 24-26 inches (61-66 cm), you should wear junior-sized hockey pants.
- If your inseam measures between 28-30 inches (71-76 cm), you should wear small or medium-sized hockey pants.
- If your inseam measures between 32-34 inches (81-86 cm), you should wear large or extra-large sized hockey pants.
- If your inseam measures over 36 inches (91 cm), you might need custom-sized hockey pants.
“Hockey pants fit best when they hug your waist and hips comfortably without sliding down during play while providing enough room through the thighs and tailbone to allow for free movement.” -Pure Hockey
Remember that these size charts are guidelines, not rules. Your body shape, personal preferences, and playing style may affect your choice of hockey pant fit. Some players prefer looser-fitting pants for more mobility and breathability, while others prefer snug-fitting pants for better protection and stability. Some players may need extra padding or customization to address specific vulnerabilities or injuries. That’s why it’s important to try on different sizes and brands before buying, if possible. Sometimes you might find that a size up or down feels more comfortable than your usual size.
Finally, make sure to check the hockey league rules regarding equipment requirements. Some leagues may have specific guidelines for pant fit, color, material, or branding. You don’t want to spend money on gear that doesn’t meet the standards of your league or team.
By measuring yourself properly for hockey pants and choosing the right fit for your body and playing style, you can enjoy a safer, smoother, and more enjoyable ice hockey experience.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Fitting Hockey Pants
Choosing the Wrong Size
When it comes to hockey pants, choosing the right size is critical for your safety and performance on the ice. Wearing too small or too large pants can cause discomfort, chaffing, bruising, and hinder mobility, which affect your game.
To ensure you get the perfect fit, take accurate waist and height measurements, then compare them with the manufacturer’s sizing chart. Don’t just assume that your casual wear size will also be your hockey pant size as sizing often varies from brand to brand. You might end up ordering a smaller size than usual to accommodate the padding’s bulkiness, adding a bit of space around the waist without exposing any body parts in case of falls while playing.
It’s always good practice to try on the pants before buying if possible since sizes may not translate well from paper; make sure the crotch area lies flat against yours, and the pants don’t restrict movement or slip off when bending or stretching. Remember, comfort and flexibility should come first over fashion when selecting the correct size hockey pants.
Ignoring Comfort and Mobility
Hockey is already a physically demanding sport; wearing ill-fit protective apparel only makes things worse. Buying a heavily padded and protective pair of pants cannot mean peace of mind during games. They need to offer sufficient cushioning while not sacrificing comfort and mobility.
Mobility: Pants have different fits, ranging from “contoured’/’tapered” to “loose,” and each style provides different levels of mobility. Consider what works best depending on your body shape, position, and preferences/abilities. Defensemen typically prefer a more contoured fit for better agility while wingers may require looser-fitting options for greater freedom of motion.
Comfort: Does the waist comfortably fit regardless of how tight or loose it is? Does the padding protect without hindering your natural movements? Leg straps need to be adjustable and padded to avoid abrasions when tightened efficiently. Is the crotch padded but also flexible enough? Get pants equipped with a gusset closure, maximizing flexibility and comfort in that area.
“To play hockey, you have to get hit; if you’re worried about getting hit, then this is the wrong sport to be playing,” – Wayne Gretzky
If you consider all these factors, you can train harder and play more effectively since well-fitted pants will not impair the mobility required on the ice.
Tips for Adjusting Hockey Pants During Play
Using Suspenders or a Belt
Hockey pants can be uncomfortable during play if they do not fit properly. One way to help adjust them is by using suspenders or a belt. These accessories will not only keep your hockey pants from sagging, but it also keeps the padding in place and prevents gaps between the upper body gear.
Suspenders are usually made of elastic straps that go over each shoulder and clip onto the waistband of the pants. The main advantage of suspenders is that there is no restriction on the hips and stomach area, giving the player more mobility compared to wearing a tight belt.
A hockey belt, on the other hand, is typically made of heavy-duty elastic material with loops where you thread your hockey pants through. It should be worn tightly around the waistline to secure both the pants and the protective cup.
Young players who are still growing may opt for suspenders since their waist size could fluctuate from season to season. But once your measurements stabilize, either choice works well.
Adjusting Padding as Needed
The padding in hockey pants is there for protection against potential injuries and impacts during the game. However, there’s a possibility that it might move around over time, causing discomfort and restricting movement which could affect your performance.
If you’re experiencing this problem, make sure you take extra effort to fix it right away. You don’t want to risk getting an injury because of ill-fitting gear.
Here’s how you can adjust the padding:
- Pull the pant legs down firmly while pulling up at the same time on the padded areas until they reach the widest part of your thigh. This creates better coverage for your legs and hips.
- Make sure the spine pad is centered in the middle of your back. Adjust its height accordingly to prevent any gaps between it and the shoulder pads or elbow pads.
- The hip padding should sit on the highest part of the hip bone, which serves as a natural cushion when taking falls or impacts from hits.
If you have time before the game starts, you can warm up and skate around for a few minutes to see if everything stays in place. Any shifting that still occurs may require additional tweaking on the same areas until you’re satisfied with the fit.
“If gear doesn’t sit right, doesn’t feel right, it’s not going to perform right. When something is uncomfortable, it gets taken out of position.” – Bret Hedican, retired NHL defenseman
Hockey pants should fit snugly but at the same time allow sufficient movement to maximize agility during plays. Using suspenders or belts and adjusting the padding correctly help maintain comfort throughout each game.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the key areas to consider when trying on hockey pants?
When trying on hockey pants, it is important to consider the waist and hip fit, the length, and the padding in the thighs and hips. These key areas will ensure that the pants fit correctly and provide the necessary protection during gameplay.
How tight should hockey pants be around the waist and hips?
Hockey pants should fit snugly around the waist and hips, but not so tight that they restrict movement or cause discomfort. The pants should be able to move with your body without falling down or shifting during gameplay. It is important to try on different sizes and adjust the waist and hip straps to find the perfect fit.
What is the ideal length for hockey pants?
The ideal length for hockey pants is about halfway between the top of the knee and the bottom of the hip. This length will provide adequate protection for the thigh and hip areas while allowing for maximum mobility on the ice. It is important to try on different lengths to find the best fit for your body type.
Should hockey pants have padding in the thighs and hips?
Yes, hockey pants should have padding in the thighs and hips to protect these areas from impact during gameplay. The padding should be thick enough to provide adequate protection but not so thick that it restricts movement. It is important to make sure the padding is properly placed and covers all vulnerable areas.
What is the importance of proper fitting hockey pants in terms of performance?
Proper fitting hockey pants are essential for optimal performance on the ice. Ill-fitting pants can cause discomfort, restrict movement, and even lead to injuries. A well-fitted pair of hockey pants will allow for maximum mobility, provide necessary protection, and enhance overall performance during gameplay.
How do I know if my hockey pants fit correctly?
When trying on hockey pants, make sure they fit snugly around the waist and hips without causing discomfort or restricting movement. The pants should be able to move with your body without falling down or shifting during gameplay. Check that the padding is properly placed and covers all vulnerable areas. It is also important to try on different sizes and lengths to find the perfect fit for your body type.