Here is some advice from HockeyGiant.com on how to buy Hockey Shoulder Pads
Hockey shoulder pads offer protection to the shoulders, rib cage, upper biceps/triceps, and collarbones. Shoulder pads are especially important if you're playing in a contact hockey league with checking because most body checks are delivered and received with your shoulders. Hockey shoulder pads players also protect hockey players' upper arms and torso from pucks, sticks, the boards and the ice.
Hockey Shoulder Pad Construction
Shoulders pads are made up of four main pieces which are the shoulder caps, chest protector, back protector and bicep pads. The chest and back protectors should meet the top of your hockey pants or be within a couple of inches of them in order to provide proper coverage. The bicep pads ought to meet or come close to the top of your elbow pads. The amount of overall coverage offered varies from one model to the next, as does the density, size, and shape of the padding and shoulder caps.
Hockey Shoulder Pad Special Features
Hockey shoulder pads are generally constructed in the same manner regardless of the manufacturer. But there are a few features that pertain to select models only which you may want to consider before purchasing a pair.
- Adjustable Biceps - Certain models, such as the Easton Stealth S19 Shoulder Pads and the Bauer Vapor X:60 Shoulder Pads (pictured above), have adjustable bicep protectors which are attached to the shoulder pads with a sling strap system which you can tighten or loosen and then reattach with Velcro at the desired length.
- Removable Abdominal & Rib Pads - There are some hockey shoulder pads, such as the Bauer Pro Series Shoulder Pads, that come with a removable abdominal/rib pads which provide additional length and coverage of your torso. Some players like the added protection while others feel more comfortable without it, which is why it is constructed as a removable piece.
- High-density Sternum Protector - Most mid and high end models, like Easton Stealth S13 Shoulder Pads and Reebok 11K KFS Shoulder Pads, are built with an additional layer of padding on the sternum over the base layer of padding which protects your entire chest.
Fit For Your Protective Needs
The amount of protection that each player requires depends on the level at which they are competing. This is not to imply that all players do not benefit from the best protective equipment available. But players in less competitive leagues may find that they only need basic protection without all of the additional features that are available with top of the line shoulder pads. In addition, some players simply prefer thinner, low-profile shoulder pads, like Easton Synergy ST4 Shoulder Pads, because they want to maximize their ability to move without restrictions. On the other hand, some hockey players will choose to wear shoulder pads with larger shoulder caps and thicker pads, such as the CCM U+ Pro Shoulder Pads, which offer a player the comfort of knowing that they can play more aggressively without feeling as vulnerable to the inherent physical aspects of the game of ice hockey.
Hockey Shoulder Pad Sizing
Hockey shoulder pads should provide a snug fit around your chest and arms, and they should fit securely enough not to move out of place while you are playing. Finding the proper size is as simple as identifying your chest size, height and weight and matching up your dimensions with the recommendations on the sizing chart that corresponds to the model you are interested in purchasing.
Hockey Shoulder Pad Sizing Chart
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