Here is some advice from HockeyGiant.com on how to buy Inline Hockey Girdles
Hockey girdles function as an important piece of protective gear because with the physical nature of the game (body checking, shooting, high-speed collisions, etc.) it is guaranteed that your body will take a beating, especially without proper protection. Like any other piece of protective equipment, there are varying degrees of protection and different features available with each model. Some girdles, such as the Easton Synergy Hockey Girdle and the Bauer Vapor APX Hockey Girdle, can actually be used for ice hockey when worn with a pant shell which covers the girdle. But most girdles are intended for inline hockey only because they don't offer the same amount of protection as ice hockey girdles and ice hockey pants. By nature, ice hockey tends to be more physical than inline hockey, thus the need for more protection.
Hockey Girdle Construction
Hockey girdles are basically just snug-fitting ice hockey pants without the outer nylon shell. Girdles are typically constructed with a cotton or lycra mesh shell that contains built-in foam padding in the hips, thighs, lower spine, kidney area, and tailbone. As previously stated, certain girdles, such as the Bauer Supreme TotalOne Hockey Girdle contain hard plastic inserts in addition to the single or double-layered foam padding, making them an appropriate choice for ice and inline hockey. Only girdles with this additional protective padding ought to be used for ice hockey. Girdles without protective plastic inserts do not provide ample protection for ice hockey and should only be used for inline hockey.
Hockey Girdle Features
Here are a few features that you should consider when choosing the best girdle for you.
- Wrap vs. Slip-On - The wrap system allows you to unbuckle or unfasten the girdle on the inner thigh and front of the pelvis, allowing you to open up and "tear away" the girdle rather than sliding it off like a pair of shorts. The Mission Wrap Inline Hockey Girdle, pictured below, employs this system. The wrap system also gives you the ability to adjust how tightly the thigh pads are secured around your legs. Traditional girdles, such as the Mission Thorax Flow Hockey Girdle are slipped on just like a pair of shorts.
- Elastic Waist Band vs. Adjustable Belt – An elastic waist band works well if you are wearing a girdle in the appropriate size range. Some players prefer the fit of an elastic waistband, but it's important to note that if you're girdle is too small then the elastic eventually becomes worn out and weak. Buckles, clamps and velcro waist closures are convenient and often longer lasting because you can adjust the waist as needed, rather than relying on the elasticity of the material.
- Foam padding vs. Foam + Hard Plastic Inserts – Most inline hockey leagues are no-contact, so foam padding will usually suffice. But depending on how competitive the league is and how aggressively you play, it might be wise to choose a girdle that has hard plastic inserts for increased protection.
Proper Fit and Sizing of Hockey Girdles
It is extremely important to make sure that your protective equipment fits correctly. Hockey girdles are made to fit tighter to the body than ice hockey pants, while still allowing the skater free range of motion. The bottom of the girdle should reach just above the knee in front and back. The top of the girdle ought to cover your lower back and hips with the belt secured around your waist. If your girdle is too short or too long it can make you vulnerable in areas where the padding is not lining up with the parts of your body that it is intended to protect. When trying a girdle on, make sure you pull it up to the point where your waist line is perfectly in line with the belt or fastening mechanism on the girdle. Once you’ve tightened the pants around your waist, you should be able to tell if the girdle is going to provide a snug, comfortable and protective fit. As always, check our sizing guides to find the appropriate fit.
Hockey Girdle Manufacturers
There are just as many, probably more, companies who make quality girdles who also make inline hockey pants. The same manufacturers who make the inline pants, such as Mission, Tour and Valken are the ones that tend to be most popular and have gained the best reputation for quality products amongst inline hockey players. A few other manufacturers of inline and/or ice hockey girdles to take note of include CCM, Reebok, Bauer and Gear.
Click on the following link to check out HockeyGiant.com's selection of Inline Hockey Girdles