How to Buy Goalie Catchers
Goalie Catchers Buying Guide
Here is some advice from HockeyGiant.com on how to buy Hockey Goalie Catchers
Goalie catchers, also called catch gloves or trappers, are worn on the goaltender's catching hand to protect him as he defends the net. Goalie catch gloves are built with high density foam padding to protect the goaltender from pucks, sticks and skates – however, there's no guarantee that your catch glove, or any piece of equipment for that matter, will completely eliminate the possibility of an injury. The catch glove is made to provide a useful blocking surface for making saves.
Traditional Catchers vs. Binding-less Cuff Catchers
Traditional goalie trappers are constructed with a hinged cuff that allows the goaltender to flex the glove in the wrist area with relative ease. The flat blocking surface of the cuff segment on a traditional catcher is slightly smaller than that of a "binding-less" cuff catcher. The edge of the pocket near the cuff on a traditional catcher is typically rounded off and angled in such a way that it helps direct the puck into the pocket of the catcher. This aspect of the trapper construction also tends to make the catching pocket look a bit larger to the shooter, and although this is just an optical illusion, it often has an effect on the player who is looking for an opening on the glove side.
Binding-less cuff goalie catchers are constructed with the cuff and pocket seamlessly attached to one another, which provides a larger, flat blocking surface. Butterfly goalies tend to benefit most from this design because they are more inclined to make "blocking" saves. This isn't to say that the design limits the ability of the goalie to catch the puck – but rather, this type of blocker just enhances the goalie's ability to block the puck with the large, flat face of the cuff. But, in the opinion of most goaltenders, the flat-faced cuff doesn't redirect the puck into the glove pocket quite as well as the traditional, hinged cuff.
Webbing Style: "Single T" vs. "Double T"
Goalie trappers are made with either a "Single T" or "Double T" spine to support the webbing in the pocket. Single T pockets have one wide piece of material sewn into the webbing, while Double T pockets have two thinner pieces of material supporting the webbing. Goalies who like to play the puck after catching it will benefit from a Single T catcher because there's less webbing in the pocket, which makes it a little easier to release the puck and drop it onto the ice. Double T pockets contain a bit more webbing and have a greater tendency to grab and hold onto the puck. Double T pockets work well for goalies that prefer to freeze the puck for a whistle rather than play it with their stick.
Goalie Catcher Straps
Most goalie catch gloves will have a minimum of two, but may have as many as four straps that secure the glove to the hand of the goaltender and lock it in place around his wrist. If the glove is not properly secured to the hand of the goalie he may have a tough time closing it to trap the puck. High quality catchers usually have a greater number of straps, allowing the goalie to make more adjustments for a better overall fit.
Basic hand protection is provided by a flap of foam and nylon or leather on the back side of the trapper. Higher end catchers are typically made with several, smaller padding segments which are superimposed, much like the shell of an armadillo, to provide the goalie with the ability to open and close the trapper with greater ease. The back of a goaltender's catching hand is not usually used to block the puck, but protection is still provided because there will certainly be times that a stick, skate or puck will come into contact with the back of the goalie's hand.
Proper Fitting for Goalie Catchers
Goalie catchers are offered in 4 sizes: Youth, Junior, Intermediate and Senior. Sizing from brand to brand is fairly consistent, so whether you're looking for a Reebok, Bauer, Brian's or Vaughn goalie catcher you can expect each one to fit pretty comparably. There are always exceptions, even within the range of products offered from one manufacturer, but in most cases you can expect a similar fit. A goalie catch glove should provide a snug, comfortable fit that is neither constrictive nor loose and sloppy. A new catcher will be tough to close because the materials must be broken in first. But, if your glove does not fit properly then it will be tough to close whether it's broken in or not, so it's important to make sure that your glove is no larger or smaller than necessary in order to achieve optimal comfort, protection and mobility.
Goalie Blocker Sizing Guide