How to Fit Goalie Catch Gloves
Catch gloves come in four different sizes: senior, intermediate, junior, and youth. It’s hard to size by age, though—as parents everywhere know, a big 8-year-old might have the same size hand as an average 10-year-old. Insead, use the measurements below to find the right glove size. Then use our tips to get the right fit, determine the best goalie glove for a player’s style, and break in the new glove so it can start making awesome saves.
HOW TO MEASURE FOR A CATCH GLOVE
To measure for a catch glove, determine the length from the heel of the palm to the tip of the middle finger.
CATCH GLOVE SIZING CHART
|Length (in.)||4 3⁄4 - 5 5⁄8 in.||5 5⁄8 - 6 1⁄4 in.||6 1⁄4 - 7 in.||7 - 8 3⁄8 in.|
|Length (cm)||119 - 143 cm||144 - 160 cm||161 - 178 cm||179 - 213 cm|
Make sure you know which hand you catch with! Of course, this isn’t too much of an issue when buying gloves in a store, but it is necessary to specify when ordering online.
Regular Catch Gloves are worn on the LEFT hand.
Full Right Catch Gloves are worn on the RIGHT hand.
MAKE SURE YOU CAN CLOSE THE GLOVE
The chart above is a starting point. Once you have a glove on your hand or your kid’s hand, check the fit.
The goalie’s fingers need to wrap far enough around the break of the glove so that the he or she has the leverage to close the glove. As a guideline, we recommend no more than 1/2 inch of space between the tip of the goalie’s finger and the end of the finger stall in the catch glove. (Adults with stronger hands can get away with having a bit more space in the finger stalls, but kids should keep to this guideline as much as possible.)
To determine if the glove fits, therefore, open the backhand portion of the glove and assess the goalie’s finger position in the stalls.
FITTING GOALIE GLOVES FOR YOUNG KIDS
Too often, youth or junior goalies choose gloves that have a larger catching surface than they need with the thought that a big glove is like a big basket—the bigger the glove, the more pucks will find their way into it. And well-meaning parents often choose larger catch gloves for kids with the idea that the child will “grow into it” or will “get used to it once it has broken in”.
In reality, these two theories are flawed for the following reasons:
- Especially for beginners, smaller gloves are easier to close and therefore easier to use. Smaller hands cannot wrap around the palm break of larger gloves—and if the glove can’t be closed, the puck can’t be caught.
- Larger gloves are often too heavy for the young goalie. If the goalie can’t lift the glove quickly throughout the game, then chances are he/she won’t catch the puck.
- The wrist straps on larger gloves are often too big to keep the glove snug around the goalie’s wrist. When this is the case, harder shots often pull the glove off of the goalie’s hand upon impact.
HOW TO CHOOSE A GOALIE CATCH GLOVE
Pure Hockey carries a wide variety of catch gloves with different break angles, blocking cuffs, and pocket styles. Rarely will you find two gloves that fit the same way. We’ve taken the time here to describe the different features of a catch glove so that you can make the most informed buying decision possible.
CATCH GLOVE BREAK ANGLES
The “break” is the part of the catch glove that folds closed in order to trap the puck inside. Some goalies prefer a higher break (sometimes called a “90 degree” break) while some prefer a lower break (a “60 degree” break is where most gloves fall these days).
- Higher or “90 degree” Break: These gloves generally close like you are making a thumbs-up sign, with the tips of the fingers trying to touch the heel of the hand.
- Lower or “60 degree” Break: Closing gloves of this type feels like closing the tips of your fingers to the tip of your thumb. Gloves of this type generally close more like your typical baseball glove would close.
CATCH GLOVE CURVES AND BREAKS
Like blockers, catch gloves often have curves, and for the same purpose as the blocker: to deflect pucks and ramp them away from you and the goal net. The location of the curve varies on catch gloves. Some curves are found at the bottom of the glove (by your forearm) and others are found at the side (by your thumb). Some gloves have curves at both of these locations. There are a variety of curve options because different goalies hold their gloves in different ways.
Additionally, today’s manufacturers are making both “One-Piece” and “Two-Piece” blocking cuffs.
|"One-Piece" cuffs have no break between the cuff and the palm/thumb area of the glove. Without the break, the blocking surface of the glove is more rigid and therefore the rebound direction is more predictable.|
|"Two-Piece" cuffs feature a break between the cuff and the palm/thumb area of the glove. The break gives the glove more flexibility at the wrist, which is great for goalies who like to shoot and pass the puck often. Most of the catch gloves on the market today are two-piece gloves.|
CATCH GLOVE POCKET STYLES
Many goalies prefer a deep pocket, which is the webbing between the thumb and index finger where the goalie catches pucks. A deeper pocket allows for easier catching control and now comes standard in new catch gloves. There are two different types of catch glove pockets, Single T and Double T.Single T Pockets
feature a larger, single T-shaped web that provides the structural support to the pocket. They are more traditional in feel, and the impact of the puck against the T can be felt throughout the entire glove, alerting the goalie that the puck is in the pocket.
|Double T Pockets feature two smaller, leather support pieces that run from the top of the T to the base of the pocket. The two pieces are laced together, and sometimes the lacing between the two has enough slack in it to allow the pocket to expand a bit deeper once the puck hits it. In theory, the Double-T has the ability to stop the rotation of the puck at impact, helping to keep the puck in the pocket more often.|
Catch glove pockets are laced with either a traditional nylon lacing or, more recently, cotton skate laces. Both work well in providing structural support to the pocket. Cotton skate laces have a bit more give to them and may help keep the puck in the pocket at impact.
Gloves also come with internal wrist and hand straps for extra support on the glove hand. It is important to have an adjustable strap for your wrist inside the glove. Some goalies wear these straps tight while others wear them loose, but this extra support not only helps keep the glove on your hand but also allows better control when catching and shooting the puck.
HOW TO BREAK IN A GOALIE GLOVE
Heat and moisture are the elements that begin to break in catch gloves. These conditions arise normally when you train and play in the glove, but there are ways to speed up the break-in process. Here are the best ways we’ve found to break in catch gloves:
BAKING THE GLOVE IN-STORE
If you purchase a catch glove in one of our stores, our staff can put it in one of our skate baking ovens to help start the break-in process. After the glove is in the oven for 8-10 minutes, the heat softens the leathers and foams in the palm of the glove. Open and close the glove repeatedly.
BAKING THE GLOVE AT HOME
If you would like to do this at home, we recommend the following:
- Only bake catch gloves in skate ovens, as they circulate the heated air evenly over the glove.
- Heat the glove in an accurately controlled skate bake oven at a temperature of 145 to 160 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Caution – the glove will be hot! If necessary, allow the glove to cool slightly before putting it on the hand.
- The inside of the glove can be misted with water to help soften the interior, speed up the break-in process, and keep the materials cool to the touch.
- Once it can be worn, put the glove on and tighten the wrist strap, thumb and finger loops.
- Flex the glove repeatedly to form it to the desired shape.
THE HAIR DRYER METHOD OF BREAKING IN GLOVES
This is the safest break-in method available without a skate oven, and it works much the same as baking. Apply heat to the break area of the glove at both the glove face and the glove interior. Make sure to keep the hairdryer on medium heat, and keep it moving. Be careful not to apply direct heat to one area of the glove for prolonged periods! Patience and constant motion work best. Once the glove is warm inside and out, put your hand inside and flex repeatedly.