Best Hockey Gloves For Stick Handling & Protection (2021)

Shopping for the best hockey gloves seems like it should be a straightforward task. On the surface, it looks like it should be just as simple as finding a pair of winter gloves. Unfortunately, that is far from the truth.

Hockey gloves come in a wide range of choices, allowing you to choose the right gloves that fit your hands, offer the right amount of protection, and really serve your needs. Hockey gloves really are a feat of engineering, so you will need to choose carefully when you begin your search.

Fortunately, we’re here to help you in your search – any of the gloves mentioned in this guide should protect your hands on the ice, while offering great stickhandling.

Choosing The Right Hockey Gloves For Stick Handling & Protection

Best Hockey Gloves Specs

There are three primary features that you should look at when you are shopping for hockey gloves. They are padding, shells, and the fit.

Padding

To begin with, all hockey gloves should come with some level of padding within them. Normally, you will find that the gloves have a few horizontal pads that help you still be able to move the top of your hand. A good glove will also have padding along the fingers, distributed well enough that you can move your hand.

Padding is in place to protect your hands from hits while still keeping them warm. The amount of mobility that you need in your hands will depend on you as a player and your individual needs.

Nylon vs Synthetic Leader Shells

The two primary materials that the glove shells are made out of are nylon and synthetic leather. You will not normally see real leather used. Nylon shells are lighter and more breathable that the synthetic shells are. Synthetic leather shells, on the other hand, are more durable and less likely to tear.

Most of the time, you will not find a glove made only of one material or the other. Instead, the perfect hockey gloves are made out of a combination of nylon and synthetic leather, making use of the best of both types. If you really prefer all-nylon gloves, however, they are still available as well.

Classic Fit / Tapered Fit / Anatomical Fit

The three primary fits for hockey gloves are classic, tapered, and anatomical. Really, there is not a right or wrong type of fit. Instead, it is just what you want the gloves to fit like.

The classic hockey glove fit is the roomiest option, fitting looser than the other gloves. A tapered fit still has room around your wrist, but is form-fitting in the hand. The anatomical fit is the tightest, acting almost like a second skin. They are tight throughout the hand and the wrist. Some players prefer the snug fit, whereas others like more room.

10 Best Hockey Gloves (2021)

Brand

Skill Level

Weight

Rating

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1. Bauer Vapor 2X Pro

Editor's Choice

Intermediate/
Advanced

265 grams

100%

2. TRUE XC9 Gloves

High Performance

Advanced

287 grams

99%

3. Bauer Vapor X2.9

Budget Friendly

Beginner

297 grams

97%

4. CCM Super Tacks

Intermediate/
Advanced

303 grams

96%

5. Bauer Nexus 2N

Advanced

298 grams

97%

6. Bauer Supreme 1S

Intermediate/
Advanced

308 grams

98%

7. Warrior Cover QR

Intermediate/
Advanced

318 grams

95%

8. CCM 4R Pro

Beginner

328 grams

94%

9. Bauer Vapor 1X Lite

Junior Hockey Gloves

Intermediate/
Advanced

285 grams

99%

10. CCM JetSpeed FT1

Youth Hockey Gloves

Intermediate/
Advanced

248 grams

99%

1. Bauer Vapor 2X Pro Hockey Gloves

Best Hockey Gloves (Editor's Choice)

If you are looking for the best hockey gloves possible, we recommend the Bauer Vapor 2X Pro gloves.

Bauer Vapor 2X Pro Hockey Gloves

These gloves are designed for elite players, but will work well for less experienced players as long as they find them comfortable enough to wear. These are new in 2020 to Bauer’s Vapor line, so they really make use of the latest glove technology.

Looking at the gloves, you will see that there is a Thermo Core lining that has been combined with HyperSense comfort lining in the fingers. The gloves will also give you a little bit of comfort and cushion. The palm itself is ultra-sensitive, which means that you will be able to feel your hockey stick like you never have before.

You should be able to sense it like an extension of yourself, rather than a bulky piece of equipment to work around. As a result, you should be able to see an improvement in your stickhandling as well as your performance on the ice.

Furthermore, the gloves come in a huge array of colours, which means that you will be able to find a pair that should work well with your uniform’s colours. The do come in multiple sizes as well, including 13”, 14”, and 15”, making it easy to find a pair to fit the average hand sizes.

Finally, the Bauer Vapor 2X gloves are the lightest hockey gloves on the market. They only weigh 265 grams, which is around half of a pound. Even though they are lightweight, they will still offer you a high level of protection. This is achieved through the use of a Shock Lite foam, which easily provides both protection and feel to whomever wears the gloves.

  • Lightest gloves on the market
  • Thermo Core
  • Shock Lite Foam
  • HyperSense comfort lining
  • Ultra-sensitive Palm
  • We didn’t find any!

2. TRUE XC9 Hockey Gloves

High Performance

There are also high performance gloves out on the market, if you are looking for those. We recommend the True XC9 hockey gloves. They are a great choice for elite players who would like a tapered fit.

TRUE XC9 Hockey Gloves

These are gloves with an anatomical fit that are design to form to the shape of your hand.These gloves are available in sizes from youth, all the way up through senior sizing. You can get them in sizes anywhere from 7” up to 15”, showing that they should really work for just about any player who wants that high performance fit.

The gloves themselves are made up of a 15-piece backhand, which will give you a lot of mobility with your fingers. They also have the TrueFlexx and a lock thumb feature that provides an ergonomic flexible cuff for superior writs mobility while still helping your thumb. The padding within the gloves is a pro-grade 24mm EPP foam that should help protect your hands from any kind of impact out in the rink.

This hockey glove is made up of nylon and textured PU exterior shell. It has an AX suede base palm sewn in with True Blue AX suede overlay for a comfortable grip on your stick. The suede includes the palms and the gussets. The gloves come with an anatomical, tapered fit. That means that they will be snug against your hands and taper down around the wrist so that there is no gap between the end of the glove and your skin. This will keep water out and protect your skin.

  • Nylon and textured PU shell
  • Suede palms
  • Tapered and Anatomical Fit
  • Pro Grade 24mm EPP foam
  • 15-piece back hand
  • Snug fit doesn’t work for everyone

3. Bauer Vapor X2.9 Hockey Gloves

Budget Friendly

If you are looking for hockey gloves that you can get on a budget, check out the Bauer Vapor X2.9 hockey gloves.

Bauer Vapor X2.9 Hockey Gloves

These will work for skilled players and beginners alike, depending on your needs as a hockey player and how you would like your glove to fit, since these have a more traditional fit to them.

The Vapor X2.9 gloves have a moisture wicking ability from the Thermo Max lining material. Thermo Max will help keep your hands from sweating too much inside of the gloves. As a result, you will have a good, strong grip that does not slip around within the gloves. It is designed to give your hands a dry, comfortable feel.

The Vapor X2.9 hockey gloves come with a Taktile palm, which is durable and provides you with an instant level of comfort with a soft feel. The now-iconic Vapor fit has a 3-piece index and a 2-piece flex thumb with an open cuff construction to allow for better stickhandling abilities. It is important to be able to move your hand around.

If there is a downside to these gloves, it is that are a little bulky, but that might work out if that is your personal preference. They do have good mobility and flexibility, despite the bulkiness, so that you still should be able to manage stickhandling and moving around as you would like to. However, these would not be a good pair for players who like their gloves to be snug.

Finally, the gloves do come in sizes ranging from 13” to 15”. They also come in several colours, including black, black/red, black/white, navy, and navy/red/white, if you have a preference.

  • Taktile palm feature
  • Iconic Vapor fit
  • Good for stickhandling
  • Full mobility
  • Moisture-wicking

4. CCM Super Tacks Hockey Gloves

Another great hockey gloves are the CCM Super Tacks. The aim of these gloves is to offer you the pro level protection without the pro level price tag.

Design

The design of the Super Tacks Hockey Gloves includes a palm extension. That means that the palm of the glove extends beyond the base of your palm, giving you a little more space between your hand and the cuff. This prevents the cuff from rolling up on you, which can get in the way in the case of some gloves. They do have an anatomical design and are meant to fit well right from the beginning.

Features

The Super Tacks Hockey gloves have a lot of great features, including the polygiene liner which will help reduce the growth of bacteria, keeping the gloves from developing an odour. They also feature a variety of pieces in the fingers, meaning the thumb only has two pieces, but the middle and index fingers have three, better mimicking the natural movement of your hand.

  • Two-piece thumb, Three-piece middle and index fingers
  • Game ready right out of the box
  • Polygiene liner for odour prevention
  • Pro-selected polyester
  • NHL Clarino reinforced palm
  • The extended palm can be awkward for some players or reduce stick feel

5. Bauer Nexus 2N Hockey Gloves

For a more traditional pair of hockey gloves, check out the Bauer Nexus 2N Hockey Gloves. These are one of the best pairs of gloves that Bauer makes.

Design

The design of the Nexus 2N features a 4- roll design, which is meant to give you protection, comfort, and style. The fit of the gloves is traditional, but has also been updated to include all of the technology that you can get from other, newer designs. They do have a wide design, but they are also adjustable so you can control how tight they are around the wrist.

Features

These gloves have a lot of great features, including the three-piece thumb lock, which will give you a lot of movement while still protecting you. The palm of the gloves is a Quattro grip with AX Suede, giving you a nice feel. The soft finger touch feature also helps you to feel like you are just holding the stick as close to barehanded as possible.

  • Soft finger touch
  • Quattro grip palm with AX Suede
  • Pro style Nash tip gussets
  • Liner has sanitized technology added into it
  • Dual density foam with poly inserts
  • The fit is wider than most players’ hands are

6. Bauer Supreme 1S Hockey Gloves

Another great choice from Bauer is the Bauer Supreme 1S Hockey Gloves.

Design

The Bauer Supreme 1S Gloves have an anatomical design, getting you as close to feeling your stick as possible. The design is meant to be as technologically advanced as possible. Bauer has taken into not just your comfort and protection, but also what your needs are as a player.

Features

Some of the great features that come with the Bauer Supreme 1S Hockey Gloves are the double density foam for protection and the pro nylon and cable mesh shell. Both of these will keep your hands safe. The gloves also feature ventilated air patches in both the thumb and the center of the palm, keeping your hands dry while you are playing and helping speed up the dry time after you are done playing. The liner inside of the gloves has been treated with antibacterial materials to help prevent the build up of any odours.

  • AX Suede Quattro Pro Palm
  • Ventilated air patches on the thumb and center of palm
  • Liner prevents odour build up
  • Double density foam for protection
  • Pro nylon and cable mesh shell
  • The technologically advanced design can be odd for some players

7. Warrior Covert QR Edge Hockey Gloves

A little more high quality than the Warrior Covert gloves, the Warrior Covert QR Edge gloves are a lightweight and durable option.

Design

The design of the Warrior Covert QR Edge gloves includes the cable knit and traditional nylon. The point of having both is to help build more durability in the high wear areas, while giving breathability where your hands need it the most. The gloves also have an extended palm, meaning it goes past the edge of your hand, in order to provide more protection in the higher worn areas.

Features

One of the best features that you can get from these gloves is that it has an Exo Protect system. This gives you extra protection for the top of your hand, which you will not find with other gloves. The liner of the gloves is a WarTech FNC, which will feel soft on your hands while keeping them as dry as possible. The liner has been infused with anti-bacterial protection to keep odours from building.

  • Cable knit and traditional nylon for durability
  • Extended palm for protection in high wear areas
  • Exo Protect system for top of hand safety
  • WarTech FNC liner for soft feel and dry comfort
  • Infused polygiene for bacteria-reducing wear
  • Extended palm is uncomfortable for some players

8. CCM 4R Pro Hockey Gloves

The final gloves that we are going to review are the CCM 4R Pro Hockey Gloves.

Design

The CCM 4R Pro gloves are designed with a classic fit, so they do have more room in them that other gloves do. It is built with pro-selected polyester combined with PU synthetic leather, maximizing the comfort and the fit of the gloves. The design also has strategic breaks in it, improving your overall mobility without sacrificing safety.

Features

There are a lot of great features to the CCM 4R Pro, including the dual density foam with PE inserts, giving you the highest level of protection possible. The thumb of the gloves is a flexible thumb, giving you more mobility and a better overall grip on the stick. The cuff of the glove has open segments, increasing the protection of the gloves while also increasing your mobility.

  • Durable Nash palm for better stick handling
  • Flexible thumb for better grip
  • Dual density foam for protection
  • Strategic breaks for better mobility
  • Open segmented cuff for protection and mobility
  • All of the segmented pieces will feel strange for players

9. Bauer Vapor 1X Lite Junior Gloves

Junior Hockey Gloves

The best junior hockey gloves are the Bauer Vapor 1X Lite gloves. These are elite-level gloves that are made for junior players.

Design

The Vapor 1X gloves are designed with dual-density foam with a poly insert for the padding. This protects the hands against forceful impacts.

There is also dual-density foam in the fingers for more protection. The foam is also moisture wicking to help keep the hands as dry as possible within the gloves. There is a high durability overlay as well so the gloves are not likely to wear out anytime soon.

Features

The features of the Bauer Vapor 1X Lite gloves for juniors include a Quattro grip, which is a kind of material that covers the palm. As a result, the hand will stay on the stick easily. They also have a three-piece Flex-Lock thumb that provides increased mobility and protection.

The shell of the gloves is a combination of pro nylon mesh and cable mesh for better all-around mobility as well as durability and water resistance.

  • Pro nylon mesh shell
  • High durability overlay
  • Pro level protection
  • Dual-density foam
  • Quattro grip
  • They have to be broken in

10. CCM Jetspeed FT1 Youth Gloves

Youth Hockey Gloves

For the best youth hockey gloves, you can’t do better than the CCM Jetspeed FT1 gloves. These gloves provide a high level of comfort and protection with an excellent, anatomical fit.

Design

The design of the Jetspeed FT1 gloves includes D3O and PE inserts along the fingers and the back of the glove. This provides impact resistance so the hands will be as protected as possible.

Unfortunately, the design also means that the wrist is not completely covered and might be somewhat exposed. For the youngest players, this should not be a big deal.

Features

These gloves are made with synthetic leather and pro-selected polyester. The leather is comfortable and flexible, making it easy to wear and move in, but the polyester is completely waterproof, helping to keep the hands as dry as possible.

The anatomical cuff of the gloves is also flexible so there is a lot of mobility around the wrist for better movement. Finally, the palm of the gloves is a soft nash palm that provides a nice, soft feel, as well as durability.

  • PE inserts
  • Pro feel
  • Excellent durability
  • Pro-level protection
  • Synthetic leather
  • Wrist is not completely covered

11. Warrior Covert QR Edge Hockey Gloves

These are highly flexible and mobile gloves with a great level of protection.

Warrior Covert QR Edge Hockey Gloves

Design

The Covert QRE Edge has a SmartPalm+ design with Gatorskin overlays that are water resistant as well as durable and comfortable. The layering prevents bunching and allows for a good stick feel. The thumb also has an overlay for durable coverage.

They have a tapered design, but the cuff is still anatomical. That means they have a full range of motion while still being snug.

Features

There are a lot of great features that come with the Warrior Covert QR Edge gloves. They have the Exo Protect system that is made up of medium-density foams in the sides of the fingers, the cuff, and the cuff roll.

In addition to the Exo Protect System, there are plastic inserts on the top of the glove that helps with impact protection. Add that to the segmented backhand, and you will find that these gloves offer a great amount of protection.

  • Infused polygiene
  • AxyFlex construction
  • Exo Protect system
  • Cable knit and traditional nylons
  • SmartPalm+ design

12. Bauer Vapor 1X Lite Pro Hockey Gloves

If you are looking for high performance gloves, the right choice for you are the Bauer Vapor 1X Lite Pro Hockey Gloves.

Bauer Vapor 1X Lite Gloves

Design

The Bauer Vapor 1X Lite Pro gloves are designed with a tapered fit, so they do have more room around the wrist than you will with anatomical gloves. They also have 3-piece fingers that provide better mobility and a better overall grip. The design of the backhand includes 4-segments, also giving you a more mobile grip. There is also a pro ivory nash with an overlay to increase the life of the gloves.

Features

The features of the Vapor 1X Lite gives are all for the benefit of getting you as close to professional level hockey gloves as possible. This includes the dual density foam that supplies you with both padding and moisture resistance. The palm on the Vapor 1X Lite gloves has a little bit of a stretch to it, giving you a great fit and a good feel throughout the gloves.

  • 3-piece fingers
  • Dual density foam
  • Pro level protection
  • Overlay for better durability
  • Pro nylon mesh on the shell
  • They do have a break in period before they are completely comfortable

13. Warrior Covert QRE Pro Hockey Gloves

If you are looking more for a pair of hockey gloves that are budget friendly, but still have a good level of reliable quality, the Warrior Covert QRE gloves might be just want you are looking for.

Warrior Covert QRE Gloves

Design

The physical design of the Warrior Covert QRE Pro gloves includes the Warrior logo. The outside of the gloves is made using a cable knit nylon in the heaviest worn parts of the gloves. The design also includes the AxyFlex thumb and cuff construction, leaving you with a high amount of dexterity while keeping your hands well protected.

Features

One of the best features that you will get from the Covert QRE gloves is that they have breathable finger gussets that are included to help keep your hands as cool as possible. It also reduces the amount of time that it takes to dry the clothes and will prevent any odours from accumulating.

  • Breathable finger gussets for cool performance
  • WarTech FNC liner with polygiene
  • Three-piece index finger for better control
  • AxyFlex thumb and cuff construction for excellent dexterity
  • Breathable finger gussets for a cool performance
  • Does not have a lot of size options to choose from

Hockey Gloves Sizing

Hockey Gloves Sizing Fit

Hockey gloves are not one-size fits all. In fact, gloves can be incredibly tricky to get them to fit correctly. You would be better off going to a store and trying on gloves there to get the sizing right rather than ordering online and making a guess. Gloves are sized in inches.

To measure your hands for gloves, you have to measure starting at the base of your middle finger and measure to the bend of your elbow. The issue is if you have longer or shorter than average fingers, you will need to factor that in as well, getting a size smaller or larger depending on your needs.

Thumb Locks

Most gloves that you will find on the market have thumb lock systems. These locks will prevent you from hyper-extending your thumbs, protecting them from injury if your hand is hit or if you fall. If your thumb is bent backward, you run the risk of dislocating your thumb, breaking it, or spraining the joint, all of which will make it difficult to hold a stick.

Thumb locks are built into the glove. They are a plastic insert that can only flex in one direction, ensuring that your thumb cannot accidentally bend the other way. They can also help ensure that you have a reliable grip with your gloves.

Hockey Glove Palms

You will also need to think about the palms of your gloves when you are shopping for gloves. The palm of the glove is made with either one or two layers of material. The material is usually a faux leather or suede. While the material of the palm might look the same between all gloves, there is a definite quality difference between the more expensive and least expensive hockey gloves.

Palms are also often reinforced to help give your glove more durability as well as a better grip texture. Quality palms will also include shock-absorbing pads and mesh gussets for ventilation.

Long Cuff vs. Short Cuff

There is also a difference in the length of the cuff in hockey gloves, another consideration that you will have to make. Long cuffs have full coverage along both the wrist and up onto the forearm, eliminating any extra space between the gloves and your elbow pads. The issue with long cuffs is that they can limit the mobility of your wrist.

Short cuffs have more arm and wrist exposure, giving you the ability to manoeuvre your wrist better. The disadvantage of short cuffs is that you are more vulnerable to injury from slashes, pucks, and even skates. There are pros and cons to both types, so ultimately it is a personal preference.

How Long Do Hockey Gloves Last & Maintenance

Hockey Gloves Maintenance

The longevity of your hockey gloves depends greatly on the quality of the gloves and how much you are using them.

The first sign that your gloves are wearing out will appear along your palm and fingers. Sometimes, you can have your gloves repaired to get a little more time out of them, but depending on the type, it might not be worth it.

To help prolong the life of your gloves, you should make sure that you are drying your gloves out properly after every use. If you toss them in your bag and leave them when wet, the material of the gloves will break down faster and can develop bacteria.

Hockey Glove Components

A hockey glove has four primary components. Each part is important to how a glove works.

  • Cuff: The cuff is the part of the glove that protects your wrists. It should have padding.
  • Cuff Roll: The cuff roll goes up your arm after the cuff for extra protection and help with the fit.
  • Back Rolls: The back rolls is that part of the glove over the back of your hand.
  • Fingers: Your fingers are padded for extra protection and the underside of the glove is made of some kind of soft material that also has a grip element.

Final Words

A quality pair of hockey gloves will enable you to have a good grip on your stick and control.

They should have excellent padding to protect your hands but not hinder your ability to move. With all of these things in mind, the best hockey gloves on the market are the Bauer Vapor 2X Pro. These act like a second skin, ensuring that your gloves will help your game, not harm it.

If you are opting for a more budget friendly glove, the Bauer Vapor X2.9 is the best that you can get. They will still provide reliable protection for your hands, but you do not need to suffer sticker shock. Make sure your gloves fit you well and that you have the right amount of mobility.

Your hockey gloves can make or ruin a game for you. It is important to buy a pair that fits and is comfortable in order to have the best protection possible.

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