Today let’s talk about how to choose hockey pants, the most massive piece of hockey equipment, protecting the player from the knees up to the middle of the back.

How to choose hockey pants (photo)
How to choose hockey pants (photo)

Hockey Pants

First, let’s take a look at what hockey pants are and why they are needed and then we’ll focus on how to choose hockey pants..

For sure, everyone has seen how professional hockey players take powerful shots and then immediately rejoin the game or how players in front of the net push their opponents with their sticks, hitting them in the back.

Bauer Vapor 2X Pro Senior Pants
Bauer Vapor 2X Pro Senior Pants

Various game moments could cause irreparable damage to hockey players’ health if the anterior thigh and lower back are not protected.

So these parts of the hockey pants’ protection are the main focus.

It is best to measure your pants with the shin guards and shoulder pads you play in. The hockey pants must slightly overlap the shin guards from the back when you straighten up. There should also be no open space from the back between the shoulder pads and the hockey pants. The movements must be free, and the protective elements should not interfere with each other when moving.

It is worth noting that each company has several lines of hockey equipment (for example, BAUER: Vapor, Supreme, Nexus).

When you choose hockey pants you should understand that, the same size of these three lines may fit you differently, so despite the recommendations of the table below, we recommend that you try on hockey pants if possible.

Size charts

Each manufacturer has its recommendation chart for fitting hockey shorts. I have tried to unify everything into one table for ease of use. Size charts should be taken as recommendations, only fitting will give an accurate selection.

Youth (YTH)

Size, USPlayer height, cmWaist size, cmApproximate age, years
Youth (YTH)

Junior (JR)

Size, USPlayer height, cmWaist size, cmApproximate age, years
Junior (JR)

Senior (SR)

Size, USPlayer height, cmWaist size, cmApproximate age, years
Senior (SR)

How to choose hockey pants

Hockey pants – an element of sports equipment, which should be chosen wisely. To choose hockey pants, we need to consider design, fitting, types of pants, and other aspects.

How to Choose Hockey Pants or Taking Care of Safety


1 – Outer layer

The outer layer of the shorts is made of high-density nylon. Areas with the most intense load and increased abrasion (from falls, hitting the side, and ice) have additional reinforcement (mainly the hips). The density of nylon is indicated in dens, for example, 400 denier. The higher the value, the longer the service life.

2 – The back of the pants.

It is made of breathable materials to provide ventilation.

3 – Pants interior

The inner part of the pants uses mesh materials that are pleasant to the touch and resistant to abrasion. They dry quickly and wick away moisture.

Important: In advanced models, pants have an inner layer of antibacterial impregnation to avoid unpleasant odors and skin irritation.

Trying on hockey pants

Try on protective pants along with shoulder pads and hockey shin guards.

Hockey pants must fit comfortably on the body, be fixed, and bend and unbend freely.

How to Choose Hockey Pants or Taking Care of Safety

The key to a proper fit is no large unprotected areas between the top edge of the protective hockey pants (A) and the shoulder pad (B).

Depending on the geometry of your pants (note the height of the waist protection), you can choose either a standard or an extended shoulder pad design to cover the body as tightly as possible.

Expert Tip. The variants for premium protection have the ability to lengthen the shorts by about 2.5 cm. It allows you to adjust the protection to the height of the hockey player. The function is especially relevant for children and youths.

An additional convenience is the zipper, which increases the volume of the pants. Usually it goes up to the groin area, which allows you to adjust the volume of the thigh part to yourself.

When trying on pants, you need to wear shin guards and skates. Sit down a few times, ensuring that the cup of the shield is under the tread of the shorts thigh and the shin guards do not hinder movement.

The more protection a model has, the heavier it is. The weight can affect the style of play.

Types of hockey pants


The design of the girdles consists of two parts – an outer cover and a protective frame.

The frame contains a synthetic mesh in which the protective elements are integrated. It is a compact, lightweight protection that does not hinder movement and improves ventilation due to the absence of a rigid connection between the cover and the frame.

Classic Hockey Pants

In the design of classic hockey pants, the protective frame and outer cover are one unit: they are heavier than girdles and less movable but provide a better level of safety for the player.


The protection covers the thighs, kidneys, tailbone, and lower part of the spine. It consists of several segments, so it does not hinder the hockey player’s movements.

In the most troublesome places in special pockets, there are pads provided with stiffening ribs to increase durability. Shields consist of layers of foam of different densities, and reinforced plastic to reduce and disperse impact energy.

How to Choose Hockey Pants or Taking Care of Safety

The extended protection element protects the lower part of the spine. For mobility, it is equipped with multi-segment foam elements and reinforced with plastic.

Hockey Pants Shape

Tapered design

The tapered design of the pants resembles an inverted Latin letter V: the expansion goes from top to bottom. The upper part of the fit is the tightest, and the fixation is due to the narrow waistband. The construction sits tight on the body and provides swiftness and speed.

The narrow wedged fit gives you a weight gain. The pants are fixed with lacing, a self-tightening belt, and the use of suspenders is provided.

Important: Suspenders will help you better fix the pants on yourself if the standard fasteners are not enough. For example, if you are overweight (belly, enlarged sides) or have a narrow waist and wide hips.

Wide Classic Design

These pants are designed for classic hockey fans who prefer a wide, roomy fit. The pants are fixed with a lace-up closure, self-tightening waistband, and suspenders.


Advanced models of hockey pants are equipped with a system of ventilation channels, which provide air circulation, improve water drainage and reduce excessive heating of the player’s body during intense activities.

System of ventilation
System of ventilation

Channels go through the plastic and foam layers, which are covered by a thin fabric that allows air to pass through.

The inner synthetic coating also ensures the drainage of moisture from the body.

From the article we learned how to choose hockey pants. The most important thing is that the hockey protection (pads, elbow pads, shin guards, shoulder pads, hockey pants) should be comfortable and convenient. It is normal if the protection you choose will be different brands or different lines within the same brand.

Published by Sergei Ermilov
October 17, 2021 (Updated June 15, 2022)