Goalie Glove Anatomy

Posted by Ian Tang on Sep 16, 2014

There are a few working parts in a goaltender’s catch glove. Originally designed like a baseball glove, the catch glove, or trapper, has evolved into a very specific piece of equipment for the sole purpose of catching and blocking pucks.

Trappers come in 4 different sizes. The sizes listed below are just recommendations. If you have smaller or larger hands than normal, you may have to adjust accordingly.

Youth: 5-6 y/o

Junior: 7-9 y/o

Intermediate: 10-13 y/o

Senior: 13-Adult

The goaltender’s glove is specifically designed to catch pucks. This requires the glove to have multiple additions that set it apart from other types of catching gloves.

1. Cuff - The cuff is the rectangular piece that protects the wrist. It starts at the wrist and leads into the palm of the glove. The cuff determines how stiff the glove will be. There are two types of cuffs: solid, and two-piece.

- Solid cuff - The solid cuff provides a stiffer blocking surface, and creates a more stiff flex when catching the puck. This helps the glove stay more square to the puck, and create a bigger blocking surface.

- Two-piece cuff - The two-piece cuff is a more flexible piece than the solid cuff. It allows the hand and glove to flex backwards when catching high impact pucks. This is a more traditional and comfortable catching style.

2. Palm - The cuff leads into the palm of the glove. The palm is not the primary catching surface, but it is a large blocking area. The palm of the glove helps funnel the puck into the pocket.

3. Pocket - The pocket is the webbing between the thumb and index finger. The webbing is traditionally strung with nylon, or skate laces. There are two options for webbing: single t-web, or double t-web. In addition to webbing choices, some gloves come in different angles that help maximize coverage depending on the goaltenders preferred hand position.

Single T-Web - The single t-web is the traditional glove design. The single t-web is not as deep as the double t-pocket, and is more comfortable to use.

Double T-Web - The double t-web is a new design to add depth to the pocket and reduce puck rotation under impact. The goaltender doesn’t need to keep as wide a grip with the double t-web.

4. Backhand - The backhand of the glove is primarily a protective piece. Generally, it isn’t used for blocking. The backhand is reinforced to protect from slashing when covering the puck. There are often deflectors to help angle pucks and sticks away from vital hand digits.

Catch angle - There are 3 different catch angles that are utilized in modern gloves, 90 degrees, 75 degrees, and 60 degrees. The angle chosen depends on the goalie’s preferred hand positioning when trapping the puck. For example, the higher angle, 90 degrees, traps the puck when the goalie bends their fingertips down to the heel of their hand. The lower angle, 60 degrees, traps the puck when the goalie bends the tips of their fingertips to meet  the tip of their thumb.

On the inside is where most of the adjustable features of the glove reside.

1. Inner cuff - The inner cuff allows the goaltender to fasten the glove around the wrist. This adjustment gives the goalie the option of hyperextending the wrist to make saves and stay square. It should be tight enough to where if the goalie throws his hand down, the glove doesn’t fall off.

2. Inner glove - The inner glove encloses the goaltenders hand. The inner glove can be adjusted, which fastens over the back of the hand. This adjusts the amount of play between the goaltenders fingers and the palm of the glove. The tighter it is, the less air cushion between the fingers and the palm.

3. Finger stalls - The finger stalls are a part of the inner glove. This is the most important area when determining sizing of a glove. The fingertips should be near the tips of the stalls. If there is too much room between the tip of the finger and the stall, the goaltender won’t be able to get enough leverage to close the glove.

4. Thumb loop - The thumb slides through the thumb loop, into the wide thumb stall. The important factor here is whether the thumb can fit through the loop, and if the goalie can produce enough leverage in combination with the fingers to completely close the glove.

Now that you are more educated with the anatomy of a glove, it comes down to a matter of fit. To learn how to fit your glove, please follow this link!


Leave a Comment