Padded from head to toe, you could easily mistake a hockey goalkeeper for a baseball catcher! Head protection, leg guards, kickers and gloves are all essential elements of a goalkeeper's armoury. Getting in the way of hockey balls and being struck by them with speeds of up to 100mph, many hockey goalkeepers rely on further protection provider by padded shorts, chest protectors and elbow pads.

Hockey goalkeepers should wear both a helmet and faceguard – it is incredibly important for your health and safety. A hockey helmet is made of a very tough polycarbon shell and is complete with a faceguard as standard. The more expensive the helmet the likelier it is to be lightweight – boosting comfort levels and minimising fatigue whilst providing exceptional protection.

Similar to cricket pads but much bulkier, hockey goalkeepers require substantial padding to protect their legs from blows from hockey balls in the form of ultra-protective legguards, which protect the shins, knee and the entire lower-to-mid leg region. Protective shields for your feet, known as “kickers”, are also strapped around hockey shoes as hockey goalkeepers routinely kick away and stop the ball with their feet. Both Kickers and legguards are made of foam, although traditional leather and cane pads are still found on the market.

Many hockey-playing schools tend to stock square-toed leather kickers with a metal strip at the front to provide ample protection to your toes. Foam kickers are, however, the most recommended as they are much lighter, promoting speed and freedom of movement, while some feel they offer greater impact protection. Most hockey goalkeepers will wear hockey padded shorts to protect the top of the legs, as hockey leg pads are designed to come up to the thigh.

Goalkeepers use the palms of their hands as well as their feet to prevent the opposition from scoring, therefore hockey goalkeeping gloves are an essential addition to your hockey bag. The “blocking glove”, typically the left one, will have extreme padding on the back of the hand and the palm, whereas the hockey stick-holding hand will have reinforced protection on the thumbs and fingers, rather than the palm, so that the player can grip the stick adequately. Body armour, elbow pads, throat guard and a pelvic/abdo guard should also be considered essential for optimum safety and protection.

In summary, a hockey goalkeeper should have the following protective equipment:

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