Skip to main content

Dressed to Play: Hockey

New to hockey guide

Hockey players are covered nearly head to toe with protective equipment. Gear can be borrowed, rented, bought second-hand, or purchased new. Check with our association for options.


As a general rule, a proper-sized hockey stick held straight up in front of a
player NOT wearing skates should reach between the chin and nose. For a player on skates, the stick should reach around the chin.


Hockey helmets are made of hard plastic and have a wire facemask. Consult a hockey equipment specialist or the helmet’s box to get the proper fit.


Mouthguards should always be worn (just watch one period of professional hockey to see why) to protect the teeth and the head from concussions.

Shin pads and socks

The shin pad should cover entirely from the boot of the skate to the top of the knee. The knee should sit in the center of the shin pad. Tall hockey socks cover the shin pad and are often secured with tape.


Hockey pucks are very dense and can cause injury. It’s important for players of all ages and genders to wear a protective cup.

Hockey pants / breezers

Hockey pants (also called breezers) should sit on the top of the hips and hang to the top of the knee, overlapping with the top edge of the shin pad.

Shoulder and elbow pads

Shoulder pads protect the tops of the shoulders, collarbone, and sternum. These should fit snug against the player’s body but should not restrict movement. Elbow pads completely cover the elbow and parts of the upper and lower arm. These pads should be tight enough that they don’t move, but loose enough that they do not cut off circulation or restrict movement.


Hockey gloves provide padding for players’ hands and wrists. A properly- sized glove will extend to the bottom of the elbow pads and fingers shouldn’t be pushing out at the end.


Having a properly sized set of skates is crucial for playing hockey. Skate sizes, depending on the brand, are typically 1-2 sizes lower than your shoe size.

Sports in this article

Ice Hockey

Tags in this article

New to Sports Parent Beginner SportsEngine