Any piece of sporting kit that ensures the users safety is crucial, and therefore, it is crucial you get the very best quality. First Rate Sports out more time and effort into researching these particular pieces of sporting equipment than any other and that is definitely the case when looking for the best Hockey Shoulder Pads. They do not just protect shoulders but give coverage to the chest, collarbone and kidneys as well as other areas. We really do not want to pick up broken ribs and bruised kidneys so this really is a really crucial decision to make.
Bauer Senior Nexus 4000
These pads come from the hugely respected Bauer brand, that have made loads of shoulder pads and protective equipment over the years. I have always rated them and think the Nexus 4000 are another great addition from them. They are quite low profile for protective gear, meaning they will not restrict movement and should allow you to skate and shoot with the minimum of fuss. They won’t cramp you or weight you down and this is a huge plus point for me. The segmented chest and adjustable arms pieces also offer a lovely fit and fantastic freedom of movement for your arms and upper body.
You may think that this means they don’t offer the same protection but you would need to think again. They have MD foam that offers a great impact absorption and leaves you feeling nice and safe. The Hydrophobic mesh also adds comfort and security. In terms of breathability, they are fantastic and do not feel too hot during play. Some Pads can really raise your core temperature and leave you feeling incredibly fatigued, but the Nexus 4000 is beautifully engineered and crafted. A fantastic Hockey shoulder pad.
Bauer Vapor X60
Once again from Bauer we bring you the Vapor x60 hockey shoulder pads. A little bulkier than the Nexus 4000, thee provide the next level of protection. The coverage of all the tender areas of your mid section are well covered due to the combination of MD foams and HD foams. The coverage on the side panels and for the spinal area particularly impressed us, and was hard to be bettered by any other pad. Thermoformable cap construction gives you a superb fit on the shoulders, and one of the most comfortable shoulder pads on the market.
The combination of all these features means that although they pack a serious punch defensively, you are extremely lightweight considering the level of protection. They perhaps do not offer the same freedom that the Nexus 4000 does, but the range of motion for your arms is just as good, if not even better. It also offers a slightly wider fit around the top and returns to a normal sized fit around the mid section. Superbly comfortable and top class protection.
Warrior Dynasty AX2
Now we move onto warrior, a brand known to make hard wearing pieces of kit that stand up to the heat of the battle no matter the level of competition. If that sounds like somebody you would want making your shoulder pads you are correct.
The 2-way foam system combines with the Compressed caps, meaning they pack in an incredible level of protection into each section of the pads, without making you bulky and clumsy. The axysym is designed to make larger pieces of plastic to protect, without decreasing movement. We found this worked a treat. We felt more secure than in multi piece shoulder pads and still has more than enough room to shoot and snipe from a distance. The swivel we could get in our upper body was fantastic.
For such a bulky piece of kit, we thought we would also have to sacrifice that secure feeling for extreme discomfort in terms of how hot it made us, and the sweat that collects inside. The war tech helps make these the most breathable hockey shoulder pads we tested, and the unique lining that warrior are famed for fights the sweat creating bacteria, so even when you do sweat, you are incredibly comfortable.
You can invest in any of these hockey shoulder pads, and feel safe and secure on the ice. There are plenty of fantastic options out there, but we found these to be the very best we tested. Secure, comfortable and without detracting from your game, they all get the thumbs up from First Rate Sports.