Goalie Leg Pad Buying Guide

With 2020 behind us, it’s time to see what exciting new gear companies have been cooking up for 2022.  All these models are available at GoalieMonkey.com and to see even more options, check out our full selection of goalie leg pads.

In this article, we’ll cover:

List of the Best Hockey Goalie Leg Pads

Here’s our picks for the top 10 goalie leg pads for 2021.  Remember, no matter who you are shopping for, each of these models of pad is available in a full line of Junior, Intermediate, and Pro sized gear.

1Bauer Vapor Hyperlite Pro SeniorBauer Vapor Hyperlite Pro SeniorBuy Now
2True L12.2 ProTrue L20.1 ProBuy Now
3CCM Axis Pro SeniorCCM Axis Pro SeniorBuy Now
4Warrior Ritual G5Warrior Ritual G5Buy Now
5Vaughn Velocity V9 ProVaughn Velocity V9 ProBuy Now
6Bauer Vapor 3XBauer Vapor 3XBuy Now
7Brian’s Optik 2 ProBrian’s Optik 2 ProBuy Now
8CCM Extreme Flex E5.9CCM Extreme Flex E5.9Buy Now
9Vaughn Ventus SLR2 ProVaughn Ventus SLR3 Pro CarbonBuy Now
10Brians G-Netik XBrians G-Netik XBuy Now

Overview: Building on the success of the Vapor 2x Pro pad, Bauer has again pushed the boundaries of innovation through the use of a featherweight, flexible Rebound Boost core, designed to provide more flexibility and greater rebound speed to clear high traffic situations.  Covered in Bauer’s proprietary C.O.R. Tech Plus external skin and utilizing the TuneFit 2.0 strapping system, the Hyperlite Pro pad offers exceptional technology and lightweight performance in a pro level pad for the hybrid style goalie.  

Key Features:

  • Rebound Boost Core
  • C.O.R. Tech Plus external skin
  • Tune Fit 2.0 Strapping System.

 Buy Now

Overview: The True L12.2 Pro Leg pads are the legendary Lefevre designed pad that everyone has known to love.  This new and improved design from True is great for elite-level goaltenders who love the past work of Lefevre.  Under the True name, they have pushed the boundaries to make the pad lighter while retaining the excellent craftsmanship they are known for.  

Key Features:

  • True’s Fast Glide material creates less drag on the ice 
  • More traditional design is a fairly flat design with balanced features throughout
  • Fast Rotation System (FRS) 

 Buy Now

Overview: A true butterfly style pad catered to the next generation of goaltenders.  Featuring a lightweight, stiff core designed to direct rebounds accurately and precisely away from traffic, this pad will provide exceptional stability in the butterfly position and a consistent on-ice feel.  

Key Features:

  • Quick Motion Strapping system
  • LiteXCore internal foam system
  • MaxRebound + core

Buy Now

Overview: The Ritual line of gear made a splash when Warrior first entered the market and continues to innovate with each generation.  The Ritual G5 Pro is a unique butterfly style pad built around a thin, lightweight core with extra support and pad face around the calf for shots at the goal line.  

Key Features:

  • CoverEDGE+ brings the pad face towards the shooter for maximum coverage
  • AIRslide technology
  • 360DualFIT Leg Channel wrap system

Buy Now

Overview: A true hybrid style pad offering a traditional soft feel in both rebound control and flexibility.  Designed for the goalie seeking the most mobility in a pad that promotes fluid movement in a snug fit, the Velocity 9 Pro Carbon is the latest generation in the legendary Velocity line of goal pads from Vaughn.    

Key Features:

  • Flexible Carbon core foam system
  • MSH3 Leg Channel for a soft feel
  • Domestically manufactured

Buy Now

Overview: Based on the Bauer Vapor Hyperlite Pro pad, the Vapor 3X pad brings much of the Vapor technology to a more affordable price point.  Like the Hyperlite, the 3X features CURV composite reinforcement and C.O.R. Tech Plus outer skin, resulting in a lightweight and agile pad. 

Key Features:

  • CURV Composite reinforced core
  • C.O.R. Tech Plus external skin
  • Tune Fit 2.0 Strapping System

Buy Now

Overview: A pure butterfly style pad built on the innovation and exceptional craftsmanship of Brian’s Custom Sports.  This pad is domestically made and provides a consistent, high performing traditional butterfly feel without pushing the boundaries of technology.  Trusted by NHL goalies, the Optik 2 Pro should not be overlooked.  

Key Features:

  • Custom Knee and boot Flex Zone options
  • Smart X Strapping system
  • Domestically manufactured

Buy Now

Overview: The CCM Extreme Flex E5.9 pad is an advanced level pad designed to provide a lightweight and responsive feel with features normally valued at the Pro pad price point.  

Key Features:

  • Lightweight SpeedSkin exterior
  • Dual1tecore for greater flex and drop velocity
  • QuickMotion strapping system

Buy Now

Overview:  The Vaughn Ventus SLR3 Pro Carbon are designed specifically for today’s butterfly goaltender and features key materials and features.  A single internal break below the knee to helps shape the pad to help cover the five hole. High density, full pro core structure with a carbon insert throughout the length of the pad. Features an open knee cradle to aid with pad rotation, while a Pure Composite insert on the inner knee offers increased stability

Key Features:

  • Strategic flex points for an agile butterfly pad
  • Full pro core structure with a carbon insert
  • Reactive rotational control strap

Buy Now

Overview:  Like the Ventus SLR2 Pro to Vaughn, the Gnetik X brings affordability to Brian’s hybrid series of gear.  Translating many of the pro-level features into an affordable package, the Gnetik X was born.  

Key Features:

  • Flexible Core Construction
  • Brian’s Smart Strap system
  • Primo material in slide and high-wear areas

Buy Now

How to Choose the Right Size Goalie Leg Pads

For proper performance of the pad and goalie, pads must be sized properly.  Too small of a pad can result in unsafe or unpadded areas, while too large of a pad can hinder a goalie’s ability to make saves or develop properly in the case of younger goalies.  Ankle to Knee (ATK) measurement is the most commonly used measuring system for pad sizing.  To learn more about sizing goalie pads, check out our complete guide to goalie leg pad sizing.


Additionally, be sure to check out our complete selection of:

Senior Goalie Leg Pads

Intermediate Goalie Leg Pads

Junior Goalie Leg Pads

Youth Goalie Leg Pads

Best Goalie Leg Pads by Playing Style

Like skaters, each goalie has their own playing style and preference for gear.  Just because your favorite NHL goalie wears a certain brand of gear doesn’t mean it may be the right fit for you.  Here we’ll give a brief intro into the two unique styles of goalie pad and what differentiates the two.

Best Butterfly Goalie Leg Pads

Butterfly-style goalies prefer a stiffer pad that focuses on net coverage over mobility.  An emphasis is placed on net positioning to give the goalie the best chance at stopping the puck without needing to make a significant reaction.  Butterfly goalies tend to stop most pucks while on their knees or in the “butterfly” position.  Butterfly pads are generally characterized by a stiff, flat pad face and fit looser on the leg to allow for quick rotation.  

Our Pick: True L20.1 Senior Pro Goalie Leg Pad

Why We Picked It: A True butterfly leg pad in every sense of the word, the Canadian-made L20.1 pad focuses on a simplistic design aimed at lightning-fast rotation and a perfect seal on the ice.  Favored by a majority of NHL goalies this season, the Lefebvre name has developed a cult-like following and adds a colorful heritage to True’s first line of goal pad.  Paired with a handsome graphic, the L20.1 takes our top pick for butterfly-style goal pad in 2021.

Best Hybrid Goalie Leg Pads

Hybrid-style goalies are focused on agility and mobility over positioning and net coverage.  They tend to be more reactionary to shots, and thus tend to favor a pad with greater flexibility and a snugger fit to the leg.  Hybrid-style pads are characterized by additional flex points in the knee, softer boot flex, and a more forgiving pad face to keep rebounds in close for easy control.  

Our Pick: Bauer Vapor HyperLite Pro Leg Pads

Why We Picked It: Taking innovation to a normally traditional pad category, the Vapor HyperLite Pro introduces the best of Bauer’s technology into a hybrid-style pad.  Slightly stiffer than a typical hybrid pad, the HyperLite caters to the goalie seeking light overall weight for fast, agile movements.

Best Goalie Leg Pads by Category

Lightest Goalie Leg Pads

Warrior Ritual G5 Pro: Since the release of the first Ritual pad, Warrior has taken strides to simplifying the core and ancillary features of a pad, allowing it to remain protective yet incredibly lightweight.  Switching from an older pad to the Warrior Ritual line can feel strange at first, but worth it in the end.

Best Looking Goalie Leg Pads

Brians Optik Pro:  I’ll admit, I’m a fan of Brian’s gear.  Their attention to detail makes them stand above the rest. From the Primo slide material and premium performance materials to the 3D bubble Brian’s logos and aggressive graphic, the Optik series of gear takes my pick for Best Looking Goal Pad.

Best Beginner/Youth Goalie Leg Pads

Bauer GSX Prodigy Youth Goalie Leg Pads:  For both the new goalie and the new goalie parent, without a doubt the Bauer Prodigy remains the leader in youth leg pads designed specifically for the young goalie.  Featuring a simple 1, 2, 3 step strapping system (which has directions printed on the bottom of the pad!), learning the goalie position doesn’t get any easier than this.

Best Budget Goalie Leg Pads

Bauer GSX Goalie Leg Pad:  For beginner goalies on a budget, I retain one philosophy.  The simpler the better.  No need to learn more complex strapping systems like so many high-end pads feature.  Simple strapping and a slim design make for the winning combination in a budget pad, making the game fun and easy for the beginning goalie on a budget.

Best Goalie Leg Pad Brands

GoalieMonkey is the go-to retailer for all the best goalie leg pad brands.  We ensure the latest gear is available to you, so you can play your best.  GoalieMonkey carries the full range of all the major manufacturers, including a wide variety of GoalieMonkey exclusive color combinations, so you can look your best and stand out on the rink.

Bauer Goalie Leg Pads

Bauer has taken the latest in material technology and applied it to both their Supreme and Vapor lines of goalie leg pad to set a new standard for light weight and performance.  Features are focused on improving butterfly seal, slide capabilities on the ice, and net coverage.  Bauer continues to push the envelope with new core foam technology and their innovative C.O.R. Tech face and when paired, these create one of the lightest and highest performing pads on the market today.

CCM Goalie Leg Pads

CCM continues its reputation of being a premier equipment manufacturer with its Axis and Extreme Flex series of gear.  New advancements in outer pad skin material and strapping systems have allowed CCM to greatly reduce the weight of their pads from years past.  From CCM, butterfly goalies should look at the Axis series of gear, while hybrid goalies may lean towards the Extreme Flex line of gear.

True Goalie Leg Pads

True is powered by goalie equipment designer Lefebvre, renowned for his breakthrough designs in the early 2000s that took the butterfly-style pad mainstream and features that are seen across all brands today.  Right out of the gate, True has developed a state-of-the art line of gear that has been adopted by dozens of NHL goalies in just their first year on the market. Their L20.1 and L12.2 lines of gear cater each to butterfly and hybrid style goalies, respectively.

Brian’s Goalie Leg Pads

Brian’s equipment is defined by a legacy of creating high quality gear with generations of refinement that has translated into gear with an incredible attention to detail.  From their mid-level gear to their pro-level pads, Brian’s is focused on creating equipment that goalies can depend on, no matter their budget.  Their gear constantly pushes the boundaries with material development, including E-Foam and their customizable flex zones in pads.  Brian’s butterfly line of gear is the Optik series while the Gnetik series is oriented towards a hybrid goalie.

Warrior Goalie Leg Pads

Warrior made a big statement when they entered the Goalie equipment scene in the early 2010’s.  Led by legendary equipment designer Pete Smith, Warrior gear quickly garnered a cult following through its innovation and focus on creating the most lightweight gear on the market.  Years later, their Ritual line of gear continues to be a favorite of goalies all around the world with its futuristic, feather light designs and revolutionary technology.  Strapping and flex zone options of the Ritual line of gear provide options for both hybrid and butterfly style goalies in the same pad.

Vaughn Goalie Leg Pads

Vaughn has been a mainstay in the goalie equipment world for many years, focusing strictly on goalie equipment rather than branching off to skater’s gear.  Known for the pure comfort of their pads and their attention to detail, Vaughn has cemented themselves as a brand with arguably the most loyal following of all.  Their flexible hybrid-style Velocity pad is on it’s 9th generation, a testament to the performance and quality expected out of an elite manufacturer.  Their Ventus line of gear remains one of the more underestimated pads on the market today.

Find the Best Selection of Hockey Goalie Leg Pads at GoalieMonkey!

Shop with confidence knowing GoalieMonkey has all the latest lines of goalie leg pads and experts on-hand to assist in getting you set up to hit the rink.  Be sure to check out our other GoalieMonkey Blog posts and browse our full selection of hockey goalie leg pads on GoalieMonkey.com.


This article was originally published on July 5, 2021, and has been updated with new information.