How to Break In a Hockey Goalie Glove
Breaking in a hockey goalie glove is a vital process for every goalie, as it enhances performance, comfort, and durability of the glove. Different methods and techniques exist to break in a goalie glove, ensuring a perfect fit and better grip, which are crucial in making those game-saving stops.
In this article, we’ll cover:
A well-fitted and comfortable glove can significantly impact a goalie’s performance. A properly broken-in glove not only prevents injuries but also enhances grip and control, making it easier to catch and hold onto the puck. Here are some points to understand about breaking in a hockey goalie glove:
- Ensures a comfortable fit
- Improves grip and control
- Prevents injuries due to a stiff glove
- Enhances the glove’s durability
Breaking in a goalie glove can be achieved through various methods, each with its own set of advantages and precautions.
Utilizing heat is a method sometimes used to soften the materials of a goalie glove. However, excessive heat can damage the glove. If you are going to use this method, it’s crucial to use a controlled heat source and monitor the process closely. By very gently heating the glove, the leather and other materials become more pliable, making it easier to mold the glove to your hand’s shape. Ensure the heat is evenly distributed and avoid overheating to prevent any damage to the glove.
Using Oil or Conditioner
Applying specific oils or conditioners can also aid in breaking in a goalie glove. However, it’s important to ensure that the products used are safe for the glove’s materials. Using the right oil or conditioner helps to soften the glove, making it more comfortable and easier to close. Yet, excessive application could lead to a buildup of residue which can affect the glove’s performance, hence moderation is key.
Repetitive Use and Training
The traditional and most natural way to break in a goalie glove is through repetitive use and training. While it’s the slowest method, it’s also the most effective in achieving a custom fit. By merely using the glove during practices and games, it gradually molds to the shape of your hand. Including glove-specific drills and exercises can speed up the process, ensuring a quicker break-in period. Additionally, employing a glove stretcher when not in use can help maintain a closed position, further aiding in the breaking-in process.
For those looking to expedite the breaking in process, here are some faster methods.
1. The Glove Wrap Method
The glove wrap method is a technique that accelerates the breaking-in process by using a wrap to keep the glove in a closed position, which helps to shape the glove. It’s essential to ensure the glove is dry and clean before wrapping it to avoid any potential damage or unpleasant odor. By keeping the glove wrapped when not in use, it gradually takes on a more natural, closed shape, easing the break-in process.
2. Freezing the Glove
Freezing the glove is another method sometimes used to soften the materials and expedite the break-in process. However, it’s crucial to ensure the glove is completely dry before freezing to prevent any ice buildup or damage. By placing the glove in a freezer for a few hours, the materials become more pliable, making it easier to shape the glove to your hand.
3. Controlled Heat Treatment
As mentioned earlier, heat can also be employed to soften the glove, either with an accurately controlled convection oven such as a skate oven (between 63-71C for most materials) or by dampening the glove with hot water and flexing it until dry. By gently heating the glove while continually flexing it, the materials soften, allowing for a quicker break-in period.
What is the best way to break in a hockey goalie glove?
Different methods work for different individuals based on personal preference and the glove’s material. It’s advisable to try a combination of methods to find what works best for you.
Should goalie gloves be tight or loose on you?
A goalie glove should offer a snug but comfortable fit, allowing for optimal grip and control while not restricting movement.
What is the fastest way to break in a hockey goalie glove?
The glove wrap method and controlled heat treatment are among the faster methods to break in a goalie glove, but always exercise caution to prevent damage to the glove.
What not to do when breaking in a goalie glove?
Avoid using excessive heat or harsh chemicals, as these can damage the glove’s materials and affect its performance.