Top 3 Hockey Goalie Sets for a Narrow Butterfly

Goalies may prefer a narrow butterfly stance for different reasons, such as body type, flexibility, and playing style. A narrower stance can be comfortable for goalies who are naturally thinner or have greater hip and knee flexibility. It also helps goalies with quick movements and post-to-post agility. Whatever the reason may be, there are pads that can keep goalies with a narrow butterfly comfortable on the ice. 

A few features to prioritize in your goalie set when using a narrow butterfly include: 

  • Double Break or Pre-Curved Design: These pads have a built-in bend at the knee and shin area, allowing them to better conform to a narrow stance. 

  • Pad Stiffness: Stiffer pads help maintain a good seal at the five-hole. However, some goalies using a narrow butterfly stance may prefer a balance between stiffness and flexibility.

  • Thigh Rise Height: A slightly higher thigh rise (+1 or +2 inches) offers additional coverage for the upper leg area, which can become exposed in a narrow butterfly.

  • Strapping and Boot Flexibility: Proper strapping ensures a secure fit without restricting butterfly depth. Look for pads with flexible boots that allow for good knee bend and mobility.

Keep in mind that high-quality goalie pads (especially those designed for specific techniques like the narrow butterfly) can be expensive. Buying secondhand offers big savings and can help you find quality pads on a narrow budget.

With the help of hockey expert, Chris Dudo, aka Goalie Gear Snob, we present our top three goalie sets for a narrow butterfly:

CCM Extreme Flex 4 Hockey Goalie Set


The CCM Extreme Flex 4 is a strong choice for goalies who favor a narrow butterfly stance. The key is its SpeedSkin technology. This redesigned knee landing area offers a deeper, more pronounced curve compared to the EFlex 3. This curvature mimics a narrow butterfly position, allowing the pads to close more effectively at the five-hole without relying on a wider stance. Additionally, the EFlex 4 maintains a good balance between stiffness and flexibility. The core construction provides a solid seal, crucial for maintaining coverage in a narrow stance, while strategically placed flex points ensure unrestricted movement for quick drops and recoveries within the butterfly position. If you're a narrow butterfly goalie seeking a pad that actively enhances your technique, the CCM Extreme Flex 4 definitely deserves a closer look.

Full EFlex 4 hockey goalie sets starting at just $500!

Vaughn V9 Hockey Goalie Set 


The Vaughn V9 is a solid choice for goalies with a narrow butterfly thanks to its focus on flexibility and a good seal. While not the stiffest pad on the market, the V9's core construction offers enough rigidity to maintain a closed five-hole when in a narrow butterfly stance. The softer profile allows for easier pad closure and quicker recoveries overall. The V9’s excellent sealing capability comes at the cost of the set’s total coverage area of the net—but for those who value flexibility and a good seal with a narrow butterfly, the Vaughn V9 is a great value.

Full V9 hockey goalie sets starting at just $600!

Brian's Optik 3 Hockey Goalie Set


The Brian's Optik 3 stands out as a fantastic option for goalies who favor a narrow butterfly thanks to its aggressive curved design. This pronounced "S" shape leg channel mimics a narrow butterfly stance, allowing the pads to close naturally and effectively over the five-hole. The Optik 3 boasts a stiffer construction, which provides excellent sealing power and helps maintain a good seal in spite of the set’s narrower profile. While stiffness can sometimes hinder mobility, the Optik 3 has a strategically placed strapping system that anchors the pad securely without sacrificing the flexibility needed for quick movements within the butterfly position. If you want a stiff, shaped goalie set to complement your narrow butterfly, the Brian's Optik 3 is an excellent candidate. 

Full Optik 3 hockey goalie sets starting at $1,000!

Want to review more of the best hockey goalie sets? Check out our selection here!

Need more? Check out our favorite hockey goalie sets for 2024 and the best beginner hockey goalie sets