While shoulder pads may not be the most sexy piece of gear in your bag, they’re just as important as any piece of hockey gear you’ll buy. Still not sure how to navigate the dizzyingly wide array of options available today? Here’s how our pros rank ‘em.
If you’re prioritizing mobility over everything else, the CCM Tacks classics are your best bet. Their high-tech foam sternum padding, adjustable bicep guards, and molded foam PE caps all make for a fit that our pros love both for comfort and mobility. While your protection might be more slim, the Tacks offer great mobility at a price that won’t totally break your bank.
While Bauer’s 1N shoulder pads aren’t the most lightweight shoulder pads, they offer top-notch mobility for players in the shoulders and arms. With a multi-segmented design, foam injected caps, and adjustable bicep guards, they’re protective, but not restraining.
While these might be the most expensive shoulder pads on the market today, SidelineSwap’s got you covered for a pair of these at half the cost of your local retail spot.
First time on the ice? The AX3’s are a great match for anyone just starting their hockey career and looking for protection but without the upper-end price. While you may not have the mobility that you’ll get in higher-end pairs, the AX3’s claim to fame is their durable padding and comfortable fit. Their one-piece design is great, but we’d love to see adjustable arm guards added in the future.
The Stallion 300 is a great lightweight option, but it’s not the most mobility-friendly pair of pads you’ll find. We love this model because it’s super affordable, but also offers great protection for any entry-level player looking for a beginner’s set of pads.
5. Warrior QX5
Warrior’s QX5’s are another option to consider when looking for a fairly mobile, entry-level pair of pads. They’re highly protective with their one-piece shoulder construction and medium density side padding, but are a little restrictive in the arms where they lack adjustors. If you're a loyal Warrior fan, a pair of these as an entry-level option makes perfect sense.