Gear Guides

Hockey Pants Buying Guide

While hockey pants may not be the most exciting piece of gear on your list, they’re essential to have before you step foot on the ice. Here are some tips to consider when looking to buy a pair of new or used pants.

What we cover:
Types of Pants
Other Tips
Related Resources

Types of Pants

You have just one decision to make when it comes to buying hockey pants: you can either go with traditional pants, or you can go with hockey girdles. What’s the difference you ask?

  • Hockey Pants: The more traditional style with a larger fit and more volume when it comes to padding.

  • Girdles: A slimmer, tighter fit. These require you to wear a shell over them.


Whatever you decide to go with, it’s important to know how hockey pants and girdles are meant to fit. The right fit for both hockey pants and girdles is almost the same. Your belt should be positioned up on your waist and above your hips, covering your lower torso and ribs.

As far as length goes, there are some key differences between pants and girdles. For pants, the bottom should cover roughly one third to half of your shin guard’s knee cap. When bending your knee, the top of your shin guard should remain covered by your pants.

Girdles, unlike pants, should not be expected to overlap with your shin guard because of their tighter fit.

Mobility is the name of the game. How do you plan on doing a face-first diving celly if you can’t even move your legs? When you try on pants or girdles, try jumping, lunging, shooting and everything in between to make sure your lower body feels like it can move freely.

Other Tips

  • As with anything else, you want to be sure your pants do not interfere with your shoulder pads or shin pads; but also, you don’t want to have any gaps in protection either.
  • If you do decide to go with girdles, make sure to pick up a pair of hockey pant shells so you can stay up-to-date on team colors, etc.
  • If you have questions about the sizing or fit of a pair of pants that you’ve been eyeing on SidelineSwap, feel free to reach out to the seller, or our team of experts, to get all the helpful info you might need.

Related Resources

What To Wear Under Hockey Pants
How To Fit Hockey Pants
Can You Wash Hockey Pants?
Do Hockey Pants Need Suspenders?
What Are Hockey Pant Shells, How Do They Work, And Can I Put Them Over My Pants?
Best Hockey Pants 2018

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