Breaking in goalie equipment can be very difficult. I think that my least favorite piece of equipment to break in as a goalie is the goalie chest protector. I played goalie until I was twenty years old, however the last chest protector I bought that was new was when I was a first year bantam…about fifteen years old. I grew a lot in those five years, but I refused to purchase a new hockey goalie chest protector because of my hatred to break them in. Instead of getting a new goaltender chest protector, my dad would end up sewing more pads and altering the chest protector that I had in hopes of keeping me protected and allowing me to keep my favorite old chest pads.
These days however, with how advanced hockey equipment manufacturers have gotten, it is much easier to break in goalie equipment. There are many brands of chest protectors that I have seen in recent years that have been made to provide sufficient protection first, and second to allow the ice hockey goaltender’s upper body to move freely and quickly. One chest protector that I think I would not mind breaking in would have to be the Vaughn chest protector.
The reason why I like the Vaughn is simply because it looks like they have been made to break in easily.
When it comes to goalie chest protectors a lot of people have a theory that if you wear a larger chest protector that takes up a lot of space you will make more saves. However, I have a different theory, which is that I would rather have less bulk, which I feel slows me down, and trade that with the ability to be comfortable and move quickly.
Obviously there is a fine line between too much padding and not enough, but after making sure my upper body had the protection it needed for the level of hockey that I was playing in, I would think about what I can do to break down my chest protector to allow me to move freely right away.
What you prefer in a goalie chest protector is completely up to you, but you definitely do want to make sure that you have enough protection to keep you safe. Always make sure that you have a good amount of protection over your heart, obviously a very important organ that you do not want to leave vulnerable to slap shots. Do some research on the internet to read some reviews about what the best chest protector you can spend your money on today would be, and chances are that you will find something that will break in easily and protect you well.