HOCKEY GLOVES: History + Sizing

by Adam Desloges

I was recently asked to write a blog about hockey gloves and what if anything does the cuff size mean. There is not too much information on hockey glove cuffs so I will incorporate what I know into another product review on hockey gloves. Hockey gloves have really changed and evolved over the years. Today hockey gloves are lighter, some are made of carbon fiber, most are already well broken-in, but I feel the best part of todays hockey gloves are all the makes, models and colors. Before I began my review I would like to give a little history of the hockey glove thanks to The History of Hockey Equipment Presented by the NHL.

Hockey Glove Anatomy

“Hockey gloves date back to the 1880′s when leather gloves were worn less for protection than to keep the player warm from the outdoor elements. Somewhere near the 1900′s players wore gloves that were made from leather and had padding consisting of animal hair and felt. After Montreal Maroons star Babe Seibert suffered a broken thumb, trainer Bill O’Brien put a shoehorn inside Seibert’s glove to provide reinforcement and protection to his thumb. This clever invention was the impetus for the reinforced fibre thumb which would become a staple on hockey gloves in the 1930′s”.

“In 1957 the New York Rangers became the first team to wear colored gloves (red, white and blue). The Toronto Maple Leafs followed suit in 1958-59, while the Detroit Red Wings were the last team to switch from natural leather to colored gloves (in 1967-68)”.

“In June 1958 President Campbell called a meeting with all equipment manufacturers and announced that equipment must gain approval from the NHL’s Rules Committee. The League had concerns that equipment manufacturers were designing equipment that, while intended to protect players, was also inflicting injury to opposing players”.

“In 1988 cuffs on gloves that are as much as two inches shorter began to be manufactured. The so- called “short-cuff” gloves, which cut-off just past the wrist instead of reaching several inches up the forearm, are used by the majority of NHL players by the early 1990s. Players felt that the smaller glove increased their ability to stick- handle and shoot. Because the short cuff gloves exposed the wrist to potential injury, players began to attach specially-molded plastic to the front part of their elbow pads to reach down to protect the lower part of the forearm. Manufacturers also began at this time to produce longer elbow pads”.

Click to Enlarge

Now that you have a better understanding of where hockey gloves began let’s take a look at how to size yourself for a pair of hockey gloves:

Gloves should allow for ample movement of the wrist and fingers while preventing hyperextension of the thumb. Fit is up to the individual player, but the glove should protect the fingers and hands from sticks. Gloves come in both tapered and loose fits for the fingers. Your preference will similarly dictate whether you want a longer or shorter cuff. A longer cuff will provide more protection at the expense of mobility. A shorter cuff will provide mobility at the expense of slash protection. The glove should offer freedom of movement in all positions without chafing or restricting movement.

The following are suggestions for hockey gloves and places where they can be purchased:

BattleAxe BX10 Senior Hockey Gloves
Available at

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Super lightweight, dual density, high-impact foam for ultimate protection without added weight. Reinforced synthetic leather outer shell. Embroidered rolls and graphics. Lock thumb. Available in custom colors and materials. BattleAxe gloves feature: angled back rolls and flared cuffs for better wrist mobility, three piece index finger guard for improved flexibility and protection, synthetic microfiber palm for soft touch and a short break in period. Sizes available are: 13″, 14″

CCM HGV10 Senior Hockey Gloves
Available at

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: THUMB: Dual axis 3-piece molded thumb redesigned to improve stick handling. BACKHAND: New anatomical EPP foam backhand is tailored to contour your hand for a snug fit and maximum comfort. PALM: Top quality palm with NHL quality Nash reinforcement for maximum comfort and stick control. CUFF: Mobile cuff with a short molded cuff roll. FINGERS: Split finger design with lightweight EPP foam improves dexterity. LINER: Pro quality comfort liner with anti-microbial treatment and Vector sublimation. EXTERIOR: Pro quality embossed PU. Sizes available are: 13″, 14″, 15″

REEBOK 9K KFS Senior Hockey Gloves
Available at

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Interior fit glove with integrated backhand padding and air exchange system. Seamless flexible cuff with no binding for increased comfort and flexibility. Reinforced, soft feel nash palm. Soft, pro feel palm, reinforced to increase durability. Lightweight pro selected tricot to eliminate break-in time. Blocking pattern allows the glove to follow the natural movement of the hand with PE inserts. Sizes available are: 13″, 14″, 15″

If you have a favorite pair of hockey gloves that are not listed, I would like to know what you wear and why you like your hockey gloves so much. Remember you can follow me on Twitter @AdamOnHockey.

How to Contact Adam!

Adam Desloges  |  Center Ice Hockey
1.705.268.STIX  |  1.855.BUY.STIX  |
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