A good soldier needs decent armor, and a good ice hockey player deserves the best hockey equipment (pads included!). Shoulder pads provide protection, increased durability, and superior mobility for the roughest of contests.
Ice hockey is an aggressive sport, and you need the best equipment to help you stay safe and play with confidence. One of the most important pieces of equipment for any hockey player is their shoulder pads.
No matter what level of hockey you play it’s imperative that your shoulders are fully protected at all times. These upper-body pads are designed to keep every hockey player injury-free from blocked shots, slashes, cross-checks, body checks, falls to the ice and collisions with the boards and glass.
The pads should protect your upper body (biceps, sternum, collarbone, clavicle, shoulders, and upper back and chest areas) and shouldn’t restrict your movement or weigh you down while playing. Shoulder pads are available in several designs, sizes, and weights and should fit snugly and comfortably without shifting on impact.
It’s so important to find proper equipment, and we’re here to help you find it with our list of top best hockey shoulder pads for seniors.
Whether you’re a senior hockey player with years of experience or brand new to the sport, you need high-quality shoulder pads to protect your upper body. Listed below are some of the best hockey shoulder pads we recommend.
SHORT ON TIME? Here are our picks.
Table of Contents
- 1) Bauer Vapor 2X Pro Shoulder Pads – Best High-Tech Hockey Shoulder Pads
- 2) CCM Super Tacks AS1 Shoulder Pads – Best Lightweight and Most Protective Shoulder Pads
- 3) True AX5 Shoulder Pads –Most Protective Shoulder Pads
- 4) CCM Jetspeed FT4 Pro Shoulder Pad – Best Overall Shoulder Pads
- 5) Warrior Alpha LX Pro Shoulder Pads
- 6) Bauer Supreme 3S Shoulder Pads
- 7) CCM Tacks 9080 Shoulder Pads
- 8) Bauer Vapor X-W Shoulder Pads – Best Women Shoulder Pads
- 9) Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic Shoulder Pads
- 10) Bauer X Shoulder Pads – Best Budget Hockey Shoulder Pads
- FAQs About Choosing The Best Senior Hockey Shoulder Pads
1) Bauer Vapor 2X Pro Shoulder Pads – Best High-Tech Hockey Shoulder Pads
Hockey shoulder pad technology has come a long way over the years, and one of the best examples of this is the Bauer Vapor 2X Pro Shoulder Pads.
These shoulder pads feature a tapered design that allows for maximum comfort and protection without sacrificing mobility. They feature Bauer’s signature HyperLite Foam, which is meant to repel water instead of absorbing it to prevent players from being weighed down. The Bauer Vapor 2X Pro Shoulder Pads are also designed with Aerolite 2.0 shoulder caps and Curv Composite. These features, combined with the HyperLite Foam and tapered design, make them some of the most high-tech elite-level shoulder pads on the market.
The foams are also made to repel water rather than absorbing it to make sure you don’t get weighed down while playing. The pads have a floating sternum guard with three-piece panels, sleeve-fit biceps and comfort edges while the foam base is perforated to allow for optimum airflow. There’s no need to worry about odours and sweat building up in the pads either due to the Thermo Core liner which wicks them away.
The Bauer Vapor 2X Pro Shoulder Pads come in several junior and senior sizes with the senior medium pads weighing 740 grams. They also have a removable foam belly guard, as well as a plastic and foam spine guard and dense foam at the collarbones. The pads are typically found in the upper-level price range.
2) CCM Super Tacks AS1 Shoulder Pads – Best Lightweight and Most Protective Shoulder Pads
If you’re looking for lightweight and most protective hockey shoulder pads, we suggest checking out the CCM Super Tacks AS1 Shoulder Pads. These shoulder pads feature anatomically shaped shoulder caps and lightweight, dual high-density foam. They’re very light but also built for strength and protection.
These top-level shoulder pads provide outstanding comfort, coverage and protection without affecting your mobility. They come with 3-piece back and floating spine and sternum protectors lined with D30 foam for maximum breathable and extra torso coverage. The torso comes with a convenient strapping system which enables you to adjust both the front and back panels. The floating spine and sternum protectors come with D30 foam which is then surrounded by vented Armor Foam for breathability and added torso coverage.
The anatomically-shaped shoulder caps are designed to dissipate impacts and hits with lightweight, dual high-density foam. The pads feature adjustable two-piece bicep protectors with the lower section being removable. They’re also built for strength with plastic-injected inserts while the collarbone is protected with PE inserts and dual-density foam. The mesh-nylon liner is built for wicking away moisture while the vented panels enable the pads to dry as quickly as possible.
The CCM Super Tacks AS1 shoulder pads come in various sizes for both junior and senior players of a competitive level. They offer superb protection and comfort and are well worth the higher price tag.
3) True AX5 Shoulder Pads –Most Protective Shoulder Pads
Hockey players searching for low-profile shoulder pads which offer plenty of protection without restricting your movement should check out the AX5 model by TRUE. The pads feature the company’s AeroShield Technology in the sternum area to provide excellent impact protection from sticks, pucks, opposing players and the boards. It comes with plastic-insert reinforcement around the foam padding as well as an extended front panel between the upper biceps and shoulder caps.
The pads showcase a three-piece front panel and allow you to customize the fit thanks to the removable belly pad and extendable bicep guards. Also, the spine and collarbone are protected with padded foam while the moisture-wicking polyester liner keeps you dry and comfortable in the heat of the action by taking care of moisture, bacteria and unpleasant odours. The pads are kept in place with adjustable elastic/nylon straps at the biceps and torso.
The newly-designed TRUE AX5 shoulder pads come in several different sizes with the senior medium pads weighing a lightweight 735 grams. They offer superb value as they can usually be found in the low to mid price range.
4) CCM Jetspeed FT4 Pro Shoulder Pad – Best Overall Shoulder Pads
The highly-rated CCM JetSpeed FT4 Pro shoulder pads are a favourite with quick, agile players who are looking for elite protection without giving up their mobility. These pads feature CCM’s new Amplified Mobility Design and lightweight Hybrid Shield spine and sternum guards as well as U Foam shoulder caps with durable EPP Foam and JDP Technology. This enables the pads to managing hard-hitting impacts by effectively re-directing energy away from your shoulder joints.
Unique to this CCM model is the liner-free Stay Dry Design with ZoteFoam base panels. This innovative closed-cell method keeps the pads from absorbing moisture and sweat while keeping you dry and cool and wicking away bacteria-causing odours. The low-profile, contoured pads offer full protection at the sternum, belly, spine, shoulders, biceps and collarbone and come with adjustable elastic/nylon straps at the torso and biceps.
The new Jetspeed FT4 pro shoulder pads by CCM are available in assorted sizes with the senior medium pads tipping the scales at just 749 grams. They can usually be found in the higher price bracket.
5) Warrior Alpha LX Pro Shoulder Pads
The Alpha LX Pro shoulder pads by Warrior have a low-profile cap design with extra-protective compressed Impax Foam coverage throughout while still providing superb mobility and performance. The spine and rear panels is made of a mixture of foam densities while the company’s ventilated Fantom Stretch system connects the rear panels and offers a natural contoured fit. The pads are equipped with two-piece floating bicep guards with adjustable lengths to help seal any protective gaps with your elbow pads.
Warrior’s WarTech FNC liner with Polygiene Technology never stops working to keep you cool, fresh and dry by effectively wicking away sweat, moisture, odours and bacteria growth. There’s also a removable belly guard while the shoulder caps, biceps and collarbone are reinforced with strong plastic inserts. The entire package is kept snugly in place via the elastic/nylon straps at the biceps and torso.
The elite Warrior Alpha LX Pro pads are made in several sizes with the senior medium pads weighing in at 1,167 grams. They can typically be purchased in the higher price level.
6) Bauer Supreme 3S Shoulder Pads
The new Supreme 3S shoulder pads by Bauer have a flexible front and back panel with composite materials surrounding the high-density foam padding in all the key impact areas. The pads are designed to quickly wick away moisture, odours and bacteria thanks to the Thermo Core liner while also promoting maximum airflow. They’re outfitted with a removable foam belly protector while the bicep and collarbone guards come with tough and durable plastic inserts.
These anatomically-shaped pads are easy to adjust via the convenient strapping system at the torso and biceps and are made to take and give hits with maximum protection. The once-piece front and rear panel boast Active Motion Protection for mobility while the Adaptiv Skin System conforms to your body shape and fights off all types of impacts.
The Bauer Supreme 3S shoulder pads are ideal for intermediate and competitive players. They can be found in various sizes with the senior medium pads tipping the scales at 914 grams. They can typically be bought in the mid price bracket and provide plenty of value for the cost.
7) CCM Tacks 9080 Shoulder Pads
The CCM Tacks 9080 Shoulder Pads have it all when it comes to coverage and range of motion with a redesigned panel construction and gap protection and adjustable length torso straps for a custom fit. They feature D30 foam under the moulded plastic shoulder caps and sternum guard along with closed-cell foams in the spine, sternum, and kidney guards. This means they help eliminate water absorption to keep them light and dry and to better deal with impacts.
The front and rear panels feature three-piece construction with a floating PE-injected sternum and spine guard respectively which are topped off with foam padding. Foam also covers the ribs, side guards and removable belly guard. The bicep guards are fully adjustable to seal any gaps between the shoulder and elbow pads.
The traditional fit pads come with an adjustable strap system with Velcro and quick-releasing tabs. The CCM Tacks 9080 Shoulder Pads come in various sizes with the senior medium set weighing 1039 grams. They provide plenty of protection and are usually available in the mid-price range.
8) Bauer Vapor X-W Shoulder Pads – Best Women Shoulder Pads
The contoured Bauer Vapor X-W shoulder pads are designed specifically for female hockey players and provide full protection and range of motion. They feature a floating sternum with high-density foam and perforated side panels. The shoulder caps are made to sit low for optimal protection and mobility. The perforated foam enables superb air circulation for comfort while the Thermo Max mesh nylon liner manages sweat, odours and bacteria by quickly wicking it away.
The belly guard is removable while the front and rear panels, spine guard, shoulder caps, bicep guards and collarbone are all protected with foam and strong plastic inserts in the high-impact areas. The front panel is a two-piece design with comfort edges while the rear panel is one piece. The floating biceps are adjustable and the pads are secured with a strapping system at the biceps and torso.
The Bauer Supreme X-W women’s shoulder pads are perfect for females of all skill levels. They can be found in assorted sizes and are usually available in the mid price level.
9) Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic Shoulder Pads
New to the hockey equipment market are the elite-level Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic shoulder pads which provide full protection, coverage and mobility. They come with the manufacturer’s popular AMP Construction design in the bicep guards and shoulder caps to offer unrestricted range of motion at all times. They also feature the Adaptiv Skin Protection system in the shoulder caps and sternum which conforms to your body without sacrificing impact protection.
In addition, breathable Vent Armor Foam can be found in the spine guard and shoulder caps while the
popular Thermo Core liner takes care of sweat, moisture and odour-causing bacteria while cutting down on drying time. The belly guard is removable and the collarbone comes with foam padding and tough plastic inserts. Dense foam also covers the sternum, front and rear panels, spine guard, shoulder caps and two-piece bicep guards. The pads are held in place with a strapping system at the torso and biceps.
The contoured, lightweight Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic shoulder pads are available in several sizes with the senior medium model weighing just 943 grams. These high-performance pads can usually be found in the higher price range.
10) Bauer X Shoulder Pads – Best Budget Hockey Shoulder Pads
The top-selling Bauer X shoulder pads are new to the rink this season and sport solid performance and protection at a bargain price. The pads are constructed with protective foams and hard molded plastic in all of the key impact areas such as the shoulders, spine, tailbone, thighs, sternum, waist and biceps. The torso panels boast comfortable FlexCell Foam which wraps around the body.
The bicep guards are length adjustable for a perfect fit as well as filling in any protective gaps between your elbow pads. These bicep guards are also outfitted with a sleeve fit for additional comfort and the pads are secured with a fast strapping system at the torso. The front panel is a two-piece design with floating sternum while the back panel is one piece. The pads are kept moisture, odour and bacteria-free thanks to the sublimated hydrophobic mesh liner.
The tapered Bauer X shoulder pads are ideal for recreational players. They can be found in various sizes with the senior medium pads weighing a very lightweight 702 grams. They can usually be found in the lower price range for great value.
FAQs About Choosing The Best Senior Hockey Shoulder Pads
Are you still on the fence about which hockey shoulder pads to choose? Do you need some advice to ensure you’re getting the right fit?
Check out the answers to some frequently asked hockey shoulder pad questions below:
Do All Companies Provide Hockey Shoulder Pads Sizing Information?
Yes. All companies provide charts with measurements and sizing guidelines. This makes it easy for hockey players (and their parents) to choose the right size for their bodies and needs.
What Is the Difference Between Recreational, Performance, and Elite Hockey Shoulder Pads?
Recreational shoulder pads are made with medium-thickness foam, a one-piece design, and a traditional nylon moisture-absorbing liner.
Performance shoulder pads are more complex, with multi-density foam, two- and three-piece panels, and microfiber liner.
Elite hockey shoulder pads are the most advanced, with premium multi-density foam, two-piece panel construction, and advanced moisture-absorbing, antibacterial liners.
How Do I Measure to Make Sure My Shoulder Pads Fit?
To correctly measure for shoulder pads, the player should stand up straight but still be relaxed (don’t hold the breath and puff out the chest, for example). From here, use a soft measuring tape to measure the circumference of the chest (just below the armpit).
This measurement, combined with the player’s height, age, and weight, will help them choose the right size for their shoulder pads.
How Should Shoulder Pads Fit?
It doesn’t matter if you’re shopping for hockey shoulder pads for a junior player or hockey shoulder pads for a senior. Either way, the center of the player’s shoulders should always be lined up with shoulder caps to ensure a snug fit.
The bottom of the pads’ torso protection should match up with the top of the player’s pants, too.
What Are Signs That Hockey Shoulder Pads Are Too Small?
If a player’s hockey shoulder pads are too small, the shoulder caps may point upward instead of outward. The neckline may dig into the neck or shoulders, too, and the player may have a hard time raising their arms comfortably overhead.
What Are Signs That Hockey Shoulder Pads Are Too Large?
If a player’s hockey pads are too large, the neckline may sag to expose the collarbone. The pads may fall off the tops of the shoulders, too, or the bottom edges will droop below the rib cap, possibly overlapping with the hockey pants.
How Often Should I Replace My Hockey Shoulder Pads?
When well-cared for, hockey shoulder pads can last several years. Over time, the velcro may start to wear down, rendering them ineffective. This is the most common sign that a player needs to invest in new pads.