Lacrosse Goalie Gear
In lacrosse, the most important position is certainly that of the goalie. They are the last line of defense and the first line of offense. It takes a special type of person to step in between the pipes, and that requires proper protection as well, considering lacrosse shots can travel upwards of over 100 mph.
As a goalie, the gear that is worn for protection is:
- Throat Guard
- Chest Pad
- Shin Guards (Optional)
- Knee/Calf Sleeve (Optional)
- Cleats/Turf Shoes
- Stick (Head, mesh, & shaft)
As you can see, there is quite a bit that is needed for you to be properly suited in order to step between the pipes.
Today, we’ll be going over all the gear, how it protects you, and what I recommend as well.
First and foremost, you’ll need to pick up a lacrosse helmet in order to protect your head. The type of helmet won’t be a big deal, but they're certainly are some that are better than others.
For example, Cascade (Amazon link), in my opinion, is the best helmet brand that is out there right now. Both the “R” and the “S” helmet are fantastic for protection and comfort. If you are looking for the premier helmet right now, I recommend the Cascade R.
My Favorite Helmet
Cascade CPX-R Helmet
The throat guard is also a necessary piece for a lacrosse goalie, as a helmet does not cover your throat and neck entirely.
However, be careful about this purchase, as you’ll want to make sure that your throat guard will properly fit your helmet.
The best rule of thumb to go by is to match the brand of the guard with the brand of the helmet.
For example, if you have a Cascade S helmet, then I recommend getting the Cascade CP-S throat protector (Amazon link), as it is best suited for that helmet.
My Throat Guard Choice
CAS Cascade TP-S Goalie Throat Piece
Functional throat guard at a very competitive price.
I personally am a huge fan of the Cascade TP-S in both style and functionality, and that is what I’d personally go with. However, as I said, it all depends on the helmet you have as well.
The chest pad is also a necessary piece of equipment, as you need protection to your chest, ribs, and heart area.
These chest pads come in a variety of different types of designs and sizes, but when it comes them, I always look for one that is the most comfortable in terms of its fit.
My Pick For Chest Pad
STX Lacrosse Shield 400 Chest Protector
This shield offers good protection without compromising mobility.
These really do come down to preference, but I recommend looking into those first, considering they are the favorites among the community of lacrosse goalies.
Gloves are yet another essential piece to playing goalie. However, I cannot stress enough how important it is to get the proper glove.
There have been too many times I’ve seen goalies playing with regular field goals, and if you are new to the sport and/or position, I cannot express how important it is that you stay away from these while playing in the net.
Broken thumbs are one of the most common injuries that can occur in the goalie position.
Even with goalie gloves on, you are still prone to breaking your thumb, so if there is one piece of equipment that I’d recommend spending a bit more money on, it would be gloves.
Personally, I’d recommend taking a look at the gloves below, as they are some of the top-of-the-line goalie gloves that are on the market today. These are:
#1 My Favorite Goalie Gloves
Epoch Integra Pro Goalie Lacrosse Gloves
Solid protection with outstanding flexibility in the thumb area.
- Excellent protection in hands and thumb.
- Extended cuff
- Carbon fiber
#2 Best Thumb Protection for Goalies
STX Shield 500 Goalie Gloves
Extra piece on the thumb allowing for excellent protection. It also bends, allowing for great flexibility in it as well
- Great quality fabrics
- Unique thumb protection
- Great flexibility
- Optimal grip
#3 Solid All-round
Maverick M4 Goalie Gloves
Highly breathable gloves with perfect fit. They feel comfortable and make a great option for goalies.
- Excellent flexibility
- Outstanding breathability
- Traditional fit
- Flowcool venting
|High quality materials||Price|
If you want to see the full guide on how to buy lacrosse gloves, check out this article.
Another vital piece of equipment, the cup is something that you’ll want to make sure has the best fit out of all the equipment.
Goalie’s typically use a wide variety of cups, anywhere from the cups that slide through compressions, to ones that strap around you.
Personally, I’d say Warrior makes the best goalie cup out there, and it is called the toolbox.
This cup style is quite similar to a hockey goalie cup, so either or should give you optimal protection.
The biggest thing that you’ll want to be certain about is the fit, as you want it to be snug and secure.
My Favorite Lacrosse Cup
Shock Doctor Jock Strap Supporter with BioFlex Cup Included
Excellent combination of protection & functionality . Great value for the money.
The first optional piece of equipment for goalies, shin guards are not a necessity for goalies. However, if you are green to the position and/or are a younger goalie (12 & below), then I’d recommend them.
Also, if you are a parent and have a young child and are wondering if you need to get them shin guards, the answer is yes!
There is no reason for kids to get their legs all bruised up from the ball at a young age.
However, as you either get more comfortable with the position or get older in age, you’ll most likely move away from these, especially if you go on to play at the college level.
If you are comfortable without using them at first, then more power to you, as they aren’t a requirement to wear.
There are some perks to not wearing them as well, such as having better mobility and not having to carry the weight of them, even if it doesn’t seem like they weigh much.
Protective Skin Guards
Storelli BodyShield Leg Guards
Comfortable leg guards that can be used for different sports.
Next, we move on to the knee and/or calf sleeve, which is also another optional piece of equipment. However, unlike shin guards, these are worn by players of all ages and skill levels.
The truth is, if you tend to drop on low shots, it can be rather rough on your knees, and after a while, you’ll start to notice that it can be a lot of wear and tear on your knees.
To help prevent this, goalies tend to wear knee sleeves to soften the impact.
For the calf sleeve, these are worn typically if you’ve taken a few too many shots to the calf as of late, and you need to protect them from taking further damage.
I highly recommend these if you feel that your calves need a break, and it is never a bad idea to prevent some bruises here and there as a lacrosse goalie.
Knee Compression Sleeve
McDavid Hex Knee Pads Compression Leg Sleeve
Great quality-price ratio lacrosse compression sleeve. They can be used also in different sports.
Next, you’ll need the proper shoes to be able to play. If you play on turf primarily, then turf shoes will be fine to play in.
However, if you do play in the grass, then cleats are practically a must, as field conditions can get rough.
Even if you do find yourself getting turf shoes for your primary footwear, I recommend getting a pair of cleats as well, as I’m sure that you’ll wear them at one point, whether it be during a game, tournament, or what have you.
My Recommendation For Cleats
Under Armour Men's Breathe Trainer
Solid option at a very good price. Perfect for youth.
Last but certainly not least, is the lacrosse goalie stick. The stick is comprised up of a few parts. These parts are:
- Shooters (Optional)
- Tape (Optional)
This may seem overwhelming at first, but if you are new to the position, then don’t worry.
Although they are not as good as quality as building your own stick, pre-made sticks are a great way to get used to the position, are relatively inexpensive, and come with everything you’ll need.
If you do want to build your stick though, it certainly will take some time to find out what best suits you.
However, I’ll be going over what I recommend the most, so it can make the purchasing decision smoother, as it can be rather confusing to new players.
Head - STX Eclipse II. Hands down, this is the best goalie head in the game right now.
Mesh- East Coast Dyes Goalie HeroMesh 12D. Great, consistent mesh, and is cost-effective as well.
Sidewall - Any string will do.
Shooters - Any shooters will do.
Butt-end - This will come with the shaft
Tape - Optional, but any tape will do and is used to help you have a better grip on the shaft and have markers for where your hands should be on passes.
Cost of Lacrosse Goalie Gear
Lacrosse, as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, is quite an expensive sport.
If you are green to the sport, you’ll find yourself spending quite a bit of money.
Even with getting less-expensive equipment, you are still looking at around $600, and that is being low on quite a few items.
It is safe to say, that this is one of the more expensive sports to play. However, there are great websites like sideline swap where you can get used equipment in great shape, for low prices.
Also, depending on the team you are playing for, you may get some equipment for free, such as a helmet.
However, despite the high cost of the equipment, it is certainly worth it, as the enjoyment that you’ll get out of playing goalie is priceless in my opinion.
Last but not least, more people every day are investing on personal training to optimize their understanding of the game.
I found a very helpful course given by Rob Pannell, where he shares pro tips on different aspects of the sport: conditioning, mental preparation and fundamentals of the game. If you want to take a look, click the following link: Players Academy.