What’s the difference in pro vs. senior when it comes to goalie pads?
The major difference between Pro-level and Senior-level goalie pads is more often than not, a price increase. There are differences between pro and senior goalie equipment, but for the average goalie, “Pro-level” isn’t always worth the extra 20-30% in cost associated with buying the top model offered by an equipment manufacturer.
There are many review websites out there that will tell you to buy Pro-level gear whenever you can, and in certain instances, that may be the case. However, as a whole, there aren’t major differences in the actual quality of gear at the Pro and Senior levels.
Look at it this way.
You can buy a Ford vehicle with the Titanium trim package, or you can buy a Ford vehicle with the SEL trim package. Is there actually any real differences? Not really. Yes, there are upgrades here and there, but for years, the SEL package was the top trim package offered on most vehicles. Once Ford realized that folks are willing to spend more, just for the sake of spending more.. the Titanium package was born. Full disclosure, I recently bought a vehicle with the Titanium package. So, I too fell for it.
Pro vs Senior Goalie Gear
The main difference between Pro Level and Senior Level goalie gear is oftentimes outlined as the types and quality of the material used to make each line of gear. Every major goalie equipment manufacturer uses Pro level and Senior level to identify the difference between their top line of gear.
If you’re committed to wearing pro goalie gear, you’re significantly increasing the cost of playing goalie.
Here are the major differences in Pro and Senior Goalie Equipment
- Pro-level gear is more expensive, 100% of the time
- Pro-level gear is said to use higher quality materials, thus the justified increase in price
- Pro-level gear is said to have higher performance than senior-level gear
- Pro-level gear should, by definition, last longer than senior-level goalie gear
Is Pro gear worth the price increase? Do I Need Pro Level Goalie Pads?
While “Pro” level gear is the very best money can buy, for many beginners or first-time goalies, the pro-level gear may not be worth the price increase. Whenever a goalie opts to buy “Pro” level gear, they’re buying the exact same gear worn in the NHL. Outside of a few custom tweaks, goalies really can wear the exact same equipment their favorite NHL goalie is wearing.
Do I think it’s worth it to spend double the money for the “Pro” sticker on new goalie gear? Nope.
If you’ve got unlimited money, yes. Case in point, the Bauer 3S vs UltraSonic line. Despite what you’re being told, there are not major differences that justify spending 2X on Pro level gear just for the sake of it saying “Pro”.
As a Rule, Pro Level Gear is Higher Performance
Pro-level goalie equipment is generally higher performance than it’s Senior-level counterpart. In cases like Goalie Sticks, however, I don’t necessarily think that the “Pro +” option that Warrior consistently builds is worth a 33% price increase from the “Pro”.
Just like anything in life, goalie equipment manufacturers are trying to squeeze every penny they can out of their production process. If after reading this, you still feel like the difference in Pro level builds is worth the (sometimes) large jump in price, have at it. There is something to be said about feeling confident in your equipment. If you’re confident in your gear wearing only Pro-level equipment, it’s absolutely worth the price increase.