Go check them out at a local pro shop and see what feels best when you wear them and do your buttefly/movements. Different goaltenders will favour different pads, in reality there is not that much difference between manufacturers. I would not suggest buying a "PRO" pad at this point in your career since you might end up spending a lot of money the set only to find out you don't really like the way they feel. I would also not go with the lowest end pad as they usually don't use good quality materials and the construction is not great. You will likely change pads before university (or in your first year, they usually give you some $$ to help you get gear) so you'll have a better idea at that point.
For now, ensure sliding surfaces are leather (or some other non-adherant material), there is adequate knee protection (both from shots and when you fall into the butterfly). You may want to invest in additional knee pads for extra protection from shots. I find the knee protectors that come with pads don't cut it. Remember to consider your knee pads when sizing your goal pads. It changes the size pads you need by 1"-2".
Personally, I prefer TPS pads, had four sets of those and bought my last pair a few months after they were bought by Sherwood (previously had 2 pairs of Heaton's and some others when I was younger). I have tried some Brian's and some Reebok in the past years and although they are good pads, I just found that they did not suit me personally.
20+ years goaltending experience, goalie coach, administrator of http://www.thehockeyresource.ca
· 7 years ago