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Pro Stock Hockey Gloves: Palms

Posted by Scott Rodriguez on

Back in 2007 when I purchased my first set of pro stock gloves the market was small and the community of pro stock enthusiast even smaller, so you can imagine getting information regarding gloves specs was near impossible. But, with the emergence of pro stock hockey forums and gear site like prostockhockey.com (PSH) the shear amount of gloves available to the public has increased considerably. Since then, I’ve probably owned 250+ pairs of gloves and am hopefully in a position to pass on my experience to people who are either new to the market or just curious about the feel and durability of a specific pair of gloves. PSH and I are planning to write weekly blog entries pertaining to gloves, specifically focusing on palms, cuffs, gussets, player glove features or anything that you (the reader) might be interested in.

For this first entry I will predominantly focus on palms divided by brand, and I will breakdown each palm based on its material, feel, durability, break-in time and my overall rating (this will be subjective, but I will do my best to justify my rating). I’ve also done my best to include the players who use these palms as well as those that appear on PSH.com.

Feedback is always welcomed and I’m sure I’ll forget to mention something so please feel free to let me know if I should make any additions or edits. Thank you for reading

Warrior

1. Micronash

- Material: Synthetic material

- Variations: Comes in a variety of colors (light grey, dark grey, beige). All colors will have similar feel.

- General: This is warriors standard palm and what you’ll find on the majority of warrior pro stock gloves on the market.

- Durability: This palm is one of the most durable offered by warrior (second only to Nash in my opinion). If you use the gloves weekly, a year or more shouldn’t be a problem if you take care of your gloves properly. Frequently players utilize a light grey micronash with a dark grey palm overlay, which add to the overall durability. As you use this palm you will often see the top hand push through the overlay first, so you’ll have a bit of a warning sign before the knob of your stick is in your actual hand.

- Break-in: Gloves with this palm generally feel broken-in right away, although you will notice a gradual loosening after 2-3 games with these.

- Players who use this palm: Way too many to name, the majority of players use this palm (Couture, Keith, Bolland, Malone, Polak, Backlund, Anisimov, Wheeler, Thompson to name a few)

- Overall Rating: One of my favorite palms. It’s simple and classic, nothing really flashy about it, but you can’t go wrong with this palm. Rating 7.5 out of 10.

2. Nash

- Material: Synthetic material

- Variations: Comes in a variety of colors (blue – Byfuglien, red – Huddler). All colors will have similar feel.

- General: This palm is less common than Micronash, but still quite common among warrior pro stock gloves. It is notably thicker than other palms by warrior so you won’t have that great feel to be expected with performance palms (digital or mustang), but with the added thickness comes some improved durability.

- Durability: Like noted above, these palms should last longer than the alternative offerings from warrior, but I have had more than a few pairs that have broken down and done so very quickly once they hit a critical point of wear. Hopefully, you should get 1yr or more out of this palm.

- Break-in Time: Long long long time. I’ve had a few pairs in the past that just refused to break-in. Then again, I have a newer pair at the moment that is breaking in nicely, so it’s a bit of a crapshoot. Not a gamble that I like to take when spending lots of money on gloves. But, that being said, if you can break a pair in they feel great and are often very smooth.

- Players who use this palm: Byfuglien, Huddler, Thorburn

- Overall Rating: For me, these palms can be brutally impossible to break-in so I tend to avoid this palm when I can. Rating 5.5 out of 10.

3. Digital

- Material: Derived from natural leather with pattern stamped onto the material for grip purposes

- Variations: See below for variations of digital palms

- General: Very soft material that it considered a “performance” palm option. Great overall feel for the stick and is mildly tacky feeling but not as tacky as kangaroo.

- Durability: Shorter lifetime than micronash or nash palms. If you’re using a pair of gloves with this palm weekly, expect to get 6-8 months out of the palm if cared for properly.

- Break-in Time: None

- Players who use this palm: Goligoski, Chara, Malkin, Ribeiro

- Overall Rating: Great palm with fantastic feel. I have a lot of friends that live by this palm. Overall I’d rate the palm an 8 out of 10.

*Picture only demonstrates a digital overlay

4. Digital Microvent

- Material: Derived from natural leather

- Variations: N/A

- General: A fairly rare palm that is a perforated version of the digital material. This results in a very soft palm with great feel for the stick.

- Durability: This is the main drawback of this palm. As one can imagine a perforated palm that is very thin to begin with isn’t made to last long. These palms dry and crack very quickly with poor care. Even with proper glove care don’t expected to get much more than 2-3 months of weekly use out of this palm.

- Break-in Time: None

- Players who use this palm: Havlat and Z.Michalek

- Overall Rating: Great palm, but pricey investment as they often won’t make it through an entire adult league season. Strictly with durability in mind I would rate them a 6 out of 10.

5. Digital Tacky (“Snake Skin”)

- Material: Derived from natural leather, patterned and adhesive layer applied for grip purposes.

- Variations: N/A

- General: I’ve rarely seen this material used as anything other than an overlay. It is very tacky.

- Durability: I have such limited exposure to this material I wouldn’t even try to guess how durable it is.

- Break-in Time: N/A

- Players who use this palm: Brent Burns (Wild franchises) and Hagman’s warrior creepers

- Overall Rating: A really nice option for people who want more grip on their bottom hand. Since this is predominantly an overlay material it’s difficult to give it a standardized rating.

5. Pearl Mustang

- Material: Derived from natural leather

- Variations: None

- General: This palm was/is the holy grail for most pro stock glove collectors in terms of feel and durability. This and yellow mustang are probably to two softest palms used by warrior and as a result have some of the best feel of any palm material.

- Durability: Will last longer than digital, digital microvent, but less than nash or micronash. This palm will get stiff over time and some collectors I know will use aftershave to moisturize the palm to help protect against this. This palm should last ~ 1 year of weekly usage, maybe a little less.

- Break-in Time: None.

- Players who use this palm: Greening, Wolski, Draper, O’Reilly

- Overall Rating: One of the best palms, a great combination of feel and durability. I would rate this palm a 9 out of 10.

6. Kangaroo

- Material: Derived from natural leather

- Variations: None

- General: A thicker natural leather that resembles the traditional leather or cowhide palm found on gloves many years ago. The tackiest palm offered by warrior, which often makes it difficult to move your bottom hand while shooting if you use grip coated sticks.

- Durability: Moderated durability, I haven’t used a pair with this palm enough times to see the palm breakdown.

- Break-in Time: Requires quite a bit of use to break this palm in. Expect 10-15 uses to get the leather worn in well enough to reduce the tackiness of the palm.

- Players who use this palm: Wisniewski

- Overall Rating: I’m biased on this palm, I don’t like grip palms, for that reason I would rate it 5 out of 10 in terms of usability.

7. Yellow Mustang

- Material: Derived from natural leather

- Variations: None

- General: A great combination of durability and feel, one of the many reasons Marian Hossa’s gloves are so popular. This material is as soft as pearl mustang and ages well.

- Durability: Middle of the road durability, still considered a “performance palm” but much more durable when compared to digital or digital microvent.

- Break-in Time: none

- Players who use this palm: Hossa & Wolski

- Overall Rating: I can’t reiterate what I said above enough, a wonderful palm, one of my favorites. A very easy 9 out of 10 rating.

8. Sure Grip

- Material: Synthetic material (I’ve seen it described as synthetic digital, since digital is derived from natural leather)

- Variations: none

- General: I haven’t run across this material too much, I’ve seen it as an overlay on some warrior gloves. It has a tacky sort of leather/rubbery feeling to it.

- Durability: N/A

- Break-in Time: N/A

- Players who use this palm: N/A

- Overall Rating: unable to rate

Bauer

1. AX Suede

- Material: Per their website, AX Suede palms are made with polyester

- Variations: the integration of polyester allows for the variety of colors we’ve seen in the last 1-2 years in palms (i.e. orange, blue, red etc)

- General: A very soft palm, can sometime bunch a little around the fingers when gripping the stick due to thickness (similar to what I’ve experienced with nash palms), but a great new addition to the palm market that combines looks, durability and feel.

- Durability: The pair I have now seems to be wearing very well without any concerns. Should be able to handle more than a few seasons of adult hockey.

- Break-in Time: none

- Players who use this palm: Giroux, Del Zotto and pretty much all other APX2 and MX3 (some NXGs as well) you see in the NHL

- Overall Rating: From what I’ve been able to gather in the short time I’ve owned pairs with this palm it is very nice and I am able to comfortably rate it an 8 out of 10 currently, with possible upside to go even higher.

2. Clarino

- Material: Synthetic material

- Variations: comes in a variety of colors (grey, beige, black) with no difference in feel or performance between the colors.

- General: a synthetic material that is very similar in function/feel to nash, but thinner and easier to break-in. A very common material seen across many brands and commonly used by most re-palming shops.

- Durability: A very durable palm that probably sits somewhere just below micronash in the spectrum of durability.

- Break-in Time: 1-2 uses should break this palm in without any issues.

- Players who use this palm: most commonly seen on some old Bauer 4-rolls

- Overall Rating: Very common palm that does everything well, but nothing spectacular. Overall I would rate this palm a 6.5 out of 10.

3. Digital

- Please see Warrior palm section for more details regarding digital palms

- Of note, Bauer does offer a beige digital that I’ve run across on some JVR NXGs)

4. Nash

- Please see above in Warrior section

CCM/Reebok

1. Nash

- Please see above in Warrior section

2. Clarino

- Please see above in Bauer section

3. Digital

- Please see above in Warrior section

Eagle

1. MSH2/MSH3

- Material: Synthetic microsuede

- Variations: None

- General: A synthetic material that has a cult-like following in the pro stock community. This palm is probably the best example of a thin palm with very high-end durability.

- Durability: Very very durable. I know more than a few guys who’ve managed to get 2-3 years out of these palms without any major issues.

- Break-in Time: These palms are like a retirement account or fine wine, put in time now for long-term payoff. These palms age amazingly well and break-in better than any palm I’ve ever encountered in my years of collecting. Trust me, if you get a pair and you stick with them they will feel great after a season or so.

- Players who use this palm: anyone who’s using eagles basically.

- Overall Rating: As much as I am a warrior fan boy, something in me is saying I have to rate these as the best palms out there, so with that said, I’d give these a 9.5 out of 10 because they simply do everything well.

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