Equipment (Equipment, a Players Best Friend) is dominated by preference, for many a player, once you find a brand you love, skating from the path of comfort when it comes to gear is almost unheard of.
But what happens when you take the plunge and try something new? You could be pleasantly surprised with the results.
Many of you are probably familiar with the brand Shock Doctor, and many of you have probably had a mouth guard made by the company during some point in your on-ice career. The company is famous for the mouthpiece that has saved numerous teeth over the years — I know that I’m thankful for them preserving my smile and my mother and dentist are as well.
While the company has made a name for itself in mouth gear, its a growing brand with much more to offer than dental protection. With a slogan of “Hardcore Protection, Fearless Performance”, it begs the question, what else does the major manufacturer offer?
Well, the Pink Puck made it an on-ice mission to expand our knowledge of the product base and we were pleasantly surprised with the results. As is customary when it comes to hockey gear, most companies hold a wide variety of performance apparel geared towards players of the male variety. Women play hockey too, and Shock Doctor provides key pieces of protection in a women’s line of apparel that’s affordable to the average consumer. Key pieces we can trust, that are comfortable and won’t break the bank is a strong component in our new found love for the performance pieces we put through the paces during a week of women’s hockey games.
First up, Core Women’s Hockey Short with Pelvic Protector, they also offer a pant option. We all know the importance of pants or shorts and the pelvic protector. Personally, like many players, shorts are a go-to over pants, pants are just too hot — but it’s all personal preference. These shorts feature anti-microbial moisture wicking fabric, which is key when you’re skating shifts for an hour plus, staying as dry as possible is necessary. With other brands, the shorts themselves have ridden up while skating and no one wants to be trying to re-adjust on the bench, these shorts stayed in place for the duration.
Next, the Shock Doctor Skate Insole. Now, in all honesty, the idea to use a skate insole has never lit the lamp. I’ve skated with my beloved Bauer Supreme’s for many years and I’d like to think that they have reached their optimal molding potential, so why mess with perfection? Well, adding an insole to your skates is a comfort that everyone should try.
“The Shock Doctor Skate Insole is specifically engineered to reduce the stress on athlete’s feet and lower body joints so they can move quickly, make quick cuts & never lose an edge.”
My biggest concern was that the insoles would drastically alter the feeling of my skates, add a heavy layer of padding and potentially make them feel too tight. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of support the insole added without being too bulky. My only complaint was that the pad didn’t fit my skate perfectly at the toe, but of course, everyone has different preferences and a simple trim to the top of the insole with a pair of scissors remedied the situation. Perhaps I didn’t notice any drastic change in my play the first few times I used them, but as of late, I find myself pushing off with a bit more intensity because I have the extra support to back up my skate strides.
While you may find yourself secured to the comforts of a specific company for products such as skates, sticks, etc. Don’t feel as though you need to be locked down when it comes to performance enhancing apparel. In a day in age where a player will do almost anything to improve their game, trying something as simple as a skate insole, or a new pair of shorts may be just the small tweak that you need.
Shock Doctor offers a wide array of performance equipment for both women and men, with a reasonable price tag –what more could a player want?