Pro vs mid-range
Manufacturers of goaltender equipment usually have a pro-spec glove (same model used by NHL goaltenders) and a less expensive Mid-range senior glove. This glove is meant to be adequate for most goaltenders that do not play at a high or professional level and don't require (and generally can't make use of) that extra bit of performance. I have used both types of gloves playing hockey and I would have to say that most probably won't notice any difference between the two gloves. However if you are playing at high caliber divisions or at a professional level, the mid-range glove just does not cut it. Having compared the goal pads previously, I can also say the mid-range glove does not perform as well when the level of hockey is increased. Keep in mind these are my experiences with the gloves I own and have used. Some of the differences could be attributed to glove design rather than the difference between a pro and mid-range glove. However as they are both from the same manufacturer, the design should be similar.
|Mid-Range glove||Pro Glove|
The main difference between the two gloves is the amount of padding and the quality of the materials. The general construction remains about the same with both gloves having a great fit, similar strapping systems and overall design. I have found that the mid-range glove lacks padding in the break on the palm. In fact, at the break itself and approx 1cm to each side (see picture), there is no padding other than the leather. If shots hit near the break, it can be quite uncomfortable and even painful. The pro glove, has an added strip of plastic and padding that covers the break while keeping flexibility and allows the glove to absorb more of the impact of the puck.
The "T" of the glove pocket is also better on the pro glove. It has a plastic piece integrated to add some rigidity and allow the pocket to stay opened at all times. The mid-range glove "T" is only composed of leather and does not keep its shape as well. Furthermore, the attachment between the base of the "T" and the palm is much more rigid on the pro glove. This ensures the pocket keeps its shape while loose attachment of the mid-range glove can cause the pocket to collapse. This could allow a puck to bounce out of the pocket.
Finally, the quality of the materials is much better in the pro glove versus the mid-range one. The pro glove uses more resistant leather, better padding, plastic inserts that add protection and rigidity and more durable stitching. While the Pro glove has worked flawlessly for years with only some signs of wear, the mid-range glove has had a few issues. The webbing detached in multiple places which required re-threading and re-attachement. The stiching for the padding protecting the back of the hand also ripped through a layer of leather. Although this is mostly cosmetic, there is a possibility that the padding can "flap" around and expose a hole larg enough for a puck to go through and come into contact with the hand.