Padded shorts are the basic type of lower body protection; hard foam padding or strong plastic are sewn into the shorts. Unlike girdles, the shorts do not cover the whole of the upper legs, but do give considerable protection to the lower area above the pad.
What with the game and technology constantly evolving, field hockey companies are now producing padded shorts, taking the model and design of ice hockey shorts (their equipment predating ours), and adapting it to suit the game. The shorts mainly have two large ‘blocks’ of strong plastic, with padding around the joins.
There is greater movement as the shorts are baggier and roomy for more active leg movements, such as when shuffling across, or launching off for an aerial save. There is thin and flexible padding to the inner leg, making movement considerably less restricted, making them very suitable to fast and active goalkeepers.
They also have padding to specific areas like the sides and upper leg areas, making use of square sheets of shatter proof, moulded plastics. The main manufacturers, TK, have a basic model graded for different levels of play, whilst Grays have their own make, with a more circular mould to the lower leg. The Cloud shorts are probably the closest thing to a specifically padded short that are made by Obo.
Pads cover the upper leg area well
Strong level of protection to go down against shots in a logging position
Padding not layered strongly in outside areas (i.e. hips)
Only padding to the legs – lack of protection to the inner areas (possible painful shots)