Without any protection to the shoulder areas when using a solo body/chest pad, separate shoulder pads can be used in conjunction, to protect your joints when you hit the pitch when landing a save, or challenging on the ground. Increasing your upper body protection should be considered if you are concerned over the level and types of shots you will face.
Ice hockey shoulder caps
To cover the space above the chest pad and around the shoulder joint, which is not covered by the armour, some form of protection is needed for the vulnerable shoulder areas, when landing a save, risking knocks and bashes when scrambling around the goal mouth, or facing a direct shot to the top of your body. The padding often extends around the biceps (top of the arm) to take the sting out of shots.
Wearing ice hockey shoulder pads (worn by outfield players) on top of the body pad is a great solution to this problem of missing padding on the shoulders. You will find a number of reflex orientated goalkeepers at international wearing them in conjunction with a body pad, providing adequate protection that they need for the upper body (which the chest pad does not cover).
Some hockey shops will sell ice hockey shoulder caps, and Mercian have gone as far as making their own version. Some on-line shops like the Hockey Factory Shop (www.hockeyfactoryshop.co.uk) stock ice hockey player’s shoulder pads, like the CCM and Reebok ranges. Again, Ebay is an idea, and you can find suitable first or second hand padding, by doing a search for “shoulder pads” in the ‘Ice Hockey section’ in the ‘Sporting goods’ area
Combine well with field hockey body pads
Add protection to vulnerable shoulder joints and upper body
Moderate, affordable costs
Harder to find – specialised stores
Potential to be bulky (depending on preferences/upper body strength)
Can limit arm protection at the shoulder cuff rotator muscle (but only slightly)