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I'd say get him the brand he wants  because if he's happy and proud of his gear he'll take better care of it and be a happier goalie in it. 

My thought for a kid is the most important thing is proper size.  I imagine it's tempting to buy big with the idea of growing into the pads (I'm not a parent), but pads that are too big will be way restrictive and prevent him from skating, the most important part of hockey, and playing goalie well.

Despite this beautiful gear, these pads are way too big, for example.  There's no way this kid is agile and mobile enough to play his best.


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Hey @Spit72

My kids are 7 and 5, and I agree with the "happy kid" approach, provided that it does not come at the expense of his safety, of course.

That being said, I don't think that durability should be a major consideration in buying what works for your kid; if you size it properly, like @seagoal quite correctly points out, he will outgrow them before wearing them out (unless your 9 year old is on the ice 5-7 times a week, facing teenage shooters, with no backup...?) When you're done, you can put it up on a forum to sell, or bring it to PIAS (or US equivalent?). Heck, you can maybe even go the used route from the get go. Selection at used sporting goods stores can be jaw-dropping for the under-13 section. And it makes sense: consider how many "my Little Johnny wants to be a goalie" stories start with buying a bunch of crazy expensive gear, only to end in "my little Johnny hates goalie," and the parents dumping all the hardly used gear.

More generally, I think durability is a bit exaggerated in gear discussions, and is really a genuine consideration for only a precious few; even as a 40 year old, if I go buy new gear, and explain away the cost to my wife as being the trade off for better durability, this will not preclude me from trying to buy a replacement in a year  or two - LOL!

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