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I have to say I'm fascinated by the amount of goalies in these True goal skates given recent influx complaints about their quality & durability issues. I know goalies don't get paid anymore like they used to and certainly don't get any money for wearing a company's skates because it's tucked underneath.

The days of the Eddy mask, Bauer skates, Cooper pads, Sher-Wood stick, Brian's blocker and Vaughn glove are long over. And to be honest I'm kinna happy about that. And yeah we see lots of pro guys wearing glove, blocker and pads all the same brand even if there are a couple stragglers...talking about you Cory Schneider...

I dunno any goalie - pro or not that wears everything one brand. Heck, Fleury is still wearing his Itech neck guard. How important is brand loyalty to YOU? I don't want this thread to turn into everyone posting a list of everything in their bag but I really am curious to see if there is anyone who truly has everything one brand. Skates to mask and everything in between. I mean I certainly don't because I used Vaughn and those masks are....ugh.. Which also begs the question, can one brand really do it all on it's own?

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It's helpful for your inquiry to point out that this would only be possible with 3 companies: CCM, Bauer, and Vaughn. 

No other company could outfit a goalie head to toe 100%...as far as I can tell.

I have substantial brand loyalty for gloves and pads and skates.  For anything else I'm open to change and easily open to new things 

Edited by seagoal

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The true issue is interesting and I'm going to bet that they don't switch because they're not paying the bill.  Who cares if their skates don't last, just have a new pair waiting in their locker.  Also look how many guys are still using cowlings.  We have to do one of the most insane and meticulous creatures of habit.  How long has CCM quick motion and elastic strapping been out... But strapzilla Hellebuyck just switched this off season.

I think you see it more and more, guys moving away from what they know to trying something new and different.  With the advancements in sliding materials new guys in Bauer (Talbot and Andersen) and Brians (Dipeitro) plus Quicks huge gear update.  The whole chestie revolution last year (Kenesky being a legit NHL brand) was another good example.  Look at how many guys are still using modded older units.

I am a Warrior fan boy, but I just moved to a 2X Pro chest.... LOVE IT.  Does that mean I'm moving head to toe Bauer... Heck no.  And I really don't see the brand confusion guys (Schneider, Allen, Koskinen and Miller to name a new) caring.  I'm also tempted to go with Warrior Pads, Brians Glove and Bauer Blocker... Screw looks and head to toe matchy matchy... Graphics and looks don't stop pucks...

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For no good reason beyond aesthetics - which is inherently subjective - I like having the "branding is highly visible" stuff (pads and gloves) be the same colours and brand. While the stick is also visible, I don't care that much about it - as long as it has complimentary colour(s) to the pads and gloves. I have this with my Brian's stuff, but after that it descends into a mish-mash of what was on sale, what made sense at PIAS, etc.

Of course the day that a manufacturer signs me up (any day now, I'm certain), I'll wear all of their stuff no problem!

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Since I got my custom set from Warrior, I've noticed that I've become pretty snobbish on other brands. I found a pair of Ritual pants in royal blue so I bought em, even though my Bauer pair is great (albeit slightly too big). I also replaced a perfectly serviceable Koho cup with the new X2. I like the idea of matching head to toe, even if it's slightly detrimental to performance (I don't catch as many pucks with my G4 glove as I did with Rbk 580 or Brian's GNetik II gloves used in the past). I'm in Warrior everything except for mask and skates, but it's starting to bother me that I've become so close-minded. 

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I've never been overly picky about brand, having worn stuff from virtually every MFG over the years.  There are a few that have stood out though:

Vaughn:  They make either the best or worst feeling glove on the rack.   I LOVE LOVE LOVE the T3500/5500 series, strongly disliked the Velocity pancake gloves, love the VE8 2 piece, HATE the new SLR2, etc...  I can't think of a Vaughn catch glove in the last 20 years I've tried on and said "meh".

Brians:  Pretty much everything from Brian's has been bombproof.  From my Gnetik 5.0 pads to the various gloves I tried my Brian's gear has been fantastically made and amazingly durable.  

Warrior:  My O.G. robot arms C/A was a bit of a mixed bag.  Some of the materials didn't wear well, but the customer service from Warrior was absolutely outstanding when the elbow floater broke (sent me a free replacement years out of warranty and expedited shipping so I didn't have to play another game with the damaged floater).  So far the fit/finish on my R/GT2 set has been significantly better and having Kirk around to answer questions is a huge plus.  While I was debating which direction to go on my set he was a great resource and did a lot to put my mind at ease

CCM:  There was a warranty issue with the palm of my EF4 blocker and CCM was incredibly helpful along the way.  I haven't loved my EF4's the way I do my R/GT2s but if I didn't have a basis for comparison I think I'd be really happy with them.   I'd consider buying CCM again based on the customer service alone.

One negative was Simmons.  They absolutely SCREWED me on a purchase made over the phone in the early 90's and when I reached out to them to let them know I was told that they had shipped exactly what their rep had written down and that I'd have to pay shipping to return the glove to them AND shipping for the correct glove to be sent to me.   As a high school kid who'd saved up for several months to buy the glove that just wasn't an option.   Instead I spent years letting everyone know what a pack of shady A-holes they were.  I'm sure that over the years I cost them far more money than the $20 or so that fixing their error would have cost them and I was happy to see their knock-off garbage finally out of the game last year.  Long story short, they weren't good at picking their battles and I'm stunned they lasted as long as they did with the way they operated. 

We're lucky to live in a time where there are a wide range of options and I stress this to customers who come into the store i work at.  Brand loyalty is great if you have a reason, but far too many people come in and by Bauer because Hank wears it, or CCM because Bob rocks it, etc...

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55 minutes ago, Puckstopper said:

Brand loyalty is great if you have a reason

^^This

All it takes is for you to have a good streak of getting the better quality goods that come out from a company to stay loyal.  I'm sure there are actually a lot of well built skates coming out of True, and the people who have them love them and can't understand how other people hate them.  Also the way you use it might differ from someone else and it might last you longer so you have a better opinion of it.  

I was, at one point, head to toe Bauer.  The only reason I switched anything was realizing their pants just aren't the right cut for how I like them, so got some Vaughns and love them.  And their masks just don't fit me off the shelf, so got a Masked Marvel and love it.  I didn't have durability issues with my 1S set so was comfortable upgrading to 2S.  Ever since the One100 sticks I've had good durability so I keep using those because I have the flexibility to pick them up when they get discounted the tiny amount they ever do.  

But if I had a puck break through my boot break or the skin of the pad just wear away in less than a year, I would be turned off by it.  Just like in my small sample of demoing Brian's gear, I didn't like the look of the finish on their blocker (puffy skin like too much material was used) and their straps were already fraying apart on the pads. They played well and I see why people love them, but even an equivalent quality new product won't necessarily trump consistent good experiences with your old ones.

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I think there's three camps of goalies and how they view gear:

1. Guys that aren't too particular and use whatever works/they're used to.

2. Guys that are extremely brand loyal to a fault  (see this with younger goalies mostly)

3. Guys that are willing to switch brands without too much hesitation.

#2 is an interesting one to me as it shows how impactful successful marketing is. Especially to the kids. How many kids are using CCM because of Price? How many kids switched to Bauer everything because it was touted as the latest and greatest?

Those companies have laid such a huge foundation to curate a "for-life" customer in these kids. As they grow up and become less feverish about the brand they wear, they'll turn into #1's and won't switch as they've spend a large amount of their life using a very familiar feeling set of gear. 

That leads me into #3. Are the #3's mostly made of guys who have tons of access to free gear to try? Are they guys like us picking up being a goalie later in life and aren't as entrenched in a particular feel?

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Do you guys tend to like goalies in the NHL better when they are in the same brand of gear as you?  I realize that if the answer is YES this might very well be putting the cart before the horse.  This is certainly the case for me.  My favorite goalies are all Vaughn or CCM guys and I tend to easily overlook and not get into Bauer or Brian's guys.

Sorry Warrior guys.....

@coopaloop1234 I'm like a hybrid of 1 and 2.  My first pair of pads and mitts as a 15 year old were Vaughn and that momentum just carried throughout my life, especially since I have never had easy access to get my hands on goalie gear until later in life.  To this day I have never done a testing of 2 or more brands on a given day, so it's impossible for me to test Vaughn next to anything else.  That said, being a regular on here allows me access to see and learn about gear in a way that most goalies never get.  So I have some ideas about pros and cons and features of other companies and with that I know how likely I would be to land in another brand, CCM being the best chance.  In fact, I've been shopping for the perfect set of EF4s to have as a second set on Sidelineswap for some time now.

That urge would most likely not exist were I not on here...let alone how easy it is to see EF4s in action every single night on NHL TV.

Edited by seagoal

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Aside from wanting all of your gear to match - and I don't really care as long as mine are in the same color schemes - I think a large part of it comes from how most people order gear sight unseen online or over the phone. Most people don't have the luxury to try on every permutation of every brand's new offerings, so they go by 1) the continuation of what they currently have because it works for them or 2) decide to stay or switch based on reviews from people who got early access and "reviews" from the online goalie magazines and gear sites.

I'm in a whole mish-mash of stuff, specifically because I had the good fortune of being in Dallas for work one week, so I could go the goaliemonkey store there and spend however long I wanted to trying on every bit of gear to see what I felt was most comfortable. Here is my current list:

Head: Sportmask Mage RS. I'm a person of below-average height, and the shorter length of the chin is perfect for me. I also really like the sightlines with the cheater cage; it feels like it disappears in front of your eyes when you look through it. Also using an EcoProFoam neckguard, because I prefer the flexible foam feeling over the stiffer PAW/Kova versions.

C/A: Warrior R\GT2. This thing is a tank. The arms are very comfortable, as well. Not the lightest unit in the world, but very flexible out of the box and very protective everywhere. I wear it untucked.

Pants: Vaughn PVE8. Great design, very comfortable. I tried on the CCM premier pants and they were way too stiff for me. The Vaughn SLR2 pants are similar to the PVE8, but have an internal belt. I don't like the internal belt, so I went with the PVE8. Cup is also a Vaughn - I like the cutout on top, which means it doesn't dig into your stomach area as you bend forward in your stance. Warrior makes a good cup, but the top portion was too large to be comfortable for me.

Blocker: Bauer 2X. I was not a fan of my old Warrior R\G3 blocker because the board broke after less than a year of use, and I found the finger protection interfered with my stick too much (that said, it is the most protective finger protection I've seen on a blocker). Of the blockers I tried on, the 2X was the most comfortable and well-balanced on my hand.

Glove: Warrior R\GT2. Huge pocket, super protective, incredibly comfortable.

Leg Pads: CCM EFlex4. Again the luxury of being able to try on every pad in the store. Coming from Brian's Optiks ((FLX)), these were the best feeling pads to me. I tried on also: Warrior R\GT2 (expected to like it, but hated how they felt), Vaughn SLR2 (incredible heavy feeling), Bauer 2S and 2X (way too stiff for me). If the new CCM pad can combine the flex profile of the EFlex4 with the rounded medial roll and angled calf landing of the Premier line, it may be the absolute perfect pad for me.

Skates: True 2-Piece. Coming from a pair of old Graf skates, the stock True skates were as comfortable when I first put my foot in them. The custom ones I have now, even more so. I absolutely hated the tongues on the Bauer skates, and they were not comfortable, either. The CCM AS1 skates felt good, but the cowling was too large for the boot in the small sized skates I needed.

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7 minutes ago, seagoal said:

Do you guys tend to like goalies in the NHL better when they are in the same brand of gear as you?  I realize that if the answer is YES this might very well be putting the cart before the horse.  This is certainly the case for me.  My favorite goalies are all Vaughn or CCM guys and I tend to easily overlook and not get into Bauer or Brian's guys.

Sorry Warrior guys.....

Interesting - I think I'm sorta the opposite for some reason: my fav goalie is Price, but I tend to be "meh" about CCM, and sometimes I downright dislike it.

I do very much like Brian's, but I really dislike Anderson/Ottawa Sens - and he was rocking a sweet Brian's setup last year.

I think the Bauer stuff looks terrible, and can't get behind any NHL goalie wearing that.

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Just now, Lucky Pucker said:

Interesting - I think I'm sorta the opposite for some reason: my fav goalie is Price, but I tend to be "meh" about CCM, and sometimes I downright dislike it.

I do very much like Brian's, but I really dislike Anderson/Ottawa Sens - and he was rocking a sweet Brian's setup last year.

I think the Bauer stuff looks terrible, and can't get behind any NHL goalie wearing that.

I'm with you for the the latter 2/3s of that post :)

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I wonder how much cost plays into this as well. If you can't afford brand new gear and are having to purchase used, are you just looking for the cheapest option, or are you still brand conscious but on a budget?

I currently don't have brand loyalty, I think its more brand avoidance, but even that is less of a factor these days. When Reebok started making equipment, I was totally against it. I understand that it was still the folks at CCM behind it all, but the logo alone was a turn off. I'm sure they realized the loss of the core audience and that's one of the reasons to go back to CCM, or maybe I haven't a clue.

I'm at the point now where I've found what works for me in some cases, and I like it. Over the last year or so, I've tried a lot of things second-hand, and its helped me decide what works, without having put a lot of money into it. I found a Boddam glove to try out because it looked like the old Vaughn V1 I had, and it was great. So much so, that I ordered a custom one. I got a good deal on barely used Kenesky pads, they are awesome. I also got a great deal on a set of Pro Genetiks that were fairly well used, and those are great too, so I thought upgrading to the Genetik 3's would be smart, but I didn't like them.

If it isn't obvious already, I don't have loyalty to a brand, but if I find something I like, I'll invest more into it, but I doesn't have to match who made the rest of my gear. When I play, I'm in six different brands.

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1 minute ago, seagoal said:

I'm with you for the the latter 2/3s of that post :)

Full disclosure - my views on Bauer may be ever so slightly tainted by a messy break up between my sister and her ex, who worked for Bauer, and did SFA to help me, save for offering a pair of Reactor 4000 pads (2013 release) months after I had started playing in 2018. Pffft - Bauer.

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1 hour ago, coopaloop1234 said:

I think there's three camps of goalies and how they view gear:

1. Guys that aren't too particular and use whatever works/they're used to.

2. Guys that are extremely brand loyal to a fault  (see this with younger goalies mostly)

3. Guys that are willing to switch brands without too much hesitation.

As always, Coop simplifies the thoughts of the thread.

I think #1 is the most interesting... how many guys are total gear nuts like us and say "I used the Vaughn Velocity when it came out, if it ain't broke."  I can say I've been that way with skates... Bauer for the longest time, brief trials/demo of Graf and CCM/Koho, but now back to Bauer.

I wonder sometimes how wonderful life would be living in "green happy auto mode" (think cameras where "AUTO" does all the thinking for you) and ignorance was bliss when it came to gear.  Rather than over thinking and analyzing each purchase you make.

I definitely am a firm 2... Long time Smith user but after Pete moved to Warrior I was unsure of the off shore product and "big company" issues that plagued the gear market at that time.  I really liked the personal service I got from Pete.  After dabbling with Boddam and Passau (trying to stay faithful to smaller companies) I went back into Smith/Warrior.  For the last 3 seasons I've had thoughts of switching brands (Bauer, Brians, Kenesky and JRZ) I still can't quit my Warrior set.

And @seagoal the only time I went for a straight NHL goalie copy was in the mid 2000s when I got a set of Bauer Supreme Pros, only because Cujo debuted these bad boys... I was a TPS guy like him prior (with Bauer Reactor mixed in as well) and made the move.  Still miss that set.

image.png.44123e2c4f10b2150112fa6ac2d561ca.png

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11 minutes ago, cwarnar said:

image.png.44123e2c4f10b2150112fa6ac2d561ca.png

Such a great example of the "bookends" (I heard that term used once for this asymmetrical design) style pad. I think it works best when only two colors are used throughout the entire setup.

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I wear all Warrior with the exception of their neck guard. Not because I’m loyal to the brand but because their stuff works for me. I’ve tried other brands and nothing has been able to compare. I have the mentality that I’m willing to test anything out and if it works I’ll keep using it. I was against having no leather straps for a long time but then I tried leg pads like the G4 and the 2X. I was also against loose feeling pads for awhile but one day for practice I just said screw it and wore my Vaughn pads super loose. I loved it.

At the same time I’ll resist change. If something works for me I won’t mess with it. I’m one of the few goalies my age who’s yet to switch to a composite stick and also one of the few who still has cowlings. 

While some may say I’m defending my brand loyalty here it’s all about what works. 

Apologies if any or all of that was confusing. I was in the middle of my first mental breakdown in years due to school. If you have any questions please ask them. I need to take my mind off of things.

Edited by ThatCarGuy

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3 minutes ago, ThatCarGuy said:

I wear all Warrior with the exception of their neck guard. Not because I’m loyal to the brand but because their stuff works for me. I’ve tried other brands and nothing has been able to compare. I have the mentality that I’m willing to test anything out and if it works I’ll keep using it. I was against having no leather straps for a long time but then I tried leg pads like the G4 and the 2X. I was also against loose feeling pads for awhile but one day for practice I just said screw it and wore my Vaughn pads super loose. I loved it.

At the same time I’ll resist change. If something works for me I won’t mess with it. I’m one of the few goalies my age who’s yet to switch to a composite stick and also one of the few who still has cowlings. 

While some may say I’m defending my brand loyalty here it’s all about what works. 

Liar.

You don't wear Warrior skates or a Warrior mask ;)

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I suppose the most brand loyal I am is to Step Blades. They don’t take much to get a nice edge, are straight out of the box (from my experience) and are always nicely finished, along with other great features. 

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3 hours ago, coopaloop1234 said:

I think there's three camps of goalies and how they view gear:

1. Guys that aren't too particular and use whatever works/they're used to.

2. Guys that are extremely brand loyal to a fault  (see this with younger goalies mostly)

3. Guys that are willing to switch brands without too much hesitation.

#2 is an interesting one to me as it shows how impactful successful marketing is. Especially to the kids. How many kids are using CCM because of Price? How many kids switched to Bauer everything because it was touted as the latest and greatest?

Those companies have laid such a huge foundation to curate a "for-life" customer in these kids. As they grow up and become less feverish about the brand they wear, they'll turn into #1's and won't switch as they've spend a large amount of their life using a very familiar feeling set of gear. 

That leads me into #3. Are the #3's mostly made of guys who have tons of access to free gear to try? Are they guys like us picking up being a goalie later in life and aren't as entrenched in a particular feel?

I agree particularly with this that marketing plays a HUGE factor in gear selection, from there it's access to it (to try it on, etc.), cost / durability. As a kid, I mix-matched a lot, until I started getting full sets. The mix match phase I felt like was my really young years of playing because I was always growing out of equipment. I wore everything from Heaton/CCM to Brian's, Vaughn, Koho, etc.

After I got a full set of Vaughn, I stayed pretty true until I got out of hockey a while ago. Just getting back into it I'm finding CCM gear pretty accessible and affordable/durable for the price. 

I'm currently fully outfitted in CCM except stick, and under gear stuff. I'll compare my list of what I used to wear 11years ago too below. I have a set of EF4's on order but following that, I look forward to trying out a set of Brian's Optik 2's.

I think I'll keep my c/a, pants the same for some time. The only thing I'll consider changing is helmet (seems to be a lot of new options) and skates between Bauer/CCM's - miss Graf's personally. 

Head: CCM Pro   /  11yrs ago: Reidic

C/A: CCM Extreme Flex Shield II    /  11yrs ago: Koho 590

Pants: CCM Premier Pro. Got rid of the Shield II's, didn't like the tapered top.   /  11yrs ago: Tackla

Blocker:  CCM Premier Pro II    /  11yrs ago: Vaughn V2

Glove: CCM Premier Pro II    /  11yrs ago: Vaughn V2

Leg Pads: CCM Premier Pro I    /  11yrs ago: Vaughn V2

Skates: CCM Tacks    /   11yrs ago: Graf's

Jock/Knee Pads: Bauer    /   11yrs ago: Bauer

Stick: Warrior CR1   /  11yrs ago: Sher-wood

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2 hours ago, seagoal said:

Liar.

You don't wear Warrior skates or a Warrior mask ;)

If they made them as great as all their other pieces of gear I bet I would 😉

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Just now, ThatCarGuy said:

If they made them as great as all their other pieces of gear I bet I would 😉

That's fair.

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2 hours ago, seagoal said:

Liar.

You don't wear Warrior skates or a Warrior mask ;)

11 minutes ago, ThatCarGuy said:

If they made them as great as all their other pieces of gear I bet I would 😉

Not totally confirmed, but a Warrior employee did tell me that masks are debuting in 2020. Also with them being owned by New Balance (and the category being a pretty big money maker), you have to wonder if skates are coming at some point.

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