Lacrosse Goalie Gear Guide

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Finding the right gear is important for every position in lacrosse. 

For goalies that stand between the pipes and face shots pushing 100 mph game after game, however, finding the right gear is absolutely crucial.

Goalies depend on their gear to both keep them safe and stop the other team from putting points on the board.

With so many options for lacrosse goalies out there, though, it can be hard to decide which equipment is the best.

To help you find the best goalie gear for your personal situation, this guide goes over our top picks for all of the essential lacrosse goalie equipment.

If you are interested in a specific piece of equipment, you can click one of the links below to go to our full guide. If you want to see all of the required and optional goalie equipment—as well as our top picks for each—keep reading.

Lacrosse Goalie Gear Guides:

Table of Contents

Required Equipment for Lacrosse Goalies

Below you can see our top picks for required lacrosse goalie gear including heads, shafts, complete sticks (if you don't want to buy individual heads and shafts), helmets, throat protectors, gloves, and chest protectors.

Note that you will also need to wear cleats or turf shoes and a mouthpiece. You can see our favorite lacrosse cleats here. We have not yet reviewed mouthpieces, so we don't highlight specific options in this guide, but your generic mouthpiece from a sporting goods store should be fine.

Goalie Heads

Aside from your protective equipment, your goalie head is perhaps the most important piece of equipment. It has to be strong enough to withstand deflections while being light enough that it doesn't slow you down. Here are our highest-rated goalie heads:

1) STX Eclipse 2

Details

  • Weight: 11.6 oz
  • Throat Design: Ergonomic throat optimized for better grip
  • # Stringing Holes: Above-average
  • Year Released: 2017

2) StringKing Mark 2G

Details

  • Weight: 10.9 oz
  • Throat Design: Standard (no special grip)
  • # Stringing Holes: Many
  • Year Released: 2020

3) Warrior Nemesis 3

Details

  • Weight: 11.3 oz
  • Throat Design: Standard (no special grip)
  • # Stringing Holes: Above-average
  • Year Released: 2019

Goalie Shafts

Much like your head, your goalie shaft has to be strong enough so it doesn't break if when it's hit by shots, yet light enough that you can move it quickly to make those last-second saves.

Our highest-rated goalie shafts, which you can see below, include both metal and carbon fiber options. You can learn more about the differences between the two in our full goalie shafts guide.

1) StringKing Metal 3 Pro Goalie

Drip Level: 5/5

StringKing Metal 3 Pro Goalie

Details

  • Material: Metal alloy
  • Length: 36″
  • Weight: 5.01 or 5.71 oz
  • Shape: Slight concave
  • Grip/Finish: Sandblasted finish
  • Colors: Silver, Black
  • Warranty: 6 months

2) ECD Carbon Pro 2.0 Goalie

Drip Level: 5/5

ECD Carbon Pro 2.0 Goalie

Details

  • Material: Carbon fiber composite
  • Length: 36″
  • Weight: 5.64 oz
  • Shape: Concave
  • Grip/Finish: Raised texture top third of shaft 
  • Colors: White, Black
  • Warranty: 6 months

3) StringKing Composite Pro Goalie

Details

  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Length: 36″
  • Weight: 5.01 – 5.71 oz
  • Shape: Slight concave
  • Grip/Finish: Smooth
  • Colors: Black, White
  • Warranty: 6 months

Complete Goalie Sticks

Many young players and beginners use complete sticks since it's easier to buy one instead of a separate head and shaft. I do recommend that more advanced players buy individual heads and shafts since you can customize your stick more to your preferences.

If you would prefer to buy a complete goalie stick, however, here are our top picks:

1) STX Eclipse 2 Complete Goalie Stick

  • Brand: STX
  • Head: Eclipse 2
  • Shaft: Outlet
  • Key features:
    • The Eclipse 2 is one of the most popular goalie heads in high school and college
    • Head includes many stringing holes for a variety of pocket designs
    • The Outlet shaft is designed specifically for goalies

2) STX Shield 100 Strung Lax Goalie Stick

  • Brand: STX
  • Head: Shield 100
  • Shaft: 6000 series
  • Key features:
    • Includes the Shield 100—the budget goalie head made by STX
    • The included shaft is attack/middie size at 30 inches.

Goalie Helmets

Goalie helmets aren't actually any different than field players' helmets except that they require a throat protector (see the next section for those). Regardless, the best helmets for field players are also the most protective, so they make great options for goalies too.

1) Cascade XRS

Best Goalie Helmet for Adults (Men & Women)

Cascade is easily the most recognized helmet brand in lacrosse and the XRS is their current darling (as well as our best overall lacrosse helmet). Comfortable. Customizable. Secure.

2) Cascade S Youth

Best Youth Goalie Helmet

The Cascade S Youth is the top option for younger players (typically 11 & under) from the best lacrosse helmet manufacturer.

>> See all of the best goalie helmets (including budget options)

Goalie Throat Protectors

As mentioned above, goalies are required to wear throat protectors that attach to their helmets to provide extra protection for their necks. These attach to helmets very easily and are typically very lightweight, yet strong. Here are our favorite options:

1) Cascade TP-S Goalie Throat Protector

The TP-S Throat Protector from Cascade is a sturdy, reliable dangler that covers a much wider area of your neck compared to other products on the market.

The actual material used is hidden in the same vault as the Colonel’s fried chicken recipe, but, based on goalie feedback, this is a durable piece of equipment that should hold up well no matter how many shots it takes.

2) Cascade TPC2 Throat Protector

Drip Level: 4.6/5

Cascae TPC2 throat protector

The TPC2 is another quality throat protector from Cascade but is a bit cheaper. It is a pretty straightforward protector with not many frills to go over other than its affordability.

The TPC2 is cheaper for a reason. Users note the flimsier material compared to its more expensive counterpart in addition to less coverage area.

>> See all of the best goalie throat protectors (including how to attach them)

Goalie Gloves

Goalie gloves are very similar to normal lacrosse gloves except that they provide extra protection—especially around the thumbs which often are hit by shots. Our top-rated lacrosse goalie gloves below are exceptional at providing protection without sacrificing mobility.

1) Maverik Max Lacrosse Goalie Glove

  • Colors: Black, Grey, White
  • Features:
    • Increased thumb protection to a normal glove
    • Extra padding at the back of hand
    • DuraStretch panels for flexibility and comfort
    • Increased moisture and cooling tech
    • Suede palms for improved stick feel and control

2) Maverik M5 Goalie Glove

Drip Level: 4.8/5

Maverik M5 Goalie Glove

Key Details

  • Colors: White, Black, Gray
  • Key Features:
    • TorqueLoc 2 tech for superior thumb protection
    • Ax Suede palm for a durable soft and natural feel
    • Increased airflow and moisture protection
    • Adjustable Cuff for a customizable fit

3) Warrior Nemesis Pro Goalie Glove

Drip Level: 4.6/5

Warrior Nemesis Pro Goalie Gloves

Key Details

  • Colors: Black, White
  • Key Features:
    • Lock-Thumb provides improved flexibility and feel
    • D30 foam built in the thumb and fingers
    • IMPAX foam along the knuckles
    • Authentic Pro Palm+ for maximum feel

>> See all of the best goalie gloves (including budget options)

Goalie Chest Protectors

Chest protectors are probably the second most important piece of equipment for lacrosse goalies after helmets. They protect your heart, ribs, and other vital body parts from those hard shots you'll be facing in goal. The following chest pads all meet the NOSCAE ND200 standard that is required for 2021.

1) STX Shield 600 Chest Protector

Key Details

  • Floating chest plate for freedom of movement
  • Low profile design for flexibility and mobility
  • Stretch areas to free your arms

2) Maverik Max EKG Goalie Chest Pad

Key Details

  • Progressive design for mobility without bunching
  • External Kardiac Guard (EKG) NOCSAE approved padding
  • Quickdry tech to wick away moisture

3) Warrior Nemesis Pro 19 Chest Pad

Key Details

  • Impax foam chest plate for reinforced protection
  • Three-piece chest pad construction for mobility
  • Adjustable fit system to prioritize protection or flexibility

Cups

No, we are not talking about cups you drink water out of (at least I hope!). While some field players elect to avoid this below-the-belt protection, goalies should absolutely wear one. Getting hit in that area by a hard shot can cause serious, lasting injuries and other issues. Trust me on this one: WEAR A CUP! 

Warrior Goalie Nutt Hutt Tool Box

If you are looking for max protection in the cage (which you should be!) look no further than the Warrior Goalie Nutt Hutt. It features a dual-injected ABS plastic cup, EVA foam side bumpers, and an adjustable waist strap to make sure you have the perfect, secure fit.

Optional Equipment for Lacrosse Goalies

Many lacrosse goalies choose to wear/use additional equipment to help product them more or improve their game.

Below, you can see some extra gear you may want to consider including arm pads, shin guards, goalie pants/shorts, knee pads, goalie mesh, and lacrosse bags.

Arms Pads

Given that lacrosse goalies' arms are so close to their shafts and heads, it's not uncommon for their arms to get hit by balls. Because of this, some goalies choose to wear arm pads. While these surely provide more protection, they probably slow goalies down the most since they restrict range of motion at the elbow.

If you don't mind this reduced mobility, you can see our highest-rated arm protection for each size—arm guards (largest), arm pads (middle), and elbow pads (smallest)—at the link below.

Shin Guards

Even a soft pass hitting your shins can hurt a ton—much less a hard shot. Many goalies opt to wear shin guards for extra protection in the cage, though they aren't required. Look for a pair that doesn't limit your mobility too much so you can still make those last-second kick saves.

Goalie Pants or Shorts

There are some lacrosse goalie pants that provide extra padding in your thigh area much like football pants. These can help protect your legs without limiting movement too much. Many also have slots for your cup.

Goalie Mesh

Goalie mesh is completely different than mesh for other players since goalie heads are so much bigger. Goalie mesh usually has 12 diamonds (in the even-numbered rows) and they are much bigger than traditional mesh. 

Here are some options to consider:

Lacrosse Bags

Lacrosse bags and backpacks make it easy to carry your gear to practices and games. You can see our top-rated bag and backpack below, as well links to our full guides.

Best Lacrosse Bag: STX Challenger Lacrosse Equipment Bag

Key Details

  • Dimensions: 36”L x 12”H x 11”D
  • Colors: Black
  • Stick Holders: Yes, for multiple sticks
  • Other Key Features: Large main compartment, small accessories pocket, separate pocket for cleats, two different size options.
  • Warranty: 30 days

Best Lacrosse Backpack: Lacrosse Unlimited Overtime Backpack

Drip Level: 5/5

Lacrosse Unlimited Backpack

Key Details

  • Dimensions: 25″H x 17″W x 6″D
  • Colors: Black Camo, Grey Camo, Navy Camo, Tan Camo
  • Stick Holders: 2 (one on each side)
  • Key Features: Additional back straps, water bottle holder
  • Warranty: 30 days

Resources for Lacrosse Goalies

Here are some of my favorite resources for lacrosse goalies. If you have any suggestions for additions, please let me know in the comments below!

  • Lax Goalie Rat: Coach Damon over at Lax Goalie Rat has a blog, podcast, e-books, and much more all specifically for lacrosse goalies. You can everything from how to perfect your stance in cage to workouts to improve your reaction time to how to communicate with your defenders.
  • Lax Goalie Network: The guys over at Lax Goalie Network offer online training programs, in-person events, and more.
  • How to Train Like a Pro feat. Scott Rodgers (video): This PLL video goes over key training drills and tips to help you make more saves and be a better leader in the cage.
 
Photo credit: Flickr

Dave

Dave is the founder of Lax Drip. In his 15+ years of playing lacrosse, he always had trouble figuring out which gear to buy without a reliable and trustworthy gear review site—so he created the resource he always wished he had. Dave has played lacrosse at the high school, college, and adult levels and continues to play to this day.

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