The following is a guest equipment review written by Mark Russo.
The saying “What once was old is new again” certainly applies to the hockey glove category these days. While styles of gloves in recent years have moved to more ergonomic and streamlined looks, there has also been a movement among hockey purists to return to the basic, old-school designs that many of us grew up using, while still providing some of the enhanced safety built into the newer styles.
Bauer (formerly Nike-Bauer Hockey) first introduced their version of the classic 4 roll glove in 2008, and their newest version in 2009 is exactly what the hockey purist and safety conscious player will love.
One of the first things you will notice about the Bauer 4 Roll is the room to move within the glove, while still providing consistent fit. While many of the ergonomic gloves are made to fit the hand and its shape while holding a stick, they fall short on overall comfort and have a tight feel that makes stick handling and natural hand movement difficult at times. The Bauer 4 Roll gives the freedom to allow the hand to move without feeling restrictive, yet not so much room that the glove feels loose.
Flexibility and Palm Durability
In addition, the flexibility of the glove is outstanding – the Bauer 4 Roll allows you to open your hand up wide without having to force the glove open, making it feel like a part of your hand when you have to grab a stick on the ice – or a part of your opponent’s jersey. The palms are a nash-clarino material that is extremely comfortable and provides excellent feel. However, players that tape the shafts of their sticks for grip will find that the palms will pick up a good deal of wear on the top hand, so be prepared for the black marks (if using black tape) and more wear overall in comparison to other types of palm material like goatskin (used by CCM).
Padding and Protection
The padding in the Bauer 4 Roll is professional grade, with solid thumb and wrist protection in addition to reinforced finger padding. Each roll has an insert just under the fabric that provides protection without sacrificing flexibility in the glove. Having taken a couple of slashes and pucks off of the hands, I can tell you that these gloves pass the impact test with flying colors while still remaining very lightweight.
Depending on their level of play, the player should weigh the cost-benefit of the Bauer 4 Roll against what type of protection they are looking for in a glove. But having worn the CCM Pro Tacks gloves as well as the RBK 9K gloves, the Bauer 4 Roll is as good as anything on the market. Retailing for $94.99 in most places on-line, the Bauer 4 Roll is not cheap, but succeeds in providing NHL-level protection, outstanding mobility, excellent stick feel, and classic, old-school looks.
Where to Buy the Bauer 4 Roll Gloves Online
A little while back, we had a request to compile our hockey skate reviews into one article.
That has turned out well and we have received a great deal of feedback from readers saying that they appreciate being able to find what they are looking for by comparing the top models and brands all from one article.
Therefore, we have decided to bring all of our hockey stick reviews into one place as well. We hope that you find this collection of reviews useful.
You can find good deals on these and other hockey sticks at Total Hockey.net
What to Do With Your Old Sticks
We would also like to remind you that there are great ways to recycle your old hockey sticks.