You look at your gloves and think to yourself: they still work. Even if your beer league buddies believe otherwise. The fact is you like those gloves. Or, perhaps, you don’t want to spend money on a new pair. Well, you might not have to.
You can repair hockey gloves by replacing the palm. You can buy a repair kit, send the gloves to a tailor, or you can take your gloves to a specialized workshop. The average cost of replacing the palm, known as repalming, is $35 to $50 per glove. Some brands like True offer gloves with replaceable palms.
There are upsides and downsides to repalming your gloves, depending on whether you play at a competitive level or just for recreation. Many players choose to do so, so read on and find out whether repairing hockey gloves is right for you.
What can you repair in a hockey glove?
Most of a glove’s repair happens in the palm. A glove’s palm is a leather or synthetic lining covering your hand and provides both protection and grip.
Another spot that frequently suffers damage is the finger gussets, which attach the glove to the palm.
To get your gloves repaired, you can take your gloves to specialized repair stores, send your gloves to their facilities for repairs, or buy a repair kit and do it yourself.
DIY Repair Kits
There are kits you can buy online that provide a replacement palm for your glove, such as True Z-Power Replacement Hockey Glove Palm and the Palmsaver, a small company from Buffalo, NY. In this case, you need to find a tailor or a local workshop that remove the worn-out palm and replace it with the new one, as it needs stitching.
Hockey Glove Repair Specialists
Some places are dedicated exclusively to glove repair, such as Hockey Menders. They usually evaluate the glove beforehand to guarantee that a job is feasible. While fees are usually flat, some brands like CCM have additional fees due to their construction.
Hockey Gear Repair Shops
Stores like Toronto Hockey Repair and George’s Hockey Repair not only work gloves but other items as well. Each store has specific shipping procedures, so be sure to check them before sending your equipment.
What is the cost of repairing a glove?
If you are sending your gloves for repair, you can expect to pay anything between $35 to $50 for replacing the palm, plus the cost of shipping if it were necessary. Some workshops charge extra for fixing details (such as holes on the cuff, back rolls, and fingers), and the prices range from $2 to $8 per fix.
When you only need to replace the finger gussets, they will cost from $8 to $25, and the cost varies because of the glove’s size and the extent of the damage.
Buying a repair kit can set you back from $10 to $20 depending on the material’s quality. You need to add the cost of labor when you take it to a workshop.
Patches can cost from $15 to $20, and you can apply them yourself. All you need to do is cut the desired shape and attach the glued end to the glove.
Why do gloves get damaged?
There are three main causes of damaged hockey gloves.
Your gloves are in constant contact with your stick, which, most likely, has grip tape. Grip tape is adhesive precisely so that it doesn’t fly out of your hand in the middle of a play. The adhesive surface sticks to the palm and causes deterioration over time.
Sweat can also damage hockey glove palms. If you don’t air your gloves frequently, moisture can build up in the gloves. It promotes the growth of fungus and weakens the palm lining, leading to tears and holes.
Wrong glove size
Though you might’ve not thought of this, your glove size also affects the damage, especially if your glove is too small. Your fingers continuously press against the gussets. Over time, these gussets can begin to wear out, especially if the material is of low quality, leading to holes.
Are there any drawbacks to repairing gloves?
Repairing your gloves might sound tempting. For $70 to $100, you can give your favorite gloves some new life, at about half the cost of high-end gloves. But there are some things you need to consider before doing so.
It could effect the feel
According to Pure Hockey, the first and most important aspect is that your gloves’ feel might change. You are replacing a factory designed palm with one that might not be the exact same size, so areas that used to fit perfectly might not feel right after the repair.
You’ll need a spare set if you have a game coming up
Another aspect to consider is your time. Sending your gloves for repairs might mean not having them for a couple of days, more if you have to send them by mail. If you play throughout the week, then this might not be an option for you.
Risk of a bad repair job
When sending your gloves to a workshop, you risk an unreliable repair. Always look for references to the specialist’s quality and reputation. The last thing you want after missing your gloves for days is a bad job.
It’s only a temporary fix
Finally, regarding patches, these are only temporary solutions and will wear out faster than a repalming. Also, consider that the adhesive in the patches might actually help in ripping the lining quicker.
Where can I repair hockey gloves?
Given that hockey equipment is expensive, many workshops are specializing in equipment repair, including gloves. In countries like the US and Canada, you can send your gloves to these stores through the mail.
People living overseas might not have specialized workshops, so they can expect to pay higher shipping costs due to the gloves’ size.
A shoe repair shop?
A surprising solution is with shoe repair shops. Any experienced shoe repairman can stitch it to the glove if you buy the replacement lining for your palms online.
Is repairing gloves worth the price?
According to equipment expert The Repair Guy, you might consider repairing gloves if you want to save money when it comes to kids’ and teens’ equipment.
If you won’t be keeping them for very long
Even though there are smaller, kids and youth gloves are still expensive. So, the idea of paying $100 per season might put off some parents and have them consider repairs.
If you don’t play that often
Another reason why repairing gloves might be right for you is that you don’t play that often. If your level isn’t competitive, then your gloves might last for longer and, if holes begin to appear, a repair might sound more logical than buying new ones.
While there is no limit to how many times you can repair a glove, repeated detaching and attaching palms could damage the surrounding material. In this case, you finally might have to break the bank and buy new gloves.
Do repaired gloves need breaking in?
As with new gloves, repaired gloves might feel stiff at first. These are gloves you’ve worn for a long time and have conformed to your hands, so a new piece of leather or synthetic palm is going to feel different.
You might draw some looks with this following tip, but wearing your gloves at home can help get that smooth feeling back. Wear them whenever possible; just be sure to wash your hands before and after using them to ensure cleanliness.
Steaming your gloves to break them in
According to the used equipment specialist Sideline Swap, you can break in new or repaired gloves by steaming them. Ideally, you want to place your gloves inside the steamer for no more than ten minutes so that enough moisture and heat seeps into your glove but not enough to damage the fabrics with heat.
After steaming the gloves, wait thirty seconds for them to cool off, then put them one and move your hands, fingers, and wrists for about ten minutes. This ensures all the material gets a good stretch.
Baking your gloves to break them in
An old-school method that manufacturers advise against is baking them, then using them just like with steaming. Given that gloves have plastic and fabric components inside, the risk of melting them or having them catch fire is high.
Are there alternatives to repairing a glove?
Repalming your glove isn’t the only solution. There are also patches made of the same material as the lining with an adhesive backing. Players can cut out the size they need and stick on to the damaged area for a very quick and easy fix.
While practical, there are downsides to patches. The main being that repeatedly removing the adhesive could damage the lining. Another disadvantage is that sweat and water can eventually remove the adhesive lining.
Manufacturers like True offer gloves with a replaceable palm, usually attached with a zipper. A player can remove the palm by unzipping it, either for replacement or for cleaning. The main disadvantage to replaceable palms is that the zippers might get damaged or rusted from sweat and use.
While a comfortable glove is crucial for your game, buying new ones frequently can burden your hockey finances. On the other hand, while repairs are cheaper, they can be more expensive than a new pair of gloves over time.
There are many variables behind choosing to repair a glove, from costs to practicality. The alternatives in this article can help you decide whether to extend your gloves’ life.