Usage time: 1 month
Price: I paid $200 for the set
Retail: $249Blocker, $329Catcher
BlockerHistory: CCM Blockade Senior, Simmons 993, Smith 6000, Warrior Messiah, Reebok Larceny, Simmons 997, Vaughn V4 (in the future).
I will eventually add the catching glove to this review, but for the time being I don’t feel like I have enough ice time with quality players to give it a fair assessment. The blocker on the other hand I feel comfortable sharing my experiences as well as tying them with my experiences with the 993 I had before.
Initial Thoughts: I had tried this blocker on at the Simmons store before, but never really took a good look at it, when I got this I noticed the similarities between it and a Vaughn V3/V4 blocker as well as a cuff similar to the Reebok Premier/XLT series. The blocker seems pretty lightweight and is perhaps the lightest of all of my blockers (I have never weighed them, just going by feel on my hand). The glove is well made and seems to use high quality materials.
Fit: It has 1 adjustable strap and laces tied at the top of the cuff. I don’t believe adjusting the tied laces would affect fit in an significant manner and I believe it is just there for the construction of the glove. The single strap across the wrist never felt like it held my hand in place, it kept my wrist from moving but the rest of the glove feels really lose on my hands when playing and moving around. I would prefer a tighter fit but this blocker could be more favourable for people who like a loose fit. 5/10
Comfort: This blocker feels pretty bare bones compared to the Vaughn V4 and Reebok Larceny blockers I currently have. There is no added padding to the top of the hand like there is on the Vaughn and Reebok. The palm is a decent material and my hand feels decent when inside the glove but not really comfortable like the Reebok originally did. 7/10
Protection: Now here is where this glove really has downfalls. I would like to point out that Simmons labels this glove as a “Professional Level” and advertises that the Matrix 3 (which is remodel of the 993 I had before) is comparable to a Bauer One100 blocker but at a savings of $50. I do not believe there is much that is “Professional Level” about this blocker. The finger protection does cover the tips of the fingers or come down near the tips at all unlike the other brands I have used. The finger protection itself is made of soft, bendable foam compared to the solid pieces on the Reebok Larceny and Vaughn V4. The Simmons 997 blocker finger protection offers very little actual protection. The construction of the finger protection is similar if not identical to my old 993, where when I would scramble my fingers would get jammed between my stick and the ice and causing quite a bit of pain and discomfort. The outside hand protection is minimal at best as well, there is again soft foam there where the other gloves have a thicker piece of soft foam. I have stopped wrap arounds before with this area of the glove and it again caused discomfort from the puck and when players jabbed with their sticks. I have made the same play in the Reebok Larceny and felt no pain or discomfort, I knew where the puck hit my hand, but it never bothered me at all, where the 993 (which again is the same finger and backhand protection as this 997) left me wincing in pain. The pinky protection in this glove is also basically non-existant, it is again soft foam like the finger protection but even thinner. This also goes for the index finger protection as well. Again the Vaughn V4 and Reebok Larceny have solid foams on the outside of the hand where Simmons 993/7 have soft flimsy foam. The sidewall is pretty good and I had no issues stopping pucks with it, but again the finger protection is extremely lacking and pucks ramping up the stick into the index finger could cause issues. This glove has a solid piece of protection on the index finger, but it is positioned too far up to actually do much to the point that I was able to push a puck with my hand easily to the point of touching the mesh on my index finger. Again this was with little to no effort where as the Reebok Larceny did such an excellent job that pucks actually got stuck between the finger protection and the stick and the puck never reached my index finer.3/10
Weight: As I have stated before weight is never really an issue for me. That said I believe this blocker is one of the lightest I have owned, but considering what I stated about I can see how they achieved that. 10/10
Durability: I haven’t used this glove for as long as the Reebok Larceny so I can’t comment of what a year of usage will do to this blocker. That said it does have about 3 months on top of the month that I used it for. It seems to be holding up well with the only wear coming on the leather binding used to save the nylon binding from rubbing against the stick. This is only minor and proves the leather binding is doing its job. The palm is holding up extremely well with discolouring being the only sign of wear. 9/10
Performance: I mentioned in the fit area that I felt the blocker sat too loose on the top of my hand and I feel that hurt performance a bit. I never felt I really knew where the blocker was sitting on my hand and multiple times when I thought the puck was going to hit the center of the board for an easy deflection to the corner it hit the connecting piece between the sidewall and the front face. Again maybe some people like a looser fitting blocker but I felt this hindered my ability to control rebounds. 7/10
Conclusion: Simmons advertises this as a “Professional Level” blocker and it is seriously lacking protection compared to its competitors. Both the Vaughn V4 and Reebok Larceny gloves feel like a more solid glove and much more protective. Simmons advertises a $50 savings on this glove compared to other pro-models and I would seriously recommend other pro-model gloves. I can see this being an okay glove for a younger goalie but even still for $50 more you can get a much better and protective piece of equipment. I feel like the other gloves perform better than the Simmons as well but that could just be because I like a tighter fitting glove as opposed to a looser fitting one.4/10
****Note**** Please don’t think this is a bashing Simmons post, because it isn’t. I love their sticks in my other review and so far the catching glove is pretty good. I will try the matching pads to this glove set in the future and they seemed pretty decent as well. I am just being honest with my opinions of this blocker.