Lacrosse is becoming a large part of your life and you are now playing at an elite level. You’re now probably playing lacrosse every other weekend and watching the game on those off weekends. Because the game of lacrosse means so much to you, it’s important to now get the best possible gear that fits your style of play and your game. That is why we have put together this buyer’s guide for elite level athletes.
Men’s Buying Guide
By this time, you have a pretty good grasp on your preferences when it comes to your head style, your pocket and the type of handle. These are based a lot on the position you play but also your own playing style. Equipment manufacturers have done a great job recently of specializing equipment by position while also offering versatile equipment that can be used anywhere on the field. Below we will list some other things to take into account when purchasing some new gear while also giving you some recommendations.
–Heads: With hopes of playing for a High School State Championship or in the college ranks and beyond, you’ll want to find a head that fits your position starting with the question: offense or defense? Offensive heads will be narrower and lighter ranging in their level of flexibility. Defensive heads will generally be heavier, stiffer and wider giving you an advantage on ground balls. Some of the tangible aspects of a lacrosse head you will want to look for will be weight, flex and the face shape.
If you are a speedy midfielder who prides themselves in zipping past the competition, then you’ll want to find a head that is the lightest possible. If you’re an attackman who lives on the crease, you’ll want to find a head that is pinched enough to give you increased control but also stiff enough to manage stick checks from the defense. If you’re a bruising defenseman, then weight won’t matter so much as you’ll want to look for a very stiff and rigid head that can be used to lay the lumber. Some manufacturers now even design heads for specific pocket types (high, mid or low) which all enhance your style of play. So, here are a few recommendations by position to consider.
- STX Stallion 700 U – Two-way midfielder who manages both ends of the field
- Nike CEO U – Offensive minded face-off specialist
- Maverik Centrik U – Two-way midfielder who never leaves the field
- STX Duel U – All around face-off specialist
- Epoch Hawk Sequel – The distributor on field looking to make quick dishes
- STX Super Power+ – Lightweight for the speed player
- Nike Lakota U – The all-around attackman
- Epoch Hawk Prequel – Control possession behind the cage
- STX Surgeon 500 – Work in tight spaces around the crease
- Maverik Tactik U – Lightweight for the speedy attackman
- STX Hammer 500 – Bruiser ready to lay down the law
- Maverik Tank U – Defensemen ready to carry the ball across the field
- STX X10 U – Slick stick work for precision stick checks
- adidas D-Monic – Another bruiser ready to take on anything
- Under Armour Command – Offensively gifted to play all around the field
- StringKing Mark 2V – Defined by versatility and stiff enough to play at any position
- East Coast Dyes Mirage – Designed for offense but moves throughout the field with ease
- STX Eclipse – Light enough to carry the ball out of the crease
- Under Armour Headline – Super stiff and ready to stop all low shots
- Maverik Base 2 – Outlet passes and GB’s will be a breeze
- Brine Eraser 2 – Flexible enough to manage any shot
–Shafts: The game just got real. That means harder checks and tougher opponents. It’s time to get a handle that can take some more abuse while prevailing to give you an edge on the field. That means you will want to step up to a Scandium, Sc-Ti, Titanium or Carbon Fiber material, all engineered for advanced level action. You will then want to consider the shape and grip of your handle that best fits your style of play. Whether that is a slick traditional shape or a gritty concave shape, brands like Epoch and Maverik make sure to give you all the options you desire. Here are a few recommendations for the various styles and lengths to help you make your decision.
- Epoch Dragonfly Gen 7 C30 IQ9 – Tons of flex meant for outside shooters
- Nike Vapor Elite – Pinched shape for ultimate control when switching hands
- STX Surgeon Sc-Ti – Precision Profile will you excellent control on your fingertips for precise plays
- East Coast Dyes Focus – Very lightweight with a concave shape meant for speed
- Maverik Mission Blank – Tough traditional shape will give you a classic game play
- STX Shield SC – Traditional shape with a sandblasted finish for extra grip
- Maverik A1 – Pinched shape with a grit grip meant for speedy keepers
- Epoch Dragonfly Gen 7 C40 IQ3 – Lightweight with enough flex to juice up your outlet passes
- StringKing Metal Plus – Traditional shape and extremely lightweight like playing with a feather
- Maverik Caliber – Built with Maverik’s signature shape, with concave edges, makes this very light yet very strong
- Brine Triumph Power – Similar to Maverik’s Caliber with a slick grip for a mix of power and tradition
- Epoch Dragonfly Gen 7 C60 IQ8 – Extremely lightweight with a ton of flex meant for offensive minded poles
- Nike Alpha Elite – Traditional shape and grip built strictly for power
At the elite level the game is getting faster and rougher. That is why you need to find protective equipment that perfectly balances mobility, weight and protection. Thankfully, most elite level gear now comes packed with advanced protective technology in all the core locations allowing the manufacturers to cut down on overall materials in non-essentials spots. That is why you will see a lot more speed type shoulder pads, tighter fitting gloves and arm pads over arm guards.
–Gloves: Leather and suede palms in lacrosse gloves used to be a rare luxury. Thanks to the advancement of technology, those items are common place and almost required for all elite level gloves. In a recent trend however, you will start to see more gloves offer a tighter, close to body fit allowing you as the player to get a better handle on your stick and your game. Some of the newest gloves now even reinforced protective material around key pressure spots on the hand such as the thumb and forefinger. Keep in mind the position you play and you playing style when researching these various glove technology to see how they will benefit your overall protection.
- Epoch Integra Gloves – New carbon fiber technology packed into strategic zones
- Maverik Rome RX3 Gloves – Tight fit with exclusive Poron XRD padding in the thumb and forefinger
- STX Surgeon 500 Gloves – Improved 360 degree wrist mobility
- Under Armour Command Pro Gloves – Single suspension padding allows increased mobility
- Warrior Rabil Gloves – TotalFLX Cuff offers unmatched back and forth wrist movement
Our engineers are lacrosse players, and know this game inside and out and what the advanced player is looking for in their protective equipment. We set out to create the ultimate lacrosse protective gear sourcing the most technologically superior materials available in their creation including our new Carbitex, Ax Suede and Phase Change textile #LivePlayBe #Integra #IntegraProtective #FeelDesignControl
–Arm Pads: At the higher levels of the game, most players will defer more protection for increased mobility. You will more commonly see midfielders opt for the small elbow pads that defensemen traditionally wear. While you may feel it necessary to give up that protection for more freedom of motion, you will want to consider your style of play. If you are player who invites physical contact to create opportunities around the crease, then you will want to stick to arm guards. But if you are a speed driven player who uses their feet to avoid collisions, then arm pads or even elbow pads will do just fine.
- Maverik Rome RX3 Arm Pads – Solid middle ground between protective arm guards and lightweight arm pads
- adidas Berserker Elbow Pads – As light as you can get with minimal protection
- Under Armour Command Pro Arm Pads – Very lightweight with enough coverage for middies
- STX Cell III Arm Guard – A popular choice for attackmen who need to deflect a lot of stick checks
- Epoch Integra Arm Pad – Lightweight, flexible and packed with protective carbon fiber material
–Shoulder Pads: In a similar fashion to arm pads, elite level athletes will start to prefer lightweight padding to a lot of padding. That means you will see more speed pads and shoulder pad liners which typically do not come with shoulder caps and bicep attachments. This type of pad is designed to improve your shoulder mobility while lessening the overall weight with hopes to make you faster on your feet. That is why you will want to find some shoulder pads that come stocked with plenty of protection in the sternum, collar bone and back areas.
- Maverik Max Speed Pad – Built simply for speed and comfort
- Epoch Integra Shoulder Pad – Minimalist design that also comes with bicep protection
- STX Surgeon 500 Shoulder Pad – Solid chest and shoulder protection for attackmen
- Under Armour Headline Elite Shoulder Pad – Engineered for mobility
- Nike Vapor Elite Shoulder Pad Liner – Great chest and back coverage without weighing you down
Women’s Buying Guide
By this time you will likely know what type of lacrosse stick you prefer to use and you will want to use that for the rest of your career. If that isn’t the case and you are still trying to find the perfect set up, there are a ton of great options from complete sticks to building your own combination. The complete stick route is still the most popular because at the elite level manufactures take into account both pieces of the stick and design them to complement each other to help give you the best playing experience.
–Complete Sticks: Most manufacturers these days are building women’s complete sticks by position and that means tailoring the head, shaft and pocket to fit the needs of those specific players. For defenders you will find the head is shaped wider than most and the handle will usually come in a 1 inch diameter. For offensive players the head of your stick will feature a narrower shape and you may find the handle to have a tapered grip meaning it will mostly come in a 1 inch diameter but transition into a 7/8th diameter in strategic areas.
- STX Crux 500 Complete – Narrow face shape with a sturdy handle meant for attackers
- Nike Lunar Elite 10 Degree Complete – Meant for the do it all offensive player
- STX Exult 500 Complete – SLight wider face shape with a stiff design meant for midfielders
- Maverik Erupt Complete – One of the lightest women’s pockets in the game meant for speedy middies
- STX Fortress 600 Complete – From the ground up this stick was built for defense
-Heads: As mentioned, buying a separate women’s head is not that common so there is not currently a wide selection. But, if you prefer to go this route, we recommend re-using a previous women’s handle or moving up to the 1 inch diameter shaft in which you can pair any women’s head with a men’s handle.
- Under Armour Honor Head with Rail Pocket – Strung with soft leathers for an incredible feel
You’re moving up to the elite level of game play so you will require elite level technology in your goggles. Thankfully, most elite goggles are simply a tech upgrade from the intermediate versions you are familiar with. These upgrades could include a titanium wire frame or more advanced padding. Another thing to consider when purchasing a new pair of goggles would be the team you will be playing for. A lot of elite women’s lacrosse teams want to have a similar look between players on field and that means similar colored goggles.
Now you’re all set to join the big leagues. We hope this buying guide has helped with your shopping before the new season begins, but if you have any more questions about specific pieces of equipment, feel free to reach out to us on Instagram and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our emails to receive updates on the latest gear launches and sale opportunities.