What’s the difference between butterfly and hybrid goalie pads?

Do you know what goalie pad you need? Goalie leg pads are built for styles of goaltending. There are two primary types, a hybrid style pad, and a butterfly style pad. Each one is built for a specific purpose. This article will help explain the difference (hopefully) and help you identify what type of pad would work best for you!


Butterfly Style Pad

This is the newest and quickly becoming the most popular style of pad. This type of pad started out about 10 -15 years ago when more goalies were down in the butterfly more and more. One of the most popular butterfly pads that started the whole butterfly pad was the Reebok Premier pad.



A butterfly pad is designed to be super stiff and rigid. There are usually no outer roll breaks, or maybe one below the knee. There are also no knee rolls. They are usually flat-faced. It is made to have a pre-curved ’S’ bend. The foams used in a butterfly pad, are usually harder and made to put rebounds further away from the goalie and out of high danger scoring areas. (The Bauer pads usually are a single foam block) The pads are made to be blocking pads and to rotate and slide very well.

Some good examples of a butterfly pad are :

Bauer Supremes
Vaughn SLR
CCM Axis / Premier
JRZ Fusion
Brians GNetik
True 20.1 & 20.2

Hybrid Style Pads

A hybrid-style pad is made to be softer. It is designed for some of the goalies that still make saves standing up and aren’t the new style “blocking” or make almost every save in the butterfly goalie. Also, because it’s a “softer” pad, the rebounds aren’t as forceful off the face of the pad.


These pads are designed for all different types of goalies. They are more flexible and usually have at least one internal and external break. Sometimes, they have above and below knew breaks to make them “softer”. Sometimes, they may have an old-school look with the knee rolls! The softer pads also tend to be built in multiple pieces of foam. The old Vaughn Velocity pads were hand-stuffed up until a few years ago. to keep rebounds closer to the goalie.

Some good examples of hybrid pads are :
Vaughn Velocity
CCM Retroflex
JRZ Prime
Simmons Ultra Light
Warrior Ritual
True 12.2
True L87

No matter your playing style, there is a goalie pad for you. If you need help with sizing, check out the article on how goalie pads fit and what plus-sizing means on goalie pads.

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