At the beginning of the year I decided to begin overhauling some of my roller hockey equipment, most of which really just needed to be replaced or updated. In addition to a buying a new pair of Mission T6 roller hockey skates, I also picked up a pair of new roller hockey pants to replace my old Mission pants. While my old Mission pants still worked in a functional fashion, they were more than seven years old and just needed to be updated.
I had always heard good things about Tour for roller hockey, so I opted to go with the Tour Spartan Pro roller hockey pants based somewhat on reputation, but also on their low price and fun design. While I’ve been happy with some aspects of these pants, other parts have not impressed me at all.
Design and Construction:
The Tour Spartan Pro roller hockey pants feature main panels consisting of Super Tough Hydra-Air fabric that is lightweight, breathable and durable. A multi-directional stretch crotch that runs down through the legs improves flexibility while skating and striding and the mesh panels around the lower leg help keep the pants lightweight.
I opted for the black and white pair of pants, which offer some color blocking and graphic lines to create a very clean looking pair of pants. The pants are much lighter weight than my previous pair, and thanks to the stretch material running along the inseam I don’t find the pant legs to inhibit my strides at all. They are very free flowing and allow for a great flexibility of movement when skating.
This was my biggest concern when I purchased these pants, mostly because my old Mission pants lasted more than seven years without so much as a hole forming while I watched teammates go through two or three pairs of pants during that time because of poor durability. So far, after more than 12 weeks of use, this is also where I think these pants score best.
Admittedly, I’ve purposely been hard on these pants. As mostly a defenseman, I feel that I am hard on my pants anyway when I slide or go down on my knees to take away the passing lane on front of the net and so on. But in order to really test the durability of the Spartan roller hockey pants, after games I would purposely spend a few extra minutes sliding on my knees and doing baseball slides to really rough up the pants to see how they withstood the abuse. So far, so good.
The knees area of the pants looks great with no holes or tears after several weeks of abuse. Similarly, the backside of the pants doesn’t have any tears either, even in some of the areas like behind the legs where the pants are made out of a thinner mesh material to allow more breathability. It was the areas with thinner material that I was more worried about, but the Tour Spartan Pro pants have held up admirably.
The fit of the Spartan pants is probably what I’m most discouraged with. When I first tried on the pants, I immediately noticed how baggy the legs were. I thought this problem would be somewhat alleviated when I put on my pads, but even with pads I still find the legs to be borderline excessively baggy. Some people like that style and fit, but for me I’d prefer something a little more tapered where there is still room to go over your pads, but not in this type of extreme manner. Or even a system similar to Mission with built-in Velcro straps around the shins.
The worst part of these pants is the fit at the waist. Admittedly, I prefer a snugger fit around the waist, or at least a secure feeling that my pants aren’t going to fall down, but most of the time these pants ride much lower than I prefer because there isn’t adequate support to hold them up and pin them to my hips.
I purchased an adult large, which says it fits waists sizes 28 to 42 inches. This is a HUGE gap in sizes. I should have paid more attention to the sizing chart because there is a huge amount of overlapping between sizes. I’m a 33/34, so I figured these would be right in my wheelhouse, but I honestly probably could have gotten away with a medium, or even a small, since these pants have such a wide gap in their sizes. To accommodate the wide range of sizes, Tour uses a stretch-fit elastic waist band. Unfortunately, the elastic waist doesn’t do much to hold the pants up, so Tour also provided a cheap nylon belt with a crappy plastic clip-together buckle. The belt is practically useless since I have to pull it so tight to achieve the snugger fit that I prefer and keep the pants from sagging. If I adjust the belt too tightly, however, the belt will just pop undone while I am skating. While this certainly doesn’t inhibit my play, it’s annoying when I’m playing and all of a sudden my pants just feel “looser” because the belt has come undone and I have to check my belt and readjust at the break or on the bench.
While I’ve been impressed with the durability of the Tour Spartan roller hockey pants, I’m not very pleased with the overall fit. I feel like Tour has sacrificed a certain level of quality in order to cater to a wider range of players with one product. Granted, these are Tour’s lower-level pants, but they don’t do much to hide that fact with the crappy nylon belt and the cheap plastic belt buckle. If you like a baggier fit throughout the legs and a looser fit in the waist, you very well may like these pants. They offer good durability and breathe nicely in warm environments. However, if you prefer something with a more tapered fit in the legs and a snugger fit in the waist, I don’t think the positive features will outweigh the negatives for you.
Interested in purchasing a pair of Tour Spartan Pro roller hockey pants? Head over to Inline Warehouse where you can pick up a pair for $36.95. Have any additional questions about the Spartan pants? Feel free to leave a comment or contact Chris directly on Twitter @HWBChris!