Pros: Holds up mesh socks as well as knitted
Cons: Garter parts mysteriously vanish
What is it?
The all in-in-one jock garter has been around for a while. It was perhaps the greatest innovation of modern hockey. Simply put, the device hold up hockey players socks and protects the . . . er . . . on ice valuables as well. Prior to this innovation player needed to have a separate cup/supporter and borrow grannys garter belt to keep their stockings from falling down. Some of the new jock shorts have even gone so far as to incorporate a compression short in the mix making them essentially a three-in-one device.
I saw one get-up where the socks were permanently attached to the shorts. This was a bad idea though. Players socks always wear out before the jock shorts. Further the color choices for socks were limited to black or black. I think this was a poor attempt to improve upon a technology that is nearly perfected already. It was roughly analogous to adding a grocery store to a car . . . dang I suck at analogies today.
So what is unique about this model?
Most makers of hockey jock shorts have settled on Velcro as the preferred method of holding socks up. WSI, Under Armour and even Itech make shorts with a built in cup and Velcro tabs to hold up the players socks. The Itech jock garter however has actual garter straps and clips built in rather than a simple patch of Velcro sewn on the front and back of each leg.
One other method is to simply hope that your legs are ripped enough to hold up your stockings. Ive seen those chicken legs of yours and they arent. Sorry, your socks will be around your ankles shortly. Good luck skating fast while tripping over your socks.
Is that better or worse?
The only easy answer to that question is, yes.
While Velcro is much easier to deal with in the locker room, it has some drawbacks as well. Certainly pulling your socks up and pressing them onto the Velcro square as easy enough for even the most dimwitted of hockey players. However the Velcro does tend to chew up the socks much more quickly than a garter will. Also when the jock short is tossed in the laundry, the Velcro can get downright evil and attaches itself to everything in sight. While the addition of Velcro flaps to cover the Velcro in the laundry has assisted in this issue, it is tenacious stuff and sometimes escapes these bonds to chew on your socks in the dryer.
These drawbacks are of course not a problem with a garter. However, the garter has other issues. First off, if your socks arent quite big enough, you almost need three hands to fasten the garters. It is certainly a more time consuming process than using Velcro.
Next, the little rubber parts that lock the socks into the garters seem to have a Braveheart complex, You can take away our lives, but you cannot take away or freedom! They escape or break from time to time. Oddly as common as this occurrence is, you cannot buy them alone. You need to buy an entirely new garter belt to scavenge parts from. Its very annoying.
There has to be some reason they still make these!
Indeed there is. While Velcro works great with standard socks, not everyone likes to use knit hockey socks. A fair number of players use a mesh sock that is very similar to the material in Jerseys. These socks wont stick to Velcro. A garter is the only option to hold them up.
Tell me more about the shorts
Of course! The shorts are somewhat like a gym short. They are a breathable mesh fabric polyester with perforations as you would find in a football jersey. A drawstring adds support to the elastic waistband that holds up the shorts which are holding up your socks. The shorts are dark blue in color. Itechs yellow shorts have the Velcro tabs on them. The shorts are lined with a soft cotton jock liner. The cup itself is removable for washing.
No part of these shorts is edible.
All in all, Ive found that I prefer the compression style shorts to these. The Itechs are comfortable enough, but they dont feel quite as weightless as the snug fit of WSIs compression style jock short. I didnt really care for the hassle of the annoyance of the garter belt clips. When one eventually got away, I retired the shorts and moved on.
However, if you wear the mesh style socks, this is a much better option than the old school garter and jock strap. Its gotta get drafty up in there sometimes!
Some other reviews that you might find helpful:
Fitting and Selecting Hockey Protective Gear
Pro Guard Garter Belt: Are you man enough to wear womens underwear?
Hockey Suspenders make it easier to skate and score!
CCM Hockey Socks