Protection for your hands and wrists
A good pair of hockey gloves should protect your hands and wrists while still giving you maximum flexibility and providing you with comfort. Some of the older style gloves are made of all-leather, but they often get wet and heavy with perspiration during a game. Many modern versions of hockey gloves incorporate Kevlar and nylon into them for increased strength, durability, dryness and comfort. Most gloves are padded in the fingers with foam and plastic inserts and many of them have thumb locks to help prevent you from hyper extending your thumbs.
As with all pieces of hockey equipment, make sure that your gloves fit you properly, are comfortable, and don't irritate your hands in any way. It's okay for hockey gloves to be a little big on you as long as long as they cover all parts of your hand and wrist. Many players take slashes to the back of their hands during a game, so it's important that your thumbs and fingers are adequately protected. Many pro players are using shorter cuffed gloves these days for better stick handling flexibility, but many shorter gloves don't properly cover the wrists. You want your gloves to meet your elbow pads if you are looking for full protection on the ice. Remember that your gloves aren't just there to protect you from wayward slashes from hockey sticks they are also made to protect you from the hockey puck and from razor-sharp skate blades.
It doesn't really matter if you buy the most inexpensive or most expensive pair of hockey gloves because the palms will eventually wear out. Hockey gloves are one of the few pieces of hockey equipment, which can be adequately repaired without being replaced. Many hockey players are so comfortable with their worn-in gloves they will take them to a sports repair shop and pay to have them re palmed instead of buying a new pair at the same price.
If you want your gloves to last longer and smell fresher you should make sure to air them out to dry after a game. Former NHL great Ray Bourque used to wear a new pair of dry gloves every period. Most of the major hockey manufacturers all make gloves and a few companies such as Sande, Muskoka, Eagle and Tackla specialize in them. Prices range from about $30 for junior hockey gloves to over $100 for a top of the line pair of senior hockey gloves.