Hockey pants are much more complex to choose and purchase than it may seem at first glance. There are a variety of factors to consider when purchasing them, including the amount of padding or protection, how easily you can get around in them, various other features they come with and, of course, price.
First you must understand that padding and mobility in hockey pants have a countering relationship. As you can imagine, for more protection, more padding must be present. If more padding is present you will not only be heavier, but you'll also have a little more trouble maneuvering your legs within the pants. As this is the case, you must decide on the level of protection and maneuverability that you would like your hockey pants to have. It is most common and most intelligent to choose something between the middle of the two - just remember to consider the style of hockey you play, as more aggressive or quicker players may want to grant themselves more mobility.
The next thing you should look for are the basic layout and features of the hockey pants. You'll want to have thigh pads split up into several sections. This is common, but not all hockey pants do this. The advantage of this is a wider range of movement for your legs, which can help to increase mobility for the pants. The other features are all up to you. There are various belt styles, zippers, and many other things which can alleviate putting on and taking off the pants, but that is all up to you and how much more you would like to spend. You will also want to check out the inner material of the hockey pants, and most definitely try them on to see what seems comfortable to you. Many inner materials help to restrict unwanted movement as well as increased comfort. So this is also something you need to decide on based on your own preference.
The last factor when purchasing hockey pants is the price. Many of the features described above will be significantly reduced if you are to go ahead and purchase the cheaper hockey pants that are available. You will also find that the pants with reduced padding, and therefore increased mobility, tend to be cheaper than most others simply because less material and padding is required in producing them. Overall, it depends on how much money you want to spend on the features you find necessary for your hockey pants.