Cost of Skates vs. Performance

Discussion in 'The Rink' started by Garfinkel1, Jul 10, 2011.

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  1. Garfinkel1

    Garfinkel1 Registered User

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    Hey guys,

    I'm pretty new to Ice. Constantly learning and really enjoying it.

    Anyways, I have a pair of Easton S7 Stealths that I've had for 1 1/2 years now. They are still in very good condition andnI think they fit well. I honestly wouldn't know if they didn't - No major discomfort I suppose..

    Anyways, I was wondering what the difference is between expensive and cheap skates. Would I skate better/more smoothly with a pair of 250$ skates than I do with mine (~50$ lol).

    I figure the protection levels differ but I play open hockey or in a T4 league and I don't think it matters much.
     
  2. Fred89

    Fred89 Registered User

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    I have a cheap Bauer Supreme One20 now and learned to skate properly with them, but since i'm 182cmx78kg i'm thinking about changing them, moving to One 60 or probably 70 because i'll start playing hockey in september.. My concern about entry level skates is that they don't give me the support i need now, they're good for a fun skate, but i can't trust them in terms of quick drops and movements, so i'll probably change them.

    The difference is basically: materials, stiffness, lightness.. The more you go up in the line, the better they get.. but if you feel confident with your skates and don't need more support (and stiffness), maybe do an intermediate upgrade so you won't be limited so much with new stiffer skates..
     
  3. mbeam

    mbeam Registered User

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    I don't think you'll notice a difference going up to a $250 skate. The main thing is fit. They should fit like a glove. Your heel should be locked in and you shouldn't have much free space anywhere in the boot. It's important to try different brands on and find the one that fits you best and then bake them in the store and punch out any areas where you need more room.

    Like Fred said, the main difference is lightness and stiffness. I was using a boot way too big for me for my first 3 years of ice because I was never fitted properly. Then I bought a pair of $200 Eastons which fit me great. They took so much wear that I needed a new pair after only a year or two so I decided to invest in a decent pair and found some Easton S17 Stealths on for a good price. They are a lot lighter and stiffer and have held up longer but I don't notice a difference in performance. I suppose the lightness is slightly noticeable but I don't notice it while I'm playing, only when I hold the two skates side by side. I'd say, if you have the money, to invest in a quality pair just so you don't have to keep buying pairs of new skates every year or two (of course, maybe yours don't wear as fast as mind do and this isn't even an issue).
     
  4. Fred89

    Fred89 Registered User

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    I think that maybe since he finds himself good with the S7 he might go with a 300$ max skate range so it wont be so stiff, either i'll do that for sure.. by the way a quick edit for my first post: with limited by stiffer skates i mean that probably as you step in new stiffer skates you'll find that you need more power and/or more proper technique to do things you've done with less stiffer skates.. :)
     
  5. Garfinkel1

    Garfinkel1 Registered User

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    What do you mean by stiffer in terms of the boot? The material is actually stiffer and if so, what does that mean to me?
     
  6. mbeam

    mbeam Registered User

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    The stiffer boots just don't break down as easily and give you a bit extra support. I remember when I first switched to a stiffer boot I did notice the stiffness. The back of the boot didn't flop around or have any give and even after going in and out of them for years, the back of the boot is still super stuff, whereas my old skates would bend at the back as the material got worked in.

    edit: as for how you notice it while skating: I found that my ankles didn't wobble around as much and I wasn't losing as much power in my stride. It didn't make a world of difference, but it was slightly noticeable.
     
  7. Guffaw

    Guffaw Registered User

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    This is a generalization, but I usually look at buying products this way.

    Your best value is usually going to be middle of the road with anything. $250-$400 price point for skates, but that's ballpark. Support, protection, lighter weight, and they'll last. Price leader(cheapest) is often times junk. Top end often has a few bells and whistles added, but is prestige priced so your value isn't there.

    Also take into consideration what your skill level is. I always find it funny when a guy that can't skate and is 80lbs overweight has $700 skates and a $220 stick. He wouldn't be any worse with a $200 pair of skates and a $20 wood stick.

    Like was said above, fit is everything. A bad fitting skate will hurt your game and your feet.

    I'm an intermediate B/C level men's league player, but ended up in a $600 pair of GRAF G35x just because I have an odd foot(thin, pronounced heel, big arches, large instep depth). Being comfortable and not breaking your feet= priceless.

    If the skates aren't causing you discomfort, your ankles aren't folding inward, and shots aren't hurting your feet that shouldn't(any hard slap shot is gonna hurt), then IMO you really don't need new skates. A better skate is really just going to fix one of those issues. Lightness will help a smidge, but a novice player really isn't good enough to benefit.

    Glad to hear you are playing and having fun:yo:
     
  8. Pajicz

    Pajicz Registered User

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    Agreed. Also it always seems to be that the ones with the "best" (=most expensive) equipment are usually the worst players.

    As many guys here, I'd recommend some of the mid-level skates; sometimes they can fit you better than the most expensive ones, which are designed for the pros. If the Eastons still feel good and are in condition, there's no reason why you couldn't keep going with them.

    If you're going to buy new skates, I prefer Bauer's (if they fit). They usually make the best skates (not only my opinion...). I've had NikeBauer Vapor XXXX's for around 3 years now, and they still work perfectly, although I've had to change the blades twice.
     
  9. Fred89

    Fred89 Registered User

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    Little OT, anyone knows if Supreme One70 have replaceable blade? because i want to buy a skate that allows me to do that.. so i can keep them for a long time!
     
  10. dannythekid

    dannythekid Registered User

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    Yes they have a replaceable blade, as do the One60's. The runner needs to come off of the boot, however.
     
  11. Samuel Culper III

    Samuel Culper III Mr. Woodhull...

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    The difference in price is usually two things:

    Weight of the skate - more $$ less weight
    Stiffness of the skate - more $$ more stiff

    Also, more expensive skates usually have better steel on them which holds its edge longer = less sharpenings.

    The impact of the weight is obvious. The impact of the skate's stiffness can be seen in a few places. One, is obviously the life of the skate. A stiffer skate isn't going to break down nearly as fast as a lower end model. A top of the line skate, being used by a good skater twice a week, all year round, can last for years; a true top of the line skate, assuming your feet aren't growing and you're not playing everyday, could last you the rest of your playing days. A low-end skate, being used by the same skater at the same frequency, will probably not make it past two years. This also has to do with the skill level of the skater, the amount of time you're going to be spending in the skates each year, the weight of the skaters, etc. but, as a rule, the lower end skates will never last as long as the more expensive skates.

    Not only will they start to literally come apart eventually, but they will lose all of their stiffness over time and be too floppy to offer any support or allow the skater to reach their potential. That's where the second factor with stiffness comes into play. Stiffer skates are more responsive. Advanced skaters who are able to flex a top of the line skate will get much more out of their skates because the boot will give them maximum energy transfer and response to their will. Stopping on a dime in a super stiff skate, for an advanced skater, is noticeably different from stopping in worn out, floppy skates. The stiffer the skate, the quicker it responds to every thing you do in it. The stiffer the skate, the longer it stays stiff, maintaining it's ability to quickly respond.

    Speaking of stiff skates, if anyone is in the market, I'm selling my (not very) used X:60s for pretty cheap. They're in great shape!
     
  12. Jarick

    Jarick Doing Nothing

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  13. Fred89

    Fred89 Registered User

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    You mean it's needed to change the holder?

    Because i've seen a lot of skates with a "unlock the blade, remove it, change it and lock it" from the bottom of the skate (after having removed footbed)

    I'd like to have a skate where i can unlock the blade and change it if needed :)
     
  14. Hacker10

    Hacker10 Registered User

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    Horrible lookin'!
    Don't Bauers have the hole in the bottom of the boot for access to the bolt that holds the runner in place?
     
  15. Fred89

    Fred89 Registered User

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    I knew that and that's why i'm asking.. because it represents a big question to me, since i don't plan to change my skates really soon again after next purchase..

    and i don't want to find myself in 2 years, needing new skates because i can't change the blade!
     
  16. Jarick

    Jarick Doing Nothing

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    You can change the runners without removing the holders.
     
  17. AIREAYE

    AIREAYE Moderator

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    Only on the mid/high level skates; double check on lower end models before purchasing.
     
  18. cptjeff

    cptjeff [insert joke here]

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    It's usually only the lowest model ones that have the one piece runner and holder. If you're looking to play hockey in them, you probably shouldn't be buying those anyway.

    But yeah, check.
     
  19. Fred89

    Fred89 Registered User

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    Well my actual skates are One 20 and they don't have the removable blade..

    I'm asking because i want to upgrade next fall since i'll start playing and since i need to order them online i can't make the "oh no replaceable blade, let's buy the more expensive one" thing :D

    I think One 70 should have this "function" but if someone have these skates and/or know about it, would be much appreciated :D
     
  20. AIREAYE

    AIREAYE Moderator

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    yeah one70s hve removable runners.
     
  21. Fred89

    Fred89 Registered User

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    That's cool, finally i know it and can go through the purchasing asap :D

    Thank you very much Aireaye! ;)
     
  22. AIREAYE

    AIREAYE Moderator

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    This is a procedure that you shouldn't go through by yourself. Go to an LHS and have them change your steel for you, they'll be able to provide you with a matching set to your holders and the right lengths.
     
  23. Fred89

    Fred89 Registered User

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    Yeah for sure! I'll take them to a LHS in case of, but knowing that have this feature it's great :)
     
  24. Badger36

    Badger36 Registered User

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    Once you spend over $300 for a pair of skates all you are paying for is lighter weight.
    Other than weight, there is no difference in performance from a $300 pair of skates to a $700 pair of skates.
     
  25. AIREAYE

    AIREAYE Moderator

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    Wrong ^

    Stiffness/support is your main selling point. Materials come second and contribute to that.
     

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