As promised last week, a friend of The Copper & Blue spent some time on the pair of MLX skates we were provided to review. We chose to have someone other than the writers here review them because we felt there would be little conflict of interest this way. I have to admit though, when the skates came in, I was a bit jealous that we decided to pass on this review. After the jump, our reviewers notes on a brand new pair of MLX Men's Hockey Skates.
MLX is a relatively new player in the hockey skate market and asked for some independent reviews of their product. The Copper & Blue offered me the chance to do that review and I graciously accepted, and might have found the most comfortable hockey skate on the market.
I was a nervous at first about the molding process, having never molded skates myself. After watching the introductory videos on their website, I gained the confidence to give it a go myself. I pre-heated the oven to 200 degrees tossed the skates directly on the oven rack, and let them bake for 16 minutes, flipping them half way through. After baking the skates I slipped my feet in and laced them up. The whole process couldn’t have been easier. After 20 minutes the skates had cooled down, hardening as they did so and felt very comfortable. I actually kept the skates on for almost an hour after they cooled for the sole reason that my feet were not uncomfortable and I was watching television.
I also tried out the toe plugs that came along with the skates. At first I thought they were a gimmick, a way to entice parents to buy top line skates for growing kids, but I immediately saw the benefit. My right foot is longer than my left and using a toe plug in my left skate gave me a snug fit that I usually don’t get. The only problem I had was figuring out how to insert them, a "how to" video or instructions would have helped.
I skated on the MLX’s over two ice sessions and have never experienced a more comfortable skate. I didn’t have any uncomfortable pressure points anywhere on my feet. The only discomfort I felt was on the bottom of my arches, which was minimal and subsided after an hour into the first session. Also the tongue is thickly padded which allowed for me to lace up tight and get a snug fit without any lace bite.
I definitely felt more balanced and in control with these skates. I usually have a tough time getting on the outside edge of my right skate blade, which results in a lot of lateral sliding, but the skates effortlessly dug into the ice and prevent any unwanted sliding. The MLX also offers an adjustable blade, which I have timidly played around with, without much success. This might be due to my limited knowledge and experience in blade position, however making the adjustments is quick and easy.
They also give good stability and support as well, they glide/run easier and hold an edge with less effort than my regular skates. My regular skates also have a low cut boot, but I feel a lot more comfortable in the support the MLX gives me.
The outer shell of the boot is extremely hard and rigid. It looks like it could take a couple good whacks from a hammer and your feet wouldn’t feel a thing, an amazing feat, considering how comfortable they are. But I wasn't willing to take a hammer to my own feet, even for a complimentary pair of skates. I have not yet taken a shot off of them, but I don’t see how anyone in my rec league or pick-up games could muster a shot that would injure my feet. The heel and toe of the skate are made from a composite fabric that looks almost bullet proof, all around very solid.
Overall the comfort level is the biggest asset of these skates. Every skate I have owned have taken weeks to break in, which leaves them bearable to somewhat comfortable. The MLX skates needed no break in period and were pure comfort right from the molding. Add the protection, support, and performance to the comfort and you have a great skate. Even though I will continue to wear them, I have a hard time justifying the $799 price tag. However, if you struggle with fit and comfort, or if you've got foot or ankle problems, these skates make sense. If you are a high level player, which I am not, and willing to spend the money, you should definitely give MLX a try.
FTC Disclaimer: MLX Skates provided The Copper & Blue a complimentary pair of skates for review.