The kind gentlemen at MLX sent over a pair of skates for Illegal Curve’s review. First off, they look as nice as you can get. They are sharp, with a mix of a speed skating boot and protection at the toe and heel of the boot. The skates certainly pass the aesthetic test; however, of more concern was how the boots felt on the ice and more importantly, how the blades carved the ice.
Now, let’s first establish that the skates the MLX blades are replacing were purchased sometime in 1996 or so. So, yes, the Jets were still in Winnipeg. When slipping on the skates, you can hear the air pocket as the foot glides into the boot. Any new skate can be a bit of a pain to try on, literally, but this boot was not as painful as some others. The boot fits to the foot well and is extremely comfortable. Half of skating is making sure nothing about the skate is causing any issues and these skates are not the kind to cause the old ten blister sleep.
Taking the pair on the ice, it is absolutely amazing how light the skates are. They are probably a quarter of the weight of the aforementioned mid 90s skates; which helps because the lighter the boot, the faster you feel and more importantly, the faster you skate. Granted, moving from slower to slow is not exactly an edge to the not so fleet of foot, but it helps nonetheless.
The protection on the front and back of the boot allows for a willing shot blocker (yeah, not so much anymore) to have less fear when dropping down to block a shot. That is the other thing that amazes about this skate—they are lighter and yet safer than older skates. Of the new equipment on the market, lighter skates and more protection is good for the game. That is because it creates speed without contributing to injury, ala some shoulder/elbow pads which should probably be called armor.
Another interesting aspect of the skate is the adjustable tongue on the boot. Many top skaters like to replace the tongue on their skate, but with the MLX skate you can adjust the tongue to fit your preference. There are actually a number of adjustable parts on the skate; in fact, there are more than I know what to do with–although I am sure each one is for good reason.
Overall these skates are terrific. They are high-end boots; forget the fact they look the part, they feel and skate that way as well. Thanks to David Cruikshank and the nice gentlemen at MLX for allowing IC to write this review. They along with Mario Lemieux have done quite a job with these skates.