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Modern vs. Traditional Skates


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#1 OldNSlow

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 04:46 PM

A couple of years ago I got back into the game after almost 10 years off. I was in desperate need of skates and went with a pair of Graf 705. After skating in them for over a year (about once a week), they continue to hurt my feet. If I tighten the laces near my toes, my foot will be asleep within a few minutes (even after having them punched out). Alternatively, if I leave the laces a bit looser, then I feel that I don't have the tightness I need to feel secure in turning and crossing over. I also feel like I don't skate that well in these skates -- both speed and agility. I would say that I was a very good skater less then 5-6 years ago, so it is frustrating to not be able to skate very well -- of course, it may be because of age, but I'm thinking the skates have set me back a lot. FYI... I like a very snug fit. Whether I have my laces loose or tight, my feet always hurt during and after my games.

When I purchased my Graf 705, I had the guy at my LHS help me settle on Graf skates. He suggested Graf because of the traditional 'eyelet curve.' I don't know how best to describe it. But, modern skates, like Vapors, etc., have more of a "L" shape starting at the ankle and down through the boot. Graf skates still have the traditional ""C" shape. He told me it was better to go with the traditional shape because I would probably have a hard time with the modern ("L") shape. He also told me I would probably have a hard time with the stiffness of modern skates. I was coming from Bauer 4000 (although they also hurt my feet but after ten minutes they would feel okay).

I'm growing in frustration with my Graf 705 and am contemplating getting different skates. Why did skates go from the "C" shape to the "L" shape? Why did skates get stiffer? In essence, what are the performance enhancements of modern skates?

Edited by OldNSlow, 26 October 2009 - 04:47 PM.


#2 jumtao

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 05:08 PM

Just like you I have recently switched from traditional skates to modern skates. The new skates are made from a stronger and much stiffer material than its predecessors and at the same time feel much lighter.

I don't have any problems switching from the 'C' shape to the 'L' shape eyelets but I do find it hard adjusting to a stiffer boot. I usually leave the top eyelet unlaced so that I am able to get a deep enough knee bend.

As for foot pain/numbness make sure that you have a skate that fits your foot properly. I went searching for a few months before I finally got a skate that offered me comfort, good heel lock, and overall a GREAT fit.

#3 The Mafia Line

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 02:51 AM

I don't really know how old you are, but maybe it's not the skates that hurt your game, the skates just hurt your feet. Get skates that fit as comfortable as possible. Soft as possible.

My dad is 51 and just played for the first time since he was 35. He wears old Bauer 1000's. They're really soft, but he says they still hurt his feet. For a man that was on the path to playing for the Russian red army (he never played an official game, his family came to US when he was 17) to the 51 year old who can't play for more than 15 min now, all he does is complain about his skates. All he has left are his slick hands.
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#4 eric42434224

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 08:35 AM

Skates shouldnt hurt.
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#5 fawn111

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:01 PM

THey most likely were not the right fit to begin with,


But I will say this.... I was in skating in GRAF 705s after years away from the ice and for the most part was comfortable... I borrowed my friends ONE95s and let's just say he is not getting them back.

There is a noticeable difference in performance between the skates. This is just my experience. I consider myself a decent skater, not a great one, but I noticed an improvement in my movement in the Bauers.

#6 JKranz24

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:06 PM

Skates shouldnt hurt.

Jackpot...simply put, you should go get your feet sized up to make sure you're wearing the right size.

Also, the modern skates (Vapor X line, Supreme line, CCM V line) are 95% of the time going to give you a better fit if you're wearing the right size and get it heat molded to your foot.

#7 OldNSlow

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:12 PM

Thanks for the replies.

I think that the Graf 705 as advertised are the proper fit. I have a wide mid-foot and a narrow heel, and a relatively 'average' arch. I tried Vapors and they were too narrow at the mid-foot. Also, 703 were too narrow at the mid-foot. One thing I like about the Grafs is the toe cap doesn't feel wide open. My big toe is a bit longer than the others so I like as little volume as possible at the top.

Does anyone know the answers to my questions above? I appreciate the responses but nobody has been able to answer those questions.

In addition, could it be the Graf forward-flex that is making me less agile? I don't feel like I'm falling forward, but don't necessarily feel stable when skating backwards. Since I play forward, it is not a big deal.

Edited by OldNSlow, 27 October 2009 - 12:15 PM.


#8 fawn111

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:32 PM

I am no no skate expert.....

But from my experiences with the 705 and the modern ONE95... the modern skate has greater lateral stiffness which will transfer more power from your stride directly to the ice. If a skate flexes side to side you will lose some of that inertia built up through your body and as you stride the energy that should be propelling you forward is being lost somewhat when the skate flexes laterally. Thus you are not transferring the full energy of your body directly into the blade and are losing energy.

I noticed this immediately the first stride I took in the ONE95.... hard to describe but my feet just seemed to glide better when striding.... it has helped me become a more efficient skater. I dunno, maybe the 705s just broke down quickly for me, whatever it was I was happy to be in something that I really felt comfortable in.

Also interesting to note, I could not tell that much of a difference in the "forward flex" between the two.... maybe because I keep the top two eyelets very loose I flex more forward in the ONE95 and that might equal the forward flex of the 705.

#9 OldNSlow

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:37 PM

Fawn111 - do you notice a difference in weight (when skating) between the 705s and the one95s?

#10 Chadd

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:38 PM

I think that the Graf 705 as advertised are the proper fit.

In addition, could it be the Graf forward-flex that is making me less agile? I don't feel like I'm falling forward, but don't necessarily feel stable when skating backwards. Since I play forward, it is not a big deal.


1. If they hurt your feet, they are obviously not the proper fit. Your problem could be with the depth or width, your description is very vague as to the location of the pain. The 709 may be a better fit for your foot in the Graf line.
2. Forward flex does not make you less agile. It sounds like the forward pitch of the Grafs may be your problem there. That can be resolved with a proper profiling, the pain issue would require new skates.
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#11 OldNSlow

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 03:05 PM

I think that the Graf 705 as advertised are the proper fit.

In addition, could it be the Graf forward-flex that is making me less agile? I don't feel like I'm falling forward, but don't necessarily feel stable when skating backwards. Since I play forward, it is not a big deal.


1. If they hurt your feet, they are obviously not the proper fit. Your problem could be with the depth or width, your description is very vague as to the location of the pain. The 709 may be a better fit for your foot in the Graf line.
2. Forward flex does not make you less agile. It sounds like the forward pitch of the Grafs may be your problem there. That can be resolved with a proper profiling, the pain issue would require new skates.


Thanks Chadd.

The pain radiates along the mid-foot area (mostly on the outside of the foot). For example, if I tighten from the 2nd or 3nd lace to the 5th or 6th lace, my foot will be asleep in no time. This has resulted in moderately tight laces around the mid-foot and front-foot, and tight laces around the ankle. It feels awkward to say the least.

As I mentioned previously, I like a very snug fit and these skates are not providing that at the moment.

Edited by OldNSlow, 27 October 2009 - 03:11 PM.


#12 Chadd

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 03:11 PM

I think that the Graf 705 as advertised are the proper fit.

In addition, could it be the Graf forward-flex that is making me less agile? I don't feel like I'm falling forward, but don't necessarily feel stable when skating backwards. Since I play forward, it is not a big deal.


1. If they hurt your feet, they are obviously not the proper fit. Your problem could be with the depth or width, your description is very vague as to the location of the pain. The 709 may be a better fit for your foot in the Graf line.
2. Forward flex does not make you less agile. It sounds like the forward pitch of the Grafs may be your problem there. That can be resolved with a proper profiling, the pain issue would require new skates.


Thanks Chadd.

The pain radiates along the mid-foot area. For example, if I tighten from the 2nd or 3nd lace to the 5th or 6th lace, my foot will be asleep in no time. This has resulted in moderately tight laces around the mid-foot and front-foot, and tight laces around the ankle. It feels awkward to say the least.

As I mentioned previously, I like a very snug fit and these skates are not providing that at the moment.


It sounds like there is not enough depth along that area (a problem I frequently have with skates) and you also may need some additional arch support. If your arch is too high for the boot you will end up flattening it when you lace the skates so tight, making the problem even worse.
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#13 OldNSlow

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 03:22 PM

It sounds like there is not enough depth along that area (a problem I frequently have with skates) and you also may need some additional arch support. If your arch is too high for the boot you will end up flattening it when you lace the skates so tight, making the problem even worse.


I never thought about the depth in that area. I was assuming it was the width. I think you may be right about the depth. Because I have relatively normal arches but I feel the bone immediately below my big toe is pressed firmly down on my foot bed. This area always hurts after taking off my skates, so it could be that the foot is being flatten like you say. In addition, I have pain on the outside of my mid-foot area, but not as much since punching out a bit.

What skates would you suggest? I looked at the Graf 709 but I think the heels are too wide. Plus, I'd like to try something other than Graf.

Or is there a cheaper fix than new skates?

#14 Jarick

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 04:11 PM

Have you tried Vapors in a wide size? I have wide forefeet and narrow heels and I have no pain in my skates.
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#15 Chadd

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 04:17 PM

Or is there a cheaper fix than new skates?

You can't fix a bad fit
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#16 eric42434224

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 04:18 PM

Have you tried Vapors in a wide size? I have wide forefeet and narrow heels and I have no pain in my skates.


I have wide forefeet and I couldnt even come close to fitting in vapors. Supremes were a bit better, but still no go. For my wide forefeet and nice heel-lock, it was Eastons.
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#17 Chadd

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 04:28 PM

Have you tried Vapors in a wide size? I have wide forefeet and narrow heels and I have no pain in my skates.


I have wide forefeet and I couldnt even come close to fitting in vapors. Supremes were a bit better, but still no go. For my wide forefeet and nice heel-lock, it was Eastons.


There is also the issue of what each person calls "wide, narrow or regular". Trying stuff on is the only way to be sure.
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#18 OldNSlow

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 05:05 PM

I have used metrics posted online to determine whether part of my foot are 'wide', 'normal', or 'narrow'. Without a doubt, my mid-to-fore foot is wide. My heel is a bit 'narrow' but close to 'normal.'

When trying new skates, should I have a comfortable fit from the get go?

#19 Chadd

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 05:09 PM

I have used metrics posted online to determine whether part of my foot are 'wide', 'normal', or 'narrow'. Without a doubt, my mid-to-fore foot is wide. My heel is a bit 'narrow' but close to 'normal.'

When trying new skates, should I have a comfortable fit from the get go?

Every manufacturer has a different fit, You may be a regular in model but a wide in another. Metrics are good for giving you an idea where to start, but are not a replacement for a proper fitting. As for the fit, I always used to tell people pressure is ok, pain is not. Also, you should be wearing them for at least 15 to 20 minutes while walking around and doing some knee bends. Sitting in a chair and putting them on for a minute or two is no way to determine fit. Unfortunately way too many people use that as their method.
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#20 f2racer

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 05:40 PM

When I purchased my Graf 705, I had the guy at my LHS help me settle on Graf skates. He suggested Graf because of the traditional 'eyelet curve.' I don't know how best to describe it. But, modern skates, like Vapors, etc., have more of a "L" shape starting at the ankle and down through the boot. Graf skates still have the traditional ""C" shape.


Is the 'eyelet curve' really the way you differentiate between a modern vs traditional skate?

#21 duch

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 06:36 PM

Forget about the C or L shape thing. Go out and try some other makes of skates and buy the pair that fit you the best. Bottom line is Grafs are not for everyone. ( regardless if they say they fit all types of feet) You won't know unless you give it a go. I perform best in Easton composite skates and that's a fact I have faced after trying many makes of skates over a long period of time. I really don't care what anyone else says or thinks now because I know their the right skates for me. You'll need to make that decision as well. If your skates fit well you'll perform well or better than you do now. My two cents worth. Good Luck.

#22 Jarick

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 07:12 PM

I have used metrics posted online to determine whether part of my foot are 'wide', 'normal', or 'narrow'. Without a doubt, my mid-to-fore foot is wide. My heel is a bit 'narrow' but close to 'normal.'

When trying new skates, should I have a comfortable fit from the get go?

Every manufacturer has a different fit, You may be a regular in model but a wide in another. Metrics are good for giving you an idea where to start, but are not a replacement for a proper fitting. As for the fit, I always used to tell people pressure is ok, pain is not. Also, you should be wearing them for at least 15 to 20 minutes while walking around and doing some knee bends. Sitting in a chair and putting them on for a minute or two is no way to determine fit. Unfortunately way too many people use that as their method.


Exactly. I was wearing Vapors and had terrible foot pain. I tried on every skate on the market in every size close to mine, and ended up with Vapors half a size smaller and wide width. Terrible pain in one size, perfect in another. I wouldn't spend $10 on a skate without trying it on.
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#23 epstud74

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 08:27 PM

OldnSlow..Width really shouldnt be the issue, but instep depth is the issue with you. You're cranking down on the skate to get your heel to set in and I'm leaning to the idea that the skates do not fit your foot. Have you looked at the Graf 727s or 709s? The CCM Vectors?

#24 big ben

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 11:15 PM

Is it safe to say if your already a good skater using mediocre skates, I'm 6'1 235, skating on bauer xxii's, and you purchase some higher end skates your performance could improve?

#25 Chadd

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 01:16 AM

Is it safe to say if your already a good skater using mediocre skates, I'm 6'1 235, skating on bauer xxii's, and you purchase some higher end skates your performance could improve?


Possibly, but an excellent skater is still going to be an excellent skater in a mid level boot.
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