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Chadd

Easton Mako Skate

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Fedex showed up with a box for me this afternoon with my new pair of Easton Mako skates to demo. I was a bit concerned at first that they may have only put one skate in the box, it was that light. Fortunately, they did not make that mistake and both skates were in the box.

Personally, I like the overall look of the skate. I'm not hung up on new or traditional looks, I think they executed their intended graphic design quite well. I don't mind the silver heel, though I've never been a fan of that particular material. Everyone will have their own opinion on that, but the finish seems to be quite good on my pair. More pics on that to come,

554181_10200348062400393_1214828756_n.jp

Included with the skates are two custom Robertson #2 screwdrivers for keeping the steel tight. For those of you that used Mission skates, you probably already have one of these laying around. I think I still have half a dozen laying around. The little bag is a nice touch. Oddly, they used a torx head for the tendon guard attachment points and didn't include a tool for them. The new CXN holders are mounted squarely and appear to be solid. The ES4 steel looks good and the profiles seem to be pretty well matched from the factory.

I will revise this with the actual product names/specs as time permits, in addition to the updates. The orange lining certainly stands out, but the thin layer of soft padding inside the shell is a great feature for me. Many of the newer generation of skates are so hard on the inside that they cause some pain for me. I don't believe that will be the case with the Mako skates. There are a couple of creases in the lining, but I believe those will be resolved when the skates are baked.

There are two large vent holes in the sole, at the forward edge of the arch. Combined with the contours on the bottom of the insole, it should result in good ventilation and faster drying of the skates.

The tongue is very thick with felt facing your foot, a lot of soft padding and a plastic runner up the middle (I assume to prevent lace bite). This may actually present a problem for me as the skate is very shallow. In fact, it is so shallow, that my foot is well above the top of the quarter panel without putting the tongue down. I don't know if this will impact performance, but it is something that I will monitor after baking and with use.

mako-depth.jpg

I went with the 9.5EE size. The length appears to be just about perfect for me before baking, though there are still some pressure points with the width. I have every confidence that the width issues will be resolved and I am interested to see how it will impact the length, if at all.

Please add any questions to the existing Mako topic and I will do my best to respond to them all.

http://www.modsquadhockey.com/forums/index.php?/topic/61887-easton-mako-skates/

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Well, on Friday I got an email asking me to ref a game on Monday, so I thought I should get the Makos baked and ready for action over the weekend. Since the box doesn't specify a cooling off period, I figured a rainy, foggy Saturday afternoon was a good time to do it. Fortunately, the guy working today at EDGE had some hockey playing on his laptop and we shot the breeze for a bit wile I was in there. I did run into a couple issues when baking the skates, though nothing major. I just want to be as up front as possible about any deviations from the Easton recommendations, in the event that I have issues down the road.

First of all, the shop had one of the newer Bauer ovens and they said the temp is only 180 degrees, not the 200 printed on the box. The timer also only goes up to 15 minutes, though adding one minute really isn't a major setback. In the end, I decided to add 2-3 minutes to the bake time. I figured that there was likely a fudge factor built into the easton time/temp but I wanted to do my best to make sure the material was fully heated. As my left skate cooled, I started to get a pressure point on the widest part of my foot. As this is the area that often causes problems with other boots I have worn, I decided to throw it back in the over for another 5 minutes and then lace it a bit more loosely in that area. With the limited information available regarding baking these skates, I do not know if this will or will not cause a problem. Again, I just want this posted up front in the event I have an issue later, so it does not look like I am blaming or covering anything up.

First of all, these things are pretty damn warm when you put them on. If you are a barefoot skater, find a thin pair of socks. I have recently started wearing thin socks again, so it wasn't an issue for me. The heat didn't seem as bad as I remembered the Kor shift 1/2 though. Lacing was a bit of a pain, as I like to back-lace (inside to outside) and the shallow depth that I showed in the previous post. I already had the skates mostly laced then I popped them in the oven, so not big deal, I suggest you do the same. By the time I had my left skate warmed back up, my right skate had cooled down but I left it on anyway. The fit was excellent, very comfortable in all aspects. Between re-heating and lacing a little more loosely, the left skate also ended up with a nice fit as well.

mako-bake.jpg

next up, sharpening the new CXN holder and S4 steel

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Sharpened up the skates this afternoon and they seemed to take an edge pretty well. When I got on the ice, it felt like they didn't take an edge as well as I thought. I wasn't getting much bite in the toe of my left skate. At this point I will write it off as my fault for not making enough passes. I was reffing tonight, so I was able to do a little edge work before the game and found that as long as I dug in a little harder, it bit just fine. Once the game started, I never had a single issue with my edges. I still plan on sharpening before my next game (as a player), I don't want to judge edge performance or durability until I get the bite issue resolved.

Comfort wise, no issues at all. they did feel a bit wider when I laced them up. I was wearing the same socks as when I had them baked, maybe I just didn't have them laced as tightly. Again, I will need to skate again before I can say anything for sure. Since I was reffing, I was on my feet for the whole game, no rest between periods. It feels like the arch comes a bit more forward than in the other skates that I've had. I have a bad habit of skating on one leg at times when reffing, so that is likely the only reason I noticed it. There were no lace bite or pressure issues, no slop or loose feeling anywhere.

One thing I did notice is that the boot feels harder on the outside than it did before baking. When you squeeze the skate in the ankle, it has some give. The difference is that the whole side gives in together, as if it is hinged near the heel. The side itself has no give. While I tend to like a low cut or softer ankle in a boot, the stiffness doesn't bother me at all. When I really needed to accelerate, I was able to get down and dig in with the form any power skating instructor would love. So far, I am very impressed with the skate.

mako-table.jpg

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While typing up the last review, I had put my Makos on a drying unit that my in-laws got me for x-mas. Within a 20 minute run cycle, the boots were completely dry on the inside. None of my other skates have ever dried that quickly. These skates have really impressed me so far, I am really looking forward to putting more time in them.

As I noted in the forum topic, I did run into a minor issue with the CXN holder. To their credit, Easton has offered to replace the skates for me. When I have seen the same issues with other skates that I sharpen, most shops have refused to replace the skates, or even send them back. When I contacted Easton, they explained the cause and told me that it will not be an issue on production runs of the skates.

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Since I didn't get a return label from Easton and my flight happened to get home in time, I skated in the Makos again last night. I sharpened them again the other night when I got home and put a slightly different angle on the edge. The boots are extremely comfortable on my feet. I had no fatigue or pain in my feet at the end of the game. In the locker room, I tossed them to a friend of mine that swore off ever buying Eastons again after using Z-airs (he wore my old 852s for a couple years after I moved on to something else) and he loved them. His feet are very similar in size and shape and he is currently in RBK 11ks.

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Still waiting for the RA from Easton and had my last regular season game tonight, and likely my last game for the rest of March. The skates continue to perform well, with no additional issues. Due to the fit, I have to loosen the skates quite a bit to get my foot in and out. That makes it a little harder to get the boots laced up the same way every time I'm on the ice. It's not a big deal, I just find that I need to take more time than with other skates to make sure I get it done right. Tonight the skates felt like they opened up a bit since the last time I used them, I'm just going to assume it was an issue with the way I laced them up. In any case, I gained at least 1/4 of a size when baking, maybe slightly more.

One thing to keep in mind with me and the way I approach reviews; I tend to look for the negative things and be very critical. The issues noted so far have been very minor, certainly nothing that should prevent anyone from considering the skates. I have been extremely impressed so far, they are the most comfortable and best fitting skates I have ever worn.

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I had a couple weeks off after my fall/winter season ended, so nothing to update for a while. In the last week or so, I have skated five times and used the Makos for all of them. I also baked and sharpened my second pair, with interesting results.

Starting with the sharpening aspect; the steel seems to require a stronger touch and/or additional passes. I spent more time sharpening the second pair the first time, than I did with my first pair of Makos. Despite that, I found that the edges were still somewhat suspect. I sharpened the first pair again and they now have excellent bite and grip. Once they have a good edge, the steel holds that edge very well.

The fit is still excellent, as is the support. I injured my ankle pretty badly a couple years ago (off the ice) and I have experienced a lot of pain again lately. Except when I've been on the ice. Once I lace up the Makos, I have no pain or discomfort at all. I played four games in 48 hours at a tournament over the weekend and was really impressed with how quickly they dried out between games. The more I use these skates, the more impressed I get.

Again, if you have any questions, please put them in the Mako topic in the Ice Hockey Equipment Forum.

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Sorry for the long pause between updates, I've been on the road a lot the last month or so. I will also look into updating the pics that were lost in the move to the new server.

I've had a couple sessions in the skates over the last couple weeks and the skates have been excellent. The speed at which these dry has been really impressive. I sweat a lot and often my gear is soaked for a while after use, but the Makos dry in an hour or two, even without removing the insoles.

I blocked a shot off the ankle last month and then took a slash to the same spot a day later. I didn't really feel either one all that much and no lasting effects from either. The skate itself is also holding up very well, as neither of those even left a mark.

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I took a pretty significant slash to the ankle tonight, naturally is was my bad ankle, and was surprised at how well the boot handled the impact. I also haven't sharpened the skates since before the tournament in early April and the edges are still holding up quite well. I am very impressed with the steel so far. I also blocked a ton of shots tonight without any visible problems with the CXN holder. All in all, these skates are holding up quite well. The rivets do appear to be oxidizing a little more quickly than some other boots I've worn, make sure you pull the insoles after every game if you use these.

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