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  1. Background: I will be giving this review from a referee's prospective. For my first 2 years of officiating, I used the same skates for adult league and refereeing (NikeBauer One70). At the beginning of the hockey season, I decided to finally buy 2 skates: one for playing (Easton Mako) and one for officiating (RBZ). I was hesitant at first but I figured since I plan on officiating for a while, I might as well make sure I have equipment dedicated to the specific craft. Before my RBZ purchase, the last pair CCMs I had were the 652 SuperTacks from my youth days. I knew I was in for something else. Officiating Specs: 5'11"...205lbs...work Youth (both travel and scholastic), JRs (all tier III), ACHA club hockey (DI - DIII) and Adult league...work all four officiating systems (usually as a linesman at the higher levels). Size: 9.5D Ice time: roughly on the ice 3-4 times/week Usage: About 7 months Fit: Ah. It took about 2 months for these skates to break in and be pain-free. The RBZs seem to take on the traditional the longer period wasn't totally surprising. During the break-in period I experienced lace bite, arch pain and tightness in the foot box area (not nearly as bad as I had with my previous pair of skates). Now that they are broken in, the RBZs are roomy and comfortable and I don't have any issues with them. The custom support insoles make significant difference in comfort and support also (I use the MED size). I do have to skip the top eyelet so that I can gain forward flex and lengthen my stride. CCM made a stiff boot and that is the only way I can truly use the RBZs to its fullest potential. 8/10 Blade/Holder: The blade/holder combo is the best I've experienced/seen on a pair of CCMs. With the Hyper-Glide runners, there isn't near as much bite as I have experienced with other skates. It took me a little bit to get use to but I've enjoyed the decreased resistance with every stride. 10/10 Weight/Protection: The RBZs are well constructed. Going the traditional theme, they aren't the lightest skates on the market. But given there depth and width, I feel they are on par with its competitors. I've been whacked with sticks and hit with pucks. The worse I had it was when a wrap-around hit the inside ankle of my right foot. Left a bruise and my ankle was somewhat swollen but I would expect the same result with any other boot. 10/10 Durability: The RBZs have held up well and given my previous experience with CCM, this comes at no surprise. I do have to point out that one of my top eyelets (that so happen to NOT use) is already coming apart. 9/10 Intangibles: I'm bullish on the looks of the RBZ. CCM modernized their look without looking gimmicky. As an official, I feel it's important for me to look professional no matter what level I am working. I've had both fellow officials and players comment on how much they like the look of the RBZs. CCM has made the necessary step(s) to having looks match performance. 10/10 Conclusion: I'm a fan again. It's as simple as that. I feel that the RBZs represent the growth in R&D by CCM and it shows in their skate. The worst part about this skate is the break-in period. It was the worst I experience in a while but well worth it in the end. I highly recommend RBZs for people looking for more volume/width. 47/50 = 9.4/10
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