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Alkali CA9 size 8.5 – 6 mos usage

Reviewer intro/specs/previous skates used: 5’10” 210lbs 32 yrs old, experienced skater playing in intermediate to advanced level leagues and club teams. Med-High volume foot, Avg-Narrow heel, Wide Forefoot. Alkali CA9, Mission T9, Revision Vanquish, Mission Commander SE, Mission Boss Black

Fit: Wide forefoot, narrow heel, med-high volume. The amount of change you can get through baking the skates really opens up the fit of them for a lot of different types of feet -10/10

Chassis/Wheels/Bearings: All 80 magnesium chassis/ Addictions/ Alkali swiss. I stated in my LTR of these skates that the all 80 was nothing innovative, but there’s nothing wrong with it either. Good solid mag chassis. I’m not a fan of Addiction wheels, but there’s nothing wrong with them on a top tier skate, just not my thing. The bearings on these are actually quite good as I tend to bust stock branded “swiss” bearings, but these are rolling strong and smooth - 9/10 (-1 for wheel preferences and having to purchase two sets of other branded wheels, would be 10/10 for most)

Weight/Protection: weight is on par with other top offerings, so not a standout in this regard but not bricks either. Protection on these is top notch, which I was pleasantly surprised by since the quarters run a little thinner in the materials than a more standard/traditional built skate. - 10/10

Durability: Durability on the skates has been top notch, no real signs of wear and tear in spite of some decent shots and whacks against the skates - 10/10

Intangibles: “Those look sick” is one of the more repeated things I’ve heard. They have a definite signature look to them, and after having seen next yrs Mission catalogue will be even more of the toned down, slick look vs the very flashy look of the other products on the market. - 10/10

Conclusion: Alkali has come out swinging with the new products and there’s no reason they won’t be a top contender for years to come if this product launch is any indicator for what’s to come. My personal subjective score on these is a 9/10 because I really didn’t end up enjoying the Addictions and had to go through Rink Rat and ultimately to Revision to find wheels I felt good on, but objectively these are a 10/10 in terms of quality and value

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Alkali CA9 size 6.5 – 10 months old, I'm in them on average 15 hours a week so that's around 600 hours of usage so far..
Reviewer intro/specs/previous skates used: 5’11” 185lbs, ok skater. Narrow heel and forefoot, slight pronation both feet. Alkali CA9, Reebok 10k, Bauer RX60, Reebok 9k (Crimsion shadow), Mission Boss SE, CCM V10, Mission Boss.

Fit: Narrow heel, widish forefoot, med volume. Formability of the skates is one of the big drawcards, after one or two bakes these skates should fit any foot shape out there.

Magnesium alloy chassis running 80mm White Addiction wheels, Swiss bearings. Chassis is strong and durable, been hit / kicked plenty of pucks and no issues. 10/10
Wheels have great grip out of the box but durability was very poor, chunked them out on a plastic tiled sports court after 3 weeks of use. 2 other players in my area also have CA9's and suffered the same problems so it's not just me or a bad wheel batch, wished they put harder wheels like orange addictions on. 3/10
Bearings are fast and durable and still going. I clean them regularly and have measured them against Swiss ceramics and they perform close to these. 10/10

Weight/Protection: weight is slightly heavier than other top end skates, not by much but noticable when holding one against an RX60 or APXR. Protection is mid range, have taken pucks against the toe and sides and some of them really hurt. If protection is what you are after you would get some APXR's, otherwise the protection is similar to other top end skates. 8/10

Durability: This is one area where the boot excels above all other skates I have had. Wet from sweat for about 5 hours every day for the last 10 months, eyelets still solid, tongue hasn't fallen apart, outside and inside still all in good condition, stitching holding together very well. The shiny outer layer on the boot has a couple of cracks / splits in it but that's to be expected from pucks, falls, scrapes along the boards. I am really hard on my skates having killed my last pair (Rbk 10k's) inside of 3 months so for these to still be going strong after 10 months of really hard use is a testament to their build quality. 10/10

Looks: No issues here and they receive a lot of compliments. 10/10

Comfort: Whilst the fit and modability is excellent, with high use there are some definite niggles that come with these skates.
Tongue - Not great, after a few weeks use I had to resort to a lace bite pad to keep skating in them.
Toe box - Myself, along with a host of other players I know from pro to starter, get blisters on their little toes. I wish they would line the toe box with something like impact gel or make it a fraction wider. Also on the inside of the boot where the end of the toe box sits behind the skate liner, a hard ridge develops as the skate liner begins to compress after a lot of use. Tape and cotton wool keep me going but it is a hassle.
Flex Zone - Between the 2nd and 3rd eyelet is a flex zone. Just behind the flex zone, mine decided to crease inwards after 6 months of use creating a 1/4 inch long ridge on the inside of the boot that gave me wicked tendon inflammation around the ankle. When it happened, the next day I couldn't even do the skate up on my foot. Heating the area, popping the ridge out and then punching the area was easy enough but it's something I always check now after every skate.
Despite the niggles, the fit and comfort is still very good. 8/10

Conclusion: Whilst the all 80 setup took a little while to get used to, once you get there they are a very very good skate that have, so far, stood the test time. Because of the wheels and tongue I would give these an overall 8/10, as the RPD looks to have addressed some of these issues I can't see any reason why future versions of this skate wouldn't get a 10/10 (and I will definitely be buying them again).

Additional comment - These are one of the "wettest" skates I have ever used. I thought they were constantly wet because they were not drying properly during winter but we are now into our summer season and they are still soaking wet after each game / practice and take a long time to dry out. The moisture wicking / absorption capability of the boot seems weird, the laces get ultra wet, to the point that when you undo them they "spray" water as they are pulled thru the eyelets. Admittedly it is after 2 - 3 hours of skating in them but other skates I have owned never got this bad. At first I thought it was just me because I do sweat a lot but talking to other CA9 owners, they have the same problem. I have resorted to putting soakers (chamois cloth cut to shape) under my footbeds so they absorb excess moisture before it leaks out the boot and onto the wheels,

Edited by Vet88

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