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After some committed time on the ice with my Easton Mako skates, I'm glad to say that they are working just as well as I had hoped them to. Allow me to expand on my thoughts and experience with them!

It is commonplace for hockey players to be creatures of habit that do not welcome change when it comes to the equipment they wear. We've all seen the guys wearing the same shoulder pads and shin guards they had when they were younger, and how people stick with the same brands that they wore growing up unless an endorsement deal sways them.

I've come to the conclusion that being a creature of habit can be to a fault though, if you deny yourself something that could potentially allow you a higher level of performance. In my case, I had worn Bauer skates all my life, with the Supreme line fitting my foot very well and performing just as well (I am transitioning from Bauer TotalONE NXG skates). However, when the Mako was announced, it had features that seemed to suit me very well, as it was designed for increased mobility and foot support, while not following the "Super stiff for super performance" mentality. The boot isn't noticeably as stiff as other high end skates, but it is stiff in the right areas when it comes to skating mechanics. That, coupled with the fact that it fits your foot like a running shoe makes it an extremely capable skate only limited by the foot and connected body that inhabits it.

There wasn't much of an adjustment period for me with the skates since they were so comfortable, and the more aggressive pitch of the blade was more welcomed than a hinderance. My skating is much more explosive with less effort, and I can turn much sharper and smoother. Backwards skating is an area I didn't expect to see so much improvement though, as quickly transitioning to fast backward skating and matching speed of oncoming skaters was instantly apparent. In my earlier sessions with them I felt like I wasn't moving as quickly, but it was an illusion because it takes less overall effort to get to speed with the Makos. The extra mobility is a tangible benefit to my skating stride, and my ability to corner and change direction has definitely improved. I'm in a place where my skating technique will most likely not change or get better, so the skates ability to extend my toes further at the end of each stride really makes a difference with me.

I think with the high quality equipment that is being made by all of the companies in the game, players are really doing themselves a disservice by falling too deep in their habits and not wanting to try new concepts from different brands.


I would have never got the skates had they not fit my feet so beautifully. Baking only made things better, and while my fit with my stock NXGs was good, the Mako in comparison felt more like a truly custom skate. I had a little bit of rubbing irritation on the outer area above my left ankle early on, but that is no longer there. I really can't give enough praise about the fit.


I have to admit that with previous Easton skates, I felt like the look of the Razor Bladz was a major detractor. However, they got it right with the CXN holder. On the ice the performance was fine and didn't really stick out to me in any way. The more aggressive pitch on the steel wasn't an issue, although when sharpening them it took a bit more effort to get the edge on them. The steel feels harder than other skates I sharpened, and it holds an edge very well. I only got one nick in them so far, and it was from stepping on a stick I believe.


Going from a really light skate like the NXGs to the Mako, the weight addition is noticed, but only in hand. Once they are on your feet, they are a part of you, and I equate this with comparing a super light stick to another one that is heavier, but feels lighter due to a better overall balance.

While also comparing the Mako to the NXG, which doesn't feature a super rigid outer material like the Bauers, I thought it would be a less protective skate, but so far I have been hit with sticks and pucks and haven't felt anything out of the ordinary.


Compared to previous Easton skates, the Makos look extremely well made and put together in a fashion that doesn't seem as prone to breaking down. The stitching around the ankle area doesn't look like it's ready to unravel before use (A problem I had with my Bauers), and once they are in your hand you can see that they are a real deal skate. Extending from my thoughts on protection, I've taken abuse in games, be it from sticks or pucks, and they have held up fine, with expected scuffing on the toe cap. Naturally, with extended use I will have a better gauge on the durability.


Not a whole lot to say other than they perform as marketed and as expected. People have commented on them based on the looks, and they are definitely flashier than what I've used, but they are a good attention getter and are worthy of the praise I give them when people ask me about them.


Easton has delivered a skate that is not only worthy to stand beside other companies' top level skates, but also a skate that has achieved this while not simply trying to replicate what the bigger brands are offering.

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Before I write this review, you should know my journey to the Mako skates. I play C level adult league hockey, and play year round on three teams at once. I wore the Bauer One95 skates for a full year, and absolutely loved them. They were stiffer than the skates I had come from, and they just seemed like the perfect skate at the time. I tore a tendon in my ankle that was not hockey related, and after that surgery, I could no longer get the Bauers to feel comfortable. Thus began a journey of different skates that led me to the Reebok 11ks. I found the 11ks to be a great next step for me because the pump allowed me to adjust my ankle not to hurt, while the skate was not nearly as stiff as the one95, and I really enjoyed the additional range of motion the 11k seemed to provide. The 11k did not hold up for me, and I ended up splitting the quarters within a year of owning them. I had no idea where to go next. I have a wide forefoot, and high instep which limited my options, and I seriously considered dropping a few levels of skates just to get the freedom from the ultra-stiff skates that seemed to be trending at the time. On a whim I tried the MLX skates that were just released at the time, and was able to use an internet coupon that allowed me to get them for half off. At first glance I said these will never fit, and contemplated sending them back. Since you could heat them up, and still send them back I figured what the heck, and gave it a go. Boy am I glad I did, as those skates were my trusty companion for nearly three years. They gave me an unbelievably comfortable fit, with the flexibility, and range of motion I was looking for. These were the best skates I had ever owned, and I was more than a little bit nervous when it was announced that Easton had purchased the company. Was that it? Had I finally found my ultimate pair of skates only to be thwarted by a corporate takeover? When the Mako was announced, I was a preorder, and got my pair on release day. My review is below

Fit/Break-in -

If you have done any research on these skates, you will know that one of their main attributes is the mold-ability, and comfort that can be achieved by baking them. I have a pretty wide forefoot, a high instep, and an average to narrow ankle. The shape of the Mako skate really doesnt seem like it would fit my foot type. With the unmatched mold-ability of the Mako skate however, the skate fits very comfortably. The skate is still shallow across the instep, but the comfort of the skate is still top notch. The tongue of the skate is a fairly thick felt/composite combo, with a nice lace bite gaurd, so the depth hasn't really been an issue in terms of comfort. I would like to see a little more depth added to future skates however.. A good bake and these skates are good to go, for me there was no additional break-in. The top edge of the skate has comfort foam, but that did not stop me from getting open sores above my ankles, where the outer edge of the skates rubbed my skin raw. Some additional heating with a heat gun, and some hand shaping alleviated that problem. This is something Easton is aware of, and I am sure it will be addressed in future skates. One last item is that I went down a half size from my normal skate size for these. They fit a teeny bit more snugly than I am used to, but I like the change. As for the actual skate baking, I did that at home in my oven just as I did with the MLX before them. I followed the same instructions, and have had no adverse effects. This is not to say that you should not bake them at a shop, that should always be your first choice, however if a shop is not available to you, you might want to consider doing them yourself as I did.

9/10 ( this was a tough score to give, because they are an 11 on the comfort scale, but I had to knock a point off for the sores the top of the skate initially caused me)

Performance -

The idea behind these skates is a sound one in that Easton is trying to give you a skate that allows more range of motion for more explosive starts, and more maneuverability. The skates have very good lateral stiffness, and the flexible tendon guard really allows you to keep the skate flat while you lean back for turns, or point the toe for that last flick of the toe in your forward stride. This was a major part of the MLX skate design, and Easton has only furthered its effectiveness here. Having worn the gamut of the stiff, cast like boots that are so prevalent these days, this range of freedom is downright liberating. While I would never consider myself a top level technical skater, my stride, and all around skating has improved immensely from the MLX through the Mako skate. I have read those that have not tried it, call the tendon guard, and range of motion a gimmick, but it is most certainly not a gimmick, but rather an evolution of the hockey skate that every other company will most certainly copy, and call their own. As an aside, I recently borrowed a friends CCM U+ CLs for a goof around free skate, and I could not believe how restricting those skates felt coming from the Makos. When I was done with the CCM's, I mentioned to my friend that you may not notice the flexible tendon guard when wearing the Makos, but I definitely notice its absence when I go to a stiffer boot like the CCM.


Blade/Holder -

Easton redesigned their holder to have a more aggressive stance, and while it is more aggressive than the MLX it was not hard to get used to. I would liken it to a CCM/Reebok pitch, maybe a hair more. They also raised the skate off the ice by an extra couple of millimeters in order to allow you to cut harder without the boot hitting the ice surface. People seem to have strong opinions regarding holders, but this one seems fine to me. Once you get used to the more aggressive stance theres not much more to say. The steel holds an edge really well, and I find myself having to sharpen them less than with other steel.



The mako is probably not the lightest skate on the market, but it is by no means heavy. Coming from the MLX it feels way lighter, but that was a pretty heavy skate. So for me I find this skate really light, but I am sure there are lighter skates out there.


Protection -

I have already taken a fair number of pucks to the skates, as I have a propensity to try and step in front of shots. Truth be told I have felt quite a few of them. Just a quick little stinger with no damage to boot or body. The skate is pretty thin though so I really was not expecting much.


Durability -

This is the great unknown with these skates. I have heard tale of Eason skates going through rivets like water, so I remove the footbeds, and hang the skates to dry every time. So far no rust evident, but I will keep an eye on it. These skates dry really quickly by the way. As I have said, I took quite a few pucks off the skates, and holders, and so far they are holding up great. I will update this down the road, but for now I am very satisfied with their durability.

UPDATE - 11/11/13 Although I remove the footbeds, and hang the skates to dry after every single skate, I needed to replace a total of 7 rivets on the front towers of my Makos. (Right skate 4, Left skate 3). I check my skates after every skate, and noticed the loose ones by tapping on them with a finger. Not a huge deal, and the skates are holding up very well considering I am on the ice 4-5 times a week. Just keep an eye on those rivets.


Conclusion -

What can I say I am a huge supporter of what Dave Cruickshank has done with these skates, and could not imagine having to go back to a regular skate for whatever reason. From personal experience I know I am a better skater because of these skates, and that is enough to make me a very big fan. It seems that people dont always adapt to change easily, and the hockey community seems to be even more stubborn than most in my opinion. It may take some time, but I believe these skates will convert a lot of players over into the Easton camp, and that other companies will be modifying their lines to adapt the best parts of the Easton skates. Obviously this is just my opinion, but I have not found many who gave the skate a true test, and did not walk away very impressed.

Easton if you are listening, fix the top of the skates to alleviate the ankle sores (I am not the only one), and add some depth to the skate. They fit awesome now, but I have to believe the shallow look scares some off, and many people fail the pencil test miserably with the current cut.

Edited by chrisg19
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Hello everybody!

About Me: I've used Bauer for most of my hockey life, stints with CCM and Graf. I got my last pair of Bauers during my freshman year of college in 2006 and was long over due for a new pair of skates. They were 9.5D and the fit was ideal except for the toe box being a bit too tight. Between playing Men's A and officiating games, feet were taking a beating. This past spring, I felt it was time to upgrade. As a Bauer enthusiast, I gave a long, hard look at all three lines of skates they had to offer. There just something about the Makos and the unknown intrigued me enough to purchase my first pair of Easton skates. I was somewhat hesitant when I first bought them but I can now say with confidence that it was worth it. I felt that this was a fantastic opportunity to not only upgrade my equipment but also expand my horizon as to what the hockey market has to offer.

Player Specs: 5' 11"....210 lbs....Men's A league...Forward/Defenseman

Size: 9.5D

Playing time: I'm on one team...about 1-2 every week

Usage: About 4 months.

Aesthetics: I don't know if theses skates will ever fully grow on me haha. I never thought that I would ever buy these skates so at least I've gotten past that point. It's the heel that really turns me off. Maybe if they made the heel black to agree with the rest of the boot? Idk. This is really a non-issue in the grand scheme of things. The design itself is modern and sharp and agrees with the aggressive boot/holder. Let's put it like this: you won't have any problem spotting these on the ice! 7/10

Blade/Holder: There doesn't seem to be anything unique about the ES4 blade. The fun starts with the CXN holder. This holder first came to my attention when MLX came on the scene. This holder truly promote an aggressive skating stance which was immediately noticed when first put on the Makos. I already have an aggressive skating style so the Makos compliment my style. I did take me a couple of games to get use, especially skating backwards, but it's been smooth skating ever since. With the CXN holder, I also find myself more on the balls of my feet with encourages more knee bend. I like what MLX and Easton has done here. 9/10

Fit & Break-in Period: If there was any skate made for baking, the Makos are it. When I first put on these skates, I was concerned with how uncomfortable they were. The felt awkward for me given my low arch and going to a more aggressive skate. I contemplated going EE width due to my wider feet but I figured that sticking with D was better based on the boot's flexibility/mold-ability. After I got them baked, they conformed to my feet better than any other skate I've ever worn. I was shocked by the 'night and day' experience with the pre-bake and post-bake. As for breaking these bad boys in, it only took about 2-3 games for me to feel comfortable with them. I had a little pain near the arch area my first game but I think it was just due to the hold. I was really impressed with how little work I had to put in for these skates to feel like an extension of my body. 10/10

Durability: If there is one area I still have reservations on, it's the durability of the skate. I haven't had any major problems with this skate yet but with a boot this flexible, I can't help but be a little concern. Easton warns about eyelets coming out if one ties too tight immediately after baking. With this in mind, I made sure just to tie my skates with mindset of having the skate fully conform to the shape of my feet. Even with my cautious mentality, I still had 2 eyelets come out on me. It's the only problem that I had but a concern nonetheless. With the Torx tendon guard, along with aforementioned boot, I'll hold off until I get a full year or so out of these skates. Come late fall and all throughout winter, I'll be able to get more ice time at the local prep school so I hope to have a more confident score. 7/10

Performance: My Holder portion of this review goes hand in hand with Performance. This skate really allows my to go through my skating motion with ease. The boot is stiff enough to give support but doesn't prohibit me from having proper technique. Whether going full out or utilizing my agility (or lack there of ha) I feel like the Mako isn't getting in the way of me doing exactly what I want me feet and legs to do. I feel that the boot, along with the Torx guard, really do aid in allowing any skater to experience an increase in range in motion. Big fan of that both parties collaborated to do here. 10/10

Weight: These skates are heavier than the NXGs (go figure) but lighter (by a couple of grams) than the APX2s and RBZs so take comfort in knowing that these skates are on par with the rest of the market. 9/10

Overall: I didn't think I would enjoy this skate as much as I have. The hardest part for me was breaking away from what I knew. I'm glad I did. I enjoy skating with this skate and also writing this review because it's been an interesting adventure since Day 1. Durability/Protection seem to be the biggest ? mark for the Makos but I feel that if you want something out of the box, this is the way to go. Everyone I have talked to has asked me about these skates and I tell them the same thing: it's like no other skate out there in the current market. 43/50 = 8.6/10

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Background - 5'9 180, wide forefoot, solid heel, flat arch.

Recent Skates:
Bauer Supreme TotalOne’s and TotalOne NXG’s

Both my previous skates were customs so I really had the fit locked in with them. Prior to baking I really had a hard time getting my feet into the Mako skates. You MUST have this skate baked to get a true appreciation as to whether or not you have the right size as they really open up during the baking process. While I could use a tad bit more volume I have not experienced any lace bite issues or any of the ankle rubbing that some skaters have experienced above the comfort edge on the skate. Ideally my size would be a quarter size down from what I have, but customs are not an option with the Mako skate.

While the CXN holder/steel setup looked pretty good, I have been skating on nitinol runners made for LS2 holders, so because I really like the nitinol’s and have two sets of them, I had the CXN holders switched out for LS2 holders with 3mm heel lifts. The lifts give me the same aggressive forward pitch that comes with the CXN setup. Since I never used the CXN holder or steel this feature will not be rated.

Mako skates are not the lightest skate currently available, coming in slightly heavier than my NXG skates, but pretty comparable to other high end skates on the market. The skate offers both comfort and performance which more than make up for it not being the “lightest”.

I have a bad habit of placing my body in front of pucks, including my feet. Protection is not bad, but for sure it is not the most protective boot out there. I give that current distinction to the Supreme NXG, which is almost bulletproof. I have taken some pretty hard shots of the boots and while I have not had any serious injury, I have had a couple of good bruises as a result.

Coming up to a year with these skates, skating at least 4 times a week. The skates have held up extremely well except for the usual scuffs and scratches from heavy use. My style of play tends for me to be hard on my skates, yet these so far are still in excellent shape.


The footbeds that come with the Mako are very thin and soft, almost comparable to a sneaker innersole. However, the thin innersole along with the composite outersole really allows you to feel the ice beneath your feet. I did try skating with my custom Superfeet in them, but felt the performance was just so much better with the Mako footbed.

So let me start of by saying that I have no complaints with my last pair of skates, which were Bauer Supreme TotalOne NXG’s. They were a light and responsive skate and I really liked what the flexible tendon guard and 3Flex tongue offered. What I really like about the Easton Mako skate is that it also has a very flexible tendon guard along with a lower cut that really allows me to get low into turns and maximize my skating stride. Range of motion is excellent. One of the best attributes to go along with the skate’s performance is the level of comfort it provides. One of the most comfortable skates I have ever worn. Time will tell whether the slight adjustments made to the Mako II will pay off for those who had issues with the skate rubbing their ankles. For me, I am hoping it skates the same as my current Mako skates.

Overall Score:

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