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2nhockey

Time For New Skates

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My daughter is 13 and made the varsity team this year. She'll be 14 next month. I bring up the age because I think her feet are done growing.

After the state tournament last weekend we decided to start the process of finding new skates for her, which will be difficult as the nearest hockey shop is 7 hours away. But, we need to get it done before her state tryouts and camp at Shattuck.

She really loved her Graf 535 skates buy they eventually broke down to the point that her Mako II's moved from back up to primary skates. She tolerated the Makos but didn't really like them.

So, last weekend she tried on CCM Jetspeeds (don't know which one), some Bauer Supremes, and some Vapors. She was kind of ok with the Vapors, hated the Supremes, and didn't really like the Jetspeeds. 

She tried on several Vapors, fell in love with none, but was ok with a very low end model. The sales rep thought she liked those best because they were more flexible. Whatever. I don't really care, but I don't want to repeat tjis exercise annually. So...

Do the low level Vapors (retail under $200) hold up with hard skating? She's not big or heavy, but she has to skate harder than the rest of her team or she'll lose her spot just due to age. Can the higher level Vapors be as comfortable as the low level stuff with baking and punching? Should I encourage her to keep looking at skates until we find something higher end? Does it really matter if a low end skate is the way she wants to go as far as performance and durability?

During the season she practices on ice 10 hours a week, and plays 6 games and that's about it. I just don't want to repeat this exercise right after she gets the new ones broken in. Also, she loves the aggressive stance of Grafs and Makos, and had her blades profiled to be a little more forward pitched, so anything to mimic forward pitch is good. Thanks for the help.

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I don't think the lower end skates will hold up for 10 hours of practice a week for more than a season. MAYBE, but I wouldn't chance it with a 7 hour drive. I think,and this is from my own personal skate trying on attempts, that the low end skates feel ,more comfortable because they're softer. But once you skate in them, or begin to break them down they'll be nothing but trouble. 

I really like the Jetspeed 270, Tacks 4092 and the Supreme 170? ( all mid to low end) but I bought the high end Jetspeeds because I know the kind of abuse hockey puts on skates, and I knew once I got them baked and broke them in I would be happy. I am thrilled with my Jetspeeds :)

If her foot is really done growing, do girls feet really stop at 13, 14 years old, then by all means go ahead and get her good skates. I think you may need to go back to the store again and have her iron down exactly which skates she likes. Point her towards the higher end skates and then look for a deal on ebay or something.  

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I'd also say the higher end skates should be more heat moldable than the lower end.  So just on that, I'd try to go higher end as the final fit should be better compared to the lower end.  If she is coming from Graf 535s, she'll likely need something with a narrow heel.  That would really leave the Vapors or I've heard the new Tacks have a pretty narrow heel.  I found the Jetspeed heel to be more similar to a Supreme, which just doesn't work for my narrow heel.  Not a lot of options for the narrow heeled out there anymore. 

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56 minutes ago, 2nhockey said:

During the season she practices on ice 10 hours a week, and plays 6 games and that's about it.

 

That's about it? 

 

I wouldn't even think about low end skates at that pace. I'd get a an extra set of runners and maybe even an spare pair of skates too. Just in case.

 

Aren't all of the Vapors on Bauer clearance now? Should be able to get a pretty good pair of Junior skates for $250.

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Is she still wearing junior sizes? My 12 year old daughter is average size and currently wearing 5 1/2 Makos and they are getting a little tight. Only problem is she swims in a size 6. The pricing also jumps to senior skate pricing. I have been looking at VH skates because of this since they still price out junior skates to 252 mm. So right between sizes, she wears a 8 1/2-9 women's shoe. Expensive but just another option. 

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Thank you. I kind of was thinking we needed to stay with higher end stuff for durability reasons, but don't necessarily need to buy the 'best' if it isn't needed. 

Yes, she has 2 pairs of skates in her locker/bag because sometimes it is faster and less stressful to just change skates during a game than it is to try to fix a broken skate.

Yes, she is in junior sizes, and doesn't look like she'll get out of them. She wears a 4 in most skates, 4.5 in some.

We considered VH skates and one of the girls on her team wears them but she doesn't really like the 'wrap' feel of the Makos, and for that reason she isn't interested in VH. Right or wrong? If she's dead wrong I'll push harder. I'm just not an expert on this stuff and am inclined to let her find what works. But, she's not an expert, either...

I don't know if all Vapors are on clearance? Good, if they are.

I didn't have her try on Tacks because I thought Tacks were a cross between Supreme and Nexus fit?

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Primary would be winter season, but if she makes the state team she'll need them for that plus SSM's camp. And if she doesn't make the state team there is still SSM plus 2 weeks of power skating. I guess what I'm saying is I'd rather get them now and have them broken in and ready for the season than wait and have her go thru her clinics in her old skates and then break in new skates for the season. 

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5 hours ago, 2nhockey said:

My daughter is 13 and made the varsity team this year. She'll be 14 next month. I bring up the age because I think her feet are done growing.

After the state tournament last weekend we decided to start the process of finding new skates for her, which will be difficult as the nearest hockey shop is 7 hours away. But, we need to get it done before her state tryouts and camp at Shattuck.

She really loved her Graf 535 skates buy they eventually broke down to the point that her Mako II's moved from back up to primary skates. She tolerated the Makos but didn't really like them.

So, last weekend she tried on CCM Jetspeeds (don't know which one), some Bauer Supremes, and some Vapors. She was kind of ok with the Vapors, hated the Supremes, and didn't really like the Jetspeeds. 

She tried on several Vapors, fell in love with none, but was ok with a very low end model. The sales rep thought she liked those best because they were more flexible. Whatever. I don't really care, but I don't want to repeat tjis exercise annually. So...

Do the low level Vapors (retail under $200) hold up with hard skating? She's not big or heavy, but she has to skate harder than the rest of her team or she'll lose her spot just due to age. Can the higher level Vapors be as comfortable as the low level stuff with baking and punching? Should I encourage her to keep looking at skates until we find something higher end? Does it really matter if a low end skate is the way she wants to go as far as performance and durability?

During the season she practices on ice 10 hours a week, and plays 6 games and that's about it. I just don't want to repeat this exercise right after she gets the new ones broken in. Also, she loves the aggressive stance of Grafs and Makos, and had her blades profiled to be a little more forward pitched, so anything to mimic forward pitch is good. Thanks for the help.

Some 'low level' skates aren't even heat moldable, so keep that in mind. 

 

Yes, she has 2 pairs of skates in her locker/bag because sometimes it is faster and less stressful to just change skates during a game than it is to try to fix a broken skate.

Yes, she is in junior sizes, and doesn't look like she'll get out of them. She wears a 4 in most skates, 4.5 in some.

We considered VH skates and one of the girls on her team wears them but she doesn't really like the 'wrap' feel of the Makos, and for that reason she isn't interested in VH. Right or wrong? If she's dead wrong I'll push harder. I'm just not an expert on this stuff and am inclined to let her find what works. But, she's not an expert, either...

I don't know if all Vapors are on clearance? Good, if they are.

I didn't have her try on Tacks because I thought Tacks were a cross between Supreme and Nexus fit? 

The original tacks line is the Nexus fit (I think) and the new one, which I currently wear, is a more Supreme - like fit. And most Vapors should be on clearance, same with RibCor's if you're willing to try them. 

 

Edited by Jamarquan

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2 hours ago, 2nhockey said:

Primary would be winter season, but if she makes the state team she'll need them for that plus SSM's camp. And if she doesn't make the state team there is still SSM plus 2 weeks of power skating. I guess what I'm saying is I'd rather get them now and have them broken in and ready for the season than wait and have her go thru her clinics in her old skates and then break in new skates for the season. 

they should be out by July

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14 hours ago, 2nhockey said:

She really loved her Graf 535 skates buy they eventually broke down to the point that her Mako II's moved from back up to primary skates. She tolerated the Makos but didn't really like them.

 

I have no idea how well they will hold up but have you considered the Graf Peakspeed 7700. It's not that far off a fit from the 535. For ccm if she didn't like the jetspeeds I'd still get her to try supertacks or ribcor in the right width. Especially Ribcors, they are a slightly softer boot than the jetspeeds and supertacks, only concern might be the volume. And if she doesn't like the wrap in the boots she is trying on try getting her to leave the top eyelet undone, this will give her more forward flex but still retain the hold around the ankle for the higher cut boot. But at the end of the day if she wants comfort and you are prepared to pay the price then VH remain the gold standard of boots.

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I have thought about the PK 7700's. I've read they are a good match to the 535's as far fit goes, but we've been advised to wean ourselves off of Graf and find something else because of Graf's troubles. I do like most of what I have read about the PK's but those would be a mail order only affair for us because I have never seen them in a store thru all our travels (and we travel a lot). My concern with the PK's is that she'll like them and can't find them again once they wear out, or parts will evaporate, or there won't be warranty support. 

All that said, I am not opposed to ordering the 7700's in and buying a back up pair at the same time if my fears about Graf are unfounded...

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2n-

If she really needs a pair to make it through state tryouts and camp, thoughts on getting a pair to get her through that timeline and wait to 'really' shop once you/she are at Shattuck?  Faribault is only 45min/an hour south of the cities (Mpls suburbs) where there will be plenty of decent shops to choose from.  Also, with that much skating I would look to stay within 2-3 levels from the top line skates-- as noted previously, Ribcore is slated to be the least stiff of the CCM lines; provided the fit works, a 46k or 48k in the regular lineup. 

Family background of current skates: Youngest (HS daughter) in Mako M8, HS boy in 48k's (as chosen by him over the Vapors), and oldest player (who just finished out his college career) in SuperTacks, wore Supreme TotalOnes prior.  Oldest daughter wears Vapor XXII, but last played in 09 and fit is wrong anyway (should have been in a smaller sized Supreme). 

 

 

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4 hours ago, 2nhockey said:

Might be able to hold out until we go to MN. Do you know of a couple shops we should make sure to visit?

 

Do you mean Minneapolis area? They have a sheet of ice inside the big Bauer store (Own The Moment) in Bloomington. You can try the products.

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6 hours ago, 2nhockey said:

Might be able to hold out until we go to MN. Do you know of a couple shops we should make sure to visit?

In that area of the metro and in sequence of travel:  Total Hockey in Burnsville (straight up 35 from Shattuck); the OTM store as mentioned above which is just a bit further north and roughly corner of 35/494 (and a block west)-- also next to an REI store if interested in other outdoor gear; the General Sports location as attached to Braemar Arena in Edina, and a bit further than that is SportsworldUSA in Eden Prairie.  I'm sure there are more but those are the ones I'm familiar with.

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The local sporting goods store has a couple of kinds of hockey skates on hand, all very low end Supremes, Vapors, Nexus, and Jetspeeds (retail price around $100, clearance priced for $25 right now). So we went thereto get an idea of type of skate she needs. She didn't like the Jetspeeds or Nexus. She seemed really torn between Supremes and Vapors with a slight edge to the Supremes for having a better heel lock. 

Out of curiosity I did a pencil test. The pen never touched her foot in the Vapors. In the Supremes the pen touched her foot right at the 3rd eyelet, and contact was a little more firm as I went up to the 2nd and then 1st eyelet. 

I thought Supremes had more volume throughout than Vapors? And, given how little contact there was, does it matter?

 

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On 3/10/2017 at 2:11 PM, 2nhockey said:

The local sporting goods store has a couple of kinds of hockey skates on hand, all very low end Supremes, Vapors, Nexus, and Jetspeeds (retail price around $100, clearance priced for $25 right now). So we went thereto get an idea of type of skate she needs. She didn't like the Jetspeeds or Nexus. She seemed really torn between Supremes and Vapors with a slight edge to the Supremes for having a better heel lock. 

Out of curiosity I did a pencil test. The pen never touched her foot in the Vapors. In the Supremes the pen touched her foot right at the 3rd eyelet, and contact was a little more firm as I went up to the 2nd and then 1st eyelet. 

I thought Supremes had more volume throughout than Vapors? And, given how little contact there was, does it matter?

 

This is just me, but when I was trying on skates I tried the X800 Vapors and the S180's (both 2 down from the top of their lines) and I had the same issues with the Supreme's. from about the middle of my metatarsal to about the 3rd eyelet, I was getting severe lace bite just walking in the store. I feel like the Supreme's have more width volume than the vapors, but are shallower from top to bottom. When I first laced them up I though they felt great, but as soon as I started walking it was almost immediate to the point I had to stop and take them off. I ended up with Vapor X90's.

I'm now using custom insoles and had I stayed with the Supreme's there's no way I'd be able to use these in my skates because there was just no extra height in the middle of the skate. On the other hand, the Vapors are narrower through the middle of the foot and the heel, but have more height throughout the skate from the toe until about the 3rd eyelet from the top. I've installed powerfoot inserts in the toe cap and now have my custom insoles in and my skates feel perfect. 

Hope this helps.

Edited by darkhors
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Since she likes the 535 and I am in the same skate, I thought I'd share some recent feedback I got from my fitter.

Outside of another Graf 535 or similar boot, he suggested I might try:

CCM Ribcor and Tacks (both of the newest generation/re-design)

He said the Jetspeeds would NOT be for me fit-wise (I've tried them and fully agree).

Apparently they've narrowed the heels on all their skates.  The Ribcor seems to be a softer boot, which would be similar to the 535 and my fitter was saying even in a D width, he could probably stretch the forefoot to a EE due to the boots moldability (I typically take a wide boot).  While still taking advantage of the narrower heel.

I'm assuming your daughter and I have similar foot shapes if she really loves her 535s.  Like her I also have some Makos.  Great fit everywhere except the heel for me.  Hopefully some good food for thought.

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If you're concerned about durability and decide to go with a Bauer skate, I would argue that you're better off with a tech mesh boot.  Curv boots are stiffer, but the quarters get trashed very quickly. You can still find the odd NHL guy in old X90's, but I dare you to find someone in a pair of APX2's. 

 

Just my 2¢

Edited by boo10

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Try CCM Ribcors, those are going to be kind of similar narrower V shaped fit as the Vapors. Coming out of Graf Vapor and Ribcor are the two skates that fit most similar, but they do fit differently to each other, some people really like the Ribcor fit.

If the low end skate fits her well the higher end skate will fit even better after a bake. at $200 range though you're not really looking at low end though. X600-x700 are both under $200 now and they're more like mid range, both of those would be great tech mesh skates and both are heat moldable. Step up $50 and you got x800s for $250, which is basically the top of the line boot without all the comfort doodads.

Ribcors are on sale online as well. Again $200 will buy you pretty good skates, you can get 46k for $170.

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Thanks for the help! Going to not do RibCor, though. I am in 46k's and they are ok, but she doesn't want them because ankle support is lacking and she doesn't like the idea of the pump. And to be blunt about it, I have grown to hate the pump, too.

Tech Mesh provides better durability than Curv? I didn't see that coming... I thought Curv was superior in every way.

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1 hour ago, 2nhockey said:

Thanks for the help! Going to not do RibCor, though. I am in 46k's and they are ok, but she doesn't want them because ankle support is lacking and she doesn't like the idea of the pump. And to be blunt about it, I have grown to hate the pump, too.

Tech Mesh provides better durability than Curv? I didn't see that coming... I thought Curv was superior in every way.

Curv is definitely lighter and stiffer than tech mesh, but it is also more easily damaged.  Much of the damage will be cosmetic, but they will look like garbage.  Skates will slice into the Curv leaving big gouges. The graphics wear off leaving big white patches, etc.

If you're going to go with a Vapor, I'd suggest looking for some X80's on clearance. It's a very good skate and can be found very cheap. I can get Sr. sizes at a big box store for under $200 CAD right now.

Edited by boo10

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