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grepnick

Bauer Nexus N8000 (2016)

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About the Reviewer

Height Weight: 5'10" 214lbs with extremely wide feet

Skate Size: 8.5 EE

Background & Experience

I picked up hockey as an adult in my late twenties. Through many clinics and adult development classes, I was able to get good enough to play beer league and now play on two teams. I'm by no means an expert, but my many years of rollerblading in the 90's served me well when I decided to pick up hockey. I’ve spent a fortune on gear over the years and I like to write reviews.

Fit

I have an extremely wide forefoot -- I should have been a swimmer because I probably would do great with my duck feet, but I like my ponds frozen. The Nexus is the highest volume skate that I have ever used. It’s shocking how much volume there is. For comparison, my first pair of skates were CCM Vector v4.0 EE and they were not wide enough, so I was forced to upgrade to Vector v10.0 EEE skates. The Nexus N8000 (available off the shelf in EE) are wider than those custom ordered EEE skates. These are without question, the skates for people with wide feet.

The Nexus N8000 fits like a hiking boot. That might sound like a bad thing, but as someone who has suffered with foot pain due to poorly fitting skates for years, the Nexus N8000 is the first skate that I have ever tried off the shelf and did not have immediate issues with pain.

Again, I’m not an expert but the N8000 feels like a really stiff boot. I had mine baked twice to speed up the break-in process and better accommodate the widest part of my foot and also better collapse in my smaller ankle/heel section (more on that later). I have not noticed any loss of stiffness after baking twice. Another nice thing about the skate is the fully thermoformable boot. These skates are so large that the upper portion of the boot with the eyelets actually folded over on my foot where my old skates didn’t accommodate such a high instep and were more upright (with lots of lace biting). Despite the boot stiffness, the large thermoformable boot has really given me a more custom fit that (again) I can only describe as being like a hiking boot.

The toe cap has plenty of room as these skates are designed for a great forefoot fit. The heel is also incredibly deep. I worried that I might have gotten them a half side too big, but I’m getting used to it. I’m not terribly happy with how much padding there is in the ankle and the way that I feel as if I am sinking back into the heel pocket. It’s an awkward feeling – but it’s a sacrifice I am making as these are the first skates I have ever had that actually fit me.

Overall I give the fit a 9/10. The only issues is the heel and ankle padding, but it’s minor. Through baking and break-in, I have made improvements in the heel and time will tell if ankle padding breaks down and I start to slip in the heel.

Tongue

The tongue is a lot thicker on the Nexus N8000 compared to my old skates (or any other skate I have used for that matter). It also has some sort of foam or plastic insert that I can only assume is for added protection or to help with lace bite. The extra thickness contributes to the hiking boot feel. It's quite comfortable, but it's a little stuff and sometimes it's a slight pain to get it inside the boot when you're lacing up your skates. I do notice a big improvement with my lace bite issues with this new tongue. 10/10

Blade/Holder

I’ve been skating on my CCM Vectors for the last 10 years, so the Jump to the Tuuk LightSpeed “Edge” Holder and there’s a difference. First, the 3mm height increase is noticeable (even to an amateur like me). It may not have an impact on my playing performance at my level, but there is a different feel that took me a little bit to get used to. I still feel a little uneasy in tight turns. I think it’s just because I’m used to my legs flying out from under me if my holder makes contact with the ice. I have started to gain more confidence in  this “feature” as time goes on. Another difference I am adjusting to is the 9’ radius on the Tuuk LightSpeed Stainless Steel Runners vs the 10’ radius on my old skates. I don’t’ fully understand what that means but at my level I think it all comes down to familiarity and adjustment.

The holder has a neat trigger system that allows you to quickly change out the runner quickly and easily. This isn’t a feature that I will get much use out of in beer league, but it’s pretty cool.

Giving a rating of 10/10, I couldn’t ask for much more.

Weight/Protection

Despite the hiking boot “fit”, the N8000’s don’t feel like I’m skating on cinderblocks. It is probably not the lightest skate ever made, but at my level of experience, they don’t feel any worse than other skates I have owned. 9/10

Durability

I can’t comment on the long term durability as this is a relatively recent purchase, but I do feel like this is a nice quality skate coming from the Vector line which I have had several quality issues with. Several things about this skate “feel” like they are good build quality including the stiffness of the boot and the projected strength of the incredibly comfortable liner.

Conclusion

Do you have a very wide foot or high instep and struggle with foot pain while wearing skates? The Nexus N8000 is your skate. At $400, the skates are a reasonably priced at the mid-point for the average recreational or semi-competitive hockey player who needs a high volume skate.

Overall score: 9/10

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