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Bauer 2X Pro

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I handed off my Bauer 1X skates to my youngest son (yes, my former "little guy" many of you might remember at Summer Jam skates is now 13, 5' 10", and wearing a 9D skate...miracle grow must be in the food supply), so it was time to look at a suitable alternative. I went back and forth looking and had some conversations with JR debating at a Hyperlite custom job...but that $1300 price tag was a tough pill to swallow right now. As luck would have it, I was able to find a pair of new 2X pros in a 9 Fit1 at a great price ($600), so that made it worth the gamble.  I've had the chance to skate in them three times so far, and will maintain a long term review of the skate for those that might be lucky to get their hands on a pair.


Fit - 10/10

In order to get a true understanding of the recent Bauer additions of the fit system, you must try all of the sizes:


C - narrow width

D - traditional regular width

EE - wide width

Skate fit:

Fit1 - low volume (narrow vapor last)

Fit2 - medium volume (medium supreme last)

Fit3 - high volume (full Nexus last)

I've always had a narrow foot in the past (C/AA), but after gaining 38 lbs, my foot is a D width now with a narrow forefoot. The 9.0 Fit1 was perfect for me. Tossing all the marketeering aside, the asymmetrical toe cap and quarter are the two major contributors to the fit. Feet are not symmetrical, and I credit Bauer for acknowledging that in the 1X boot. The 2X advances that correct fit with the toe cap, and the reduced height in the fit1 configuration removed a lot of the extra space, but my foot is still so narrow that I still required the adrenaline toe insert to eliminate the negative space. After a complete baking (including the OG CCM compression bag machine...man they need to bring that gem of a relic back to life) the skate fits like a sock. I have to say it's the best fit I've ever had, second only to the customs I used to have when my foot was narrower. The liner is another key piece of the fit that I'm impressed to see as an advancement. I always used to custom order the legacy grip liner for the good heel lock in the boot. This new lock-fit pro liner has that grip material right in the heel area, and my heel locks into the boot perfectly.


Tongue - 9/10

This is my pet peeve with most retail skates. Every year there seems to be new advancements in this part of the boot, and with every custom order, I stick to old reliable classic traditional thick felt tongues. I have to say that the APX2 had the best retail tongue in recent history, with the thick felt and the lace bite plastic stitched into the middle of it. The 1X lace lock tongue was a disaster. The 2X pro Recoil pro tongue so far has been a pleasant surprise, striking a balance to the thick felt I like with a recoiling injected metatarsal guard. After three skates I like the flex and how comfortable they are. 


Insole - N/A

I'm not including this in the total score, because I don't use the insole that comes with skates. I highly recommend using a more rigid thermoformable insole. I use the speed plate 2.0, and I would rate them a 10. I also recommend baking them with the skate for a complete form fit. The rigid outsole makes for outstanding energy transfer and gives the boot that complete single one-piece molded feel.

Holder - 9/10   Steel - N/A

The Lightspeed edge has been around for a number of years, and continues to be a winner for me with the simple trigger system for steel removal. While the 2X pro comes with LS5 steel, I'm far too picky about quality steel and it will be hard for me to switch from the superior quality of the Tydan DLC sets I have. I even told the person I bought the skates from that they could keep the steel that was shipped with the boot. I swap my sets twice a year - because a Bouce 90/50 on the DLC lasts 6 months with 2-3 skates a week. That's how amazing the durability of that steel has been for me, and there's no reason to look elsewhere with those results.

Weight/Protection/Stiffness - 10/10

Weight is incredible, and amazingly light. Protection is a TBD on the long term review. Since the APX2, Bauer has impressed me with the stiffness of the elite level boot. My customs up to the APX were a stiff (3), but my APX2, 1X, and now 2X pro are stiff enough to my liking at a 2.

Durability - TBD

Will use long term review to judge durability. Too soon for that.

Intangibles - 10/10

I always liked the vapor color schemes, and the 2X pro continues that pattern with an appealing graphics package. The tendon guard on the 2X pro has moved to the injected plastic tendon guard, and it has a bit more flex than previous Vapor models which were very rigid. It's the one thing I really like about the supreme tendon, and I'm happy to see this advancement in the vapor line.

Conclusion - 48/50

This skate is exceeding my expectations, and I hope to get several years of use. With an immediate break-in from a perfect fit and baking, and responsive flex in the tongue, I was able to work tight turns and edges in my first skate with them with ease. Long term durability is yet to be seen, and I plan to post more on that front as I continue to use them.  With pricing under $700, if you can find a pair in your size I would jump on them.

Edited by MLSman

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The month of January was a particularly busy month on the ice. I'm assistant coaching our 14U blue (house) team, joint coaching our 14U white (house select) team, occasionally working with another local travel 12U team, and getting calls to skate in pickup slots when numbers are low (basically on-call because I live across the street from the rink - it's as close to a heaven on earth situation). It's been about a 4 day a week ice time month with my 2X Pros.

So far, lots of positive things to report on the comfort, agility, and edge-work with the skates. Turning and edge transfer feels effortless. The lack of any negative space makes the boot feel like a pair of Jordan 10s - snug and very comfortable. Heel lock is perfect. This is a very difficult thing to achieve with a narrow forefoot and heel without a custom boot. The fit1 on the bauer boot last is as close to my foot shape as any custom job has been. That's a pretty amazing thing when getting a skate at a fantastic price.

The thing I find most impressive is how the well the thermoforming maintains the baked shape. In the past, in a short period of time, leaving the skate unlaced and hung to dry out would lead to the quarters widening out, and would then require a lot of pulling on the laces to get the wrap around the ankles I prefer. So far, the quarters on the 2X pro have retained the form, and I barely have to tug on the laces or re-lace to enjoy the tight wrap.

I'm also impressed by the recoil tongue. It definitely is more responsive, and you can feel it flex with your stride. It's so different than the traditional felt or the APX2 tongue, and it will take a bit to get used to. I find that it takes me a few minutes on the ice to adjust to the recoil - reminds me of the old xstiff flex tongue of the Supremes, but better with the thicker felt. Once adjusted, I really do like the responsiveness it adds to my stride across the entire skate.

Durability so far is great. Boot still looks brand new. In the interest of full disclosure, I don't play any competitive hockey without wearing Lexan skate guards over the boot. Had a set baked and fitted with these skates. I'm too old not to make a sound choice in protecting my feet from folks that can't control their shots. 🙂  For the cost, it's worth the protection, and the added benefit will be longer durability of the injected lacing system and the quarters of the boot. It's like wearing a cup for your feet. After one of my 14U kids caught me in the jewels, I started to be a bit more conscious of not leaving my long term health to chance with any open or weak areas, and I'd like to keep my feet protected so I can skate as long as my body will allow me.

From my perspective, Bauer really did a lot right with this skate. I'm concerned with a few things on the Hyperlite (the flex outsole and the tongue), so I'm extremely grateful that I'll have these for many years to come. I'll update my long term review in a few months.



Edited by MLSman
grammar correction

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