With the introduction of Alkali’s RPE skate line, the successor to their innovative RPD family, the inline hockey player skate game has changed. Featuring innovative thermoformable materials, an improved fit, and a redesigned boot structure, Alkali has upped the ante by bringing their new technology to every price point. Let’s take a look.
Fit and Form
The biggest improvement in Alkali’s skate line is in the fit. Focusing on a much more traditional, comfort-oriented fit profile, Alkali’s RPE skate line features a high-volume, wider fit profile designed to accommodate the wide-footed player better than the options offered by competitors. For those familiar with CCM’s previous RBZ skates, and Bauer’s Nexus lineup of boot, the Alkali RPE family will feel as familiar as home from the get-go, offering a generous volume to compliment the high instep most players with wide feet have.
For those currently in Alkali skates, never fear! The 9-minute heat-molding process makes the skate of the best custom fits in the game; wrapping the already anatomical boot last for a close-to-the-foot finish to fit a wide range of foot profiles.
New to the RPE line across the board are improved HyperLock L pads and Activ Wick grip liner to improve heel lock and dial in the support in a generous fitting boot. Coupled with a low-profile, hybrid felt/injected foam tongue and an chassis pocket recessed into the outsole, the new RPE skates have been redesigned from the ground up to improve your range of motion and energy transfer through your skating.
The Zenith+ is Alkali’s new flagship skate. A hyper heat-moldable quarter package made from ultra-lightweight Purlyn (a light, thermoformable impact composite) is paired with a stiff, light one-piece Aluminium chassis and Labeda Addiction wheels to provide that pro-level performance, maximizing grip, speed and stability. The Purlyn boot form’s super stiff and super heat-moldable nature maximizes the surface area contact and energy transfer in each skating stride, while Alkali’s recessed chassis pocket, full-composite outsole and all-80mm setup contributes to the balance and stability of the skate.
Clocking in at their mid-price point, Alkali’s RPE Visium+ skates features a pro-stiffness composite boot with Purlyn strategically spaced throughout for a stiff, responsive boot form. The Activ-wick moisture wicking grip liner and Hyperlock heel pads out found in the boot, which connects to a fiberglass outsole that provides the high level of stiffness needed for high-performance or heavier players. Alkali’s Movement chassis is paired with Swiss Lite bearings and Labeda Dynasty wheels for that performance grip and speed, all without breaking the bank.
Despite its price tag, the Alkali RPE Rival+ skate is nothing to scoff at. A lightweight ballistic nylon boot with stiffeners strategically built in provides superb support and performance in this entry-level skate, while retaining the heat-moldability the RPE family has brought to the table. The same Activ Wick moisture-wicking grip liner and HyperLock ankle pads found in the higher end models are found in the skate. The Movement Chassis and Labeda Millenium wheels carry on the balance and speed profile from the top-tier models, making the Rival+ skate an absolutely spectacular performance-for-value skate.
You can check these skates out and more, in-store and online here at Coast to Coast Hockey Shop, located in Vancouver, BC. Our skate experts will help you find your best performance fit.
Today we're taking a look at the price point skates of Bauer's new 2017 Vapor Skate family. The skates are built from the same boot last as the 1XR, providing a consistent, tapered, snug fit throughout the foot, while offering this pro-preferred fit profile in multiple price points to fit every skater's budgets and needs. Let's dive straight into it!
The Bauer Vapor XR800 Skate features a full Curv composite boot, created from one of the most lightweight, responsible, anatomically heat moldable materials available in the industry. A performance-first approach to skate design ensures that the Curv composite stands out as a hyper-stiff energy-transferring material, improving the fit and finish of every skate.
As with the top-of-the-line 1XR, the XR800 features the new LockFit dual-zone grip liner, with a tackier, grip-material bottom designed to securely lock the foot in place, while the familiar Hydramax 2 liner keeps the skate cool and dry with its patented moisture management properties. The new FlexLock tongue combines a pro-grade felt tongue with a thermoformable smart material that improves forward flex and durability, while maintaining that range of motion through the boot's overall asymmetrical design.
The Bauer Vapor XR600 Skate features a pro-level spec-sheet and materials, while remaining friendly to the wallet. A tech-mesh fiber composite boot provides a lightweight, responsive upgrade from traditional, older tech-mesh, while retaining the new asymmetrical last design Bauer created for this updated Vapor family.
A new one-piece heel and ankle support built into the internal structure of the boot improves stability and fit throughout the anterior portion of the foot, using Bauer's tried-and-tested AnaForm ankle pads and a moisture-wicking microfiber liner to provide a secure wrap and heel lock; all while maintaining a cool, dry boot through ample ventilation and moisture management.
The Bauer Vapor XR500 Skate starts with a reinforced TrueForm Tech PU boot, a material that provides a performance stiffness and responsiveness at a reasonable price. A one-piece, internal heel and ankle support structure is a new feature implemented by Bauer to provide an improved heel fit and secure lock, while increasing the durability of the skate.
An upgraded tongue with an integrated metatarsal guard helps serve as protection from lace bite and minor impact energy, while a heatmoldable AnaForm ankle pads serve as a structural basis for the hydrophobic microfiber internals. The result is a great fit package with moisture-wicking properties.
The one-piece Aluminium Hi-Lo frame is found at this price point, with its seamless construction improving the durability and responsiveness of the skate, while Indoor Hi-Lo Clinger wheels and Abec 7 bearings round out the skate.
The Bauer Vapor XR400 skate is formed from Bauer's PU Trueform Tech Mesh boot, that provides a performance-minded degree of stiffness, durability and impact protection at the recreational price point. The AnaForm ankle pads are heatmoldable to provide a customized fit from the first fitting at the shop.
A standard pro-felt tongue and microfiber liner fill out the internals of the skate, while the Hi-Lo Court wheels, Abec 5 bearings and Ventilator frame provide a solid, stable foundation for turns, strides and glides.
A great option for the casual skater looking for the hockey skate feel, or the rookie player looking to get into the game, Bauer's Vapor boot design offers a secure heel lock and adaptable fit to provide stability and support throughout every stride. Unique at this price point are the Heat-adjustable internal foams, allowing for some heat moldability and fit customization from the first fit at the shop, while reducing break-in time.
Hi-Lo Street Outdoor Wheels, Abec 5 bearings and a Two-Piece Hi-Lo chassis produces an aggressive pitch perfect for maneuverability and maximizing skating technique.
The new Bauer Vapor XR Vapor line takes the best elements of the familiar Vapor skate, and injects each skate with performance upgrades to keep up with the technological and skill advancements in roller hockey. The result is a much better value product at each price point, ensuring that every player is getting the support, performance and fit they need.
See the new inline hockey skates in-store and online here, at Coast to Coast Hockey Shop - your Vancouver-home-grown inline store!