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.