Earlier in the month I wrote an article on Inline Hockey Skate Shopping. Using the information from the article, I purchased a new pair of skates, the Bauer Vapor RX20. Here are my initial impressions.
After blowing out a tire, it was time to put my 3+ year skates to rest and update to a better skate. I knew I wanted to go with Bauer skates, leaving me between the Bauer Vapor RX25 or the Bauer Vapor RX20. After trying on the skates a few times at a local hockey store I noticed the RX25’s seemed to have a tighter fit, causing pain at the widest part of my foot. Surprisingly, the RX20’s felt much more comfortable, and so I ordered through Inline Warehouse and the rest is history.
After constantly tracking the progress of my order online every 15 minutes throughout the day, I went home to find the skates had arrived. I was excited, still pretty excited today, that they finally arrived.
The skates are flashy to an extent with a red, white and gray color combination, but not obnoxious. Immediately you could tell some bit of work went into this skate, from the anatomical 2-piece tongue, hi-lo vanguard frame for a more aggressive and responsive skate to the ABEC 7 608 bearings and the Labeda Gripper Wheels x-soft 74A durometer.
That night I went to play drop in with fellow writer Matt. One of my worries was how long it would take to break the skate in, from the boot itself to the wheels. To my surprise, I felt a little discomfort after the 3 hour skate, but nothing that was unbearable. Note: you are able to bake the skates, which is recommended, I just have yet to do so. As for the wheels, I had envisioned trying to stop and breaking my ankle. This though was not the case as the wheels were a perfect balance of grip and slide, allowing me to stop extremely well without fear of injury.
From the first stride I knew I had purchased a good skate. Going with the saying, “You never know what you have until it’s gone”, my old skate was out dated. The Vapor RX20’s felt extremely efficient with every stride. The boot is stiff, limiting the loss of transfer of energy from the stride to the skate to the ground. This allowed me to better each stride resulting in increased speed.
Overall I am really happy at this point in time. The price of the Bauer Vapor RX20 is $169.99 which falls right under that $200 dollar mark. As a mid-level skate, it’s a right out of the package good buy.
Check back in a few weeks for another review after more usage.