Following our review of the Mission Axiom T6 skates, we were fortunate enough to receive a demo pair of Mission Axiom T10 roller hockey skates from our good friends at Mission for review. While I have had struggles with inline skates in the past, which has been documented, I’ve been feeling very confident about Mission’s skates since joining forces with Bauer and taking on a fit identical to the Supreme line of ice skates. But are the Axiom T10 skates worth their price tag?
Design & Construction:
The best way to describe the Axiom T10 skates is loud and flashy. Depending on your taste, this could make for a ridiculous looking skate, or a ridiculously sexy looking skate. In my case it’s the latter, and I believe this is the best looking skate Mission has ever created.
With a white boot, complimented nicely with flashy graphics and yellow laces, Mission has come a long way in terms of skate design. A common point made about white skates, or other white gear for that matter, is that you better have the skill to back up the flash. In the case of the T10, Mission’s premier skate in the current line, this still holds true. Mission, however, strategically releases their top-end skate in all white to compliment higher level players who are seeking a tougher and more rigid boot which can offer the performance benefits they desire.
The performance benefits can be achieved because Mission used high end materials on the Axiom T10 boot. The quarter package is constructed with a ultra-light and reinforced nylon tech mesh, similar to what you may find in a Bauer Vapor X7.0 or X60 skate. This material assists in providing the stability, support, rigidity and durability that an advanced player needs. In the rear, an anatomical one-piece heel structure offers additional heel support, while maintaining a light weight.
Inside the boot, you’ll find memory foam ankle pads for added comfort, and a brushed nylon liner. The tongue is constructed with perforated two-piece pro white felt, but also adds vents to help keep your foot dry and a VEX foam lace bite insert.
Beneath your feet, an aluminized glass composite out sole, and Mission’s patented magnesium Hi-Lo Vanguard frame. The Swiss LE bearings provide additional speed, and the Rink Rat Hornet Split wheels are the premier wheels in the Rink Rat line.
What really drew me toward the Mission line of skates is their new fit. Since being acquired by Bauer Hockey, Mission has given their skates the same fit as the Bauer Supreme series. With a medium-high volume, medium-wide heel pocket, and medium-wide forefoot and toe box, the Mission T10 simply fits a medium-wide foot perfectly.
Having a medium-wide forefoot, the Mission series offers an ideal fit for me right out of the box. Slipping the skates on feels much like putting on a great fitting pair of shoes, and the comfort lasts the entire time you’re wearing the skates. In addition, the memory foam ankle pads help provide additional comfort in an area that many people desperately need it. The best part, you receive the added comfort without sacrificing boot stiffness or fit whatsoever.
Surrounding my foot, the Mission T10 skates provide ample volume and a good feel. Not once have I had feelings of discomfort due to lack of space around my foot. Without even baking the skates, the Mission T10’s feel conformed to my foot and work as one with my foot throughout each and every stride. Energy transfer becomes that much easier with a skate like this which feels more like a part of your foot than an addition to it.
It’s worth noting that I typically wear a size 11 or 11.5 shoe, but depending on the brand I can even go to a 12. My current and previous ice skates have both been size 9.5, as were my old converted inline skates. However, after being sized up to a 10 in the Bauer Total One skates at the Bauer Experience, I decided to stick with that for the T10’s. While my toes fail to feather the toe cap when the skates are on, they do feel close to perfect on my feet.
My only complaint with fit may come in the toe box, to the left of my big toe. Despite feeling great on my feet, there seems to be a bit of extra space here which causes some rubbing throughout game play. Unfortunately for me, this has been a problem I have experienced with nearly every skate I have ever used and thus seems to be a personal problem and not a problem with the skates themselves. The only skates which don’t cause this rubbing are skates which are too narrow for my foot, and end up causing pain along the outside of my forefoot.
As a player who always craves peak performance out of every piece of equipment, I was excited to get my feet into the T10 skates. To my surprise, there was no adjustment time or break in period to get used to the set up. Coming from years on a straight 80mm chassis, I was surprised this transition was so seamless. My thought process was that every new pair of skates would take some getting used to, but Mission has done an incredible job in making these skates ready for high level play right out of the box.
From my the beginning of my first shift with the T10’s on, I could tell something was different – good different. I seemed to skate with an extra jump in each stride, and really zip around the rink. In fact, my colleagues here at Hockey World Blog even mentioned on multiple occasions how I seemed faster while skating, and quicker in getting to loose pucks. I seemed to have the extra step on opponents, allowing more loose puck battles to go in my favor. Additionally, the flashy design seemed to provide some game time support. One opponent even said to me, “it’s not that I let you skate by me over and over, it’s just that I got caught staring at your skates.”
Where I did notice a set back in my first skate was with wheel performance. The Rink Rat Hornet Split wheels, which come stock on the T10 skates, are definitely different than the Labeda Addiction and Dynasty wheels which I’m used to. During my first game, there were multiple times where I slid and fell while trying to stop. I couldn’t get the traction I needed, even on a floor which is grippier than most. The issue seemed to resolve itself, however, as time went on. It seemed that the new wheels were slick on the outside and really needed some wear on them before seeing the performance benefits. A couple of games later, and the sliding I experienced at first was a thing of the past which led to increased agility.
Coming from a straight 80mm chassis, my game has always been more focused on speed. However, the Mission T10 skates have really shown me the benefits of having a Hi-Lo Vanguard set-up. My last time using this set-up was with the original Mission Boss skates, and they did nothing for me in terms of agility. The T10 excels in agility though, allowing me to make more efficient cuts and stops – even at top speeds. Having the confidence to make quick cuts at full speed makes dangling opponents easier as well. I now pay more attention to defenseman crossing over as I skate in on them, knowing I have the agility to take advantage of that and leave them behind with a quick deke or cut.
In terms of skating and stride, the T10 skates are great, but I do have a couple a minor issue. When moving to a pro level ice skate, one of the greatest things I noticed was the energy transfer. Instead of just skating, I could feel the power and energy from each stride going through the outsole and down into the blade and ice. Due to additional components on roller hockey skates, the feel you get just isn’t the same. The energy transfer is still there, and it’s still powerful due to the materials used in the outsole, but the feel does get lost a bit with the addition of wheels, bearings and frame. Unfortunately, this is an issue that there may not be a resolution for in roller hockey skates.
The greatness of the skating and stride comes in the same area as Bauer Supreme skates. One of the things I lacked in my previous pair of inline skates was a truly great forward flex. The Mission T10 skates have a tremendous amount of forward flex with each stride, leading to an incredible feel. Additionally, there was no sacrifice of stiffness in the quarter package to achieve that kind of range of motion. While there are skates that are stiffer, and wrap around your upper ankle more (Bauer APX), the Mission T10 skates provide a near perfect stiffness level for roller hockey. On ice, I would prefer a stiffer boot because I find it helps me with edge work, but that’s just not as necessary with my roller stride and skating style.
Inside the boot, Mission’s brushed nylon liner is not only comfortable but also does a better job in keeping the boot dry than some of the competition. While I wouldn’t mind seeing Bauer’s hydrophobic liner in their next line, it’s not imperative to making the T10 a great skate.
Rounding out the performance of the Mission Axiom T10 review, I wanted to briefly touch on protection. Within the first few games using these skates, I somehow managed to block more shots with my feet than normal. For the purpose of this review, it turned out to be a blessing. Fortunately for my foot, the boot provided more than ample protection from every shot I faced. There were blocks on the toe box, inside of the foot, and outside as well, but not a single shot phased me. Our testing skates are very much recreational, and so each time I would have the shooter ask me if I was okay after blocking the shot. Of course I was perfectly fine, and could reply telling them I hardly felt a thing, which is great. While I didn’t take any heavy slapshots to the foot, I can be confident from the shots I did take that I would be no worse for wear if it were to happen.
At $649.99, this obviously isn’t a skate for every player out there. It is, however, one of the best roller hockey skates ever made and easily the best pair of inline skates I have ever used. Depending on the shape of your foot, it seems the only competition this skate has in the advanced to pro level market are the Bauer APXR skates. From the flashy design, to the high-end components and materials, the Mission Axiom T10 skates are a no brainer if you have the coin to back it up.
Interested in picking up a pair of Mission Axiom T10 inline skates? Head over to Inline Warehouse where they are currently selling for $649! Have any additional questions? Feel free to keep the conversation going by leaving a comment, or by sending a tweet to @matthwb or @hockeyworldblog.