Thanks to our friends at Easton Hockey, we were able to receive a review unit of the brand new Easton Mako skates. While we have yet to really put them through the paces of a full review, we’ve explored the new skates enough to give you our initial impressions. Facing stiff competition from Bauer with the upcoming APX 2 skates, along with the Total One NXG, and CCM with their upcoming RBZ skates, the Easton Mako skates have a lot of hype to live up to.
Design & Construction
While it has been a hard sell on many of people, the direction Easton went with the design of the Mako was a good one. They’ve broken away from the somewhat classic black and white look, similar to what the original MLX skate offered, and added bold and sharp orange accent coloring to make the skate pop a bit. Additionally, the silver heel helps to make the skate more recognizable on the ice. It can be argued that Easton’s focus is not on getting NHL players to wear the skate, but rather on the larger youth market. Having kids see their favorite players on television wearing the Mako skate helps to make it an easy sell.
The boot itself looks and feels solid. You can see the manufacturing improvements over MLX skates right away, and immediately know that Dave Cruikshank made the right move by partnering with Easton. One of the qualms I had with MLX skates was that they looked sort of slopped together. It didn’t necessarily impact the performance of the boot, but I always thought that the durability wouldn’t be there. With the facilities and money Easton has to put into their products, they were able to fully develop and manufacture a seamless looking product.
One of my favorite new features for this Easton skate is the orange liner. It’s Easton’s new hydrophobic grip-light liner, which feels and appears drastically different from their bio-dry liner. Both are soft to the touch, but the texture on the grip-light liner helps to keep my foot a bit more locked in place while remaining extremely comfortable.
It’s hard to describe the shape of my foot accurately, but I’ll say that I’ve had great experience with the fit of CCM skates. From a Bauer perspective, the Supreme series fits my foot comfortably but offers a bit of extra space in the toe cap. In the Vapor series, the heel and toe fit well, but the mid-foot is too snug.
The Mako skate, to me at least, seemed to offer the best of both worlds there. I have a snug but good fit throughout my heel and mid-foot area. The toe cap seems to open up a bit more and provides ample room for me to be comfortable, but not so much where I’m going to get blisters from wearing them (as I do with Bauer Supreme series). Through a few skates with the Mako’s, the only negative I’ve noticed is a bit of tightness in my arches. I have a normal arch, neither high nor low, so the tightness in this area was unexpected. It’s not something that bothers me as soon as I lace up the skates, but rather after I’ve worn them for around a half hour.
Much like the MLX skates, the Easton Mako skates were designed to minimize as much negative space as possible inside the boot. On the MLX boot, it was almost done to a flaw in my opinion. There was such a minimal amount of volume in the MLX skate that I could not fit my foot in comfortably, which really spoiled my experience with those skates. Easton has increased the volume for the Mako skate, and has done so enough to make my foot a bit more comfortable. However, I still find the tongue and laces to be a bit of a tight squeeze over my foot. Through a few skates though, I’m happy to say that it is not noticeable once I’m on the ice.
The biggest thing to keep in mind regarding the fit is that my experiences above are all using the skates straight out of the box. I have not yet baked the skates, but wanted to give you my impressions before molding. My guess is that due to the extreme molding ability of these skates around your foot, any discomforts I may have experienced in the past will be eliminated after baking. When we post our long term review, I will follow up in this area with my experiences.
Easton has taken big strides with their skate development. Not only did they present a good look, which some may argue with, but the construction of this skate seems far superior to some of their past releases. Overall fit is excellent, and baking should yield an even better fit. Anyone who was a fan of the MLX boot and fit will find themselves similarly pleased with the Mako.
Given Easton’s history, the biggest question and concern for potential buyers will be the skates durability. I can recall several complaints with their Stealth S17 skates, among others, so it is fair for buyers to be worried. However, our own writer Eddie had a good experience with his Easton EQ40 skates. The addition of MLX construction and technology certainly makes the case for buying this skate a much stronger one.
At $799.99, the Easton Mako skates are definitely an investment. However, at that price, they are still less than the upcoming APX2 skates, and on par with the Reebok 20k and what we expect the CCM RBZ to cost. It is now becoming the norm for people to spend this much on a top end skate.
If you’re convinced and want to give the Easton Mako skates a try, head over to PureHockey.com. You can buy the skates today for $799 and have them at your doorstep in a few days. Be sure to use the coupon code HOCKEYWORLD during checkout to save an extra 10% on select items.
Have any questions about the Mako skates for our long term review? Leave us a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer for you!