Pros:Lightweight. Comfortable. Minimal break-in required.
The Bottom Line: Strongly recommended if you can afford it. Lightweight, comfortable... the closest you'll get to wearing tennis shoes on the ice.
Warning: I'm not a hockey player and I don't play one on TV. I'm a skater of average (at best) ability who hasn't skated much in 10 years. I wanted some skates that would let me take my 4 year old on the ice and teach him how to skate a little bit before he started his instructional league hockey. So, I can't tell you about the value of these skates to a good hockey player. I'm neither good, nor a hockey player.
That having been said...
I just bought a pair of Easton Synergy 1300c skates. Full retail on them is about $499. I must have lost my mind... but wait, there's method to the madness.
Time was, expensive hockey skates were not worth the money for duffers like me. I like to skate, but haven't skated in years. I don't like figure skates, and just want some hockey skates that will get me around the rink.
Rental skates are an experience in pain. If we wanted to train our troops to endure torture, we'd give them rental skates and put them on the ice for a few days.
So, with my 4 year old starting instructional league hockey, I decided I wanted to buy my own skates. That way I could skate with him while he learns. (The first day, on the rentals, my dogs were barking in absolute pain after one lap around the ice.)
The last pair of hockey skates I had were some cheapie Bauer Chargers. They worked okay, but my feet would feel fatigued in them after maybe a half an hour.
Still, expensive skates are frequently not worth it for duffers like me. Why? Because the leather is so thick and stiff that if you are skating in them once or twice a week, you might not break them in for 2 years. (Or at least that's the logic I used to keep me from buying expensive skates for the past 20 years.)
I was in the pro shop, trying on various skates and eventually, somehow, I ended up with these $500 skates on my feet. (My initial goal was to get some decent, serviceable skates for $150 or so.)
The difference between these skates and the others in the shop was AMAZING. Even the difference between these and skates in the $200-300 range was absolutely unreal.
The Easton Synergies were more comfortable. They didn't have pressure points that would need breaking in. The minute I put them on, I was in love.
So, I spent the rest of the time trying on other skates trying to find a pair that I liked almost as much. I never found a different pair that were even close.
Once you try these, you won't go back.
So, what makes these so nice?
1. Minimal break-in.
2. Very, very light.
3. Every pair of skates I've ever had or worn prior to this would cause my feet to cramp eventually. Not these.
The difference, apparently, is that instead of using thick leather for the boot, these are made of a carbon-weave fiber. They make an attempt to ship these out already molded to what a foot might be.
There are a lot of reviews of these skates from the perspective of high performance skaters. Competitive hockey players and the like.
The things that these skates do for the really good skaters, they will also do for "not so good" skaters like yours truly.
In this way, they differ tremendously from other high-priced skates. Most skaters don't skate enough to make it worth buying really expensive skates.
Near as I can figure, these skates are revolutionary and like nothing on the market prior to this. Great stuff that takes the whole game to another level.
Lastly, like any skate, it depends on your foot. This isn't the right skate for everyone. Likewise, I bet some folks have feet that will do better with other skates.
However, there seems to be universal feedback from skaters at all levels that these skates are superior.
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