Recently, I was approached the MLX Skates company to review, test and keep a pair of their skates. And as a website that caters itself to the impassioned hockey market that is Ottawa, I figured I would be doing you all a disservice if I turned down this opportunity. (You can thank me later.)
I'll give you a little insight into the company first. MLX was founded by former speed skating Olympian Dave Cruikshank. When his speed skating career ended, he embarked upon a new path: to train hockey players to be faster and more efficient with their energy. After working with a number of players, Cruikshank noticed that the skate technology was lacking and not allowing players to play to their potential. By creating the MLX brand, Cruikshank was hoping to marry the comfort, maneuverability and performance of a speed skate with the protection and durability of a hockey skate. While Mario Lemieux is unquestionably the biggest name to endorse the product, a number of current NHL players wear the skates -- including two of the Ottawa Senators, Sergei Gonchar and Daniel Alfredsson. (Ed. note: to see some of the pros who are wearing the skates, click here.)
But like the Double-Rainbow guy asked, "What does it all mean?"
Well, the company has broken away from the traditional use of leather and plastic by developing a skate boot that makes use of aircraft-grade composite materials. Bringing it more in line with how the advancement of speed skate technology has gone. According to the MLX website, their skates and their junior hockey skates feature a heat moldable thermoplastic in the boot, where typical other hockey skates do not have this. The thermoplastic, when heated, is pliable, and that is what allows the athlete to make the skate fit their feet. From the sounds of it, this composite material offers superior protection and superior ankle and arch support. Considering that I have had some issues in the past in regarding my right ankle, I'm intrigued to see how much improvement these skates can offer over my current pair. (Ed. note: Here's hoping that I don't have to find out how punishment this skate can absorb.)
The first time that I will get to test out the product is this Thursday, so stay tuned for a full review in the coming week(s). In the meantime, do yourself a favour and check out the MLX Skates website and their YouTube Channel.