Silver Seven sells out: MLX Skates

The MLX Skate, in profile.

A few weeks ago, I was offered a pair of MLX hockey skates to try out and review on the site. I took MLX up on the offer, and I'm glad I did: They're the best skates I've ever worn.

The reason why they're great is because they're the first ones I've worn that had to be 'baked' to get the right fit; basically, you heat them up and put them on so you get a custom-fitted skates. Other brands offer that, too, but a lot of them have custom ovens you've got to use; with MLX skates, I was able to use my kitchen oven (although I was certainly a little hesitant to do so). I did, it worked, and the skates fit perfectly.

If you're looking to buy hockey skates, though, there might be something giving you pause about MLX skates: The price. The suggested retail price is $799, although you can get them on the website for as little as $499, which is pretty good. With these skates, you get what you pay for: They're a great product, and they'll make your hockey-playing experience that much better, but you're going to pay for the quality you get. If you're a casual skater who gets out a couple times a year, MLX skates are probably more than you need. But if you're on the ice a few times a week, the comfort is definitely worth the expense.

It's obvious that one of MLX's priorities in the skate was customizability and after-sale support. There's a massive collection of videos and tutorials on their website on how to get the skate just right for your fit, from foam toe-plugs to get perfect fits to a customized blade offset if you've got an unconventional stride. Along with the skates, you get a bunch of spare parts (the nuts and bolts that keep the skate together, a lace-tightener, and a screwdriver) so you can keep the skate going for long periods; although my pair is still young, I'm sure it's going to be a long-lasting skate for me.

Parents buying skates for their kids are obviously a huge part of the market, and they're also among the most price-sensitive demographic; as a result, a $500 (or higher) price tag might send you running for the doors. But if your kid is playing high-level hockey, they might be worthwhile, and the toe-plugs actually allow you to buy a slightly larger skate and make it fit, meaning the skates might end up lasting a few seasons--and all of them with a custom fit--rather than the less flexible conventional skates you might be able to get for less. If you're buying skates you'll have to weight the pros and cons, but these ones might actually end up better for you, in the long run.

One small detail I especially like about them: They're made in Canada. Doesn't matter to everyone, but a lot of conventional skates today are made in China, and if I can I like to support Canadian manufacturers. But that's just me.

There's no question that MLX skates can offer you a perfect fit for your feet. There's also no question that they're very expensive. If you get out on the ice often enough that the added comfort is enough to justify the cost, you won't regret buying MLX skates. I'm glad I've got a pair.

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