08-27-2003, 08:09 AM
Well, as I mentioned before I mail ordered some Tours that just did not fit my foot. So I bit the bullet and combined a business trip with a skate buying junket to neighboring New Hampshire. I tried on a Bauer w/ a rocker chassis (the skate was too big for me but I wanted to feel the rocker just out of curiosity - I was surprised at how subtle it seemed - granted I was on carpet); a Nike Quest 1 (not a great fit for me, and frankly I can't believe that a material can offer a game-ready fit AND durability - turns out Nike has moved away from the fitposite this year), a Mission D3 (that was the top Mission they had) and a CCM Cage (also the top CCM they had). Of all of them, the Cage fit me best, so that is what I went with. In general I would say a snugger fit or a looser fit would be just a matter of personal anatomy, but I was disappointed with some hot spots I felt on the missions on one foot only. I was most impressed with the VALUE of the Cage; they go for 169-199, they are the middle of the CCM pack with 2 models above and 2 below. They offered half sizing in my size (which is 12 street shoe, so I am pretty sure anybody can get half sizing!), AND width sizing - bonus. I learned (from epuck) that CCM doesn't sell any models with "stamped" (ie 2 piece) chassis, they are all extruded (can't say the same for Mission) and that CCM has 5 sizes of chassis for the best boot-chassis fit (industry standard is 4 sizes of chassis). The Cage also comes standard with micro bearings on a Hyper Formula G wheel, I thought that was a nice touch. Holding up a D3 in one hand and a Cage in another was no contest in terms of materials - for example, the tongue of the D3 had the support of a piece of carpeting, and I am really wary of the "basketball shoe-look" lacing system - I would rather have a metal eyelet than a plastic-reinforced fabrid one.). As far as skating on the CCMs once I got home, I was really pleased, they felt like a part of my foot as they should, and I felt nicely balanced for frontwards and backwards skating, it seemed to be the same amount of forward lean my Bauer 5K ice skates have. The heel hold was very snug. My "reflex bars" haven't broken in yet but I like the idea (instead of an normal eyelet at the instep they have a pair of rubber bars that come closer together than an eyelet. Each rubber bar can pivot, so you can lace it all tightly without limiting your front-back flexion. My description doesn't do it justice, check out a photo at ccmsports.com). So all in all I am really pleased; I would have sprung for the outcast or maverick if they had them, but dollar for dollar I think I got a great skate.