All sale pitches aside, the Bauer Vapor 1X Skates are Bauer’s most advanced, retail skate to-date. Their 3D lasted Curv® Composite Quarter Packages have always been a cut above the rest because they allow Bauer to form skates that are as anatomically correct as they get. (This essentially means the quarter package is as correctly shaped to fit around an actual foot as closely as possible). Besides how the Curv® material is 3D lasted; it’s just lighter, stronger and more rigid than anyone else’s, so you’re basically getting the ultimate trifecta. But wait, there’s more! *Billy Mays voice*. Let’s start with technology that is totally new, to even Bauer, before we get into technology we’re all familiar with.
In my opinion, this is the biggest advancement Bauer made regarding the Vapor 1X skate this year. Just to quickly summarize, the Bauer SpeedPlate is a fully customizable and thermoformable footbed that increases balance and heel lock while decreasing negative space internally.
SpeedPlate uses recovery alloy technology, which only Bauer and Nike are able to use at the time of this writing but Bauer will be the first to actually commercialize it. While it sounds technologically advanced, well because it is, it’s pretty easy to understand the benefits. All we did was throw the SpeedPlates in the oven at our store until the ink printed on the arch began to disappear. At this point, the SpeedPlate transforms from the once “hard-plastic” feel to a super soft, bendable state. You then slide the SpeedPlate into your skate without any other footbed inserted and lace up. Once you’re laced up, stand up and apply pressure on the SpeedPlate for about 30 seconds.
After 30 seconds, the footbed has completely formed to the bottom of your foot and it accomplished three major goals. 1.) The SpeedPlate and the outsole essentially marry up together and reduce any negative space, thereby maximizing energy transfer. 2.) The arch area of the SpeedPlate auto-adjusts specifically to an individual’s arch for custom arch support. 3.) Like the arch, the heel cup forms for a personalized fit, enhancing heel-lock and stability.
So now for the first time, not only are both sides of your quarter package and your tongue heatmolding to the shape of your foot, your footbed can now too. This is a true 360° customized fit from the bottom of your foot up to your ankle. The other great thing about it is that it can be used in any skate, not just the 1X or any other Bauer for that matter plus it can be molded as many times as necessary.
Updated Curv® Composite Quarter Package
Obviously each year graphics are updated on skates, but what’s unique in this year’s Vapor Line is that they took the upgraded X-Rib design from the OD1N skate, and implemented it on nearly the entire line. The 1X, X900, X800, X700, X600, X500, X400 and X300 all utilize the same, new internal X-Rib pattern. Through the in-depth research Bauer put into their OD1N Skate, they found this redesigned structure provided better heel lock and more stability for the player.
The 1X skate has more than just the OD1N’s X-Rib. The other major upgrade is the Curv® internal ankle support. On Bauer’s top of the line skates prior to the OD1N project, the internal ankle support in the rear of the quarter package with made of injected plastic. So now with Curv® being used instead of injected plastic, the skate sheds weight and the composite material will form better around the top of the foot during the baking process.
Lastly is the aluminizing film over the exterior of the quarter package. While this adds a sweet, metallic look, it’s truly aesthetic and doesn’t reduce weight or enhance performance characteristics.
One-piece Lacing System
The lacing system is slightly renovated too. Previously on the APX2, the lacing system had a very straight design from the top of the ankle all the way down to the bottom of the foot. This year on the 1X they gave the forefoot portion more of a contoured wrap over the top of the foot. The upper half is still straight but the wrap just seems to fit and feel better when you have the skate one, while the straight upper still provides excellent forward flex.
All of the eyelets on the lacing system kept their same shape from the APX2, except for the 4th and 5th from the top. These two, or technically four total, utilize the lace-locking or t-shape design that debuted on the MX3. This was strategically done because that mid forefoot area where they’re located is the hot spot that players tend to really crank down on their laces.
37.5™ Polyester Liner
Last but not least is the new 37.5™ Polyester Liner. For those who may not know, 37.5™ is a new technology Bauer is integrating into their top of the line gear. The way it works is that the new microparticles in the polyester use your body heat to evaporate your sweat, rather than just wicking it around inside. Through scientific testing, 37.5™ Polyester dries 5 times faster than standard polyester. This helps to keep the internal temperature of the boot down and therefor your internal temperature lower, allowing you to play at peak performance. While that is pretty cool, the thing I personally noticed was that my 1X skates didn’t feel nearly as heavy and waterlogged as the other pairs of skates I was using at the time. This is a testament that 37.5™ technology actually dries moisture instead of just wicking around in the boot.