Back in November 2011, Easton made a huge stride in game-changing engineering for their skate department with the purchase of MLX Skate Technology. The MLX skates have been around for a while now, and we’ve seen many pro’s use their innovative design that targets the optimum skating stride. MLX founder Dave Cruikshank with his 16 years of speed-skating experience and research was brought on board with Easton as the Chief of Speed in the newly created Easton Speed Institute. The Speed Institute was designed to develop a new approach on making skates that optimize speed and to create the ideal “skater’s skate” like never before. In 2013, we’ll be seeing the first-born baby of the Easton Speed Institute, it’s name, the Easton Mako skate. It’s purpose, to provide a player with the optimal skating stride utilizing strategies seen in speed-skating for over two decades.
The Easton Mako skate employs a radical approach that they call the “Art of Speed” to make a player faster and more efficient. The general idea of this skate is to veer away from the traditional stiff boot that limits movement by providing a new sense of freedom achieving an optimized natural stride. If you look into the running shoe industry we are currently seeing a similar transformation. Nike is headlining this push with their FreeRun shoe that provides support in only the necessary areas so that the uninhibited natural stride may be achieved.
The most noticeable MLX-related mechanic that has been incorporated into the Mako skate is the Extendon™ guard. At the peak in the stride where a player’s leg is fully extended, a traditionally stiff tendon guard will prevent completion of a full stride by inhibiting the toe snap extension. The pivoting Extendon™ tendon guard was created to be completely unrestrictive during the toe snap process as well as aiding in a speedy recovery to the original position, promoting improved stride frequency.
The next aggressive strategy towards the perfect stride in the Mako skate will be the Asymmetrical boot. The outer parts of each quarter package are elevated higher on the ankle area than the inner parts of the quarter package. The raised portions of the quarter packages on the outsides of the boots provide extra support when cutting or cornering, while the lower portions on the inside of the boots allow for full rotation and extension in the toe snap process. This asymmetrical pattern of the boot was designed to allow speed and power to be generated through cornering in any direction.
The boot is a hybrid construction with a thermoformable tongue that eliminates any negative space within the boot. The materials Easton used throughout the boot and tongue turn to “mush” after 16 minutes of baking, providing for the ultimate personal fit even though they come quite comfortable out of the box. Another example of how they eliminated negative space is the continuing of the tongue all the way into the toe cap. This provides a great snug fit and decreases negative space as well as lost energy. Besides the toe, the mid-foot and heel area have a snug comfortable fit that is not the least bit overwhelming. The upper ankle area is not nearly as stiff like the other high-end skates. Easton did this due to the feedback of professional players that claim they either have their skates made without the top two eyelets or they simply refrain from lacing up that high in order to achieve a loose upper fit that allows for a full stride. With that being said, Easton designed the Mako skate to operate freely in the upper-ankle area by using a deep v-cut in front of the tendon guard and by not extending the eyelets too high in that area.
The front portion of the outsole is engineered differently from what is seen in other high-end skates. Unlike every other skate that has some degree of concavity where the balls of the feet and toes rest on, the Easton Mako will feature a completely flat platform. This even surface allows you to exert the maximum energy transfer possible through every stride as well as an improved feel of the ice. The brand new CXN holder’s position has an aggressive blade pitch that capitalizes on the newfound range of motion to enable the player to really get over the front of the skate producing a powerful thrust time and time again.
Look for the Easton Mako skate to have a limited release in early 2013 at Ice Warehouse.