For everyone who has played roller hockey, you know how hot it can get out on the rink after playing just a few shifts, as we don’t have the luxury of playing on COLD ice in a COLD building, especially during the summer where temperatures are a bit higher than we’d like. Well, we’re in luck because Mission’s popular Inhaler series is at it again with their second generation of roller hockey gear, debuting brand new skates, gloves and roller hockey pants. They are calling it the Inhaler DS and by the looks of it, they’re going to do a fine job at keeping us cool out there. Today, I’ll taking a closer look at their lineup of skates, which are represented by the Inhaler DS1, DS2, DS3. DS4, DS5, DS6 and DS7, which is a whole lot of skate and lots to talk about so lets get started.
Boot construction is key in how a skate performs, because you can have a sweet frame, outsole and wheels, but if your quarter package isn’t quality, you’re going to lose a lot of power in each stride. The DS1 and DS2 both feature the traditional tech mesh quarter package, which is going to provide you with professional stiffness, but you’ll still be getting great comfort. This particular quarter is as traditional as it gets, and is still preferred by NHL pros over the new composite quarter packages. Tech mesh is still very lightweight, which is why the DS1 is the lightest roller hockey skate in the industry. The DS3 features a reinforced tech nylon and the DS4 has a woven tech nylon, both lightweight and comfortable. From the DS5 on, you’ll feel an anatomically formed quarter for comfort. These skates wouldn’t be apart of this series if it wasn’t for their Inhaler vents in the quarter, toe cap and tongue to really cool down your feet to provide a much more comfortable fit.
Liner & Tongue
These skates are built for comfort and breathability so when you slip on these skates, you can feel the difference. Each skate features a brushed nylon liner for comfort throughout the entire boot, but what sets apart the DS1 and DS2 from the rest is the integration of Indy Foam in the ankle pockets. This tends to be a big problem area for player because of the rubbing that causes blisters and a lot of discomfort. This Indy Foam is designed to help cushion the ankle and lock in your heel to enhance your fit. The tongue is where we see a few upgrades from last years construction. The DS1 features the new Black Thin Tip Tongue, which is designed to reduce the bulk that you feel when you tuck your tongue underneath your shin guards. If you ask a roller hockey player if they’d prefer to move quicker with less restriction rather than have a little more protection, they’d choose mobility hands down. This tongue also has a 3-piece construction so if you are the kind of player who wants some nasty flop, these are perfect just for that. The rest of the line features multiple variations of a white felt tongue and lace bite guard, with the DS2 having a 2-piece pro version and DS3 with a normal 2-piece.
Outsole & Frame
Now looking at the lower extremities, this is where a lot of people look when it comes to performance because this is what you’re rolling on and if this isn’t good, then the overall skate will perform poorly. So let’s look at the outsoles through the DS line. The DS1 utilizes a aluminized glass composite, which is going to contribute great responsiveness to the skate while maintaining a lightweight feel. The process of aluminizing the glass outsole increases the overall durability while the glass composite increases responsiveness. The DS2 and DS3 both have a composite outsole for lightweight responsiveness and the rest of the line has an injected outsole for solid performance. Into the frames, the DS1 boasts the extremely lightweight and strong HI-LO Black Magnesium frames. The DS2, DS3, DS4 and DS5 all have HI-LO aluminum frames at different grades, with the DS2 and DS3 having the strongest and most responsive of the four.
Wheels & Bearings
This is where we some great wheels and bearings being passed down to some of the lower price points. From the DS1 all the way to the DS3 we see the HI-LO Swiss LE bearings, which are a highly efficient bearing that spins well. The DS4 utilizes ABEC 9 bearings and the DS5/DS6 have ABEC 7 bearings for solid performance. The DS7s have ABEC 5 bearings which are good for recreational use. Revision (made in ‘Merica) has an exclusive partnership with Mission/Bauer and features their two top end wheels on the DS1 and DS2. The Revision Variant Plus on the DS1 is an elite level wheel with excellent grip, speed and durability. The DS2’s use the Variant Classic to maintain that high-level of performance. HI-LO who has recently rolled into the wheel industry introduces their new Static wheel on the DS3 and DS4 which give you great performance at an even better price. The DS5, DS6 and DS7 have the HI-LO Clinger, Court and Street respectively.
Well this is something no one has done before. Mission has added in heel color chips for the top four models and tendon velcro tabs for the top two. Basically, Mission didn’t want to limit players who use those top end skates to just one color considering most players play for multiple teams that have different colors. So Mission added these color chips that you can easily replace so you can put the color that looks the best in the pocket. The velcro tabs are limited to only the DS1 and DS2 and can be switched out as well, but with limited colors to choose from. If you decide you don’t want any crazy colors, you can just remove the velcro tab altogether and it’ll show black for a classic look.
Well, that was an in depth look at the new Mission Inhaler DS skate lineup so hopefully this will give you a better idea of what to expect in terms of performance, quality and style. Be sure to check back in the coming months for more in depth looks at the gloves and pants. And of course, we will be carrying these bad boys so stop by Inline Warehouse and pick up a pair when they drop on September 12!