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My next custom skates


Mroy31
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Agreed with everything you said. Inventory is a huge problem for these stores and offering custom complicates it even more. Of course the training aspect is huge too, as you mentioned, and generally when it comes to a big box store they want customers out as quickly as possible. I've heard rumblings that at least one of the bigger skate mfgr's may be moving to a model where ALL top level price point skates are custom, which would probably actually help. Let's be honest, outside of the hardcore gear nerds like us who hang out on gear forums, who is actually buying the latest top price point skate? I would bet stores move a lot less of those than any other price point they carry. 

I do however completely understand why VH got so popular. On one hand, it was as far as most people knew (myself included, at the time) the only way to get a skate that was truly custom. Most people think Bauer custom, for example, is just different sizes (including quarter sizes) for each foot and a bunch of custom options like tongues, eyelet position, toe cap size, etc. The other huge advantage VH had was the ridiculous level of heat moldability the skates had. There's a reason the Mako was so popular despite how god awful ugly they were (imagine if they hadn't been so ugly!) 

But realistically, the reason VH was so popular was the process being so easy. Send in some tracings and photos and bam... you get sent the most comfortable skate you've ever worn. That word of mouth travels fast. Honestly the fact that I now have to get fitted again kind of takes away from the experience. Now I have to drive two hours to get fitted instead of just emailing some photos? Bleh. 

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5 hours ago, IPv6Freely said:

Agreed with everything you said. Inventory is a huge problem for these stores and offering custom complicates it even more. Of course the training aspect is huge too, as you mentioned, and generally when it comes to a big box store they want customers out as quickly as possible. I've heard rumblings that at least one of the bigger skate mfgr's may be moving to a model where ALL top level price point skates are custom, which would probably actually help. Let's be honest, outside of the hardcore gear nerds like us who hang out on gear forums, who is actually buying the latest top price point skate? I would bet stores move a lot less of those than any other price point they carry. 

I do however completely understand why VH got so popular. On one hand, it was as far as most people knew (myself included, at the time) the only way to get a skate that was truly custom. Most people think Bauer custom, for example, is just different sizes (including quarter sizes) for each foot and a bunch of custom options like tongues, eyelet position, toe cap size, etc. The other huge advantage VH had was the ridiculous level of heat moldability the skates had. There's a reason the Mako was so popular despite how god awful ugly they were (imagine if they hadn't been so ugly!) 

But realistically, the reason VH was so popular was the process being so easy. Send in some tracings and photos and bam... you get sent the most comfortable skate you've ever worn. That word of mouth travels fast. Honestly the fact that I now have to get fitted again kind of takes away from the experience. Now I have to drive two hours to get fitted instead of just emailing some photos? Bleh. 

The only thing I see stopping the increase of custom is the big retailers and how much pull they have... hopefully the companies have the ability to break away, I think it’s better for everyone... again, at the gear with the highest price points 

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17 hours ago, TheGoalNet said:

The only thing I see stopping the increase of custom is the big retailers and how much pull they have... hopefully the companies have the ability to break away, I think it’s better for everyone... again, at the gear with the highest price points 

I would think the big retailers would be on board with making the top price point custom-only, since that means they don't have to stock skates that they probably aren't able to move much of. That helps them both short term and also long term when they don't have to put top-end models on clearance the next season. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thought this was interesting commentary to post here. This was a snap chat post from a women’s D1 college goalie. Granted this is just one customers POV but I like it for a few reasons:

1. She’s plays at a high level and has a higher demand of gear.

2. She didnt have to buy them herself i.e.  there’s no emotion or buyers remorse for a large investment.

3. This is just a informational snap chap post. She has no agenda. There’s no promotion of other brands just personal insight into her gear.

This keeps me leaning toward a CCM or Bauer custom skate for my next pair. I love the idea of the 1 piece True but the True product/execution just doesn’t seem to be as good as I originally assumed...

75EA3237-B342-4DA9-BA57-2E5F1A8622DF.png

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