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VE8 --> V9 : Soft --> Stiff


seagoal

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I've been sitting on bringing this up with you guys since I got my new V9 gear, trying to get some games in to see how this unfolded and formulate my thoughts.  

Long story short, I'm sorta struggling with the new pads and need to chat about it, get some thoughts, tips, advice etc.  I have 4 games in 3 days in with the new gear so I have a good bit of understanding of how these feel, play, and compare to my older blue VE8 set. 

All in all, I am super impressed with the V9 stuff.  I'm not the quicked to jump on modern trends and evolutions in gear and I warm-up slowly.  For this new red set, I pushed myself a bit to change what I am comfotable in just a bit and get up to speed on modern trends. My VE8 pads are really, really squishy (see below) and what bugged me the most about them was torsional flex on my knees.  They would collapse with any downward pressue on the thigh when down, pucks would blow through the thigh, the boot arcs and wraps around my skate, etc. So, I want to correct all that with the red V9 set. 

Quick aside on the mitts: no real problems or issues with these.  I am quite comfortable with these and enjoying them thus far.  The red glove is stiffer than the blue glove so I have had to spend a good bit of time applying heat to it.  I did have 1 goal last night result from a pop-out that I shoulda snapped up, but I am also making good glove saves and also really loving the pop on the and comfort of the blocker.  Back to pads. 

Noteworthy is that these pads are the exact same size.  They are somewhere between a 34 and 35 and of course built to my legs. They are just built differently in terms of stiffness and you can see how that translates to how they look, rest, and of course....how they feel and play.  They were ordered with a Stiff thigh and a Soft (stock) boot. 

First the pros of the red V9s: (this is ALL relative to my squishy VE8s.......the amazingness of Bauer Ultrasonics, for example, not coming into play here)

-Quick Slide is a god-sent gift to goaltending.  Holy crap I love this stuff.  It works so damn good and it makes moving around when down so effortless and easy.  I am already seeing improvements on my game when down now that I have pads that can meet or exceed my technical and mechanical abilities.  This stuff is a great asset and tool for easy, fast, efficient mobility when down and that lasts through a whole game.  Huge plus.  

-Rebounds are nice and hot and easy to steer.  The added stiffness and core strength of these pads gives good pop to pucks and I am finding myself directing pucks more rather than pushing pucks more, which is good.  In general, I am playing a bit more passively with the V9s and if I can get that dialed in and comfortable will be great for overall efficiency, control, and predictability of my game. 

-Core strength when down is excellent.  These pads feel very firm and strong and supportive.  I feel like I am "on" them rather than "in" them. They have very good features that allow for excellent upright, tall, erect posture and they support my body and my movements extremely well.  This along with Quick Slide makes being "on" these pads down on the ice a dream.  They are so easy to move in technically my game has improved for sure down on my knees in these pads.   These have no torsional flex.  The boot line is firm in the front, no arc, and if I exert pressure on the thighs they do not collapse, twist, or fold.  Excellent core strenght on these pads. 

Now the cons:

-Footwork is awkward.  I feel clunky on my feet, whether shuffling around the crease, turning around for water, skating to the corners or behind the net, skating up to play a puck....etc.  Again, I feel "on" these pads rather than "in" them.  I don't feel they move seamlessly or fluidly with my legs so that when I move around on my feet, I feel like I am "pulling" them rather than them moving "with" me. I feel the stiffness and the boxyness of these when performing any type of footwork and it feels clunky and uncomfortable.  I play the puck a lot and I am a really excellent skater and I feel like these pads have dropped me down a few notches in these categories. 

-Resting and leaning is strange with these because they move very little. I am a forward leaner on my pads when at rest, you know, forearms/elbows pushing down on the thighs.  With my blue pads, they obviously just collapsed and folded down to my leg.  With these red ones, they resist that pressure and I find now that resting is no longer "restful" because these have changed my posture, stance, and position at rest.  It feels clunky and awkward.  When resting I find myself longing for my blue pads. 

-Skate interaction is a bit awkward.  I don't know quite how to explain this one that well, but since the bottow of the pads are stiffer and flatter than my blue pads I feel them "on" my skates rather than my skates being "in" them. The boot channel on the red pads is a bit more shallow and in addition to them being stiffer and not arcing in the boot at all, they are firm on my skates.  I'm not saying this is good or bad, just that it is different and I feel it.  It is awkward and clunky. 

So that is a good run down on my experiences and thoughts moving from the blue 8s to the red 9s.  To summarize: on my knees doing goalie stuff--wow.  V9s are a dream and they have improved my game and I love them. On my feet not doing goalie stuff--they feel clunky and awkward. 

Here are some comparative pics to give visuals.  For the flex comparison pics I made a concerted effort to apply the same force on each to show how they differ. Not scientific but you'll have to take my word.

I would love to hear thoughts, comments, advice, questions from you guys.   

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Do you wear a boot strap with the red pads? Of course whilst table top pads are not NHL legal, essentially, my observation is that modern pads will sit more on top of your skate nearly like a table top boot. I suspect (and could be wrong, but here goes my theory since I do NOT know the current pad fads) that the boot merely sits on top of the skate and you could “Lundy” the boot strap so the pad sits higher (closing the 5 hole) whilst staying legal with the measurements. Again- back in the old days, much of the boot was covered by the pad. The combination of people now knowing that a thinner pad has as much (if not MORE) protection to prevent pucks breaking your shins, the thickness has been gradually going away, therefore you see more boot from the side. Of course you still need the illusion that there is a suggested boot channel. 
 
Did you spec a softer boot section?

I think once you get a little more play in them and adapt, you’ll do fine in these.

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9 minutes ago, bunnyman666 said:

Do you wear a boot strap with the red pads? Of course whilst table top pads are not NHL legal, essentially, my observation is that modern pads will sit more on top of your skate nearly like a table top boot. I suspect (and could be wrong, but here goes my theory since I do NOT know the current pad fads) that the boot merely sits on top of the skate and you could “Lundy” the boot strap so the pad sits higher (closing the 5 hole) whilst staying legal with the measurements. Again- back in the old days, much of the boot was covered by the pad. The combination of people now knowing that a thinner pad has as much (if not MORE) protection to prevent pucks breaking your shins, the thickness has been gradually going away, therefore you see more boot from the side. Of course you still need the illusion that there is a suggested boot channel. 
 
Did you spec a softer boot section?

I think once you get a little more play in them and adapt, you’ll do fine in these.

No sir, there is no boot strap on either set of my pads.  I'm using bungee Pro Laces and a tight calf strap on both sets, so no boot strap needed.

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I think you're overthinking it there buds. There's going to be an adjustment period, especially from someone who's a squishy Vaughn lifer like yourself.

My transition from my soft as baby shit V4's to my R/GT 1's was relatively fine, but it did take me some time to get adjusted to not only the new leg channel, but the added rigidity that came with going to a more modern pad.

A benefit of a new style of pad (kind of) is that you'll have an opportunity to adopt the strengths that come with the new pads. Don't try and force the pads to mold to how you used to play in soft pads, allow them to change up your game a bit.

They're going to feel alien, and you're not going to be as comfortable as you were before, but it'll come.

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7 minutes ago, coopaloop1234 said:

I think you're overthinking it there buds. There's going to be an adjustment period, especially from someone who's a squishy Vaughn lifer like yourself.

My transition from my soft as baby shit V4's to my R/GT 1's was relatively fine, but it did take me some time to get adjusted to not only the new leg channel, but the added rigidity that came with going to a more modern pad.

A benefit of a new style of pad (kind of) is that you'll have an opportunity to adopt the strengths that come with the new pads. Don't try and force the pads to mold to how you used to play in soft pads, allow them to change up your game a bit.

They're going to feel alien, and you're not going to be as comfortable as you were before, but it'll come.

 

 

 

Well for sure "baby shit soft" should be an industry standard from this point forward :)

Thanks.  To be fair, I'm not overthinking it in the sense that I'm stressed or worried.  Just thinking out loud with you guys and sharing just to get the info out there.  I imagine goalies transitioning from baby shit to stiff is a common trend so it benefits us all to have these experiences out there.

I hope you didn't take me wrong: I am totally digging these pads and I enjoy them, for sure.

They are just different from my experiences and my normal preferences and wanted to get down, precisely how, for the record on here.

I know from experience that with time, we can adjust to anything new and learn over time that this new thing is normal.  It's just that right now my old normal (blue) is very different from my new normal (red).

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2 minutes ago, seagoal said:

Well for sure "baby shit soft" should be an industry standard from this point forward :)

Thanks.  To be fair, I'm not overthinking it in the sense that I'm stressed or worried.  Just thinking out loud with you guys and sharing just to get the info out there.  I imagine goalies transitioning from baby shit to stiff is a common trend so it benefits us all to have these experiences out there.

I hope you didn't take me wrong: I am totally digging these pads and I enjoy them, for sure.

They are just different from my experiences and my normal preferences and wanted to get down, precisely how, for the record on here.

I know from experience that with time, we can adjust to anything new and learn over time that this new thing is normal.  It's just that right now my old normal (blue) is very different from my new normal (red).

You're liking that metaphor eh? :giggle:

You may want to explore loosening up how you wear these. I'm not saying go to a Warrior/Reebok loose, but do allow a little more give to them.

I used to wear my V4's Quick tight, near the end of their life I was starting to loosen them up a bit. Mostly just for experimentation reasons. Me wearing them looser near the end did help the transition over to my first set of Warriors. Especially since Warrior has a very cavernous leg channel.

Maybe give that a shot and see if it makes them comfortable.

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23 minutes ago, coopaloop1234 said:

You're liking that metaphor eh? :giggle:

You may want to explore loosening up how you wear these. I'm not saying go to a Warrior/Reebok loose, but do allow a little more give to them.

I used to wear my V4's Quick tight, near the end of their life I was starting to loosen them up a bit. Mostly just for experimentation reasons. Me wearing them looser near the end did help the transition over to my first set of Warriors. Especially since Warrior has a very cavernous leg channel.

Maybe give that a shot and see if it makes them comfortable.

That's a good point.  I definitely crank my professor strap pretty tight and the thought of loosening it on my red pads crossed my mind, but I wasn't sure.  Given that these are stiffer and don't "give" as much, I wasn't sure how a looser fit might affect how they feel.

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1 minute ago, seagoal said:

That's a good point.  I definitely crank my professor strap pretty tight and the thought of loosening it on my red pads crossed my mind, but I wasn't sure.  Given that these are stiffer and don't "give" as much, I wasn't sure how a looser fit might affect how they feel.

Oh, it'll be a different feel. My V4's felt quite a bit different loose than tight, and that was the same pad.

Time to experiment!

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@coopaloop1234 is onto something. On a soft pad, you do need it more connected to your leg. On a stiff pad, you need to be less so.

 I tried a two pad stack on my Factory Pads (between over ripe banana soft and baby shit soft) and it was not easy because of the elastics. The pads flopped. They should be cranked. Vaughns have more minimal strapping. I did try a super stiff pad and cranking them down was just no good. Of course I am wanting softer pads. 
 

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I can't help but think what you're feeling in terms of negative mobility impacts on your feet is due to the extra pad height paired with the stiffer thigh rise.  I fit a 34+2 VE8 but sized down to a 33+2 V9 and assuming I ever get to play again I'm glad I did.  Put those two pads next to each other and they're the same height.  Couple that extra height with stiffer thigh rises that won't flex out of the way of each other and you're definitely going to have an adjustment period.  I probably can't skate in my V9s like I could my V1s, but the flatter boot and more "on top" feel on the skate (especially in contrast with my X28s) gave me all of the attack angle and ankle mobility I thought I needed. 

Also, how are you wearing your RRC strap? I got the SLR2 style strap and have it about as tight as it’ll go. I really really like how responsive the pad is set up that way, but it still rotates beautifully.

Good luck with them dude!

Edited by AdamL
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6 hours ago, coopaloop1234 said:

You may want to explore loosening up how you wear these. I'm not saying go to a Warrior/Reebok loose, but do allow a little more give to them.

 

This was exactly what I was thinking reading the original post.   I've played with soft to stiff and everything in between.  I'm currently rotating between Axis, EF5 and as of tonight Hyperlight.   Basically, my rule of thumb has been the stiffer the pad, the looser I have to wear it for it to work properly.   Loosening up the professor strap and any other straps below it will allow your pad to move easier on the skate when you're heading into the corner or moving around the crease.   If you let the pad come up off the skate just a little bit you'll find movement much more natural.  You may need to loosen up on your toe ties also.  I had to replace the elastic cord in my Axis set with a slightly weaker one for those to feel natural.

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3 hours ago, AdamL said:

I can't help but think what you're feeling in terms of negative mobility impacts on your feet is due to the extra pad height paired with the stiffer thigh rise.  I fit a 34+2 VE8 but sized down to a 33+2 V9 and assuming I ever get to play again I'm glad I did.  Put those two pads next to each other and they're the same height.  Couple that extra height with stiffer thigh rises that won't flex out of the way of each other and you're definitely going to have an adjustment period.  I probably can't skate in my V9s like I could my V1s, but the flatter boot and more "on top" feel on the skate (especially in contrast with my X28s) gave me all of the attack angle and ankle mobility I thought I needed. 

Also, how are you wearing your RRC strap? I got the SLR2 style strap and have it about as tight as it’ll go. I really really like how responsive the pad is set up that way, but it still rotates beautifully.

Good luck with them dude!

 

1 hour ago, Puckstopper said:

This was exactly what I was thinking reading the original post.   I've played with soft to stiff and everything in between.  I'm currently rotating between Axis, EF5 and as of tonight Hyperlight.   Basically, my rule of thumb has been the stiffer the pad, the looser I have to wear it for it to work properly.   Loosening up the professor strap and any other straps below it will allow your pad to move easier on the skate when you're heading into the corner or moving around the crease.   If you let the pad come up off the skate just a little bit you'll find movement much more natural.  You may need to loosen up on your toe ties also.  I had to replace the elastic cord in my Axis set with a slightly weaker one for those to feel natural.

Thanks guys.  I appreciate the feedback.  

As of right now I am wearing the RRC/professor strap pretty tight. You guys in this thread have me thinking about this now.  The pads are feeling boxy and clunky when up on my skates, doing footwork, skating, etc.  They are stiff and not very giving at all AND strapped on tightly at the top of the calf.  So while my legs, ankles, and feet are trying to move around and do thinks, they are strapped tightly to very stiff pads that are just locked in place and "fighting" my lower body.  So I guess in that sense it is reasonable that they seem clunky.  Part of this too is just getting used to their feel. i'm certain a month from now they will feel normal and I won't notice a thing. 

I will try to loosen that strap a bit next skate and see how that plays and feels.  I do want to mention too: even strapped tightly at the top of my calf these V9s rotate perfectly every single time.  My blue VE8 pads, being much softer, would often under-rotate and I would sometimes land on the face of the pad.  That would be impossible in these red V9s .  Their design and stiffness seem to demand they land on the inside edges.   I don't think I could make them land on the face if I wanted to. 

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11 hours ago, AdamL said:

I can't help but think what you're feeling in terms of negative mobility impacts on your feet is due to the extra pad height paired with the stiffer thigh rise.  I fit a 34+2 VE8 but sized down to a 33+2 V9 and assuming I ever get to play again I'm glad I did.  Put those two pads next to each other and they're the same height.  Couple that extra height with stiffer thigh rises that won't flex out of the way of each other and you're definitely going to have an adjustment period.  I probably can't skate in my V9s like I could my V1s, but the flatter boot and more "on top" feel on the skate (especially in contrast with my X28s) gave me all of the attack angle and ankle mobility I thought I needed. 

Also, how are you wearing your RRC strap? I got the SLR2 style strap and have it about as tight as it’ll go. I really really like how responsive the pad is set up that way, but it still rotates beautifully.

Good luck with them dude!

I agree with this. When I first saw your shots in the new pads I thought - those look considerably taller than the blues but I didn't know if that's what you were shooting for or not. Like others have said - doesn't make it impossible to adjust - just less seamless. 

Otherwise - good on you. I'm a soft pad guy and can't get onboard with angled boot breaks and s-curves.

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2 hours ago, chile57 said:

I agree with this. When I first saw your shots in the new pads I thought - those look considerably taller than the blues but I didn't know if that's what you were shooting for or not. Like others have said - doesn't make it impossible to adjust - just less seamless. 

Otherwise - good on you. I'm a soft pad guy and can't get onboard with angled boot breaks and s-curves.

That's the strange thing. I measured each pad side by side,  section by section, and the red ones are not bigger or longer.  They're just stiffer and more,  well, erect.  

 

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25 minutes ago, coopaloop1234 said:

:giggity:

I'd guess the ~1" difference comes from the thighrise being more curved in from leaning on it and possible the boot being broken in a bit more too.

Exactly.   The blue ones are very misshapen and bendy.

In terms of pure length of surface this ~ and this - can be equal. 

Edited by seagoal
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13 hours ago, seagoal said:

 

Thanks guys.  I appreciate the feedback.  

As of right now I am wearing the RRC/professor strap pretty tight. You guys in this thread have me thinking about this now.  The pads are feeling boxy and clunky when up on my skates, doing footwork, skating, etc.  They are stiff and not very giving at all AND strapped on tightly at the top of the calf.  So while my legs, ankles, and feet are trying to move around and do thinks, they are strapped tightly to very stiff pads that are just locked in place and "fighting" my lower body.  So I guess in that sense it is reasonable that they seem clunky.  Part of this too is just getting used to their feel. i'm certain a month from now they will feel normal and I won't notice a thing. 

I will try to loosen that strap a bit next skate and see how that plays and feels.  I do want to mention too: even strapped tightly at the top of my calf these V9s rotate perfectly every single time.  My blue VE8 pads, being much softer, would often under-rotate and I would sometimes land on the face of the pad.  That would be impossible in these red V9s .  Their design and stiffness seem to demand they land on the inside edges.   I don't think I could make them land on the face if I wanted to. 

Going to echo the sentiments here on the RRC.  I had a bit of time with a similar system when I wore the Kenesky pads. 

IMO you want it just snug enough so that -

  • You do not fall off the back of the knee block
  • Can feel some interaction between the strap and your leg when you recover (helps to bring the pad up faster)

The tightness you are feeling probably has more to do with how tight your knee and upper shin are to the pad.  Once you open it up a bit and get a little more play, the pad will hang off your leg just a little bit and you should feel some relief.

2 hours ago, seagoal said:

That's the strange thing. I measured each pad side by side,  section by section, and the red ones are not bigger or longer.  They're just stiffer and more,  well, erect. 

 

2 hours ago, seagoal said:

Exactly.   The blue ones are very misshapen and bendy.

In terms of pure length of surface this ~ and this - can be equal. 

I, too am a grower, not a shower.

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I have 2 recent pics in each of my gear sets where I am doing almost the exact same thing.  It is clearly visible, especially in the boot area, how my VE8 and V9 pads differ in terms of stiffness.  Look at the bottom trim at the edge of the boot and how parallel, or lack thereof, the side edges of the boot are. 

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Edited by seagoal
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On 6/25/2021 at 11:09 AM, seagoal said:

That's the strange thing. I measured each pad side by side,  section by section, and the red ones are not bigger or longer.  They're just stiffer and more,  well, erect.  

 

Huh - that's wild because in the shot you provided below - everything looks to match up until you get to the thigh rise (guess the eye is playing tricks). 

But to my earlier point - springy, stiff (erect if you prefer (to keep the double entendre going)) boot breaks are why I can't get behind newer construction styles. I want a boot that will flex to 90 degrees (or even into the acute angle realm) and mostly stay there. Everything else feels like it pushes off my leg too much - just can't get comfortable with it. 

As it relates to your pads - if you got the same size but the boot is much taller - it really makes for a different size as far as I'm concerned. For example - in my V3's/Simmons I'm a 33" but when I bought a pair of XLT's to try to hop on the stiff(er) pad bandwagon - I got a pair of intermediates - 30" or 31". In your on the ice shots its not really obvious but in your standup shots the pads look to sit considerably taller but then again - I'm of the soft pad/shorter thigh rise school (+1 not 0 or -4 or whatever @SaveByRichter35 is rocking).

Either way - you can probably get used to them - just a matter of whether you want to or not. I just felt the XLT's and other similar styles I wanted to try compromised my style too much... and I'm not good enough to get away with taking a couple steps back. Shoutout to a guy like a Chris Osgood who completely went back to the drawing board on style and took it all the way to a Cup in 2008. Good luck!

20210624_095918.jpg

Edited by chile57
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@chile57 I am not liking these crazy-angled boots. I understand the concept, as it essentially makes a 32” pad have the thigh rise of a 34” or even taller. I like a bit more protection to the side of my skate; admittedly, it probably doesn’t make that much of a difference. For me, a shorter thigh rise actually makes me more mobile, makes for a lighter pad, and I play better in general. That is the first thing I do to a new (stock, non custom) pad: cut 1” off the top. Will I lose coverage? Yes. But I gain a more useable and manouverable pad. I can cover the net better if I can move. This is just for myself and doesn’t work for everyone. However, there is a growing minority of us who tried the plywood blocks and wanted to go back to something softer and more organic feeling. This is where the smaller, bespoke companies will win out.  

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6 hours ago, chile57 said:

Huh - that's wild because in the shot you provided below - everything looks to match up until you get to the thigh rise (guess the eye is playing tricks). 

But to my earlier point - springy, stiff (erect if you prefer (to keep the double entendre going)) boot breaks are why I can't get behind newer construction styles. I want a boot that will flex to 90 degrees (or even into the acute angle realm) and mostly stay there. Everything else feels like it pushes off my leg too much - just can't get comfortable with it. 

As it relates to your pads - if you got the same size but the boot is much taller - it really makes for a different size as far as I'm concerned. For example - in my V3's/Simmons I'm a 33" but when I bought a pair of XLT's to try to hop on the stiff(er) pad bandwagon - I got a pair of intermediates - 30" or 31". In your on the ice shots its not really obvious but in your standup shots the pads look to sit considerably taller but then again - I'm of the soft pad/shorter thigh rise school (+1 not 0 or -4 or whatever @SaveByRichter35 is rocking).

Either way - you can probably get used to them - just a matter of whether you want to or not. I just felt the XLT's and other similar styles I wanted to try compromised my style too much... and I'm not good enough to get away with taking a couple steps back. Shoutout to a guy like a Chris Osgood who completely went back to the drawing board on style and took it all the way to a Cup in 2008. Good luck!

20210624_095918.jpg

Part of that pic too is the softness of the blue pad vs the stiffness of the red.  The blue ones naturally bend and flop more and the red ones naturally stand erect and do not bend. 

Again, the length of these two lines can be equal: ~ and -     or       / and (

I think at this point after playing a bit in these and discussing here with you guys, my regret might be getting +2 rather than +1 , not necessarily getting stiff thighs rather than soft.  Given how firm and upright these are it may have been ideal to get 1 less inch up top.  I do solidly think in terms of the knee they are the correct base size given where my knee lands. 

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I'll have to look more at how the angle of the boot comes into play too.  I don't really ever pay much attention to boot angles.   The red ones are stiffer sure but they may be built at a steeper angle too which will affect the height of how a pad fits too.

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