Okay, okay! So my wheelie shoes, also known as skates aren’t that new. Everybody who reads this, or knows me, is deathly aware I’m injured and entirely off skates. Yet before my injury I made the change from skating on Antik AR1 skate boots to the Carbon Bont boots. So entirely in hindsight, let me review…
I’ve skated on my Antik AR1’s for the majority of my skating time. Prior to that I’d had two other skating boots, my rookie set up of Riedell R3’s, which after six months I made the mistake of ‘upgrading’ to the Riedell Wicked set up. After a persistent ankle niggle it seemed only right that I swapped to a boot that was all the rage for holding your heel in and protecting you ankle. £600 later, as I upgraded my plate (a review for another day), I was on a completely new set up with Antik AR1’s as my new boot.
I think it is obvious to say I loved my Antiks otherwise I wouldn’t have skated on them for so long. They really are a lovely boot. I bought the simple off the shelve, non custom boot and I remember the day they arrived slipping them on, with no plates or wheels and panicking. I’d spent approximately £300 on a pair of boots that didn’t fit! My toes literally touched the end of the boots and the ankle clip around my heel felt tight. As all sane people do I continued to get them mounted by my good friend Lil’ Joker (a well known derbier). The blatant close-my-eyes-and-hope attitude paid off. Only 1 agility session later, and a couple of blisters, the Antiks fitted like a sock! An amazing high-top, gangsta (I like to think) sock! The heel technology did rub for quite a bit afterwards, whilst my foot got used to it and the boot moulded around my foot. However, other than occasionally writing a university essay in my skates, with my halogen heater on, I didn’t really heat mould them.
My decision to move to Bont was purely a faddy and jealous one. My partner, Chris (skate name Giggity) upgraded from Riedell R3’s to Bont, mainly because I bought them for him. His skating improved massively during this change, as it often does when you move from a starter skate. But his reactiveness and agility and the boots customizable and cheaper price made the decision. Bont were my next step. I made the plunge, fully customized them and skated a lot of practices and three bouts before my injury. (The Bont boots were nothing to do with my knee injury, just adding time into the review).
Initially, unlike the Antiks cuddling heel technology, the Bont felt loose and panic hit me again. This time I have no choice to return the boot, they are custom after all, and so get the loose boot mounted. If I’m honest I regret my decision to go to Bont. There are pluses of course! And they are right for some people. They definitely improved my reactiveness. They felt like converse on wheels, which meant I became a jumper skater – something I’d been trying to do on my Antiks for a while. The weight difference was clear. However the snugness was gone and my heel constantly came out during snappy turn stops (a signature move I might add).
So which will I be returning on?
I think neither, purely because my fear of Riedell has disappeared and I want to start fresh. But if buying another boot was not an option then I’d be returning on my Antik AR1’s and would happily purchase another set of these boots (especially if I could get them in Navy! *hint*).
** All photos courtesy of Peter Worth, LBRG’s resident photographer**