For this week’s “This Old Hockey Bag,” I want to open this blog up to you, the reader. I have wanted to write this for a long time, and I can’t wait to hear your feedback on a question that I’ve struggled with for a while now: what is your favorite pair of skates ever? I had a customer ask me this, and the first skates to come to mind were my Graf 703’s from juniors. That was until recently, when I went back to my parents’ garage and found my old skates. I can now definitively say that my favorite skates of all time are the Bauer Supreme Custom 3000. I totally forgot about how comfortable my feet felt in them. I really missed those beauties from Canstar.
Firstly, the Flo Fit gel was awesome: a true attempt at having a skate fit your foot with different widths and molds. This was a far cry from the Bauer Turbo line in the late 1980’s. I loved so many features on the Supreme Custom 3000; the Form Fit Plus tongue was like a pillow of felt against your skin. I never got lace bite, ever. The Custom Plus Tuuk was far better than the solid ICM holder and looked sweet with the classic Canstar leaf logo on it.
Let’s look inside the boot at the amazing Super Feet III Insoles. They were extremely soft and provided the perfect amount of cushion vs. control. The blue foot bed had toe marks after a few times sweating in them, so the fit had to be perfect. The beautiful Clarino liner was so great that when I wore mine in a hot bath tub to mold, they would wrap like the leather on a steering wheel. I used this molding method 2-3 times to break the leather and stiffness of the boot in. These were pro stock boots with a #2 stiffness. This was long before #2 was available as a standard retail stiffness. This method of soaking the skates provided a very similar process to what you “youngins” perform today when baking your skates in a skate oven. I still think that soaking the leather with bare feet provides a better feel inside the skate than baking does today. With today’s composite, we are getting closer.
Beyond their being made in Canada and being one of the best selling Bauer skates ever, the real fun began after they were broken in. I loved the responsiveness and how stiff they were. This was a true power skater’s skate. That’s the best way to describe them. You pushed them, and they pushed back. And who can forget adding Protec-toe sealant to the toe of the skate once the fabric began to wear away? Some people used clear sealant, but I loved the black. A glossy, hard outer shell stopped the fraying of the cloth and made a hard exterior toe cap, almost like what you have today. Most toe caps, though, were made from cloth until the late 1990’s.
So there you have it. Now we want to know what your favorite skates ever were. What year did they release? What did you love about them? Do you still wear that brand? Let us know in the comments section and be sure to follow us on social media! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.