In this week’s This Old Hockey Bag, I want to throw it back to the 1980’s. One of the best hockey skates ever made were produced by a company called Micron; they were famous for the pro laser and other plastic molded skates. But things were about to change.
The Micron 10-90’s were a high-end performance skate that is still popular today. They were a 2D leather boot with a plastic toe support system. When produced in 1992-93, they were the most expensive skate on the market at $400 USD — in 1992!! They became known for their comfort, pitch or foot bed angle, and quality construction.
To put the icing on the cake, the 10-90 was one of the first skates to use a Tuuk holder with V2 steel. The steel was pitched to give bigger, heavier players more power in their stride. Although this never really took off in the pros, it did lead to significant data for future steel. Since most people didn’t trust the Tuuk holder yet, ICM runners were also available.
They also invented something called the “power clip,” which was meant to increase the skater’s power. In addition, the Mega’s forward lean design made it easier for defensemen to pivot and turn. The 10-90 model came in two versions: the “street” or retail version, and the specialty store version, the 10-90 pro. With its stiffened quarter, softer tongue, lambskin interior, and notable red stripe down the side, this skate was one of the most comfortable on the market. The pro model also offered two choices of holders, the ICM one-piece holder or the Tuuk holder. The pro version was used at various points by NHL players such as Mario Lemieux, Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, Pavel Bure, and Bernie Nicholls. When Ray Bourque was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame so were his Micron Megas!
Micron was bought out by Canstar-Bauer, mainly for the Mega line. But Bauer wasn’t about to shelve the Mega series. They released the Bauer mega air 90, then shortened it the following year to just the air 90’s. This skate had a huge run for Bauer and was very popular in the late 90’s.
The mega 10-90 is still much sought after if in good condition. From collectors to the player looking for that old 2D feel, the Micron name lives on. I had two pair of Micron Megas. The first was a hand-me-down, two sizes too big, so I did the “triple sock trick,” as my dad called it. Once I began power skating lessons, we swapped them in for the 10-70 and my correct size! They were awesome once broken in, even though it took some dipping in a bathtub to finally get them right. I loved my Microns.
The classic white skate look returned from the 1970’s in the Megas. This time it was done right and didn’t attempt to blind viewers and spectators with the white on the skate. We all recall the Oakland Golden Seals skates. I’m still shaking my head at those.
So as I put the Bauer Air 90’s back in this old hockey bag, we want your opinion… Should Bauer revisit the Mega line? We think so. Pavel and Mario would be proud.
Until then check out the Bauer Vapor 1x skates, since it has the closest fit to the classic Bauer Air 90…Minus the lambskin interior of course.