by Mel @troubleon8wheels
Another day, another skate review!
The Slades click-lock mechanism are a huge upgrade from the metal adjustable roller skates of yesteryear, that many of us remember growing up with!
Slades are a purpose-designed high top trainer, with metal parts inserted into the sole of the shoe, which a detachable plate and wheels (aka rolling part) can be clipped on and off, according to the terrain you are skating in. They are particularly suitable for urban environments, where the ability to walk along busy stretches of road, uneven surfaces or hop on and off public transport as required.
Available in black or white, the styling is simple. There are mesh, canvas and suede panels as per most trainer construction, and the shoes will co-ordinate with most outfits.
The shoes feel similar to a lightly padded Vans style trainer, and feel on the generous side of sizing.
Depending how you like your shoes to fit, you may want to size down. As a UK6.5, I tried this size first (EU40), and then the size smaller to compare (EU39) and to my surprise, they fit. It is also useful to know that the upper will likely give a little with wear, so a shoe that is on the snug side is better for me. As the shoe doesn't have the same sort of support that I'm used to in my usual Moxi Jack boots, I also prefer to wear the slightly smaller size to help my foot feel supported.
How do they feel as a trainer?
I was pleasantly surprised that after a busy day at the RGG shop, running around in the shoe, they felt comfortable, and the inserts did not affect my movement. I couldn't feel them when I was walking, and only became aware of the parts later when I walked over gravel and they sounded different to a rubber soled shoe.
How do they roll?
As you will no doubt know, I like to test skates as they are out of the box, without making any adjustments. The biggest adjustment for me was the balance, as I am used to skating on a heeled boot, and skating without a heel certainly felt different. I may make some adjustments to the front truck, but it's actually unlikely. I pushed fairly hard into the edges of the skate in order to see how my weight affected the lateral movement, and there was plenty! Yup, that meant that any difficulty I was having was down to my needing to adjust to the new balance point. I will likely get some heel inserts just to lift my heel a little.
The wheels are 82A, and feel soft enough to skate around town but firm enough to dance in. I quite like that they are unbranded as this complements the clean look of the shoe.
How does the click lock mechanism work?
Do not lose the key! It is a firm locking mechanism and as with any new technology, will take a little practise before it is a smooth movement to pop them on and off. I find that putting the first one on is easier than the second!
To take them off, angle your heel up, push hard on the key and your heel will lift off. Then push your toe down to slide it off the front lock and release your shoe.
Carrying the rolling part is far less inconvenient that carrying roller skates, although you know you, and depending where you are heading to skate, you may want your full set up. The rolling part fits easily into a skate strap or bag and are fairly light.
We have been delighted with the initial response to Slades in our shop, and due to popular demand, we will be putting a further order next week! If you would like to get yourself a pair and guarantee a size and colour, please get in on the pre-order now. Click here to pre-order. It will be a short pre-order running until Friday June 10th midday, at which point we will place our order. To say thank you for placing a pre-order we will send out your Slades to a UK address for free.
We are happy to exchange your Slade's for another size should your pre-ordered size not be the right one, but pre-orders will not be eligible for a refund. Thank you for understanding.
Do you already have a pair of Slades? How do you find them? #SladeSquad