Review by: Manuel Rodriguez
Photos by: Manuel Rodriguez/Kaycee Landsaw
Lately K2 has been working hard on making sure their next batch of skates are not only made with good quality materials but they have also made sure to deliver some really good looking roller blades for the 2016-2017 season. The first thing I noticed about the “Midtown” roller blades was that they were kind of a new design concept for k2 and to be honest just looking at them made me really excited to try them on and see how they feel. Yes I ride for K2 but I have also been skating for almost 20 years and if a skate can’t deliver a good, comfortable experience when I am using them then I will ride something else. Luckily this isn’t the case with these skates. I have a feeling I will be riding these for quite some time and I hope after this review you will be too.
Looking at the liner alone you could tell this thing was gonna be comfortable. It seriously felt like they used some new materials for this skate and to be honest putting my foot into these things there was definitely noticeable difference compared the previous models of “Urban” skates that k2 has released in the past such as the il-Capo. After riding in these things for a few hours I was surprised how comfortable my foot felt in them. Absolutely no pressure points what so ever so these are awesome to ride right out of the box. The last few rides in them have had the same results and I can honestly say that this liner is top notch and could compete with other leading liner brands. I also like that this skate feels true to size and is made for people who have a little bit of a wider foot compared to other brands available right now. It would have been nice to have put in a shock absorber along with a foot bed that has an arch because who doesn’t want those things in a skate?
Frames and Wheels
The UFS frame is perfect for these skates because it looks like they are just the right measurement, not too long or too short. Which makes the ride really nice because you don’t feel like you’re getting that “lean back” feel that you are maybe used to with K2. The frame is also plastic compared to the il-capo which has a metal frame. So having it be plastic gives you a little more room for grinds if you see yourself doing that with these. Also, please note that the max wheel size for these frames is 80mm so if you’re into the 100mm stuff these frames and wheels might not be for you. The wheels are 80mm K2 brand wheels. 80mm is awesome cause its right in the middle when it comes to wheel size. In my opinion I’m not a big fan of huge wheels because to me it just doesn’t feel natural riding wheels that large and 72 is too small to ride on more obscure types of terrain so I felt like the 80mm was a great choice to go with. Wheels are 85a so they are really “grippy” on concrete which makes them really fun to do sharp curves and turns. I also ride a 7.5 and just like every other K2 on the market these feel true to size. The only thing is that softer wheels can be a little slower and with them only coming with abec-5 bearings you might want to consider getting better bearings if you like to go fast. Don’t get me wrong, these are fast but some people like to go really fast so that might be something to keep in mind when buying these.
The skate as a whole
I can say with full confidence this is K2’s best looking rec/urban skate. So far the feed back from all my friends and even skateboarders is that the look of these are really fresh and kind of bring K2 into a new “light” when it comes to their skate designs. I also believe these will become a favorite among the k2 lovers. The skates also come with a top Velcro strap along with K2’s signature mid-strap which makes it even more comfortable because you feel like your skates are a part of your feet instead of some weird contraption with wheels underneath. The upper area is also made with more of a shoe design concept which makes them stand out among the crowd. When it’s all said and done I just have to say that if you are looking for a skate that not only looks great but also feels great I would strongly suggest getting these. The skates retail at $179.95 which is a great price point I think and also comes in a cool looking blue option as well. Go to http://www.k2skates.com for more info and purchase.