You’ve searched high and low and in every nook and cranny for a good hockey skate that fits wide feet. But every supposedly wide hockey skate you’ve ordered online has ended up strangling circulation and hurting your feet like there’s a pain-inflicting medal the boot needs to win! Fortunately, you ended up on this CCM SK80 RBZ senior skate review.
In my review of the CCM SK80 RBZ senior hockey skate, you’ll (hopefully) get more than a glimpse into what makes this wide-feet ice boot tick.
What’s more, you’ll also know every negative thing you should know about this ice shoe before you sink your hard-earned dollars into this investment.
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- CCM SK80 RBZ Senior Hockey SkateFeatures and Specs
- First Impressions of the CCM SK80 Skate
- How Stiff is the CCM RBZ SK80 Skate?
- How Well Does this CCM Hockey Boot Fit?
- The CCM SK80 RBZ’s Performance on the Ice
- A 7-mm Felt Tongue and Microfiber Liner for Comfort
- How Much Forward Flex Does the Skate Provide?
- How Does the CCM RBZ SK80 Handle Energy Transfer?
- Blade-holders and Blades of the CCM SK80 RBZ Skate
- Pre-2014 Design and Workmanship Issues
- CCM RBZ SK80 Ice Hockey Skate Review: Verdict?
CCM SK80 RBZ Senior Hockey SkateFeatures and Specs
I’ll right away hand over to you a little, neat list of this hockey skate’s features and specs. After that, I’ll handhold you through each spec and feature to help you evaluate the deal from a place of accurate information and clear, complete product knowledge. So, here’s the list:
- Vectorwear Surlyn quarter package for support and durability
- Heat-moldable EPP foam for customizability
- A heavy-duty microfiber liner for comfort and moisture control
- A 7-mm felt with great anti-lace bite credentials
- A lightweight composite sole providing a reactive feel while noticeably boosting energy transfer
- Speedblade 4.0 blade runners
- Speedblade stainless steel blades
But is the CCM SK80 RBZ 80 really as good as everyone says it is? I’ll answer that question and a couple more a little further down the road.
So, let’s take a closer look at this men’s hockey skate from CCM.
First Impressions of the CCM SK80 Skate
CCM makes pretty decent skates for playing hockey. The super-popular hockey skate manufacturer makes racing skates, hockey skates, figure skates, and a whole slew of other hockey-focused products.
You’ll always meet someone who’s skated in CCM skates since 10 years ago. And the enthusiastic skater will always be a little hesitant to buy from any other skate brand. Because CCM builds superior skates, ice shoes that perform well, and most last many hockey seasons.
Right out of the box, one feels that the company took care when putting together the components this boot consists of. The boots is mainly dark, but white and red accents on the laces, the quarter package, and tendon guard. I’m yet to see a CCM boot that wasn’t dark with accents in contrasting colors to kill monotony in the boot’s design.
The outer shell looks tough and sturdy; it’s like it’s created to provide tons of support. The laces are mostly flat, and they’re white with dark accents. The final look is nowhere near plain or dull, but that doesn’t mean the skate stands out too much.
As for the eyelets, they’re steel and seem well-made, and the tongue amounts to really thick padding. The blades seem like good quality, too, just as are the runner holders.
Even though this skate is manufactured in Thailand, it’s a solid construction that’s resulted from an equally solid product design. Having examined this boot, and hearing my hubby share his experience using it I believe this piece of hockey gear is worth the money.
But appearances can be deceiving, so let’s dive in and examine the deal a little closer.
How Stiff is the CCM RBZ SK80 Skate?
Every hockey skater develops their own idea of how much stiffness is enough for optimized performance on the ice. In general, the stiffer the skate, the better.
But if you’ve been ice skating for a while, you likely have learned that the stiffer boot doesn’t always outperform its less stiff competitor.
In the end, everyone needs a certain amount of support for when striding on the ice. And this boot certainly isn’t the sturdiest my husband’s ever used. However, the CCM SK80 RBZ skate offers as much support as you’ll ever need on the pitch.
All the stiffness and sturdiness this boot provides mostly emanates from its Vectorwrear Surlyn quarter package. The quarter package conceals the skate’s EPP foam core, and this foam strengthens this boot’s construction from the toe box up to the ankle.
This foamy component comes in handy when it comes time to customize the fit. If you want more room inside the shoe because your feet are too big or whatever, you’ll appreciate that this skate is heat-moldable.
If you know what you’re doing, you can easily bake this hockey boot in your oven at home. But I almost always recommend taking your pair to a skate expert. I mean, they’re an expert, and they’re less likely to burn your boot.
How Well Does this CCM Hockey Boot Fit?
The hockey market is awash with ice hockey skates that don’t fit nearly as well as advertised. I can’t count how many times my SO and I have bought a skate shoe or ice skate described as a particular size only to return it because it’s too small, or too narrow. But that sizing doesn’t happen with this skate from CCM’s Nexus skate line.
Once you determine the skate size you need to order, order just that. I can guarantee that you’ll receive a pair of properly fitting skates. Actually, you should go a half size down since these boots are at least a half size larger and roomier than the same size in other ice hockey boots.
If you’re a size 8.5 in most other skates, for example, I’d advise you to purchase this skate in size 8. But even if you got this ice shoe in size 8.5, you can always use thicker socks. But does putting on thicker socks work great for everyone?
This boot comes with a widened forefoot, a medium-width toe box as well as a medium-width ankle area. But remember this boot’s medium width is like E or even EE in quite a few other boot options out there.
And if you ever need a bit more room inside of this ice boot, that’s easy. The moldable foam stretching underneath the entirety of the quarter packages makes it happen. Just be sure to bake your skates properly. Still, fit is a matter of personal preference, and I should probably be focusing almost exclusively on the product’s features and specs.
Here’s a little personal mantra that helps me quickly and accurately decide whether I want to DIY something or pay a pro. If you have any doubt, even a shred of doubt about what you’re about to do, just don’t do it. Instead, learn more of what you need to know to handle the task right, or hire a pro to handle it for you.
So, if you’ve never roasted shoes in the oven, better have a skate expert parch them for you. Unless you’re OK with charring your boot and making another significant debit to your bank account to replace your burned boot!
Let’s talk about this boot’s performance on the ice….
The CCM SK80 RBZ’s Performance on the Ice
If you expect to wear this boot, get in on the ice, and skate the heck out of the session, think again. The skate comes with a blade holder with an extra 4mm. There’s a bit of getting used to as far as blade runner height before you can comfortably squeeze any kind of A-game out of these boots.
My ice hockey-loving hubby noticed this runner height adjustment immediately he stepped on the ice for the usual pre-session warm-ups. The novelty of it all wasn’t altogether uncomfortable, but Jason clearly needed to do something if he’s going to play in this skate.
And what did he do? He invented a couple adjustments to the way he did his strides, and it felt like that improved the situation a bit. But it wasn’t until he’d consistently practiced his newly discovered stride tweaks a couple shifts before he gained perfect control of his skating form.
Having experienced the learning curve associated with playing ice hockey in this skate, my hubby has a thought to share with new owners of this skate.
Jason feels one shouldn’t wear this boot to a play situation unless they’ve practiced in it for quite some time in a public skate. That, he says, is the best (and only) way to form a clear idea of how to maximize the shoe’s performance.
The CCM RBZ SK80 Skate Helps You Skate Faster
So, is the CCM RBZ SK80 the fastest ice hockey skate ever designed? It’s hard to say, but Jason tells me this is one of the most agile boots he’s ever skated in.
My big guy strapped these boots on and got on the ice…and he flew! It felt like he was gliding around in a skate on steroids.
Jason was suddenly catching players he’d never before wearing a competing boot. What’s more, tackling defenders seemed to have become amazingly easier.
Well, users of products such as skates have been known to imagine things, things that elevate the overall performance of the product at hand. Even when the product is just an average performer.
But you certainly can’t fake catching super-fast hockey players, can you? Nor can you manage to pull away from some of the swiftest defenders in the hockey world on a breakaway. You can’t pretend all that was happening unless it was actually happening.
I mean, these skates are quick. Player after player after play has demonstrated that. You, too, will if you ever choose to wear these shoes to a fierce session.
A 7-mm Felt Tongue and Microfiber Liner for Comfort
While this isn’t the stiffest skate in the hockey world, it does still need you to break it in. And we all know nobody really enjoys breaking in their skate.
There’s always going to be a little pain, at least for a while. But the instant you’ve broken in this ice shoe, you’ll always love putting it on and hitting the pitch to show spectators what it’s capable of.
Once you’ve created enough room for your large toes and wide forefoot, you’ll love the soft, cushy feel inside the boot. And you have the skate’s soft and comfortable yet firm clarino microfiber liner to thank for that.
This microfiber liner boasts a great moisture-wicking capacity. And it’s this wicking ability that helps your feet to stay comfortable and relatively dry the entire game.
Now, a 7-mm tongue is a really think one, and that’s what you get with this boot. Have you ever played or just tried having a good time outdoors in poorly padded skates? Then you know what constant pain or unpleasantness feels like … like lace-bite.
But the problem gets worse if you have a foot shape that’s prone to suffering lace-bite. People with big, high-arched feet experience lace-bite more often and more sharply than do skaters with other foot shapes.
One way to solve lace-bite issues is to use sports footwear with proper padding on the tongue. Fortunately, the CCM SK80 RBZ is one of the better-padded skates on the tongue out there. Another way to address the lace-bite problem when using this skate is to leave the last two top eyelets unlaced.
Why Flat-footed Hockey Players Need More Padding
Another kind of skater that needs great padding inside their boot is a hockey player with massive, flat feet. When your foot is up, it’s a certain size and shape. But trouble starts when your foot comes down and sits solidly on the footbed.
A flat foot tends to roll outward, and the foot kind of expands and becomes wider. As all that happens, the sides of the boot are exerting a kind of reactive pressure inward to counter the outward push from the now wider foot.
And what’s the result? It’s foot pain — that’s what happens.
But when you have adequate padding inside the boot, you’ll feel much less pain since the padding doesn’t try to prevent the foot from expanding outward. Instead, the padding provides cushy resistance, allowing the foot to assume its new shape and size without punishing it.
How Much Forward Flex Does the Skate Provide?
While a good hockey skate offers tons of stiffness to a hockey player, too much of it could be counterproductive. The CCM RBZ SK80 is respectably stiff, but it also delivers a moderate amount of boot flex. But what does the shoe’s flex actually feel like?
The kind of forward flex you get out of this boot feels amazing if you’re upgrading from a super stiff boot that offers little flex. But if you’re switching to this skate from a top-end boot, you likely won’t’ notice much of a difference as far as forward boot flex.
In other words, there’s nothing really exceptional about this boot’s flexibility/flex rating. It offers much better flex than low-end skates and more or less the same amount of flex as do top-of-the-line hockey skates.
This boot doesn’t feel excessively restrictive to movement as some competitors. However, the boot still provides enough base (stiffness) from which to launch your moves and strides while playing on the ice. And when it comes to doing the most aggressive turns on the ice, few skates touch the CCM RBZ boot.
How Does the CCM RBZ SK80 Handle Energy Transfer?
The best hockey skate you’ll ever buy is one that allows loads of power transfer between the player’s foot and the runners. And for efficient energy transfer to happen, the outsole needs to be a consistently faithful medium that aids power flow between the foot and the blade.
So, is the CCM RBZ SK80 that amazing option, one that delivers great energy transfer? The product features a super-light but tough and extremely rigid carbon outsole that enables your feet to pass on tons of energy to the runners. This is best the kind of outsole for when you need to do smarter, faster, and more power-packed strides than you’ve ever done.
Have you always skated in cheap hockey skates that have shown no more than a lackluster performance on the pitch? If yes, playing in this boot should feel like hockey skating performance on a whole new level. That’s because the outsole happens to be way more reactive/responsive to pushes than any cheap option you might have used before.
Blade-holders and Blades of the CCM SK80 RBZ Skate
Just as you might expect at this product’s price point (costs north of 500 bucks as of this writing), this skate has in its arsenal pretty good quality steel blades. The kind of quality stainless steel runners you’d expect to have in any high-end skate worth its salt.
CCM uses high-grade steel to craft these blades. Superior-quality steel blades keep an edge noticeably longer than the cheapest options ever. And no, grinding away at the steel won’t leave you without blades as happens with some.
The runners attach to the skate’s Speed Blade 4.0 runner-holders. These holders are sturdy enough, but nothing spectacular. I mean, they’re the kind of blade holders one expects to find on skates of this caliber.
- Great looks
- Pretty nimble on the pitch
- Good-quality parts and construction
- Price’s been dropping while quality hasn’t
- Affordable, but pricier than most
- Pre-2014 models had serious defects
Pre-2014 Design and Workmanship Issues
My hubby started using this boot post-2014, and that’s why he might say a few positive things about this boot that pre-2014 owners might vehemently disagree with.
Some of the early purchasers of this product complained of a slew of issues, and pretty much all those concerns revolved around design and craftsmanship.
Two product defects reviewers kept surfacing included poorly made eyelets and the boot coming apart at some places. Let’s take a closer look at those issues even though the company has since taken care of them.
Eyelets Splitting With Annoying Frequency
Consumers that complained about defective eyelets almost always said the eyelets seemed to be of low-quality. That was on top of the eyelets being weakly incorporated into the boot.
Some users had their eyelets split within weeks of wearing the skate boot, even when they’d not thrown a whole ton of abuse at their ice shoe. Imagine seeing the eyelets on your skate pop out even though all you did on the pitch was to referee?
Even after replacing the eyelets, the problem happened again within a couple weeks or months of use. In nearly all cases, the splitting happened around the top of the laces. And changing how one laced up their boot didn’t seem to solve the issue.
In some instances, broken-down steel eyelets that’d come out of the boot kept snagging the laces or even cutting them. How annoying having to replace one’s eyelets and laces must have been!
Boot Breaking at Weak Points
Another issue people griped on endlessly about was the boot breaking at some places. It seemed like there’s a gap at the point where the toe-cap met the shoe’s footbed.
I’d have hated being in skates that fell apart around the toe cap or anywhere else. It’d feel like the skate maker just grabbed my money and sent me an expensive piece of crap passed off as high-quality hockey gear.
In some cases, the tendon guard came off and necessitated stitching this part back on. But the tendon guard not being properly stitched on didn’t seem like a widespread issue.
But, here’s the good news! CCM listens, and they definitely heard what the unhappy users of the CCM RBZ SK80 said. But the company didn’t stop there, it acted.
And because the brand took action, today’s version of that reportedly defective boot comes superbly crafted and looks terrific without sacrificing any performance-boosting feature of the pre-2014 CCM hockey skate model.
CCM RBZ SK80 Ice Hockey Skate Review: Verdict?
So, is the CCM SK80 a good ice hockey skate? Yes, this product is one of the finest options in that price range.
In terms of design and construction, little about this pro-level skate needs improvement. What’s more, the boot offers great comfort and fit, and a skater with a beefy foot will definitely love this skate boot.
Performance-wise, the boot moves faster on the ice than most, and its premium stainless runners hold an edge quite well. The skate lasts, too, and the price is attractive.
But the boot used to have design and construction defects pre-2014. However, CCM seems to have rectified the issues since. Overall, this is a great skate, worth every dollar you’ll shell out for it.