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TRUE TF9 Skates Review
- Updated: December 21, 2020
The year 2020 will likely not be remembered for much of anything great, but for TRUE Hockey, it was a year of tremendous growth. The introduction of their new player skates, the TF9 and TF7, gave TRUE an opportunity to compete against the likes of Bauer and CCM more at the retail level, rather than just with professional level custom skates.
Fortunately, with the release of the TRUE TF9 skates, we were able to receive a pair from TRUE Hockey for review, and we’re extremely grateful they were willing to help us out. We’ve been able to spend some time with the skates, although limited due to restrictions, and below you’ll find our full TRUE TF9 Skates review.
The TRUE TF9 skates are constructed using the TRUE Shell technology, which is a proprietary co-molded one-piece shell made of carbon fiber and thermoplastic that wraps around your foot like no other boot. This helps to provide maximum energy transfer and a fit that is unmatched. Taking it a step further, the boot is heat moldable, allowing you to refine the fit even further for your foot.
Inside the boot is a HydroFoam liner with antimicrobial and moisture-wicking properties. This liner works hard to keep your feet cool and dry, while also preventing the growth of odor causing bacteria. Below your foot is a footbed that comes with adjustable arch inserts that will accommodate low, medium, and high arches. These help to enhance the fit and customization even further.
The front of the skate features an anatomical tongue that wraps around your foot. It’s reinforced to help provide added protection and comfort. The key feature of this tongue is that it’s adjustable. It’s held in place via a Velcro tab and can be adjusted based on your personal preferences.
On most traditional skates at this price point, you would find an outsole. However, with the design of the TRUE TF9 skates, they have eliminated the midsole and outsole, further enhancing energy transfer with each stride, and reducing weight.
Beneath the boot you will find a TRUE Shift holder with spring loaded release mechanism for easy blade swapping. In the holder, TRUE has used the Shift Onyx runners which are made of premium grade steel and offer a black coating. They have a height of 18mm and look incredible.
The TRUE TF9 skates are designed with a medium fit profile and come in both regular and wide width options. I would further describe the medium fit profile as having a medium volume, but a narrower mid-foot. The heel and forefoot both offer plenty of space for my foot, but right in the mid-foot is where things get a bit tight for me. Compared to the old-style Bauer fit system, I would say that it is a bit narrower in the mid foot than the Supreme, or their new Mid Profile. Personally, I may have benefited more going with a wide sizing versus the regular fit.
One of the most enormous benefits of the TRUE skates, however, is their ability to form to your foot. Right from the get-go, you’ll notice just how well the skates wrap around and over your foot. This is unlike anything else on the market today. Most skates seem to stick straight out around the eyelets, resulting in a larger opening and requiring you to tighten the laces further to get that same wrap effect. However, with the TRUE skates, that work is done for you and the result is a nice comfortable fit over the top of your foot that really helps to eliminate negative space inside the boot.
When you take it a step further and add in the benefit of heat molding the skates, you’re fine tuning the fit and making it your own. Plus, during the challenging times we’re facing in 2020, it’s an added benefit that you can even bake the TRUE TF9 skates at home. The outcome is a fit unlike any other, and you can feel the benefits out on the ice.
The TRUE TF9 skates were designed for elite level players, and that is exactly the type of performance you get out of them. Unfortunately, we couldn’t put them through the normal paces of game situations that we would in a non-pandemic year, but they effortlessly handled everything thrown their way when we did get them out on the ice.
Coming from a pair of mid-level CCM skates, the TRUE TF9’s were a tremendous step up. You could feel the surge in power with each stride with the co-molded one-piece shell versus the CCM skates. While my old skates were certainly no slouch, proving that there is a lot of value in mid-tier skates, the TF9’s were proving that something was missing before.
Not only were the strong and rigid one-piece boots offering a great amount of power transfer, they’re also incredibly light at only about 945 grams. Despite the strength of a composite shell, they were also forgiving in that I could be agile when I needed to be. Sharp cuts and quick turns were no issue, and it led to a strong sense of confidence out on the ice that the TF9’s could handle anything thrown their way.
What really blows me away is the amount of tech and performance that can be utilized with the TRUE TF9 skates given their price point at only $560 for a senior size. It’s incredible to see what TRUE offers here with their first real foray into the standard retail skate market.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD?
The thing I like the least about the TRUE skates is their overall appearance. I’ve had the same sort of feelings on these skates since their first iteration as the MLX skates (who remembers those?). Since then, the design has evolved with the change to VH Footwear, and now with TRUE Hockey. Unfortunately, for me at least, the appearance is just a bit chunky looking when you compare it to similar offerings from Bauer or CCM which are much smoother and sleeker.
Another detail that was a bit bothersome was the adjustable tongue. While it never impacted performance, I am constantly hearing the cringeworthy sound of Velcro every time I put the skates on and take them off. It didn’t seem to impact performance in any way, but if that could be adjusted in future iterations, no one would complain.
TRUE Hockey definitely made an impact at the professional and elite level with their TRUE Pro Custom Skates, but now that we have a solid retail offering from them, I’m skating away even more impressed. There are plenty of players out there looking for something new, or something different, and TRUE can absolutely fit the needs of those players. They offer a different and unique design, like it or not, and the performance is on par with the best out there for the price point.
Beyond that, with the uniqueness of their boot and fit, regular, and wide widths, along with the incredible heat molding properties, there is not much doubt in my mind that you can find a TRUE TF9 skate that will fit and work with your foot.
WHERE TO BUY?
If you happen to be on the lookout for a pair of TRUE TF9 skates, or you’re looking for something new and want to give them a shot, head over to our friends at Ice Warehouse. Right now, you can grab the TRUE TF9 skates for only $560 and know that TRUE Hockey guarantees you will love your skates with their 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee. On top of that, you’ll get free shipping from IW on your order, or $15 2-day air if you can’t wait to use them. As always, returns are free as well.