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Canariam XXX Boot Review
It's been a while since I've skated on something new that's deserved a review. The XXX looks Verducci like but that doesn't mean it performs like or is as comfortable as a Verducci. That's exactly what I set out to see today. As far as I'm concerned I don't care what a boot looks like, what it is made of or who makes it, if the last they use to build the boot around is good the boot will perform and be comfortable. You can have the most pronounced name in the industry, use the most expensive carbon and leather and be the best looking boot on the market but if that boot isn't built around a good last it's worth nothing. (continued below)
(below is a closeup picture of the boot)
With that said the XXX looks good and has a great price but what last design did they use to build the boot around. The first boot that came along that allowed me to put someone into an off the shelf boot and not into one of my customs was the Verducci Corsa. The way the XXX looks reminds me of the old Corsa but again looks mean nothing and last design means everything. I was sure hoping this new Corsa look alike would not only look like a Corsa but perform and be as comfortable as the old Corsa. Well I put my foot in the boot and yes this definitely feels like a Corsa. One difference I noticed is in the old Corsa I wore a size 11 or 43 and in the XXX the 42 was fitting like the old 43 Corsa.

When I sell Verducci I go up one size from what the chart shows but with the XXX it looks like you would go with exactly what the chart would show. I was just about to go out on the trial when it started to rain. It rained for two days straight (it never rains in San Diego) while I know the boot felt Corsa like while trying it on that could totally change after skating on it. That was a long two days because I was excited to get a Corsa like boot back on the market at a price actually lower than the old Corsa. Well the weather finally broke and I was excited to finally find out if I had a new boot to refer or it was going to be another boot to put on the shelf that just looked pretty. Well it worked, it was completely Corsa like.

I couldn't find one problem with how it worked, no ankle pain, foot bed was fine and toes had no problem. Skated for an hour with no hot spots when I took the boots off. The trial couldn't have turned out any better and that doesn't happen often. You have no idea how many boots I try that I simply can't do a review on with out hurting certain companies feelings so 90% of the trials don't go well. The last trial that deserved a review is the Mogema MG-R1 and now I can add this XXX to the good company of the MG-R1. For as good as the XXX worked I can't believe the price it's offered at. Some of the boots on the market that are $500 to $600 should be $138 and this XXX should $500 to $600.

The threads that the screws go into are helicoiled with steel inserts which every boot on the market should have but to save 50 cents per boot they don't which causes all kinds of thread stripping problems. I hope all companies follow suit and helicoil their threads (Simmons have always done this which makes it a better boot than most). Two things I didn't like and would like to see changed is the laces are ridiculous but are easily replaced and the bolts they use the wrench fits very loosely in the head which will quickly strip. I'm glad that the only two things I found wrong with the boots are so easily changed out and fixed.

If a boot is making your feet fall asleep or is cutting up your ankles or the threads are stripping out these are real problems but a lace and screw change is simple when the rest of the boot is so perfect. I will be very happy to sell this boot as the better the boot works for people the less problems I have after the sale which makes me want to sell the boots that I can see work best for people (after you sell so many boots you start to see patterns of what's working and what's not). It's worth nothing to have a comfortable boot that lacks performance or have a boot that performs but lacks comfort. The XXX has both and I'm going to be very happy to have a low cost (under $250) good boot back on the market.

Addition (04-14-03): After skating exclusively on both the Powerslide and Canariam for 3 weeks now I have found the Powerslide to be more of a sprint boot and the Canariam more of a longer distance boot. The Powerslide is acting more like a Verducci boot for me in that with the Verducci boot I was never able to derive power from my legs with my hands behind my back. Sprinting off the line is great, accelerating from 10 to 20 mph works great, hill climbing is great, crossovers are great and can reach a very high top speed (all with arms in front of me) but the minute I put my arms behind my back I loose it (can't derive power from my legs).

Now the Canariam reminds me more of the Mogema MG-R1. With the MG-R1 I can put my arms behind my back and derive all kinds of power from my legs (a more efficient stance for longer distance). I can't sprint off the line as well can't accelerate from 10 to 20 mph as well, can't climb hills as well and the top end speed isn't as great but with Mogema and Canariam you can put your hands behind your back and pull seemingly forever.

I would put the Verducci and Powerslide in the same sprint boot class and Canariam and Mogema in the mid to longer distance boot class. Canariam doesn't sprint as well as the Verducci - Powerslide but then again sprints a little better than the Mogema . It really depends on what type of skating you want to do. I would say Verducci - Powerslide are good for short distance high speed type races and Canariam is a middle distance boot and Mogema to be a good long distance boot.
If there were 4 of me, one with a Verducci one with a Powerslide one with a Canariam and one with a Mogema off the line the two me's with the Verducci and Powerslide will sprint off the line better.

In a close third would be me on the Canariam and in 4th would be me on the Mogema. I would sprint with my hands in front of me on the Verducci and Powerslide for 3 to 5 minutes where I would begin to tire, at this point me on the Canariam and Mogema quite a ways back would start to gain because the only way for me to derive power on these boots is to have my hands behind my back so even though I fell behind with the Canariam - Mogema being in an efficient stance I am working more efficiently and little by little will gain on the Verducci and Powerslide.

Since I can't derive power with my hands behind my back with the Verducci and Powerslide the Canariam first then the Mogema would come and pass the Verducci and Powerslide till then the Canariam would get passed by the Mogema boot. I've been racing on the Mogema so long now I forget what it's like to be skating slower at 10 mph and have a bike come by at 25 mph and hammer up to 25 mph with little to no effort like I'm now doing on the Powerslide and much the same but a little less on the Canariam.

Don't get me wrong, even thought it's great fun to sprint around on the Powerslide or Verducci, when it comes to longer distance continuous speed or pulling longer distances I am sure glad to have the more efficient Mogema or to a lesser degree a Canariam on my feet. This also comes back to how a sprint boot fits a little looser (inefficient) and how a longer distance boot fits more uniform to the foot (efficient).

The longer distance boot fits more uniform hitting more surface area of your foot which leads to a more efficient and comfortable boot but a sprint boot fits a little looser on your foot which allows your foot to become more dynamic in the boot needed for sprinting. You can't have both in one boot, tight is efficient (long distance) and loose is sprint (inefficient for long distance).

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