All the Powerslide boots are built around the same good last design. The difference between the R1, R2 R3 and R4 is the R1 has a carbon shell which makes the boot lighter and comes with a buckle, the R2 has a plastic shell (which works just fine for me) and a buckle and the R3 has a plastic shell with no buckle and the R4 is a higher cut plastic shelled boot. There really is no need for 4 different reviews for these 4 different boots as they are all tailored around the same good last design but each one has different options. (below is the original review)
Well I'm doing this review 1 week after doing the Canariam XXX review (read the XXX review as most of the points I hit there are the same for this boot). Normally it's months between reviews as it takes that long before something new on the market is good enough to be reviewed but here is another inexpensive ($129) boot that deserves a review. The last (the form the boot is built around) for this R3 is a good performing and comfortable last design. (continued below)
Again to find a boot that has performance and comfort in one is hard to find but this is another boot that is accomplishing just that. Absolutely no complaints except the screw holes unlike the XXX are tapped aluminum. Of the 4 holes I used to mount the frames I would have striped out 2 of them if I wouldn't have dug out a tap to run into the threads. Before I ran the tap through I couldn't get the screw to catch and if I forced it it would have cross threaded.
It looks like there is a spray process after they run the tap through to cut the threads and some of the spray is clogging the uppermost threads which can cause the bolt to cross thread initially. They are going to need to run a tap through the threads after the spray process to fix this problem. I will let you know when and if this problem is remedied. (Addition: Exact words from Powerslide "we're now tapping them by hand before we ship them". That's great, the only problem I could see with the boot has now been remedied.) The lace in this boot is one of the best if not the best I have seen so you won't have to worry about getting a new lace for this boot before you skate on it.
Actually everything on this boot is perfect from the performance to the comfort except the threading problem and I'm sure that will be fixed soon (it has been fixed). Again this is a $500 boot with a $129 price tag. I did the test on a size 43 and my foot is 10 5/8 of an inch long which worked well but it was a bit big so I'm going to see if I can squeeze into a 42 and will let you know. (Addition: I tried a size 42 and it is about 1/8 of an inch to small but I stretched it a bit and now it works perfectly). This is another boot I will have no problem selling as I know it has performance and comfort which is a hard combination to find in a skate boot at $500 much less $129.
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). Powerslides come with paper in the toes of the boot so don't forget to pull it out before you try them on.