I got to try the new 2009 Powerslide C6 and C4 boots today. I compared these boots to last years good working 2008 R2 boot. (review continues below)
2009 Powerslide C6
2009 Powerslide C4
2009 Powerslide C4 White
While mounting the frames I noticed the boots are now coming with numbered lines on the front and back of the boot which will make it easier when switching frames to get the same frame alignment. Just note the alignment number before you take your old frame off and put the new frame on at the same number you noted when you took the old frame off. Both the C6 and C4 have these numbered lines (pict below).
Notice the cupping or ridges built into the bottom of the boot to make the bottom more resistant to sag and bending during a stroke. This is present only on the C4 boots (pict below).
On the C4 you are able to adjust the strap on the opposite side of the buckle to different lengths. If the strap or lace cover starts to stretch this allows you to adjust how far the strap goes into the buckle (pict below).
I forgot to mention in prior reviews the new way that most boots are now coming laced. There are two ways to lace a boot. Threading from the underside of the grommet up or from the top side of the grommet down. I notice more and more boots are coming laced from the top of the grommet down. Being laced this way you have to fight to get your foot into the boot. I've heard that lacing from the top of the grommet down locks the laces in place. Even if this is the case I will give up the locking effect for the greater ease of getting into the boot. I'm sure I have gotten boots back simply because the person had trouble getting their foot into a boot not realizing just relacing the boot would have fixed the problem. It's up to you but I would pull the laces out of the boot and relace it threading them from the underside of the grommet up, then continuing this underside up threading method all the way up to the top of the boot. Try both ways and choose what you like best, ease of use or locking ability.
With that said, back to the review. When I'm reviewing a boot I'm not looking at what the boot looks like, who makes the boot, what it's made of or how much it costs. My main concern is comfort and performance of the boot. A boot that performs but is not comfortable won't work. A boot that is comfortable but does not perform will not work. A good working boot has to be both comfortable and perform at the same time. What creates comfort and performance in a boot is the form the boot is built around (the last design). A boot has to hit you in the right places and be open in others.
You would think a mirror image of a foot would work best. Believe me, after years of trying every type of last design a mirror image of a foot is the worst last design I have tried. The reason I mention this is when I'm asked why exactly do I like a certain boot there is no way to properly answer that question without a 3d image of the foot and boot to show exactly where the pressure points are in the boot and where the open areas in the boot are. So needless to say if someone asks you why do you like a boot it can be hard to put your finger on exactly why you like it. I don't want to get to deep into this but I find a good working last design can work on 95% of the people and a bad last design work only on 30% of the people. So if you pick a boot with a good last design you have a 95% chance of it working for you and if you choose a boot with a bad last design you have a 30% chance of it working for you.
Getting to actually trying the boots. Comparing the 2009 C6 to the 2009 C4 the C6 felt just a bit better on my foot then the C4. The C4 seemed a tad higher in the ankle area then the C6. I could do the double push on both and crossovers worked well on both. If I had to choose between the 2009 C6 and the 2009 C4 for me I would choose the C6 with the C4 being a close second. Now last year it was just the opposite. Last year the 2008 C4 edged out the 2008 C6. Again the differences between the 2009 C6 and C4 were very small. Being that I was using a 4x90 frame to test the boots maybe the more supportive C4 boot would have felt better then the C6 with a 4x100 or 4x110 frame but on a 4x90 frame I was happier with the C6 boot. Both are very good boots that I would skate on in a minute and that's not something I say about every boot. This review would have been longer if I could have found some problems to complain about sometimes no news is good news. Both the 2009 C6 and C4 pass with flying colors, with the C6 edging out the C4 ever so slightly.