Vanilla Blackmail Boot Review
First, boot sizing. I had read Blackmail's were fitting 1 size small like Luigino. I wear a size 9.5 street shoe. In Powerslide I wear a size 10 and in Luigino I wear a size 11. I can't get my foot into a size 10 Luigino. With that said, if the Blackmail fit 1 size small like Luigino I would be in a size 11 Blackmail. Well I started with the size 11 Blackmail and it felt ok but after trying the size 10 Blackmail the size 10 did fit better (unlike the size 10 Luigino which I can't even get my foot into). After going back and forth between the size 10 and 11 it was the size 10 that I settled on. So with that said I would have to disagree with the thought that the Blackmail's are fitting 1 size small like Luigino boots. So for me I'm going up 1/2 size from my size 9.5 street shoe and am choosing a size 10 Blackmail.
Next was frame setup. I always center the frame to the heel of a boot. The frame centered just fine to heel of the Blackmail boot (pict below).
On the front of boots I normally need to move the frame towards the inside of the boot (towards the big toe) a little if not allot. After loosening the front of the frame I had very little side to side adjustment. I thought if that was all the side to side adjustment I was was going to get I was going to be in trouble. I then took the frame off the boot and realized there was a forward and rear mounting position (shown in pict below). Well, the skate arrived with the frame mounted in the rear position which left me with only 1 hole to work with on the front of the boot. Being there was only 1 forward hole to work with it left me with very little side to side adjustment (again shown in pict below). Once I moved the frame to the forward position on the boot it then gave me 3 side to side holes to work with on the front. I had to use the furthest inside hole and had to slide the frame all the way to the inside of that hole to feel centered over the frame. So needless to say, when you get the skate and you feel your not getting enough side to side adjustmnet make sure the frame is mounted in the forward hole position on the boot . Again, my skates came with the frames mounted in the back position of the boots.
Once I moved the frame to the forward position on the boot I could then move the frames inward on the front of the boot (pict below).
If you still need more outside edge, take a look at this tabbing article: How To Tab A Boot.
So with sizing and frame positioning out of the way I was able to start skating. As inexpensive as this skate is I was surprised as to how comfortable the boot was. I've felt more comfortable boots out there but I've also felt less comfortable boots. Again, with the cost of this skate being less then the cost of most frames on the market the comfort level was acceptable. The ankle support was comparable to the higher cut Luigino Strut and Powerslide R2 boots. I skated normally for 20 minutes without any hot spots or blistering. It didn't look like this boot was going to need to be heat molded which is a good thing as there are more then enough boots out there I can pull right out of the box and skate with no heat molding needed. So there were no surprises with this Blackmail boot review. Other then having to pull the frames off the skate and reposition them it was a pretty normal boot review.
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