Tim Wagner
Student Life Editor

Ever since hockey was introduced, the hockey skate has kept a similar boot design to the original.

However, that has not stopped hockey companies from trying their hand in a new design style. This has taken different forms such as the all-white skate design by Bauer all the way up to the newest Air Jordan skates. These new skates are specifically the Air Jordan 1’s edition. However, these skates are not designed or released by Nike.

The designer of the new boot, Kota Kustoms, made the boot specifically for the hockey media outlet Justdishin and Toronto Maple Leafs all-star Auston Mathews. The skates debuted to applause from the hockey community who were happy to see a unique take on the traditional boot. Alongside the hockey community, sneakerheads and sport fans alike approved the look of the boot.

These skates look outstanding. The only issue I can see with them is a similar one the white Bauer skates had: puck marks. Hockey skates take a beating over the years and while this may not be an issue for athletes on the professional level, for anyone not playing sports professionally, owning a pair of these skates seems more like a collector’s item rather than a practical skate. However, that point only matters if the individual who bought the skates views them as a collector’s item. If not, these skates would look pretty nice with a couple of puck marks across them to show some use. However, this does leave me with a lingering question: Could this be the start of a new type of collection culture in hockey?

Collecting hockey sticks is already a prominent part of the hockey community. Hockey sticks are the hottest collector’s item in hockey other than jerseys. This is due to the various blade styles and brand deals NHL (National Hockey League) players receive. For instance, when picking out a new hockey stick, checking the name on the shaft of the stick will tell you the style of the blade. A majority of the blade styles are named after NHL players and each one has a different effect on the player’s shot. These names mean a lot for younger players for instance, I remember when my sister first started playing hockey, she wanted Patrice Bergeron’s Ribcor hockey stick. I am curious to see if, with these Jordan skates, the same type of mentality will shift to skates.

I am the most curious to see if NHL players will take the same avenue NBA players took where their signature shoe was unique to them. I wonder if NHL players will try to have their own signature skate. This could be the start of a new era in the NHL where star players try to implant their personality onto their equipment which would be in line with changes in playstyle within the game of hockey. In recent years the playstyle for hockey players has become flashier with rookies like Trevor Zegras trying the Michigan/lacrosse style goal first performed by Michigan State player Mike Legg in 1996. Having a signature boot to go with a flashy style of play could be the next step for the NHL.


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