Thursday, December 14, 2017

Last Minute Gift Ideas!

If you're anything like me, right about now you're starting to panic because you realize there's only a few more days til Xmas.  Well, I put together some packages any skater is sure to appreciate and can ship them out within 24 hours of the order being placed!  These are also great for birthdays, anniversaries, or just to show someone you appreciate them.

First is the Derby Essentials Kit which includes hardware, bandages, hair ties, spare bearings, lip balm, and laces.  It comes in a cute metal container with the skater's name and number on the top. 

Another great option is the Skate Maintenance Kit, featuring a wheel bag, nylon axle nuts, hardware, bearing cleaning kit, bearing oil, skate tool, KT Tape, and a microfiber towel which you can have personalized.

Don't forget about your referees!  The Referee Starter Gift Pack includes 2 whistles and 2 lanyards, and there are options to upgrade the whistles or add the 2018 Bro-He-Can calendar to make this extra special.

I put 4 Referee Gift packages together that include different referee themed toe guards in addition to 2 whistles, sunglasses, and a lanyard.  Options to upgrade the whistles and add the calendar are available with each package.

Lastly, if you haven't seen the 2018 Bro-He-Can calendar yet, you should check it out.  It's definitely the most unique Roller Derby related calendar I've come across so far...

Hope that helps with the gift ideas! 

Until we skate again!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Riedell Solaris Boots

Solaris Boots

I started hearing about the Riedell Solaris boots about a year ago and boy have they taken the derbyverse by storm!  When I finally got my hands on some, the first thing I noticed was how amazingly light they were, which is saying a lot since I had been skating with some very light carbon fiber boots.  Like many other skaters, I'm skeptical when new products are introduced and the $349 price tag was a little more than I wanted to spend at the time.  So instead, I watched as more and more skaters switched to these boots and listened to their feedback.

Solaris boots are made with high quality leather, heat moldable counters, and have a rounded toe box which helps them fit a wide range of foot shapes. They also have an antimicrobial perforated microfiber lining with moisture and odor resistant treatment, a huge plus for barefoot skaters such as myself.

Example of Custom Colors

For skaters who prefer a bit more flair, Riedell offers a pretty impressive array of custom color options for an extra $90.  You can even change the color of the ankle straps!

After selling about a dozen pairs of these boots and receiving mostly positive feedback, I ended up getting a pair for myself and so far I'm quite impressed.  For the past few years I have had to deal with hot spots, calluses, toe nails that don't want to grow right or end up falling out, and discolored parts of my feet, but the Solaris boots have given me hope that my feet will be pretty again!  They are unbelievably comfortable and there was no break in period.

The first time I skated with these boots, I had an issue with my heels slipping, almost wanting to pop out of the boots.  Solaris boots feature a narrow heel and V-Lock Strap around the ankle, so I didn't expect my heel to move at all.  I did a little research and found this video featuring Jackie Daniels which shows an interesting method for engaging the V-Lock Strap.  I started lacing my boots this way and no longer had any heel slippage.

Aside from heel slippage, I did end up switching out the insoles, but I've had to do this with all my previous Riedell boots as well.  Years ago at RollerCon, I complained to a Riedell employee about how crappy their insoles were and he said skaters end up throwing the insoles away so Riedell doesn't see a need to improve the quality.  I thought this was a strange response but I didn't pursue the issue further.  In any case, it didn't surprise me that I needed to change out the insoles, many other skaters may need to as well.

Quite a few skaters ended up buying (or wish they had bought) boots a half size smaller than what they normally wear.  This is likely due to the C/AA width which provides a wide area for the ball of the foot.  Feet tend to lengthen when squeezed so it makes sense they would be a tad smaller in a roomy boot.

Developing a blister/hot spot on the inner arch of the right foot happened to a handful of customers and one customer had it develop on her left foot.  In most cases, the blister healed and didn't return; however, some skaters ended up needing to wear eZeefoot Ankle Booties or something similar to prevent it from reoccurring.  All the skaters with this issue said it was a minor inconvenience and that they still loved the boots.

Other than that, I have only heard positive feedback, which is pretty amazing!  For about a year after the Solaris boots were introduced, they were selling so quickly that customers had to wait 6 weeks to get them.  Fortunately, Riedell has been able to catch up and many sizes are in stock and available now.
Solaris Sport Package

Solaris Boots $349

Solaris Sport Package $479

  • Plates: PowerDyne Reactor Fuse Nylon
  • Wheels: Radar Pop
  • Bearings: KwiK Zenith
  • Solaris Pro Package
  • Toe Stop: PowerDyne Jupiter

Solaris Pro Package $699
  • Plates: PowerDyne Reactor Pro Series
  • Wheels: Radar Halo
  • Bearings: KwiK Zenith
  • Toe Stop: PowerDyne Jupiter

These are just a couple skate package options but you can always mix and match to create your perfect setup.  I'd love to hear feedback on what other skaters think about the Solaris boots and what kinds of boot/plate combinations you are using.  Feel free to e-mail me at with any comments or questions.

Until we skate again!