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Bont Customs Review
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Van



Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 398
Location: SW London

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:17 pm    Subject: Reply with quote



So I've had mine for a week now. I hope that when the other batch arrives everyone has as good an experience off the bat as I have had.

Historically I have had an up and down experience with Bont's stock boots. I have tried Jets, Zs and Semi-Race models, as well as Rollerblade Racemachines, and the only one I was happy with was the Semis.  

So with this in mind I had my customs built with an extra 1cm of cuff, and also specified the softer padding option and "not too tight".

First time I tried to stick my foot in the boot I spent a good 5 minutes trying to get it in - is this really "not too tight" ? As it happened that was mostly due to the stiffness of the new cuff, and once my feet were inside, they felt great - toe-wriggle room and didn't have that dreaded feeling of the blood being cut off. Still, lacing up at start of LeMans should be "interesting".

Making the transition from my current Semis to the customs has been a piece of cake - maybe that's because I specced them to be more like the Semis, but nonetheless I'm very pleasantly surprised. First time out I marshalled a street skate, and 2nd time out I thought I'd really stress test my feet with some distance, and went and knocked out 14 laps of Battersea without any problems whatsoever. I'm chuffed to bits.

Truth be told I don't think there's a massive difference between my custom Vaypors and my stock Semis, at least at my level - one boot is $900+, the other is $200. I'm sure that if I had gone a model lower and got custom Zs with the same specs I would have been equally happy. The nicest thing for me personally is that it relieves the pressure on my navicular bone bump - an area were I simply could not get the stock boot moulded satisfactorily.
This comfort is worth the money alone, however it also shows that if you have no problems or hotspots with a stock boot then you are in a very good place also.

I've been very sensitive to different boots in the past - if it doesn't "feel" right then I just have no confidence in it whatsoever and my skating resembles a gumbie at the back of the Sunday Stroll. These boots have given me confidence right off the bat. Time in stock boots is never time wasted because you learn what you are looking for in a custom, what works for you and what doesn't. But now I have these I wish that I had gone down the custom route a year or two ago. I'm in a very happy place equipment-wise now.
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EdP



Joined: 05 Aug 2009
Posts: 679

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:23 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

Very glad that you like them after my recommendation. Out of curiosity, how long was the build time in the end?
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George



Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 1059
Location: Brick Lane

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:57 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing some your findings on your new boots, Van! Great read  Very Happy
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Van



Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 398
Location: SW London

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:35 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

EdP wrote:
Very glad that you like them after my recommendation. Out of curiosity, how long was the build time in the end?


Cheers Ed - it was an inspired piece of initiative from you!

My molds arrive with Bont on April 1st, and the finished the build process on 7th June, so I make that 9.5 weeks.
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Barrie



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 1758
Location: Brentwood-ish

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:31 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

So I've used mine a handful of times now.  Pretty pleased with them overall.

No chance of getting my bare feet in to them at first ( too clammy having sat on a train up to Tatem ), but slipped in OK with some thin trainer socks.

Although I don't think there is any/much heel movement they did rub on two little patches ether side of my achilles.  This didn't seem much of an issue at first, but was a problem when I then wore my skates some days later ( due to already being rubbed sore, and the plasters coming off ).  To protect this I've been using (bigger) plasters and thinner cycling socks ( although this does of course make it even tighter... ).

The downside of wearing these socks is that it makes the boots a little too tight across the widest part of my foot, I can just about get away with this for a training session though, but looking forward to giving them a shot barefoot or maybe with some sexy little nylons....

Due to this I struggle to understand some comments that they're not as tight as others custom brands, but I myself have no comparison...  Maybe it's a question of rigidity rather than tightness of fit?

The ankle cuff padding _seems_ to be easing with use, and a few hours of massaging the padding in front of the TV.

Generally I don't have much of a problem with foot fit, and thankfully these are no exception (that would be ironic!).  The instep is possibly a little high on the left boot... but that might be the exercises I was doing pre-moulding, compared to the lesser amount now.
I did ask for the extra 2mm of toe wiggle room, but not convinced it's there... my smaller toes are right up the end, just about right IMO, though there is a bit more length for my big toe.

Due to the increased boot angle over my Jets ( 10mm heel rather than 7mm? ), I'm having to be careful when crossing over ( I keep placing the heel down first, hence wanting to avoid skating fast in a pack last Tuesday and Sunday, but happy enough to pick my way through as and when I choose ). This heel height feels like it's going to be better for me once I've adapted ( 10mm is built in to all 2pt frames ).

They feel much softer than my 3pt Jets ( magnesium frame ), quite spongy at first in comparison, though I have also gone for a less stiff track frame too,  I don't think this is an issue though.  Although I think the deck height is a bit higher it feels lower, and I have much more feeling of what's going on.

Having skated, Tuesday Tatem, Hythe prom twice, and Tatem Sunday I then followed that on Sunday and went indoors at New Malden, and started turning the extra connected feeling in to more control - it feels like I can steer with my toes now, rather than the whole boot - I can turn sharper, "snowplough" brake much harder, etc.

They're also getting easier to get on and off.

Errors
  1. The've made the frame slots sideways rather than lengthways as I specced, I'm currently in discussions about that ( this doesn't seem to be an option if ordering directly through the website, which could be how the error has crept in ).  I suspect that they have the fore-aft positioning correct, at least for these current frames, it seems about the same as my Jets anyway... ( although they had to be about 0.5mm accurate in order for the 2nd wheel to turn... so their lengthways slots were real use anyway, other than fettling to free the 2nd wheel... )
  2. Robin's embroidered name is a bit wonky...  hardly a table thumping issue, but needless and IMO easily picked up during manufacture and QA, so seems unprofessional...  Glenn has said they can easily remake the straps, but I'm not convinced I want them unstitched and re-stitched, in case it weakens the main boot, all while presumably having been sent away
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