Bauer Supreme TotalOne MX3 vs. CCM Tacks Ice Skates
Once again, we are reviewing and comparing two great ice skates - the Bauer Supreme TotalOne MX3 and the CCM Tacks ice skates. Both skates made their debut in 2014 and are geared towards players looking for explosive acceleration and efficient energy transfer.
Let's start by taking a look at the weight of each skate. Using a size 8.0D Senior skate, the CCM Tacks weigh in at 860g. While that's not ridiculously heavy, the Tacks are only lighter than one other top-of-the-line skate in their CCM Ribcor 50K brother (910g). The Bauer TotalOne MX3's come in at a feathery 720g, making them the lightest skate of the season. As pointed out in our Ribcor 50K vs. Nexus 8000 comparison, Bauer skates use Tuuk LightSpeed Fusion Edge runners, which combine the strength of steel with lightweight aluminum to produce a lighter overall skate. For weight, the point goes to Bauer.
Next, let's look at the outside of the skate, starting with the quarter package. On the MX3's, you are getting a stiff and anatomical fit, thanks to the 3D Anaformable Curv® Composite upper. Here, the boot has slight outward protrusions in order to give your ankle bones (specifically the medial and lateral malleoli, for you human anatomy buffs) the necessary room to be comfortably locked into place inside the skate. On the Tacks, you are getting an exceptionally stiff boot (Carbon Twill Composite AttackFrame™) that gives you an explosive amount of speed from a dead stop through your first five strides. The Tacks quarter package also has stiffened areas down the eyelets and around the tendon guard to give you a truly stiff and fast skate. For quarter package design, the point goes to CCM.
Now, let's talk about tendon guards. The TotalOne MX3 skates have a newly redesigned tendon guard that has a rigid, plastic exterior and a flexible, hinged interior. This new tendon guard bends back about 45 degrees when stressed and pops right back into its vertical position when released. This will enable players to get maximum energy transfer when taking strides. On the Tacks skates, you get a more traditional tendon guard with a nice bit of padding at the top, but it is almost completely immobile. When stress is applied, the Tacks tendon guard can only bend about 25 degrees. Players will still get incredible speed with the CCM skates, but Bauer's tendon guard is the victor. For tendon guard design, the point goes to Bauer.
Going to the tongues, the Bauer MX3's offer a short tongue with included inserts to customize the overall stiffness. But, for players that like to flop their tongues, even with the least-stiff insert, the MX3's offer little "flopportunity." These tongues were created to protect and generate speed, and they do an awesome job at that. The tongue on the Tacks skates is more of the standard, thick white felt on the inside for comfort and heat-molded customization and a rigid plastic outside to prevent lace bite. While the Tacks tongue offers much more "flopportunity" than the MX3's, it does not have nearly the same level of customization and technology. For this reason, the tongue design point goes to Bauer.
Now that we've covered the outside of the skates, let's go inside. The TotalOne MX3's supply Total Comfort Edge in the high ankle region and a Hydra-Max 2 hydrophobic liner down inside the boot. The Hydra-Max 2 liner is not only the most comfortable liner I have ever felt in skate, but it also helps push sweat, water, and moisture towards the bottom where it can quickly escape via the small holes in the bottom of the outsole. Your feet will stay incredibly dry in Bauer's TotalOne MX3's.
On the Tacks skates, you get contoured Poron memory foam in the high ankle region and a durable Clarino liner in the boot. Unlike some other skates on the market, this liner holds together for a long period of time, even with frequent playing time. It is also a little on the thicker side, which is great for keeping your feet and ankles locked into place. The outsole features a similar "moisture escape zone," but it's more of a screen than a hole, which makes it a little bit more difficult for moisture to get out. For liner design and foot comfort, the point goes to Bauer.
Lastly, we'll look at footbeds. The MX3 comes with a grippy Form-Fit+ footbed with toe protection. This means the footbed has a high-friction heel area (keeps your foot stationary) and these little vertical rectangular pieces on the forefoot which prevent any abrasion from the toe box. The Tacks come with CCM's custom support insoles which are offered in either low, medium, or high arch-types. These will give you a more personal and efficient fit. Even in other skates, I never ran into an issue with toe abrasion, so the footbed point goes to CCM.
In conclusion, the MX3 wins by a huge margin, topping the Tacks skates in 4 out of the 6 categories. However, like we always say, the true winner is the skate that fits your foot the best, and that might actually be the Tacks over the MX3. For more information, check out the MX3 skates and Tacks skates at DiscountHockey.com!
David Backes (right, wearing Bauer MX3 skates) battles for puck posession with John Tavares (left, wearing CCM Tacks skates). Photo Credit Bill Boyce, AP.