Alright so everyone has heard of the True TF Pro Custom Skates where you can choose different colors, tongues, and even additional protection but are they worth the investment? It’s almost like a black box product that everyone wants but no one really knows what they’re going to get since they are built unique to each players foot. The one X-factor with these skates is Scott Van Horne the owner of True Hockey (formerly VH), a bonafide skate lover who was making these works of art out of his basement up until four years ago. His product has obviously exploded in popularity if we’re writing about it here so lets fast forward to the real question, are True skates better than Bauer? In this article we’re going to do a deep dive into the True hockey skates and their fit, protection, durability, and price.
How Do True TF Pro Hockey Skates Fit?
Built From The Inside Out
Ok so you know that if you get a new pair of skates heat molding them is a crucial step, or you’re going to spend way more time and suffer unnecessary pain breaking them in. With True skates, they are custom build from the inside out based on your foot. It is innovative in the world of skates since no one else is doing this, but True will capture all the details of your foot in 3D using patented technologies. So if there is any place in your foot that always hurt in regular skates, True can literally build the skate to include these features and give you an unmatched comfortable fit. I should also mention that every single True skate is HAND MADE in Canada!
True will look at the pressure your feet exert on the ground and will be able to effectively design a skate perfect for each individual player and foot such that it won’t need any breaking in.
If you’re buying a skate from Bauer, they make a generic skate boot that should make 90% of players, but it’s the players that can never seem to find the perfect fitting skate that the True hockey skates really cater to.
Custom Liner Material
When was the last time you were looking at skates and someone asked what kind of liner you wanted? True actually cares about this and gives you two options:
1. Clarino Liner – This is the traditional skate liner that most companies use for its comfort and durability. When the Clarino liner gets wet it almost becomes sticky therefor helping your foot stay in place.
2. Moisture Wicking – This is a new style of skate liner that actually repels moisture from soaking into the liner keeping the skates lighter. In skates that aren’t custom made to your foot, this liner can almost become slippery but since the True skates fit so well this really isn’t an issue.
Custom Skate Tongue
Two options for the True skate tongue, with the standard T-Guard tongue or a smaller and thinner Low Profile skate tongue.
1. T-Guard Skate Tongue – A traditional thick style tongue that offers great protection and the support you’re used to unless you’ve gotten custom skate tongues made before.
2. Slim/Low Profile Skate Tongue – A new design that doesn’t extend as high up the skate and is also slimmer for a little bit more flexibility in the skates. Probably not the option you want if you plan on blocking a lot of shots but its really a player preference.
True skates tend to be very stiff but the all the True Skate tongue designs give you a great forward flex so your really don’t feel the stiffness that way. You feel it more as you stride the boot doesn’t move at all on your feet, which helps optimize the power transfer to the ice.
True has an awesome page on how they go about fitting skates at their fitment center. Check out their post on True Skates Fitment here!
Do True TF Pro Hockey Skates Offer Good Protection?
You don’t really think about protection in hockey skates until you take a slap shot right off the toe of the outdated skate you’re wearing. I personally have taken a puck off the toe cap and had it explode on me. I was excited to get new skates sure…. but my savings account took a pretty big hit! True hockey skates have covered all the bases with their innovative monocoque shell and you can even get additional add-ons for increased protection.
Monocoque Shell – So what is a monocoque shell you’re likely asking, and the easiest way to explain it is to think of an egg shell. Monocoque is a structural design where all the loads are supported through its own “Shell”. As you know its extremely hard to break and egg from top to bottom, and that is exactly what the True hockey skates go for with this design.
Enhanced Impact Protection – This is exactly how it sounds, an additional option to add increased protection to the ankle area and along the side of the skate. True does this with additional aerospace grade carbon fiber layering, which does add some extra weight to the skate but is essential if you’re going to be laying down and blocking shots.
Even without the Enhanced Impact Protection, the boot of the skate is built to take all the abuse without any of the pain for you. Part of this is the attention to detail on the fit of the skate goes a long way in making sure your gear protects you as it should. True also has a patented toe cap design which goes a LONG way in reducing any pain from sticks or pucks, yet is still super comfortable.
Are The True TF Pro's Durable?
The one thing that players are always talking about with True skates is how tough of a skate this is. And when I say tough I mean they can hold up to the abuse game in and game out. NHL players will even use them multiple seasons and that’s rare for any kind of skate considering the beating your skates take over a full professional hockey season regardless of what kind of player you are.
Like with every skate, they are going to go through normal wear and tear as you get nicked by a skate blade but they hold up as good or better than any skate you can find and i’ll accept your challenge on this.
The Goalie Center has a great writerup on how True builds their skates, which will help you learn more about the durability of their awesome custom skates!
By now you’re wondering how much do these god given hand made skates cost, and the answer isn’t as bad as you’re expecting. They will run you the same price as pretty much any other top of the line model from Bauer and CCM, but you can add in some extras too. We’ve got it broken down for you below. Note – For USD Prices they are typically 85%-90% of what our listed Canadian Dollar pricing is
- True TF Pro Custom Skate $1149 CAD
The Junior skate is available for 849 CAD
- True TF Pro Custom Skate W/ BlackSteel $1219 CAD
The Junior skate is available with Step BlackSteel for 919 CAD
Tongue Embroidery $25 CAD
You can choose any embroidery (typically your number) that will fit on the tongue of your True skate.
Enhanced Impact Protection $50 CAD
Additional carbon fiber protection on the ankle plate and the side of the skate where you need it most.
T Guard Upgrade $25 CAD
Metatarsal Protection Upgrade $25 CAD
Replacement Tongues w/ Embroidery $80 CAD
Replacement Junior / Senior Tendon Guards $30 CAD
Express Production (7 Business Days) $200 CAD
So if you go for the full suite of add-ons you could be looking at a 10-15% premium over top of the line Bauer or CCM skates.
Reddits r/HockeyPlayers subreddit has a great breakdown on True Custom Skate Prices, the post is a bit dated, but the prices should give you ballpark numbers!
Does True Offer Skates Other Than The TF Pro?
Realizing that not everyone can afford a thousand dollar pair of totally custom skates, True has released the TF9 and TF7 skates to compete with mid range Bauer and CCM’s. As you can see from the photo’s below, they are almost identical in looks, so it’s what is beneath the hood that makes the difference!
True TF9 - Elite Level Off The Shelf Skate
These will both slot in at significantly less money than the True Pro Custom skates and will really focus on True’s values – a high performing skate that feels amazing without sacrificing performance
True TF7 - Budget Friendly Off The Shelf Skate
Commonly Asked Questions About Buying True TF Pro Skates
How Long Does It Take To Receive Your TF Pro Skates After Ordering?
Typical wait times to get your fully custom pair of skates delivered to you is 3-4 weeks
Where are True TF Pro Skates Manufactured?
The TF Pro skates are manufactured in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – meaning you can feel good about buying North American owned and built skates!
Can you return a pair of True TF Pro Custom Hockey Skates?
Since the skates are completely custom and therefore would not be able to be re-sold or re-used, there is no return policy once 24 hours from the order have passed.
True Hockey Skates: Our Final Thoughts
The moment of truth (no pun intended) are True skates really better than Bauer? In my honest opinion they top Bauer solely because of the personal fit they give each player. These skates fit as though you’re slipping on a pair of socks, and to even get them on and off you have to undo the top 2 eyelets. The comfort and fit of these skates simply cannot be match, and you will never avoid a breaking in period with a new pair of Bauer skates. The feel of the skate is very stiff and the rocker is more forward than Tuuk but its built for high performance speed. No energy is wasted from your foot slipping in your boot or the improper rocker on your skate. Everything was though of in these True skates and you definitely get what you pay for here. If you want to learn more check the video below!
If you have any opinions or even question on the True hockey skates we would love to hear from you!