Monday, May 9, 2011

Product Review: Remz OS4 (by Brendan Kelly)

In my quest to find the right skate that is both comfortable and functional for me, my Remz OS4's came in today. I first ordered Razor Genesys 7.3's, which most of you know. My main issue with the Genesys's is that they are a hardboot, and too stiff for me, coming from K2's back in the day. Of course I didn't think about that when I ordered them, but as soon as I put them on, I knew they weren't going to be ideal for me at this time. Since I skated them for a couple of weeks, I could not return them, so they are currently for sale on the AMall forums, as well as my local Craigslist. So next I decided to try Remz OS4's. On to the review.

I ordered mine custom from Amall, boot only, size 11. I got them all black, with Trust Catalyst liners, also size 11. Separately, from another site, I ordered Kizer Slimline frames, Crap bearings, and UC wheels. After assembling the frames and putting them on the boot, I took the paper out of the boot and loosened the straps and laces in the liner. I slid my foot in and tightened everything. The first thing I noticed was that they were extremely tight across the top of my foot, where the strap closest to my toes is. They were also extremely tight on the sides of my feet in that same spot. I loosened said strap and the liner laces toward my toes, which relieved the pressure on the top of my foot, but they sides were still extremely tight. I also noticed there was a sharp pressure point under the pad of my foot. I took them off and removed the liner. Instead of using the bolts that came with the Slimline frames, I used the bolts that were screwed into the bottom of the boot out of the box. The tip of the front bolt was sticking up around half an inch into the inside of the boot. I removed the bolts that were in the boot, and used the bolts that came with the frames, which remedied that problem. I know that Trust liners are supposed to be broken in to be comfortable, but the tightness I was feeling was beyond a break in. To try and find another solution, I put in my Genesys liners, which aren't as thick as the Trust liners and are already broken in. It wasn't AS tight, but it was still excruciating. I also tried 3 different pairs of socks that are different thicknesses, the pressure remained.


Here is the shock absorber. It is pretty thin, compared to my Gens, and I could feel pain just from stomping on solid ground while standing still. These could have been replaced with a thicker pad though. The shock absorber is taped down as well, it sticks on rather than locking into a groove as the Gens do. There is also no insole of any kind, the only padding came from the bottom of the liner, which have extra insole inside as some liners I've seen do. Regardless, as tight as they already I wouldn't have been able to use an insole.

This is the frame bolt coming up on the inside of the boot. These black bolts came screwed into the bottom of the boot out of the box. As I said, replacing these with the bolts that came with the separate frames fixed this, but I ordered these and if I needed to use these frame bolts, they would have been no good. At least with the Kizer Slimlines. (It is also worthy to note that my friend who skates Aragon 4's had this exact same issue. He ended up cutting off the excess bolt, and Razor also sent him a hard plastic insert as well as thicker insoles than the ones that came in stock Jug Aragon liners)

My last issue has to do with the strap closest to the toes. This area is the painful one, and reason I can't wear these. Something else though, besides the comfort issue, is the angling of this strap. It is not fastened at an angle, which makes it slide toward one side of the metal rung. Eventually it would have been bunched up on one side of that rung and created additional pressure there, had of been fastened with the angle of the strap it would be more flush and secure.

I also had a friend who skates Aragon 4's try them on. I tried his Aragon's on, and they were very tight for me, but fit him comfortably. His feet are slightly narrower and smaller than mine, though we both wear the same size skate. He tried my OS4's with the Trust liners, my Gen liners, and his Aragon liners, all with the same result, they were to tight for him as well. If it wasn't for the tightness in that one area, they would be great. I love the feel other than that one point. So unfortunately I will be sending these back. I love how they look, I think they are sick visually, but we all know that isn't what matters. My next step is most likely going to be Carbon 2's, Valo AB's, or Xsjado's. A half hard shell, which is what drew me to the OS4's, that you can heat mold, sounds ideal. I am keeping the frames, wheels and bearings, since they did not come with the skate's, and buy the next skate boot only.




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