Do you want to go back to the times when inline skaters ruled the streets of North America and Europe, TV sets weighted so much you needed a friend to lift one and kids were spending their pocket money playing Street Fighter II at the local arcade? Impala skates are for you.
These skates are not about advanced tech, high performance or wide range of customisation options. Simplicity and style is what counts here. All Impala skates look great and are ready to roll out of the box. Just put them on, lace up, close the top buckle and you are ready to go! Same as in case of classic skates like Rollerblade Lightning or Roces FCO, which ruled the streets in the past.
Impalas are hardboot skates, built around a rigid outer shell with comfortable liner inside. The mold used here should be well known to all die-hard inline skating fans – it is the same boot as one used by Razors aggressive skates, the Cult. It is a proven, reliable boot with long history. For those who wonder how Impala managed to use the same shell as another company: it is an open mould, which means it is factory owned and available to use to every customer of theirs. There are slight differences, though, as Impala are equipped with new, more streamlined cuff than one used on Cult boot. Ending the subject of the shell, as expected in retro throwback skates, there is no 45 degree buckle or strap – thus, you need to lace it with care for a firm fit. Cuff is of course closed by a plastic buckle.
The liner is anatomically shaped, comfortable and with thick padding. It gives a high level of comfort and holds foot well in place thanks to carefully modeled heel pocket. Overall, it is really well designed and breaking in period is very short – for most people, the skates will be pain-free to use right out of the box. This is thanks to softer foams, which could be used here as the skate is not aimed at people who seek performance, but created with comfort in mind.
As expected from retro-style skates, Impala come with composite frame, riveted to the boot in ten points. The attention to detail is noteworthy – the frame is shaped just like in real oldschool skates, with front wheel placed slightly forward and have built-in rockering option (skates are set up in flat configuration out of the box) to achieve more maneuverability.
The wheels used in Impala have 70 mm diameter and 84A hardness. They are relatively small compared to most wheels used in skates today, but once again – they stay true to the source material. Speed is not priority here, they aim for comfort and ease of control over the skates. The frame takes up to 72 mm wheels. Skates come with ABEC7 class steel bearings.
This edition of Lightspeed skates come with optional brake and two Allen wrenches for tightening the axles.
Even if the whole nostalgia thing is not very appealing to you, it is only fair to admit that such solid, supportive boot with easy to handle frame and wheel setup is a great option for beginners in inline skating. Seeing that they are very affordable, Impala have very small competition in their price range.