Review-K2 “Midtown” Skate

Review by: Manuel Rodriguez

Photos by: Manuel Rodriguez/Kaycee Landsaw

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Lately K2 has been working hard on making sure their next batch of skates are not only made with good quality materials but they have also made sure to deliver some really good looking roller blades for the 2016-2017 season. The first thing I noticed about the “Midtown” roller blades was that they were kind of a new design concept for k2 and to be honest just looking at them made me really excited to try them on and see how they feel. Yes I ride for K2 but I have also been skating for almost 20 years and if a skate can’t deliver a good, comfortable experience when I am using them then I will ride something else. Luckily this isn’t the case with these skates. I have a feeling I will be riding these for quite some time and I hope after this review you will be too. 

The Liner

Looking at the liner alone you could tell this thing was gonna be comfortable. It seriously felt like they used some new materials for this skate and to be honest putting my foot into these things there was definitely noticeable difference compared the previous models of “Urban” skates that k2 has released in the past such as the il-Capo. After riding in these things for a few hours I was surprised how comfortable my foot felt in them. Absolutely no pressure points what so ever so these are awesome to ride right out of the box. The last few rides in them have had the same results and I can honestly say that this liner is top notch and could compete with other leading liner brands. I also like that this skate feels true to size and is made for people who have a little bit of a wider foot compared to other brands available right now. It would have been nice to have put in a shock absorber along with a foot bed that has an arch because who doesn’t want those things in a skate?

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Frames and Wheels

The UFS frame is perfect for these skates because it looks like they are just the right measurement, not too long or too short. Which makes the ride really nice because you don’t feel like you’re getting that “lean back” feel that you are maybe used to with K2. The frame is also plastic compared to the il-capo which has a metal frame. So having it be plastic gives you a little more room for grinds if you see yourself doing that with these. Also, please note that the max wheel size for these frames is 80mm so if you’re into the 100mm stuff these frames and wheels might not be for you. The wheels are 80mm K2 brand wheels. 80mm is awesome cause its right in the middle when it comes to wheel size. In my opinion I’m not a big fan of huge wheels because to me it just doesn’t feel natural riding wheels that large and 72 is too small to ride on more obscure types of terrain so I felt like the 80mm was a great choice to go with. Wheels are 85a so they are really “grippy” on concrete which makes them really fun to do sharp curves and turns. I also ride a 7.5 and just like every other K2 on the market these feel true to size. The only thing is that softer wheels can be a little slower and with them only coming with abec-5 bearings you might want to consider getting better bearings if you like to go fast. Don’t get me wrong, these are fast but some people like to go really fast so that might be something to keep in mind when buying these.

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The skate as a whole

I can say with full confidence this is K2’s best looking rec/urban skate. So far the feed back from all my friends and even skateboarders is that the look of these are really fresh and kind of bring K2 into a new “light” when it comes to their skate designs. I also believe these will become a favorite among the k2 lovers. The skates also come with a top Velcro strap along with K2’s signature mid-strap which makes it even more comfortable because you feel like your skates are a part of your feet instead of some weird contraption with wheels underneath. The upper area is also made with more of a shoe design concept which makes them stand out among the crowd. When it’s all said and done I just have to say that if you are looking for a skate that not only looks great but also feels great I would strongly suggest getting these. The skates retail at $179.95 which is a great price point I think and also comes in a cool looking blue option as well. Go to http://www.k2skates.com for more info and purchase.

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“Young Gun” Josh Fields

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There is nothing bad you can say about Utah County blader Josh Fields. The guy is quiet and a little shy but he honestly lets the skating do the talking. I can say without a doubt Josh is one of those young guys that keeps the blading spirit alive in Utah. He’s pretty much always down to drive wherever the session is and does it with a smile on his face. His progression over the last year that I have known him has increased ten fold and I truly believe as long as he keeps going at it like the way he has been he will be one of those guys who will become a staple in the Utah blade scene. Another thing I like about Josh is he does whatever he can to support rollerblading.Whether that’s purchasing the local videos, clothing or skating at We Are One Skatepark all hours of the day he pretty much lives for it. Lets also not forget he comes from a family of bladers. His older brother Jake who is also on the front lines with him in Utah County makes sure he steps up his game wherever they are skating. And most importantly his uncle, the legendary Mikal Moore who I am pretty sure passed on the skate hoarder gene down to him. Either way if you haven’t met Josh or skated with him just know this, if you are looking to blade, he will most likely join you. Even if its a drive for him or if its a spot he wont even skate, he will cheer you on. I believe Josh has a bright future ahead of him and I know you all think so too -Manuel

All photos by Manuel Rodriguez and Omar Prestwich.

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1. First off, tell me a little about yourself and how you started rollerblading?

My name is Joshua Thomas Mato­Wi Fields, I am 22 from Orem, Utah in Happy Valley USA. I live to roll. Ever since I can remember I was at least riding rollerblades, whether it was playing street hockey or building crazy ramps onto my front lawn with my brother. It wasn’t till about 3 years ago that I started really pushing it and getting comfortable in my blades.

2. Do you have any goals when it comes to blading?

Obviously I want to try to see how good I can get and refine my style, but one of my
biggest goals is to show everyone how fun blading can be.

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Back Royale-SLC

 

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180 over the gap-Provo

 

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Mizou to 180-SLC

3. How is the Provo/Orem skate scene? Do you prefer to come to SLC?

I hear it used to be a pretty strong scene back in the day, there isn’t many of us out here now. Recently I have been running into a lot of younger bladers just getting into it, and I always look for any chance I can to help them out or just introduce myself. I love skating in Utah Valley. I do like that there is a lot to skate in SLC, but the main reason I’d prefer to go up there is to blade with the homies.

4. Do you feel like part of the Utah blade scene?

I sure do. Everyone was pretty welcoming and willing to give me pointers. I’m grateful that there is a scene to be apart of.

5.Who is playing a part in making sure you progress and keep on skating?

Well, first off, I wouldn’t have gotten back into blading if it wasn’t for my older brother, Jake. Second, my uncle Mike for always keeping me rolling on the best skates. Third, my amazing girlfriend Jessie for her endless amount of patience with me. Forth, Sean Kelso, nuff said. Fifth, really just all the guys from the scene.

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Air over the rail-Cottonwood Heights