My two cents.
I get asked for advice on skating and products a million times a day (ok maybe I exaggerated a little, but you get the point), and it’s filled mostly with the same questions. The biggest one is about my AR-1 boots, and if I would skate on them if I didn’t design them. Here’s the deal…First off having someone from WHATEVER sport you do designing and making product is a plus, because they’re actually interested in making what they believe is needed to fix the common issues, progress the sport, and make it better for the following athletes. And two, its not always about turning a buck to profit off the massively growing industry. My boots were designed from the ground up to be comfortable, technical, and stylish. Scuff resistant hard-cap, heat moldable toe, so you can ditch the horrible looking toe guards. Un-countered sides near the pinky toe and ball of the foot, because that’s where most of the stress and pressure is placed. The wedge in the heel reduces a huge amount of shock and vibrations that irritate your feet. And a hypoallergenic, medical grade, foam tongue, that’s comfortable, conforms to the foot, and ACTUALLY STAYS IN PLACE.
Yeah, its all sounds like marketing BS, buts this is the kind of thinking a true lifetime skater thinks of and develops. I didn’t take one boot and go, “I’ll add some fur, and some padding, add some bells and whistles, and change a name…. Oh yeah, now it’s a derby skate”, I started with all of the issues I had and hated growing up skating, and I tried to eliminate them. No, its not he best boot ever and it not for everyone, but I have to say- its changed the way people look at and select their next pair of skates, and its got all the other skate companies scrambling to do a better job with their product. I was a skater before derby, and I’ll be one after. This is not to say other brands of boots don’t work or that they don’t address the issues, but Antik has come at the issues from an entirely different thought process that others might find a little radical.
So to answer the original question…Yes, I would still skate an AR-1 because a trusted, lifetime skater designed it with a skaters needs and wants in mind.