Test : Valo JJ 13
The shape of the boot is quite the same as previous models, Jon Julio kept the concept of the overboot made of a black synthetic leather. The overboot has a very beautiful rendering when it is new. The front white soulplate allows to break the massive lines. The carbon structure looks quite similar. It allows to reduce the weight of the shell. The main new feature about design is certainly the "10 years" logo in Roman numerals.
OMG! Those skates are so comfortable! We feel like slippers! More seriously, the comfort is perfect: there is foam everywhere, which makes it very pleasant to skate. The shock absorber is not very thick but it fulfills its role. We also noticed that Valo has added a thick foam under the liner. It provides more comfort in gaps' reception. It also reduces the risk of breakage of the carbon that sometimes occurred with the first models. Thus, the comfort has been greatly improved. This is the main quality of this boot.
Flexibility / fastening system
The Valo JJ13 provide a fairly complete closure system that provides a good support. A first lace located on the boot allows you to the adjust the boot to your foot well. It also wedges the liner in the back of the boot. Then, the other lace on the overboot allows you to block the foot and adapt the flexibility of the kicking. Finally, the metal memoery buckle provides a quick and efficient support. The buckle is made of metal so that it dos not move despite the falls. The spoiler of Valo JJ13 is quite low, even tight, so the boot offers a good flexibility with very a good stalling in top tricks.
The reputation of Valo soulplates is well established. Sliding is still good, fluid and stable whatever the material of the spot. However, the soulplate remains a little too wide. The first stalling are difficult. Once your get used to the skates, it becomes a pure pleasure. In grind tricks, the H-block is very easy to find, perfect, it prevents the foot from moving. In back or front tricks, we really appreciated this boot.
All the plastic part is of good quality and highly resistant to shock and slides. The royal plate wears slightly in the early sessions. The sliding of the soulplate is very fast but the repetition of slides does not dig the notch too fast.
About the overboot: the early falls tears the leather next to the screw of the spoiler, above the soulplate, at the heel or at the nose of the boot. It is a pity for such a boot which combine aestetic and technique! The foam under the liner provides a better flexibility of the carbon shell, that is to say that it no longer break.
In conclusion, we can say that the JJ 13 picked the best of Valo and improved the carbon concept. Lightened, this boot is more pleasant to skate. The efforts of Valo on comfort are really appreciable. Sliding appears to be once again the really positive asset of the Valo JJ 13. We regret the lack of sturdiness of the overboot and price a bit too high... Probably the fact that JJ 13 is hand assembled in Italy?
Strong points and points to be improved
Model : JJ 13
Shell : carbon
Liner: Valo 2013
Cuff: plastic articulated
Closure system: two laces and a metal memory buckle
Sizes: 39-47 EU
Price: 309 €
Use: amateur and good skaters
LinksBy Thomas Bordier and Yoann Levergeois
Photos: Alfathor, Bobor