Test: Oxelo Sneak In
In order to cover the most scenarios as possible, we have tested the Oxelo Sneak In with three different pairs of shoes:
- high top sneakers
- low top flat shoes
- skate shoes (Globe)
We have tested the black and orange model. We are not very keen on that color mix which is a bit flashy. On the other hand, the range of the "Sneak Ins" is made of 4 different models which should meet the different aspirations of the skaters.
At first sight, the skate shows quite massive lines, which are however required to adapt to all types of shoes.
Getting familiar with the Sneak Ins
Whether you have read the user manual or not, you necessarily go through a phase of discovery of the "Sneak Ins" in order to understand how the tightening system works.
The use of the clasp seems simple at first, but it still requires some time to pick it up. For example you should tilt it down before releasing the pressure of the micrometric buckles, otherwise it is almost impossible to take off the skates. All in all, you should acquire automatic reflexes.
To put on that skate you had better be sitting. You can't lean on the skate to slip it on. It is not a negative point, it is only an observation.
The best is to have loosen the whole tightening system to the max or you will have a hard time slipping the shoe into the hull. We leant on the front wheel of the skate for the foot to slip down and wedge against the heel part with the reflective sticker.
The tightening system
Even when you already know the clasp principle, you meet several difficulties in use. You understand the system, but you easily hurt your fingers in using it, especially for the unlocking: better press francky with the palm of your hand rather than with your fingers.
In order to unlock easily, the micrometric buckle should be tightened. Not very handy. We had our fingers whipped several times with the backlash of the clasp.
As for the conventional tightening system relying on micrometric bucles and velcro straps, it is handy, efficient and easy to use. Let's put a damper on the use of plastic buckles rather than metallic ones. Still they don't seem to be too much exposed to falls.
On the whole, the tightening system has proved its efficiency and carries out its role as long as the shoe fits the structure of the skate.
Whatever the shoe, you can note a difference of support between the upper and the lower parts of the foot. Generally speaking, the low part of the hull is a bit soft compared to the up part, which is far more rigid and enveloping. During the stride, you can feel that the lower part of the skate is a bit loose on the side.
For the support of the lower part of the foot, it all depends on the type of shoes that you will use.
- The high top sneaker offers a good support of the low part of the foot, but the pressure is too strong at the cuff;
- The low top flat shoe has too much play on the sides and the foot is too loose in the structure, which makes you lose in skating precision;
- The skate shoe is the best compromise as for height and width, the structure fits perfectly to the foot.
We were quite sceptical before testing as for the principle of the clasp in itself, which tends to hamper the front/back flexing of the cuff. We had doubts as for the possibility of skating with one foot in front of the other, a frequently used position to brake, pass by an obstacle on the ground... Yet, the cut of the skate is low enough not to feel hampered during use.
Most of the comfort relies on the shoe you use with the skate. We have noted that too high top shoes caused pressure points on the upper part of the ankle, and that low cut shoes lacked precision. The most comfortable ones are the skate shoes.
We have also noticed that before totally tightening the micrometric buckles and the velcro strap, you had better lock the cuff first. Indeed, the going up of the cuff mechanically causes a compression of the foot with the lever system. It is not a problem, it is just surprizing the first time.
We could feel a slight pressure on the top of the foot but nothing to worry about.
Made of aluminum, it mixes machining and riveting, which is quite a common manufacturing for models of that range. We have noted a great flexing of the sides which you can get closer and even make them touch with your fingers, a bit more rigidity in thickening the material or in adding a bridge would have been better. However for leisure use, the frame has a very honorable behaviour. It deforms, but within reasonable limits.
It reveals its limits as soon as you speed up, it deforms and you feel that your skating is less safe. At the end of the stride especially, it causes the wheels to lose their grip.
We also did a few jumps without the frame to be damaged. Last but not least, let's note the use of axles with 8 mm screws, solid and reliable.
Damper: the frame is set up a bit too much on the front, so that you lack bearing at the heel and may lose balance in standing up straight. It would have been more centered if a bit further back.
Their structure is very classic and is inspired by the design of the cores of the mythical Hyper + Grip, very widespread on the market. The 80 mm is a good compromise for street skating, it enables to keep a good handliness. The hardness of 84A is also a good choice, you can enjoy a good rolling. The elliptic structure of the on-core conveys a feeling of speed and smoothness while skating, which is very appreciable too.
The grip is good despite the relative hardness and the thinness of the profile.
The wear of the on-core is quite fast and lacks homogeneity. The surface of the polyurethane deteriorates in crumbs with many micro-cracks.
ABEC 7 608 ZZ fastened bearings. They didn't show any sign of tiredness during the tests. They require to be taken care of a bit and gather dust a bit too. They put up no resistance at use and offer a good rolling. Nothing to report.
Here again, nothing to report. You can see that the factory masters its manufacturing process. No material residues on the molded parts, the sewing is neat.
Oxelo offers a well-made skate here. The idea of slipping into the skate from the back is handy. However it requires some time to get the hang of it and efficiently learn to tighten the skate. You should particularly be careful with not hurting yourself with the clasp, on which you really have to push hard to unlock the Sneak In. Predicted price: less than 100 €
Strong points and points to be improved
Tested by Wawa et Alfathor
Translation: Chloé Seyres