These are the Valo v13 Alex Broskow Midnight skates. They retail for $200 US.
They come with Valo frames, 58mm wheels and anti rocker wheels, with ABEC 5 bearings. The frames are known for feeling solid with internal support, but are also some of the heavier frames available.
These are my first raised heel skates in a long time. The soul plate is higher in the back to allow for a flat UFS mounting area. With skates like the Razors Shift or the Seba CJ, the boot is already flat. This allows for the addition of a shock absorber in the heel, typically making a more comfortable ride.
After the first session, I swapped out the frames to see if I could improve the royale. I started to really enjoy grinding on these skates. My backside royale has never felt better. But airs and transitions still felt sloppy.
After starting this review, Valo announced they would no longer be producing skates after this run. Roces has announced they will be making a new Majestic 12 with a similar setup available this summer.
With that being said, the Valo v13 Midnight are a classic skate, and a worthy conclusion to the Valo line. The colors are beautiful and the memory buckle is the best design I’ve seen.
Being a raised heel skate means either less shock absorption or more of a forward lean than a flat skate. The footbeds are thin so the lean isn’t bad, but I could use more padding on my heels if I did more gaps.
The boots felt great for grinds, but a bit sloppy when skating transitions. I think the addition of a 45 deg strap could help make the boots feel more solid.
The boot sizing is the biggest concern. The shell is more narrow than other skates, meaning you might need to upsize to find one that fits you. I’m lucky and was able to fit in the 10.5, but many people won’t.
The liner is fine, but feels cheap compared to the ones in my Shift or Aeon. I know that liners are expensive so this is probably where much of the costs go.
The lack of a pre groove in the frames made royale tricks more difficult for me. I’m sure with some patience I can develop a nice groove, but I’d recommend swapping the frames for some others if you can afford it.
Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.