It wasn’t until just a few years ago that any significantly new design features were utilized in goalie skates. However, as the need for aggressive lateral play has grown prevalent, the ability to push and attack from the butterfly is now a hallmark of nearly every goalie’s game.
Properly executed, goaltenders can remain highly mobile even with their pads on the ice after making a save. For today’s butterfly goaltender, lateral mobility after making a save is a tool needed almost every play. It’s also a tool that can be limited by the traditional cowling on goal skates.
The point at which your blade leaves the ice on account of the cowling is affected by the attack angle of your skates. This attack angle has been a subject of evolution in recent years as Bauer in particular has led the way in this regard. By increasing the height of the cowling, more of the skate blade remains in contact with the ice longer. For example, the Supreme One.7 goalie skates feature a tall cowling which allows a goaltender to keep their pad level low as they push side-to-side.
Of course, no skate is built perfectly in that regard. Even the most recent Bauer skates still will catch on the ice despite of new cutouts on the cowling instep. So, the new OD1N 1S skates feature no cowling at all. This is a revolutionary new design feature which leaves the skates looking far more like a pair of forward skates than goal skates.
The new Bauer goal skates will certainly be unlike anything any goalie has ever seen just as the performance benefits will be unlike anything they have seen. The newest goal skates will give players the ability to leave their pads that much closer to the ice without their foot sliding out on a push. For goaltenders who wear their pads particularly loose, it wouldn’t be surprising if there is the illusion of pads not even leaving the ice despite the goaltender pushing with their power leg.
There will probably be a point where the improvement doesn’t offer any further benefit, but we haven’t reached that point. Not yet at least. The skates coming on the horizon will be truly revolutionary to the position and the goalie skates at Great Skate today offer a drastic improvement in play for butterfly goaltenders.