TRUE Catalyst 9 Skate Review

July 15, 2022 || Written by Katie Lakusta
TRUE has spent years studying skates through their previous TF series and custom skates—and now, they are in a position to provide one of the best and most highly anticipated stock skate lines for 2022. The Catalyst 9 offers TRUE’s best custom tech at an elite-level stock price and availability. Nicknamed the “Cat9,” this skate focuses on the player’s on-ice movement and dynamic agility with some brand new tech and a softer boot.

Brand New Agility Line

TRUE originally dabbled in creating stock skates for the first time with the TF series of skates. The next step, naturally, was to branch out into crafting different skate families. While TF will still sit as more of a power line, Catalyst will be TRUE’s first agility-focused stock line (similar to Bauer Vapor and CCM Ribcor). Compared to TF, the skates have a lighter composition, more flexibility, an increased range of motion, and more forward lean.

Neurofit+ & Fibershield

Most who follow TRUE and their skates are aware of their TRUEShell and Axenic technologies. They’re still here, just in a slightly different form—TRUE’s boot has now moved to a Neurofit+ design, which is a combination of the previous boot tech. Neurofit+ blends their one-piece shell with thermoformable materials for a closer, more personal fit.

Over the boot, you’ll also find the skates’ FiberShield outsole. FiberShield was designed with RF (radio frequency) welding, which is a technique used often in military and aviation to craft materials that are thin and flexible, yet still durable. With the move to a softer boot, it became imperative for the reinforcement to be just as flexible. This additional layer also increases protection and overall stability when making quick and decisive turns.

Carv Toe Cap

Agility-based skate lines need to be lightweight and aerodynamic to enhance a more aggressive playstyle. The Carv toe cap debuting in the Cat9 is exactly how TRUE approaches that goal. This toe cap is outfitted with sharper edges, a sleeker design, and more lightweight material, all of which can support quick transitions and tight turns.

Shift Max Holder & Steel

Over intense research and testing, TRUE originally came up with the Shift holder and steel for the custom TF skates years ago, and now, Shift Max is back better than ever in the Cat9. The Shift Max holder has been reinforced with greater wall thickness to strengthen the build and increase its durability. With a high-grade 9CR stainless steel runner, Shift Max offers elite-level glide and quick turning.

In addition to the basic construction of the holder and runner, the Shift Max holder is also equipped with Bench Change Tech. This integration includes a small blue switch in the back, which makes it even quicker and easier to switch out your skate runners in a pinch.

Hydrofoam Liner

This is TRUE’s very own moisture-wicking liner, which is designed to keep your feet dry and feeling fresh all game long. There’s nothing worse than skating with waterlogged skates—especially when your skating style encompasses the use of quick feet—which is why TRUE made sure to only equip the absolute best tech on their new agility line of skates.

Personalized Fit System

Even if TRUE is offering stock skates now, that doesn’t mean they are moving away from their principles. They are still determined to offer the custom skate experience, even in a stock skate. The Personalized Fit system is a simple albeit effective way to get the perfect fit out of your skates; it involves softer padding and specific insole placement within the skate, so your foot can sit perfectly within when you skate, whether you have low, mid, or high arch feet. Directions for the system can be seen on the footbed.

Final Thoughts

With the momentum that TRUE has been gaining as an independent manufacturer in recent years, particularly in the skate industry, it was inevitable that they would broaden their reach to making a second skate line. We had a chance to check out the prototypes, and every part of this skate—from the new shape to the refined flex in the boot and tendon guard—caught on very quickly with our staff. The specs and direction are solid and elite, and the graphics are sick—we’re definitely quite excited for this one.

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