The Easton Stealth 85s is my second pair of hockey skates. The only other pair I've owned has been the Bauer Vapor X3.0, which is a lower end skate, but has been a great skate for me. I was looking for something with more protection for my ankle and forefoot after taking a number of shots to my feet. After seeing the Easton Stealth line on sale, I decided to go with the 85s because of the tongue protection and the stiff, protective boot. I play adult rec league once or twice a week, and I help coach my kids' teams so I'm on the ice 2-5 hours per week, but I'm not a high-performance player.
The padding of the boot is great. It felt great as soon as I put it on, but after sharpening and a first skate, I couldn't make it more than 45 minutes before the pain on the outsides of my feet became unbearable. I had the skates baked and it helped some, but not enough.
I ended up having one of the boots punched out some and that helped even more. I've skated on them about 8-9 hours now and they're getting better every time. I don't have wide feet and I never had this problem with the Bauer Vapor skates, but each skate is different and this skate must run a little more narrow. I am probably going to bake the skates a second time to try to form them to my foot a little more.
I got the skates because the Bauer X3.0's didn't offer enough protection from shots in the boot and tongue, but after playing earlier this week and taking one shot on the inside of the ankle, and one on the tongue, I was SO glad I bought these skates. The boot is stiff and protective and the guard on the tongue does it's job.
As far as performance goes, this skate isn't as 'fast' as my Vapors. The runner is flatter and makes more contact with the ice, so there's a little more friction there. The increase in boot stiffness helps to counter act that though because I really feel the ice under my feet and feel very in control of my turns and skating. I may put the holders from my vapor skates on the Eastons to get the performance of the vapors with the stiffness and protection of the Eastons.
In summary, the boot is stiff and offers good protection from shots. It's more narrow than the Bauer Vapor skates, and it's not as "fast" as the Vapor skates. I think this skate is a great value if you get it on sale. For $200, I think it's great. I wouldn't be as happy if I had paid full price. I would recommend these skates to a friend if they have narrow feet and get them on sale.