Aug. 8, 2019

Mota Metcon Savage Boot Review


Douglas Whitten, Owner

Gorilla Skates

Background:  As a skate shop owner, I try to sample as many of the products that I sell as possible so I can give recommendations based on having actually tried what I am selling.  I do not ask for free samples from skate companies because I want to make biased recommendations.  In this case, I bought my Mota boots online directly from Mota (https://motaskates.com) at the retail.

First Impressions:  The boot is very light weight.  The toe area is wrapped in an abrasion resistant leather-looking material and the uppers have the look of a carbon fiber weave (it is for aesthetics, not actual carbon fiber).  I thought the microfiber outer would be stiff and “cheap” feeling.  It was not.  I was shocked by how supple it was.  The inner lining is also very soft and comfortable.  The sole is a plastic looking material (Nylon Composite).

Mounting:  I am generally not happy with “factory Mounting.”  Therefore, I view pre-drawn centerlines and other mounting templates with skepticism.  That said, I used the template that is etched on the boot’s sole to mount my plate.  It was perfect.  If you are using the Mota Boss plate or the “other” 16 degree plate, there is no mystery in mounting your skate right.  The predrawn offset centerline will make mounting other plates easy as well.

Fit:  The very supple outer material conformed to my foot like a glove.  The lacing is very wide and goes all the way down to the toe.  I have wide feet, so I did not need to use a boot stretcher like I usually do.  For narrow feet, The wide lace eyelets give you the ability to really cinch it down.  I think this boot will fit most skaters without the need to heat mold.

Feel:  Mota Metcon Savage is extremely comfortable.  I skated around 5 hours of derby practices with no blisters or hot spots.  In most other boots, I have gotten blisters around my ankles until after they are broken in.   There was no heel slip at all!  I always add a toe lift to my skates so that my arches don’t cramp.  There is already a 2mm rise in the Mota Metcon insoles, so these were exactly how I like my skates right out of the box.

I have to rave about the Nylon/ plastic outer sole.  It is supportive, but not stiff.  It flexes a bit, giving a comfortable ride.  In the past I have skated soles of different materials.  Carbon was too stiff for my taste.  Fiberglass was pretty comfortable but did not stand up to my abuse in roller derby.  Leather was my preference, but it adds a lot of weight.  For me, the nylon seems to be the best of all worlds.  At least as forgiving as leather while being about as light as carbon fiber.  The fact that it is less expensive to make is a huge bonus.

Limitations of this Review:  I have only skated in the Mota Metcon Savage boot a handful of times.  Therefore, I can not speak to the durability.

Shortcomings of the Boot:  The laces were too short on my size 9.   The few dollars spent to change to 84 inch laces was money well spent.  For a narrower foot, this may not be an issue.

Final thoughts:  There is no perfect derby boot for everyone.  However, the Mota Metcon Savage is a very good boot that will work well for most people.  It was my intent to demo these boots, then resell later.  After skating in them for a few practices now, I am going to keep them and will make them my primary skate for the upcoming season.  Simply, they perform well and are unparalleled in comfort despite costing less than half of my previous boots.

“I can’t tell you how much I love my MOJO skates! I’m a ref, and I can skate in them for three to four games in a day and never have painful feet.  The Boss plates are super light; I still get surprised, after 5 months, at how light the whole setup is when I pick them up. The new toe stops are certainly the best I’ve had–just the right amount of angle, grip and slide.  And you guys have been tremendously responsive and helpful, by far the best customer service I’ve ever had. I really appreciate the thoughtful design, as well as the enthusiasm, you and Doug bring. Thanks for creating one of my favorite things!”

-Bibbity Bobbity Boom

“Dude, those TKO wheels were perfect! They are the best wheels I have ever felt on that floor”

HAVOC #9 – Captain AZRD Tent City Terrors

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“I am in love with the Mojo Carbon boots! I kept the same plate setup for now, so just the weight and comfort is really amazing. I have had a couple spots to heat mold, which was easy and they fit like a glove. I can feel the boot is working with my foot while skating versus fighting the boot with my foot like I have in the past. I can appreciate the craftsmanship and attention to detail in the boot with it being sewn all the way around, not just glued, and I would seriously wear these as shoes if that was an option! First practice with them I kept swinging my leg and thinking, WOW, these are so light and the feel like butter, so smooth! LOL

I would recommend anyone who gets the chance to try these boots on to see for themselves.  Thanks Mota for a great boot!”

Tabitha Stalvey

“I am guessing a couple more practices until I am used to them, but I felt they were way better than my Bonts. The combination between the carbon fiber soles and the way the boot hug my foot really showed.  Great grip, and very fast. I can’t wait until I feel like I’m used to them!!”

Malcolm Tramm – NY Shock Exchange/Team USA

“I love them! They feel like they are part of me. They are so light and fit so much better than anything I’ve ever skated on before. I will probably do a little heat molding before next practice, but amazing right out of the box! Thank you so much for the magic!”

Amy Malone

“The Boss plates are wonderful and the new bushings were a game changer.  I could not be happier with the setup now!”

Stephanie Bondhus

“I got them!!!

They’re perfect, fit perfect, and they’re so light. Thanks so much, everything is amazing! The Monster Stoppers are awesome, so much stability. I’m a very happy customer/skater.”

Isidora Borgono -of Chile


Quad Roller Skate Shop – Berlin Germany

Quad Roller

“Mota Skates have arrived!!! As always we are fully stocked and ready to fit skaters in the latest products developed from Doug and Julie Glass.

Life long dedicated skaters, they are derby through and through. They are some of the first manufacturers to make Derby specific gear. Thanks to folks like them, we have equipment for our sport, instead of having to make due with skateboard equipment.

We are stoked to be stocking Mota and in love with their new designs!  Get yours today!!”

Quad Roller Skate Shop





“I have been supporting your brand because I want players to wear skates that will get them to stop thinking about their skates, and focus on their Derby, and after talking with you and Doug at champs, and inspecting my team mates skates, I believe that the Mota style of skate making will facilitate that.

I truly believe that you guys are motivated by the advancement of this game as a sport and the players as athletes.

I know that sounds cheesy, but I just have always been dedicated to the idea of the potential that this sport has, and I believe in companies that care more about propagating that advancement than their bottom line. I respect the hell out of y’all.”

David Metcalfe 


“Julie Brand-Glass it must be the skates. Never scored that many points (225 out of 266) in my life. It’s like I wan’t even wearing skates!”

Amy Ruby/ Racer McCHaser


“I am in love with the Mojo Carbon boots! I kept the same plate setup for now, so just the weight and comfort difference is really amazing. I only had a couple spots to heat mold, which was easy and they fit like a glove. I can feel the boot is working with my foot while skating versus fighting the boot with my foot like I have in the past (if that makes sense). I can appreciate the craftsmanship and attention to detail in the boot with it being sewn all the way around, not just glued, and I would seriously wear these as shoes if that was an option! First practice with them on I kept swinging my leg and thinking, Wow, these are so light and they feel like butter, so smooth! lol I would recommend anyone who gets the chance to try these boots on to see for themselves. Thanks MOTA for a great boot!!”

Tabitha Stalvey

“I currently have your Mojo boots, and Boss plates…you actually had posted them on Facebook.  When I went into five stride a few weeks back I tried the mojos and talked about the brand with Bonnie and OMG and then went home and did even more research on Mota, and really love that I’m getting skates by skaters and they are perfect for my feet. Also originally coming from my dance background I have some ankle issues and the way the skate fits my foot and hugs it. I don’t feel like they are going to roll out. (So I guess that answers the question of yes, I’m already on the skates and loving them).  Also I feel like I’m fitting right in with the NYSE guys who I have been practicing and traveling with for the last 3 years.”

Mary Fransioli

“You/your husband’s creativity, drive, focus, thoroughness, precision, & style are so admirable.  Thrilling! I am really excited for all things Mota, and look forward to one day wearing them with pride”.

Candice Hogan


Sutton Impact #3

Sutton Impact #3

“Hey. Just had my first practice on my Mota’s……. WOW! I have never felt more comfortable. I was REALLY nervous to go from my old 45 degree plate to the 16 but after just a few laps I adjusted. No sore spots on my ankle. No blisters. Loved the toe stops! Just amazing. SO thank you so much for making these. They are such good quality and my entire team ooed and awed over them.”

Lyndsay Riveter Rosie 

“I’m a total Riedell  convert! My skates feel a million times better than anything I’ve ever had.  My feet and ankles, too. Thank you!”

Cheri Hartless

“They are so dang sexy! Also, they are custom Angel City colors!
They are carbon fiber, fully heat moldable. I tried on 6 brands of skates at champs and settled on these because they fit my foot best.

I had Riedell 595s. They are durable and I liked them but they just aren’t right for my foot.

I have very high arches and my 595s don’t offer any arch support. I tend to pronate a little because of that. I have bought custom insoles that helped with the arch support but created too much pressure on the top of my foot leading to numbness and tingling in my feet. (I have tried oodles of lacing patterns and some help but I lose responsiveness/control.) I have also tried Riedells footbeds and they cause the same issue. The Motas have great arch support. They had the best arch support of any of the boots I tried.

I have a bulbous heel but narrow ankles (I’m long and bony.) When pushing (as a jammer) my heels slip and I get layers of the back of my heel shaved off. My 595’s have the heel lock lace loops. Doesn’t help. I bought wrightsock antiblister socks, doesn’t help. I bought EZ fits, doesn’t help. I bought thick ankle braces, doesn’t help. I bought bunga pads (silicone sleeves that cover the back of the heel and the Achilles) and that helps but I lose feeling/responsiveness. Not to mention I don’t want to have to wear them all the time. This was my main concern with my boot. After a few practices of leaving my bunga pads at home drying and having to heal my torn open heels I was frustrated. I put on all 6 brands and leaned a bit forward and bent at the ankles to semi mimic pushing as a jammer. These locked my heel in the most. I liked the Atoms but they had a little discomfort in the back of the heel. They ankle hole on these seems to be more narrow than most skates which I like because if you pronate at all there’s a tad of spaces between the ankle of the boot and my foot. That’s not there with these. I also like the shape of the ankle opening. It cuts in around the malleolus (bony nub on your outer ankle.) I like the height of them. Antiks are a little too high and constraining for me.

I have a narrow foot that’s long but spreads out a bit at the toe. My pointer toe is longer than my big toe me my middle toe is as long or longer than my big toe. This puts odd pressure on the second and third toes. Again, I’ve tried lacing patterns and punching the leather out a bit at a cobbler and it helped a bit. The shape of the front of the boot with these is more rounded in the toes versus a more descending toe height shape of the toe box of my Riedells. They are also narrow through the length of the foot and hugged my foot well. They seemed like they’d be hard to get on by how tight they look when you have them off. The ankle hole seems so small. When you get your foot in it kind of slips right onto my foot shape.

The back of the boot seems to angle up from the heel in toward the ankle.  I like this because if you get down into derby stance, this is how your foot/ankle align.

I use toe caps to keep my boots in nice shape. I like to limit the things I need in my gear. If I can have my toe protected without the extra items (toe caps) that would be awesome. These have rubber that extends from mid outer foot, past the toe, to mid inner foot. There is also the optional toe protector that I chose to put on. It protects just where it needs to while still being minimal. I have friend that has Bonts that have a rubber strip that extends the same area that keeps coming loose on her boots. She’s had them reglued a few times and they keep coming loose still. The rubber section on these is sewn on so I’m sure they’ll stay put. I like the added protection of the optional piece.

Aesthetically, I love the way they look. They look sleek and clean.

Skating in them is a dream. They are so supportive and responsive yet so comfortable. These are a game changer for me. No more toe caps and anti blister socks and bunga pads! I feel so free!”

Elise Easom

Getting the Mota Boots is one of the best things I could have done. I am not a natural skater and in fact had never skated before I started playing Derby. Switching to the MOTA Mojo has been a game changer. The stability and responsiveness and is going to take me to the next level. The comfort and fit right out of the box (I did not have to heat mold them) has given me no break in time and from day one have been able to spend my time learning my new skates, not worried about sore feet and blisters.  I am really excited to see were these skates are going to take me this season.

Andrew Black


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