I just love customizing skates, and I’m always thrilled when new high-end after-market parts get released. So when I saw the upcoming Seba Balance liners in the Seba catalogue earlier this year, my reaction was unsurprisingly “I want those!“. They just got released, I just got a pair, so I’ll share my impressions.
First off, I was surprised to see the box. These are the first liners I own which didn’t come in a simple plastic bag : They’re presented in a black Seba cardboard box, just like Seba skates, but a smaller one. Inside the box, you get the pair of liners, but also a pair of laces and the optional second pair of shock absorbers, the same as with the current Seba FR1 skates.
The liners are available in two colours : There is WHITE/black and BLACK/white. Yes, it’s confusing to start with, you just need to remember that the main colour is the one you get to see most. So for the WHITE/black version (which we will call “white”), the white is on the front, where the holes in plastic skate shells allow to see it, as well as on the top and the tongue, while the black is on the back part and the front/top elastic strap. The BLACK/white version (“black”) is exactly the opposite for all of the exterior part. Both share the same black inside and sole as well as the same white laces. Maybe black laces for the black version wouldn’t have been a bad idea.
The shape is very close to the FR liners. This makes them perfectly compatible with Seba FR skates, which my tests have confirmed, and probably too thick for the Seba High. Even though they seem thicker than the FR liners, especially on the rear lower part, their base isn’t wider. I’ve also tested them in some Rollerblade Twister Plus shells and some Tecnica CT-1 shells, and they have the same fit than the FR liners, which isn’t perfect around the heel, but good enough.
The Balance is a freeride liner on par with many aggressive liners. This is something I’ve been annoyed by for a long time now : Aggressive skates have great liners, some of which have really nice features like their own lacing, integrated neoprene socks, incredible finish etc. But most of them are really thick, and until very recently, very high and straight cut at the back, so they were rarely fitting well inside freeride shells. The after-market Salomon Brandon Campbell liner was one rare exception (still quite thick, but low), may it rest in peace. With the Balance, freeriders now have a real after-market high-end liner available!
Here are the major pros :
- Officially available, listed in the catalogue (not just some random spare part).
- Good finish. Not perfect, especially around the edges, but good enough to look resistant.
- Good comfort. My feed don’t usually complain, no exception here.
- Shock absorbers (Seba HDS). With the extra optional second pair.
- Top 3 holes available for typical lacing.
- Lower 3 holes available for optional lacing.
- Strong top/rear strap to carry the skates.
Now for the cons :
- Quite expensive (65 to 70€).
- The laces are way too long when using the 3+3 holes lacing of the liners only.
- The cool Yin Yang decoration is completely hidden when the liner is in place.
This is overall an excellent liner, clearly the liner of choice for all of my custom skates for the foreseeable future!
Now for all of the detailed photos :