For a variety of reasons, we at SAPPHIRESKATES create mouse feet that are a one-size fits all solution. Regardless of whether you use our skates or not, it's worth considering a set of universal mouse skates.
The standard practice in this industry is to do a cutout that is designed to perfectly fit in the same way as the OEM stock skates. We are not necessarily saying that this practice is outdated or doesn't have merit, but that there's pros and cons for both methods.
For us, it would have been unfeasible to make custom shapes for every manufacturer. But as we went further in product development and testing, we realized that in many ways, it was simply better to use a universal design. Here are 5 of those reasons.
1. USE THE SAME SET OF MICE FEET ON DIFFERENCE MICE
Let's be honest, most of us own multiple mice. I think I can name 5 just off the top of my head: Finalmouse Ultralight 2, Zowie S2 Divina, Logitech G Pro Superlight, and G-Wolves Skoll. If you're anything like me, you've probably experimented with many different types of mouse feet combined with different mice. This point mainly applies to non-PTFE skates, because every time you re-place them, they get chalked).
Using the same set of universal mouse feet lets you take the same glide with you when you switch mice. The mouse feet combined with the mousepad is actually a much greater determining factor of friction than the mouse itself. There are times when you want to switch mice for a variety of reasons, but don't want a long adjustment period. Universal skates give you a bit more flexibility to accomplish this.
2. LOWER SURFACE AREA
There are actually benefits to using skates with smaller surface area compared to larger skates. I should first point out, that the main drawback is adequate support for the mouse (prevent flexing, and prevent the skates from "digging" if enough force is applied). The thing is, mice are getting lighter and lighter. A lower surface area does not necessarily mean lower friction. With friction, there are so many interactions that conclusions must be drawn experimentally.
However, lower surface area does limit the amount of impedance: dust, debris, and anything that can get in the way of the glide between the mouse feet and mouse pad. Any sort of contamination has a massive impact on friction.
3. LIGHTER WEIGHT
Depending on the mouse, using OEM-fitted skates versus universal can have big savings in grams. The weight reduction can be even greater if comparing glass OEM-fitted mouse feet to universal mouse feet.
Even a set of PTFE skates can weigh over a gram, when you include the adhesive.
4. MORE FORGIVING OF SUB-OPTIMAL CONDITIONS
In reality, you are never going to have perfect mousing conditions since friction occurs at a microscopic level. However, OEM-fitted skates are more sensitive to requiring ideal conditions to work well due to their larger size.
Imagine a typical 4-legged chair on surface with a few small rocks on it. If you place the chair randomly, much of the time, it won't touch the rocks at all. Compare that to a stool that is completely flat at the bottom: you would more than likely make contact with the rocks.
5. ABLE TO STAY GROUNDED
Some gamers may find that the mouse adheres to the surface a bit better with universal mouse skates compared to OEM-fitted ones. If you think about the chair analogy again, those impediments on the surface can cause tilt which makes the mouse feel uneven.
A 4-point object has a greater ability to have all 4 feet touching compared to a 5-point one, and so on.