Salomon’s Custom Shell program will have more offerings. The X-Max 120 proved the efficacy of the Custom Shell both in the technology and ski-ability. This boot does not change for the next season.
The X-Max series is 98mm and will now encompass a full line of ladies boots starting at the X-Max 90
The successors to the 100mm Impact men’s and Idol ladies boots are the X-Pro boots; the X-Pro 120, X-Pro 100 and X-Pro 90 L. The construction of the X-Pro is the same as it is for the X-Max series-the difference is in the last width and internal volume.
The X-Pro 120 and X-Pro 100 have much improved liners over the previous generation Impact liners. This provides improved fit, feel and durability.
Similarly to the X-Max 120, the X-Pro 120 on snow is powerful and very direct. And, like the X-Max 120, the X-Pro 120 is a pretty burly 120 flex.
The X-Pro 120, like its skinny sibling the X-Max 120, must be skied with confidence and authority. The X-Pro 100 and X-Max 100 have a more forgiving nature but the softer ankle flex in no way detracts from the high performance level. The X-Pro boots are positive and quick edge-to-edge when conditions demand shorter turns and is completely reliable and predictable when the time comes to open it up a bit. Snow feel is really good-it’s easy to assess what’s happening underfoot.
The oversize hinge rivets, common to the X-series, are coupled to the denser shell plastic that forms the structure of the very lowest parts of the shell and the rear-foot cradle, and in theory (the rivets are merely one component contributing to the overall performance) augment the lateral stiffness.
The last of the X-Pro shells is where the true performance lies-like any good ski boot-the mid-foot is plumb with a relief for the navicular and the heel pocket is deep and well defined. The cuff wraps well around the lower leg. The cuff is fairly upright but can be altered to a small degree by molding the Custom Shell with the skier standing straighter. The X-Max 90 L and X-Pro 90 L have a lower and adjustable rear spoiler for the athletic calf.
The stance is in keeping with the requirements of current ski shapes, geometry and widths; minimal ramp angle and no varus underfoot help maintain an athletic, “stacked” bearing.
The Quest 100 we will have only in the women’s boots. There is some work still to be done with the shell plastics for heavier skiers. The ladies Quest 100 L doesn’t distort as much as it does for heavier, more aggressive or demanding skiers.
The heel of the Quest 100 L is not as aggressive as it is in the X-series-reconciling the functions of an AT boot and an Alpine ski boot is difficult at best and this where the two will diverge-yet there is no lack of support for the rear-foot. The instep is roomy, forefoot width @ 100mm is sufficient-not excessive. The toe box is a bit narrow.
As was the case last season the backcountry skiing was short-lived so what skiing we did was in the man’s Quest and only for short jaunts in front country-3-5 hour out-and-backs.
Uphill was fine, the Quest is pretty light-not true AT light but not alpine heavy either. The walk/ski device is simple and easy to use…I’ve not worn mittens but in spring gloves no problem. The Biovent liners-proprietary to Salomon-allow some moisture management so they aren’t thoroughly saturated after climbing and so far durability has not been an issue.
The Quest 100 L skis pretty well. It is not super demanding but is predictable and lets the skier adapt to varying conditions and terrain.
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