There are a lot of Head ski boots on a lot of feet. The Raptor in particular has garnered a lot of acclaim and has a lot of air time at the top levels of skiing whether World Cup or the better skiers on any given mountain, professional or otherwise.
Head boots stay the same though the AdaptEdge now becomes the AdvantEdge and loses the forefoot width adjustment. This was not really a compelling feature for the most part, the boots had plenty of internal volume and it was rare that we used the adjustment anyway…less stuff to tinker with. As of last season, the Vector Evo and AdvantEdge are Form Fit. Like many boot makers, the Head Vector and AdvantEdge can be heated molded. They also can be manipulated by conventional means.
Head is the only company that assigns a volumetric measurement for their boots as well as the forefoot width. A good idea as it presents a fuller picture of the fit of the boots.
Footloose will have the following Head ski boots for sale and to demo: the VECTOR EVO 120 @ 100mm and 1850cc, the VECTOR EVO 90 L, the ADVANTEDGE 125 @ 102mm, and 2100cc, the ADVANTEDGE 95 L, the RAPTOR 120 RS @ 96mm and 1800cc and the RAPTOR 90 L.
VECTOR EVO 120 + VECTOR EVO 90 WOMENS
The Head Vector returns with liner improvements.
Although initially concerned about the Vector not having dual cuff alignment last season (it had previously) and it won’t for the next though it does have single cuff alignment, it wasn’t really missed. In lieu of cuff alignment, Head will provide canted soles for every ½ degree up to 2.0 degrees for the Vector. This is a good idea and a very effective method for canting. Thanks!
The Vector is a simple, no frills ski boot that carries forward an elevated performance level in a relatively high volume ski boot. The volume @ 1850cc, is taken from the ankle joint forward; the instep height is ample but not cavernous, the forefoot (100mm in a 26.5, 102mm in a 27.5, etc) has good shape and the toe box provides space for those phalanges to spread and wiggle freely.
The mid-foot is plumb and intimate and the heel pocket is well sculpted.
The Vector handles really well on snow. There is a good bit of the Raptor in the Vector. There is outstanding edge-to-edge agility and steady edge hold.
The Vector is a praiseworthy ski boot, a laudable sibling to the
ADVANT EDGE 125 + ADVANT EDGE 95 WOMENS
A stellar performer in the high volume category (2100cc), the AdvantEdge 125 and AdvantEdge 95 L return largely unchanged; the men’s has a slight uptick in flex from 115 to 125. The forefoot width on a 26.5 can go from 100mm to 102mm via a tab that can be adjusted from the bottom of the boot at the back edge of the toe piece. It’s simple and it works.
The AdvantEdge is a truly high volume ski boot sporting the on-snow heredity of Heads’ lower volume boots. The last is surprisingly good through the mid-foot and heel-an area of the shell that, in most high volume ski boots, is too spacious. There is good proximity here; the heel cup is well defined and medial mid-foot is well bolstered.
In the interests of truth I’ve only been able to ski several runs on the AdvantEdge primarily because the boot is so roomy and my foot likes a 93mm boot so regarding the rest of the fit I have to defer to the clientele that have bought and skied the boots. I have, though, actually skied them enough to determine that for the feet that can fit into this ski boot, it works damn’ well. It is reliable and predictable, exhibiting good power and precision (characteristics one may not expect from a high volume ski boot, but from now on-DO!).
The AdvantEdge 125 and 95 L has forward flex adjustment on the rear cuff that allows a flex range from 115 to 125, dual alignment and the ladies model has the requisite modifications for women’s anatomy; lower rear spoiler and lasted liner.
RAPTOR 120 RS + RAPTOR 90 LDS
The Raptor holds the benchmark for ski boot design and efficiency. There is a reason that the Raptor is highly conspicuous at the very elite level of ski racing, why professional skiers everywhere buckle into it daily and why non-professional skiers demanding the most from themselves and their equipment insist on it.
Fit and on-hill performance set the bar at a stratospheric height.
The Raptor fit has unique aspects though they are not dramatically dissimilar from any of the other boots of this ilk. The rear half of the shells are compact and intimate, the instep is well proportioned and a bit more spacious than one might expect.
At 98mm, the Raptor captures an anatomic shape that allows the forefoot to sit flat and the toe box radius provides ample room for the toes to spread. For the most part this has been a trend in many shell designs from virtually all boot makers. It has been recognized that the capability for the forefoot and toes to articulate is critical to skiing.
Proprioception, defined as; “The unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself. In humans, these stimuli are detected by nerves within the body as well as by the semi circular canals of the inner ear.” is crucial to skiing.
Skiing is balance in motion. We need to be able to sense where we are in space. The feet are the first contact point with the surface we’re gliding on. There are arguably more nerve endings in the feet than anywhere else in the body. If the sensations to the feet are occluded we lose feeling, ultimately comprising proprioception and balance.
The Raptor is remarkably efficient. A vertical medial buttress sharply directs energy to the edges and response is exuberant and lively. The Raptor does require authority and though it tends to keep one pretty honest, the rewards for doing it right make for some mighty big grins. It’s all about the grin!