Fischer has increased their offerings in the Vacuum series. The Fischer Vacuum boots have been very successful and next season they will have Vacuum boots that start off with wider lasts and broader flex ranges.
Fischer also brings new molding technology they call “Comfort Fit” which customizes the shell at the rear-foot and heel. We will be able to use the Comfort Fit with the current Fischer Vacuum set up with compression socks specific to this.
Aside from Vacuum Fit, Fischer is unique because of the Soma Stance; wherein the feet are placed in a more “duck footed” position over the skis. The Soma stance is derived from the fact that in general we all stand with the feet pointed outward. This stance built into the Fischer ski boots enhances turn initiation and completion.
There have been other ski boots with abducted shells-in fact all boots have some degree of abduction to them as boot makers from long ago recognized that a huge majority of us bipeds walked this way.
The biggest difference between Fischers’ abducted setup and all others is that the boot is abducted from the tibial axis rather than from the rear of the heel. This places the big toe right over the inside edge of the ski and more importantly the heel is also much more directly over the inside edge as well. The feel is very intuitive.
The “Vacu-Plast” has some notable characteristics. The molding capability is most obvious but there are two byproducts of this plastic that make the Fischer Vacuum series more compelling; the first is that the material is considerably lighter than any other…just pick one up, it’s really apparent. The other is that the flex remains constant regardless of outside temperature. Most if not all ski boots become bricks in cold weather or high top Keds when it gets warm.
The RC4 130 Vacuum and 110 Vacuum and the Trinity 110 L start at 98 mm and can expand a full centimeter. Both can accommodate lower volume feet as well-the vacuum process squeezes the shells against the feet-we pad the bony prominences for the process so there are no undue pressure points.
As stated the Fischer abduction setup is very intuitive. They start turns early and one can exert subtle pressures to modulate the turn throughout. Edge hold is terrific and simply requires the skier to maintain a balanced position. Turn finish can be as powerful or as buttery as one likes.
The Ranger 12 and Hybrid 10 L start at a fairly generous 102 mm and the same applies for the amount they can be manipulated. Because of the nature of the Vac-Plast, the volume as well as the width changes with the process. These boots are softer than their flex ratings would have you believe-they are not “soft” but the Ranger 12 is supposed to be a 120 flex but skis much more like a 100-110. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just a comment.
Both these boots have a Walk/Ski lever at the rear of the boot and replaceable hiking style toe and heel.
The Zephyr 9 L is non-vacuum for now. It is higher volume similar to the Hybrid 10 Vacuum. As with a vast majority of current ski boots, high volume does not mean a bucket all over. The Zephyr 9 and Hybrid 10 both have really sound shell construction; the medial mid-foot and heel are proximal to the foot and the heel pocket is well defined. Obviously the Hybrid, being a Vacuum shell, has the full custom shell molding capability but because it starts as a relatively high volume boot, low volume feet are not likely to fine themselves in the Hybrid or Zephyr.
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