The simplicity of design of the Raptor and Vector belies their outright efficiency and performance and sets a very high standard for ski boots.
Head boots stay the same.
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 to date that assigns a volumetric measurement for their boots as well as the forefoot width. A good idea as it presents a more complete picture of the fit. Remember that any width or volumetric measurement given is for a size 26.5.
You’ll see the following Head ski boots for sale and demo on the Footloose boot wall: the ADVANTEDGE 125 and ADVANTEDGE 95 L @ 102mm and 2100cc, the VECTOR EVO 120 and VECTOR EVO 90 L @ 100mm and 1850cc, the RAPTOR 120 RS, Raptor 110 RS L and RAPTOR 90 L @ 96mm and 1500cc.
VECTOR EVO 120 + VECTOR EVO 90 WOMENS
The Head Vector returns as-is .
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, 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; Raptor genealogy infuses the Vector elevating the on-snow character. There is outstanding edge-to-edge agility steady edge hold and unqualified reliability.
The Vector is a praiseworthy ski boot, a laudable sibling to the Raptor.
ADVANT EDGE 125 + ADVANT EDGE 95 WOMENS
A stellar performer in the high volume category (2100cc), the AdvantEdge 125 and AdvantEdge 95 L return unchanged.
A truly high volume ski boot, the AdvantEdge sports the on-snow heredity of Heads’ lower volume boots. The last is remarkably 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 transparency I’ve only been able to ski several runs on the AdvantEdge primarily because the boot is very roomy for a foot that likes a 93mm boot. I skied the AdvantEdge 125 enough to determine that for the feet that fit into this boot, it works damn’ well. It’s reliable and predictable, exhibiting good power and precision (characteristics one may not normally expect from a high volume ski boot, but from now on-DO!).
The AdvantEdge 125 and 95 L have forward flex adjustments on the rear cuff that allow a flex range from 125 to 115 on the men’s and 95 to 85 on the ladies, dual cuff 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 + 110 LDS
The Raptor upholds its status as 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 a very high benchmark.
The Raptor fit has unique aspects though they are not significantly different from any of the other boots of this ilk. The rear- and mid-foot of the shells are among the more compact and intimate, instep height is sufficient and in fact 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. This is a welcome trend in shell designs from virtually all boot makers. Toe and forefoot space is necessary for proprioception and to allow some articulation.
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.
Because skiing is balance in motion, we need to sense where we are in space; we do this through our feet, the primary contact with the surface, the inner era via the neural pathways to the brain for instructions then back to the feet. There are arguably more nerve endings in the feet than anywhere else in the body. If nerves and/or blood flow to the feet are obstructed we lose feeling, ultimately comprising proprioception and balance.
The Raptor is remarkably proficient. A vertical medial wall directs energy to the edges and response is vigorous and lively. The Raptor requires authority and though it keeps one honest, the rewards for doing it right make for some mighty big grins.
For stronger women skiers we added the Raptor 110 RS L in the lineup for this season.