A new addition to the alpine boot/mobility cuff category, we acquired a 3-size run of the Strider 130’s at the end of last season and response was good.
Nordica uses an existing last, in this case the 100mm Speedmachine, for the lower shell shape and volume with modifications for the rear cuff utility. Lighter weight, Dynafit compatible Grip Walk soles (Michelin no less), 3D Light Cork reinforced moldable liners; the Strider is a well thought out entry into a burgeoning market.
The lower shell of the Strider is Polyurethane, standard material for ski boots, but in areas commonly heated for fitting the walls are fairly thin, where structure is necessary for performance they are more robust. The Grilamid cuff; thin, lightweight and dense, is stout enough to handle the performance parameters of alpine skiing. Many of us possess a number of skis of varying widths and the Strider has the authority to take on all of them.The range of motion in hike mode is a generous 43 degrees-comparable with any of the competitors’ offerings. The release/lock mechanism is simple and easy to access with gloved hand. All the hardware is lightweight, simple and easy to use. The fit is similar to the 100mm Speedmachine though it feels a bit snugger than one would expect at first try. The toe box is generous, forefoot width still has good proximity, and instep is medium volume.
The girth from the front of the ankle joint around the base of the heel I’d consider medium also. This is an important dimension as this relationship has lots to do with how the shell retains the feet in position at the rear of the boots. For boots with mobility cuffs this has added meaning because in walk/hike mode the feet can slide fore and aft too much if this dimension is too voluminous. Understand the Strider is not an Alpine Touring boot-it is an Alpine ski boot with a mobility cuff therefore this dimension is more in keeping with the alpine world rather than the AT.
SPEEDMACHINE 100 / 110 / 120 / 85 LDS
The Speedmachine has become a worthy successor to the original.
The Speedmachine cork-reinforced liner has thin sheets of the material from mid- through rear-foot that provides backing for the interior padding. This reduces the terminal breakdown of the liners.
The 100mm forefoot has good anatomical shape and instep height is in keeping with the type of feet this boot is meant for.
Though the Speedmachine is a relatively high volume ski boot it is not a bucket. Heel and ankle retention is superb, mid-foot is close and the forefoot proximal. The toe box has good radius and ample height for wiggle room.
The Speedmachine skis well, very positive lateral characteristics and well-defined ankle flex. The boot is very quick to the front of the skis.
The Speedmachine has plenty of power, drive’em as hard as you want. Response is direct so finessing moves can be accomplished with ease also.
We’ll have the Speedmachine in 120, 110 and 100 flex and the ladies boots in an 85 flex.
GPX 120 / LADIES GPX 95
Nordica continues with the 98mm Dobermann GPX that made its successful debut last winter. The Dobermann label signifies high quality and performance level: the GP and GPX uphold that standard.
You will find the GPX in a 120 flex and the GPX Ladies boots in a 95.
In keeping with the Dobermann tag, the GPX is clean and simple; 4 buckles, dual cuff alignment, either one or two bolts (depending on initial flex) at the rear for flex adjustment and replaceable toe and heel.
The Speedmachine and GPX share the same replaceable heels and toes and Cantology shims can be easily installed for additional canting needs.
There is a token cork backing in the Dobermann GPX confined to the “bananini” behind the ankles and over the heel bone.
The GPX has a genetic component in that they preserve the bearing of the classic Grand Prix and Dobermann but have contemporary stance and mechanical attributes. The GPX’s are a wee bit roomier in the forefoot and have a better, more anatomical shaped toe box than its predecessors. Instep is low to medium and mid-foot and heel is as secure as one expects from anything labeled Dobermann.
The GPX 120 is adroit and intuitive. The range of flex is fairly limited. The GPX’s are confident and self-assured, making edge-to-edge moves at any speed and at any turn shape or radius.
Lateral characteristics are robust, more than capable of dealing with any ski width underfoot in any snow condition and terrain.
Product imagery provided by the wonderful folks at Nordica.