For me, Nirvana. Any time you can get any company’s highest performance boot to feel this comfortable and this dialed, you ought to count your blessings, hug your bootfitter (thanks, Charlie!), or feel grateful that some boot company made a mold that happens to resemble your weird feet. And to be clear, by “comfortable” I do not mean “roomy,” I mean precise and snug, with zero pain.
So far, I like the Redster Pro liner a lot. It’s thin, but the liner / shell combo has made for a very precise, snug fit. Twenty-five days in, and the liner still feels very good with no noticeable change in the overall feel. My Lange RX 130 liners made it about 60 days till they were toast, and I’m curious to see how long the Redster’s stock liners will last. So far, I’m not tempted to swap them out.
I’ve skied the Redster Pro 130s on a bunch of different skis—and different types of ski. I’ve skinned in them in Las Leñas; boot packed in them for hours over beautiful (and sharp) Andes’ rock; skied pow on soft, surfy, center-mounted, rockered-out skis; ripped big lines in (very) variable snow; and driven them hard on nearly center-mounted, new school skis and traditionally-mounted, metaled-out, stiff skis.
Here’s the list of skis I’ve clicked into in the Redster Pro 130s: Atomic Automatic, Atomic Ritual, Kästle West 110, Praxis MVP, Fischer Big Stix 110, DPS Wailer 112RPC, Nordica Soul Rider, Salomon Rocker 2 108, Volkl Mantra, Epic Planks Ripper, Rossignol Experience 88.
On perfect courdoroy, spring slush, and end-of-the-day bumped-up / chewed-up groomers, these are my favorite boots I’ve ever worn. The Redster is a well-designed, well-executed, stiff race boot with a lot of forward lean and no lateral flex.
Skiing the Redsters at Stowe last week, ripping early season groomers on the Volkl Mantra, the Mantra/Redster was a beautiful combination: strong, arced turns, huge rebound.
Ripping groomers at Taos on the Salomon Rocker 2 108 has been a big surprise: the 108 is a nearly center mounted (-3cm of true center), tip and tail rockered ski. It seemed like the 108 and the Redster 130 were a pretty big mismatch, but no. Even with all that forward lean, the system felt synced, and I was as impressed with the 108’s hardpack performance as I was with the Redster’s versatility.
As a directional skier riding a ski that is mounted a mere 3 centimeters back from true center, I’ve totally enjoyed ripping around on the 108s at Taos this season, and I think that is really saying something: the Redster is a legit, old-school race boot that’s been tweaked out with new-school tech, while there is nothing old school about the Rocker 2 108.
In short, if this boot fits your foot, and if you are a strong skier who stays mostly on-piste, I don’t think you can find a better boot. If anything, the best you will find is a different boot…
…one with less forward lean.
Performance Interlude (Forward Stance vs. Upright Stance)
As I noted above, many boot makers seem to be going more and more neutral. The Redster is forward. For some, this will be a good thing, while others will prefer a more upright / neutral stance, and it really comes down to personal preference.
This probably goes without saying, but you don’t want to get backseat in the Redster. In general, a more neutral stance is a more forgiving position, and the Redster wasn’t designed to be forgiving, it was designed to be powerful.
Simple: the harder you ski and the fewer mistakes you make, the more you’ll like this boot. It’s pretty easy to ski hard and fast in consistent conditions, whether groomers or pow. Variable snow (or bad light) is where mistakes tend to get introduced, and as I’ve noted, these boots aren’t the forgiving type.
I’m definitely not a mistake-free skier who never gets knocked on my heels, and for that reason, I’m probably better suited for a more upright boot. But the Redster is so good, I’m not eager to give up the performance and fit, and I don’t plan to.
Also, when skiing fast in bumped-up, variable conditions, I do tend to ski more centered than always driving the shovels hard, and I’ve needed to adjust my technique a bit in the Redster. When I am looking to ski more centered, I just don’t need to pressure the tongue of the boot much at all, and just stay strong and balanced, not always trying to drive this boot deep into its flex pattern. So how I continue to get along with the Redster when skiing hard in variable conditions will need to be updated.
Re: Those Three Boot Board Frames
I’m not ready to comment on the three different boot board frames (soft, medium, stiff); I’ve been skiing too many different skis, and this will require spending more time on the same skis, same terrain, etc. So I’ll also need to weigh in later on this customizable option of the Redster.
So far, I love this boot. It is the real deal, and I am very impressed. It is precise, it is snug, it is stiff, it is very high performance. This thing is no joke, and it makes one of my favorite boots, the Lange RX 130, look sort of laid back.
Companies deserve kudos when they make equipment that can be enjoyed by a wide range of skiers. But they also deserve kudos when they design a perfect product that isn’t for everyone.
If you are a strong skier who loves speed, power, high-angulation carving, and if you spend most of your time on-piste (and, of course, if the Redster fits your feet), then I would give the Redster Pro 130 my highest recommendation.
And if you are a strong skier that heads off piste, but you still want a powerful boot and like the sound of a boot with a bit of forward lean, then you, too, need to check out the Redster Pro 130.