2015-2016 Fischer RC4 130 Vacuum
Stated Flex Rating: 130
Stated Last Width: 98mm – 103mm
Size Tested: 26.5 / 306mm Boot Sole Length
Blister’s Measured Weight:
• shells & boot boards, no liners: 1561 & 1549 grams
• stock liners, no footbeds: 445 & 452 grams
Test Location: Taos Ski Valley
Days Tested: 50+
After reviewers Charlie Bradley and Will Brown both raved about the fit and performance of the Fischer RC4 130 Vacuum ski boot, it was clear that if I was going to continue to review ~98mm-wide, 130-flex boots, I needed to be able to make comparisons to it.
In Charlie’s review of the boot, he wrote: “The Fischer Vacuum shell is, in a word, amazing,” and he concludes the review by stating, “I am more convinced than ever that this technology is a game changer.”
Charlie wrote that review in 2011, and four years later, I can say that the shell is still amazing. And if you don’t like the term “game changing,” well, I can say that I have never experienced a fit like this before.
He continues, “the ease in which these boots roll is incredible.”
Yep. The Fischer RC4 130 is the most precise, sensitive boot that I have ever worn.
In Will Brown’s extremely informative review of the Fischer Ranger Pro 13 & the RC4 130, he wrote, “The uniform, snug fit of the boot gives it a very responsive feel and great sensitivity, allowing me to engage a skis edge exactly as I want, when I want. I’d say it is the most precise, confidence-inspiring boot I’ve ever skied in.”
We try to be accurate and careful with our claims around here, which makes Will and Charlie’s claims even bigger.
And after more than 50 days in this boot, I’m going to bang the Vacuum Fit drum, too.
Of course, there are some other very good boots on the market, and we always recommend finding the best boot fitter you can, doing whatever it takes to get into his or her good graces, and working with them to find the boot that provides the best combination of fit & performance for you.
But for anyone looking for a boot with the characteristics that Will, Charlie, and I have outlined, the RC4 130 has to be on your radar.
Sizing / My Feet
My left foot is 27.0cm long, my right foot is 27.5cm long, and here’s how Charlie Bradley (senior boot fitter at The Boot Doctors) assessed my feet: C-width, narrow heel. High arch / High instep (on a scale of 1-10, Charlie called it an 8 or 9). Fairly stable, solid platform. Prominent melili. A bit of pronation. A good amount of ankle range of motion (aka, “dorsiflexion”).
According to the charts, I ought to be in a size 27.5 boot, but I have always dropped down to at least a size 26.5 to get more of a “performance” fit rather than a “comfort” fit.
I’ve always worn a size 26.5 in ~98mm-wide boots (Lange RX 130, Nordica Patron Pro, Atomic Redster Pro, etc.), and the Fischer RC4 130 is no different. If I am reviewing a boot with a wider last (Salomon X-Pro, Atomic Hawx 2.0 120), I’ll drop down to a 25.5.
I found no reason to drop farther down than 26.5 in the Fischer RC4 130. It is a lower volume boot, and the only 98mm-lasted boot I’ve worn that is significantly lower volume through the forefoot is the 15/16 Tecnica Mach 1 130 LV. (I’ve tried on the 15/16 Lange RX 130 LV, and while it has a very nice fit, it is higher volume than the Fischer RC4 130 and the Tecnica.)
Then again, the beauty of the Vacuum Fit Process is that you just need to begin with a decent initial fit, and the best-available custom molding process will then do what it has done for Charlie Bradley, Will Brown, and now me: create the most dialed-fitting ski boot any of us have ever worn. (Be sure to read Charlie’s and Will’s reviews for more on the specifics of what makes Fischer’s vacuum fit process unique.)
The RC4 130 is not an intense 130 flex. Charlie called the flex “forgiving and progressive.” Yep. This is an easy-going 130, and I have never found it to be lacking; it’s just nice.
Charlie said that he found the flex of the first-generation boot he reviewed to be on par with the flex of a Lange 110. I’ve never skied a 110 boot, so I can’t confirm or deny. But I can’t say that I’ve found the flex of my 15/16 Fischers to be overly soft. I’d fall closer to Will Brown’s position, that the boot feels like a solid 120 or a forgiving 130.
If you’re looking for a stiffer 130, you might check out the Atomic Redster Pro 130, or the 15/16 Tecnica Mach 1 130.
NEXT: Performance, Warmth, Further Comparisons