2011-2012 Fischer Vacuum 130 alpine ski boot

However, as I overlook Reforma while riding Chair 2, I decide it would be smart to ski there first; the last thing I want is to be half way up Kachina with these Vacuum’s crushing my feet. So down Reforma I go, and … What A Ride. The sensitivity and control is phenomenal! I can really appreciate the SomaTech design and how it allows even pressure on inside and outside edges. Reforma spills onto Bonanza, a wide groomer with enough pitch to get some respectable speed. I come out of Reforma carrying a lot of speed and start carving big GS turns down Bonanza. The lateral rigidity of the Fischers is excellent, not a wobble. The forward flex is forgiving and progressive.

Back on Chair 2 I check out the railroad tracks I just laid down. Two consistent thin lines down the slope with no skidding. Now I am ready to hike the Peak.

I start hiking and the weight of the boot becomes very apparent: super light weight, I feel like I’m practically running up the hill.

At the summit I ski toward Hunziker Bowl and drop into Prime Real Estate where I find only one other set of tracks. Boot deep pow! I ski down, negotiate some rocks, and head over to Totally Wiard through some small spring masher bumps. Nice. Then, back at the top of Chair 2, I decide to hit Pollux, a steep glade with bumps next to Reforma.

I can find nothing bad to say about the fit of these boots or how they ski.

I finish this morning of testing with another hike out to Eagle’s Nest where the snow is sloppy, wet spring mashers. Such a blast, and perfectly capped off with a 36oz Optimater and a bowl of goulash at the Bavarian.

Comparisons: Lange RX 130 vs. Fischer Vacuum 130

I’ve now skied the Fischer Vacuum 130 two more times since the first review, and, so far, everything I have said still stands. The fit is great and the performance is, too.

Today, I decided to ski with the Fischer on one foot and the 2011-2012 Lange RX 130 on the other foot. It was, to say the least, an enlightening experience. There was very little difference in the way the two boots fit. Both boots had a lock on my heel and ankle, and both boots were very snug through my mid-foot and over my instep. There was more room for my toes in the Lange, especially the fifth toe. The Fischer has a slightly pointed toe box where the Lange is more round.

I say there is very little difference between the two, but the difference that does exist is remarkable. The Fischer is certainly a more envelope like fit – the pressure around the foot is consistent and even. The instep to heel fit is exceptional in both the Lange and the Fischer; however, the Fischer remains the winner in this aspect as the Lange is really tight at the top of the instep.

While skiing, if I did not know already which boot was on which foot, it would have been difficult to tell. They both ski great. The main discernible differences between the Fischer and the Lange involved the amount of forward lean and flex. The Fischer Vacuum has a few more degrees in forward lean and is much more flexible than the Lange RX 130. This brings into question how much the forward lean can be changed by the vacuum fit process. I had wanted 12 degrees, but I am sure it finished at about 15 or 16 degrees. The Lange RX 130 is 12 degrees out of the box.

As for flex, the Fischer is much softer. While Fischer has given this boot a flex rating of 130, it is more like a Lange RX 100 or 110, proving once again that flex index has no consistency across brands. These two points—the amount of forward lean and the relative stiffness of the flex—are neither good nor bad, but a matter of preference, and I happen to prefer a slightly more upright stance.

Need a stiffer flex? Meet the Fischer Vacuum RC4 Pro 150.

One other small difference I noticed was the lateral stability. The Lange RX 130 won this one. There is a slight wobble at the top of the cuff in the Fischer that was non-existent in the Lange. I mentioned above the weight of the Fischer. It comes in at 4lbs, 6.7oz and the Lange RX 130 at a whopping 5lbs 1.7oz. These are per boot, not per pair.

Overall I was really surprised by how similar they were in fit and ski-ability. A couple minor points: both boots are built on a 98mm last. I will have to do a small grind in the Lange for my styloid process, the small bony prominence half way between the heel and fifth toe. I won’t have to do that in the Fischer. I will have to do a stretch in the Fischer for my fifth toe but not in the Lange.

The liners are quite different between the two boots. The new Lange liners are very well thought out, probably the best liner Lange has ever made. I believe this accounts for the excellent if not all conforming fit. The liner in the Fischer is quite good but thin, and the toe collapses if you pull to hard on the tongue while putting them on. It’s a non-issue once the boot is on.

21 comments on “2011-2012 Fischer Vacuum 130 alpine ski boot”

  1. Well done Charlie! I’m going to start disseminating your reviews to the Pro Staff at Windham Mountain as well as post them in a prominent location at my boot fitting bench! Peace Bro!

    Marc Stewart, C.Ped.
    Head Boot Fitter
    Windham Mountain Boot Lab

      • Has Fischer done any work to improve the stiffness of their more recent models? I’d like to get something in the 120 to 130 range as I have skied a 110 (Head S11) and am finding them way too soft.

    • I’ve skied 2 days now on my Fisher Vacuum 130’s and I can tell already they’re going to be great. I skied this last weekend after having them fitted a few weeks ago and it’s the first time in years I’ve felt totally balanced fore and aft. I am rather duck footed and have always (even with cants) had to do some compensation to get my skis on edge. With these, it was just simply like magic…perfect balance, easy on edge, now I instead of compensating to get into the right position, I’m automatically in the right position and I can concentrate on making micro adjustments in forward pressure and edge to increase the pressure on the ski. Also, I had my boots totally refitted at the end of my second day, because there was some tight spots on the toes and 6th toe. On the recommendation of Corty Lawrence at Footloose in Mammoth, we increased the pressure of the fit from 200 psi (I think that’s what Fisher calls a performance fit) to 280 psi. We also used a different toe cap to make more room in the toe box with additional padding on the side of my foot from the 6th toe up through my 4th toe. I tried on my boots last night (after waiting 24 hours) and they feel amazing….!!! Nice roomy toe box for my wide surfer feet and snug and tight everywhere else. I won’t know until I ski them for sure, but I think they will be “perfect”. I think if you have any questions about pressure….go higher, make them tighter; you can have them tight with no hot spots. Enjoy.

  2. Good review. Considering 130 98mm vac for next year as a local shop is getting them. Do you think toe caps would take care of the toe issue -I have narrow heel wide forefoot so I needed a fair amount of stretching in toe box for my current fischer rc4 130. Also do you think it is advisable to prep the foot with ankle and bone spur pads like you would do for a foam liner?

    Thanks

    • Toe caps can increase volume in the toe box. i don’t think it is necessary to pad the ankles or bony prominences. The liner itself does that. Remember the boot can be heated up to 5 times.

  3. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very useful information specially the last part :) I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  4. next season it seems fischer is working on making the liner warmer (seems cold toes is a repetitive kavetch by owners) with some mods….

    speaking of custom boots, has anyone ever compared the fischer vacuum with the TS1 custom model by Topshelf sports who operate out of both fernie and whistler bc? amazing reviews too, but no ”custom” heat forming i think.
    links below as i’m interested in both products for next season.
    http://www.top-shelf.ca/fernie-boot-fitting-footbeds
    http://www.juliewilcoxmethod.com/ski-season-custom-ski-boots/

  5. What are the thoughts on packing out? Do the new processes eliminate packing or promote it.
    No one can possibly know yet. Others have tried and boots get to be wellys n’est pas.

  6. Hi Charlie,

    It would be very intersting to hear your mid- and long-term impression on the Fischer Vacuum. How many days have you skied since spring 2011. Does the boot still fit the same way it did during your first rides? Did you re-heat in the meantime? I am a skier who has a foamed liner… (have you ever tried foam liners from “Strolz” in Austria?). Strolz is in my opinion probably the best standard foam on the market. My first foamed liner was a comformable liner and it only lastest about two weeks. Strolz really is a different game in my opinion. I ski them in a salomon quest 120 shell and I am very happy with the performance. Heel retention is bomber and it is also comfortable during both, skiing and hiking. However, the long-term durability is still an issue. If you hike and ride, even the very good strolz foam lasts about 60 skiing days and after this the liner starts to wear-out more and more.

    Boot fitters told me that the fact that I “hike and ride” with the boot and that it is a non-strolz shell contribute to the faster “wearing-out” of the liner (Strolz claims a good performance of 80 to 100 days per liner). This February I got the second foam liner into a 2010/2011 shell. I have a wide fore-foot and a narrow heel and achilles tendon. So far everyone was telling me that there is no way around foaming – and my boot fitter did in fact introduce the Fischer Vacuum in 2012, however, could so far not render an educated opinion due to the fact it is still quite new – or getting a whole custom-fit boot with 3D screening and where they take a 3D model of your foot and mold the shell around this (costs EUR 1500 and above, compared to approx. EUR 650 to 700 that you pay for a standard boot that is heat treated here and there and then a Strolz liner plus custom sole is fitted). Therefore, I am really interested in alternatives, if they provide the same performance and last. I would really appreciate to exchange thoughts with you on the Fischer and learn more about it. Have fellow skiers of yours skied the Vacuum Shell as well?

    Thank’s, Hannes

    Would you say that this is really an alternative

  7. I have not skied in the vacuum boot since I wrote this review. However I have many clients in the boot. Some of whom are ski instructors in taos ski valley. They put very many days in these boots and the fact that it is the shell that takes the form there is very little if no break down at all. This years Fischer vacuum comes with a brand new liner which holds a lot of promise since the first and second generation liners were crap. If you really want the best performance fit with the vacuum boot you should go with zip fit. The materials in zip fit do not break down. Zipfit combined with the vacuum boot is probably the closest fit you will ever have.

  8. Thank you for the input charlie. I have visited the zipfit page. They do have some retailers in the UK, France and Switzerland, so it should at least not be impossible to take a closer look.

    The Vacuum has my attention at least. Thank`s again…

  9. Any idea how the Vacuum 130’s compare to the Vacuum Ranger 12’s (other than flex – 130 vs 120)?

    I ski mostly in the east, but can get a sweet deal on a pair of Ranger’s. I’m a pretty aggressive skier, but don’t see much powder (does anyone in the east?). Although the Ranger’s are a “freeride” boot, I don’t know if there’s a compelling reason to hold out for the Vacuum 130’s

    Thanks in advance. JS

  10. the ranger is a higher volume boot. it is a 102 or 104 mm last where the soma vacuum 130 is 97mm. the ranger is also higher over the instep and bigger in the heel and ankle pocket. if you have a narrow low volume foot I would not recommend the ranger. as you know the ranger has a hike mode cuff and hike friendly sole. if you do a lot of hiking this may be important to you. I prefer a full riveted cuff for performance sake and I will ski the vacuum 130 in any condition. the biggest difference is the fit. the ranger and the vacuum 130 are two entirely different boots. try them on and make your decision.

  11. I have the Vacuum 110. My feet are too high and narrow for ordinary boots, I get pains after one hour.
    The Fischer Vacuums sit just perfect. This winter I am getting the Ranger as well.

    Tailoring the Fischer is real workmanship, it is worth finding a good shop and probably reserving time when they are not too busy. Mine took 3 hrs to make.

  12. I picked up the 2015 ranger 12s from online (level9). Has anybody skied vacuums right out of the box with out first molding them like the description says you can. Since I bought online and not at a shop I’ll have to find a shop that will do my molding in jackson / Teton village for a decent price / beer. May ski first day without molding them.

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