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.
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.