The heat moldable shell has been a long time coming. Salomon managed to come out with their “Custom Shell” two years ago and it has done well. It is based on the expansion or stretch method of molding; that is, the shell is heated, the boot is put on the foot, and the foot then pushes out the shell where need be. The Vacuum method is based on compression. So not only does the shell match bony prominences, it also compresses inward where there are hollow spots. It’s a more effective system.
So, will the Fischer Vacuum shell take over the industry? No. But it will certainly change the industry. I will even go out on a limb and say that you may never want a foam liner again (that is, if you ever wanted one in the first place). The Fischer Vacuum offers an exceptional fit in a short period of time and skis really well. But personally, I am not yet ready to give up my Lange RX 130 due to their more upright stance and slightly greater lateral stability.
But for those of you eager to toss out your current boots for the Vacuums, getting a pair may not be easy. First, there will only be twenty stores in the whole country selling Vacuum shell Fischer boots in the 2011/2012 season, The Boot Doctors in Taos and in Telluride being two of them. These boots are also going to be limited in quantity the first season, so if you want them you will have to be on the ball. (And unfortunately for all you pros out there, pro stock will be non-existent.)
There will be four men’s models and one women’s model. For the men, there will be the Soma Vacuum RC4 Pro 150 and 130, 95mm last; Soma Vacuum 130, 98mm last; Soma Vacuum 100, 98mm last; and the ladies’ model, Vacuum Trinity 110 98mm last.