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EpicSki › Gear Articles › Whats New With The Fischer Vacuum Boot For 2013 14

What's New with the Fischer Vacuum Boot for 2013-14

Matt Berkowitz, Director of Marketing for Fischer Sports USA, gave us the insider preview at the SIA Show. The wall of boots to the right is the Vacuum line for 2013-14, including the Freeride Ranger, which in the 101mm last has been this year's best-selling boot for Fischer in North America. 


I. New Liner

The new liner is full thermofit with an elastic Thermo Toebox made of a neoprene/lycra material to customize fit in the forefoot, with the addition of an aluminum insulation layer for warmth. This allows the liner to fit better when the shell is widened. The problem had been that while the shell would adjust for wider feet, the liner did not, and this problem was amplified in the forefoot by causing constriction of the toes, cold feet and pain in customers with wider feet. A layer of Ultralon padding on the heel improves fit and 2 layers of Ultralon padding on the upper provide a custom fit around the lower leg and improve power transfer. Because all of the materials in the liner are thermoplastic, the vacuum fit process optimizes their fit as well. Finally, soft material over the instep and a slippery material on the back of the liner make the boots easier to get on and off (Rapid Slide System). Check with your dealer about the possibility of upgrading your liner. 
 Thermo Toebox

 Ultralon Padding

 Rapid Slide System



II. New Comfort Fit Option

The improved fit and increased warmth of the new liner combined with more last sizes partly addresses the complaint that this is a cold boot. The development of the Vacuum boot's "little brother," the Comfort Fit Vacuum, completely addresses the comfort and warmth issues. The Comfort Fit station is smaller than the standard Vacuum Fit Station and the process does not require that the boots be heated in the oven before vacuum fitting, because only the heel area of the shell is targeted. 


First a heating pad warms the area and then a compression pad is placed around the area and filled with compressed air, which adjusts the ankle and heel area of the shell as it cools it. The liner is full thermofit with the Thermo Toebox, but without the Ultrafit padding that the Vacuum boots have, because those parts of the shell are not affected by the comfort fit process. The idea is that a lot of recreational skiers can benefit from Vacuum Fit technology who don't need their boots to be super-snug in the forefoot or precision molded to their stance. The Comfort Fit is also an option for the highest-end consumers like Bode Miller -- even a 93mm custom lasted race boot can be vacuum fitted because it doesn't compress the toebox but customizes the fit in the heel and ankle.


The Comfort Fit boots come in a wide range of lasts going up to 103 and 105 in the Fuse line. Here's a photo of these models:



III. Peer Pressure and Compression

At least some of the problems with fit derived from human error, when either the shop tech or the customer would over-estimate how tightly fitting the boot needed to be. The machine was shipped with a label that equated skier type with pounds of compression so naturally people saw that label and went for the max: more is better, right? That label is no longer on the machine and the notion that more is better is being addressed in training. 


IV. Lasts

Lasts in the Vacuum Series now come in 95, 98, 101, and 103mm lasts. Comfort Fit boots come in 103 and 105mm lasts. The wider range of shell sizes combined with the improved liners and the increased experience and skill of the people fitting the boots is expected to go a long way toward making this product truly a game-changer for consumers and specialty ski shops. 


V. EpicSki's Feedback

Everyone participating in this thread should be proud to know that your comments went into the conversation that led to the improvements in next year's Vacuum boots!

Comments (9)

This is my new boot in a few years, simply amazing the amount of tech that has been put into these boots.
Hmmmm? How come a custom vacuum shell needs as many or more last widths as other boot manufacturers if the vacuum process works so well? 95,98,101,103,105?
Simple Bud, the Vacuum plastic can change shape, volume, simple, it is not like bubble gum that can stretch (other that a "spot" type punch). So if you need to go from say a 98mm to a 102mm, that 4mm needs to come from somewhere, and it usually will end up dropping the roof. What it can do is contour to the foot better than most boots and canting with the boot is a very easy process. Inthe two years that I have worked with the boot, we know there is as much as can be done with the boot along with as much that cannot.
Great write up, and very nice to know Fischer values the feedback contributed in the thread.
Appreciate the candor and transparency in this post.
I have all the issues identified above. Why do I always buy the first run of new technology? banging head against wall.
Are there new boots in the Ranger line for 2013/14? A narrower stiffer Ranger would be a fantastic boot for some of us "freeriders" with narrow feet. Sort of a RC4/Ranger combo.
"...The new liner is full thermofit with an elastic Thermo Toebox made of a neoprene/lycra material to customize fit in the forefoot, with the addition of an aluminum insulation layer for warmth..."
Aluminum is a conductor, not an insulator, right? I wonder what they are doing to make it an insulator.
to sportyandMisty's point.  Metal reflects radiated heat.  Just think Space blanket which is mylar, which is basically aluminum coated plastic.
Or Columbia's omni heat metal dots are the same idea.
EpicSki › Gear Articles › Whats New With The Fischer Vacuum Boot For 2013 14