Pros: Amazing fit with unexpected performance, light weight.
Cons: Price, limited distribution.
I have been molding Fischer Vacuums since they were introduced last season. I have molded over 40 pair for customers with great success with refits being in a lower proportion to other boots and less than complete 5 remolds. With the high demand and limited availability, this was the first time that I had a chance to get a pair molded for myself. While I have been happy with the boots i have been skiing in the past two years, Tecnica Inferno 130 and Nordica Patron Pro, I felt an obligation to give the Fischer Vacuum system a complete run through. Since there were no test 130's available in a 25 shell, I was limited to the softer 110.
The molding process of Fischer has been well documented here on Epic so no need to go into the process again. I chose to go to the higher end of the pressure range at 280 (range 100-300). Even though the Fischer measures 2mm longer than my other two boots, the internal length is actually 4mm shorter so while my other 2 boots are 25's the Fischer was a real tight squeeze to the point that I couldn't get my foot into the shell with the usual toe caps that are used for molding. So as an exercise, since the boot was already heated and ready to go, we continued with the process without caps.
One of the big pluses of Fischer besides the custom fit isn the ability to customize and modify your stance. Most boot I am in require some lateral canting, the Fischer is no different, my left leg was fairly straight, off less than .5* out but my right, as usual, was coming up 1.5* out, not uncommon for me, without correction, I tend to A-frame on my left turns. So, during the mold process, we set up the knee blocks to correct my stance. Since I have limited dorsal range, I like to maximize what I have so I prefer an upright stance, so we molded the shells at 14* (max is 17*).
Results and on snow performance:
The first thing I noticed about the Vacuum was that the boot is noticeably lighter than most other boots. Once the boot was molded, we got back onto the canting stand and sure enough, my knees were perfectly aligned. The fit in the forefoot, even without toecaps was about perfect for not only the toes but from my first to fifth metatarsal felt as good as they did in ANY boot. EVER. OK, fine, in the store, there are many boots that fit well, how will it react on snow?
This was "Day 3" of my season, the prior days were to get my legs underneath me, now it is time to start testing. I started the day in my Patron Pro's (which I have been skiing the last 20 or so days last year and the first 2 days this year) on the Kastle MX78's. After a few runs, I switched to the Vacuum 110's. The 110's skied perfect, the lateral alignment and foreword stance were just dead on perfect. The Kastle rode up onto edge just as I expected them. While I would expected precision performance from the 130/130 Pro, I didn't expect this performance from the 110, hence the title, I was indeed in shock and awe with the performance.
I have a fairly normal foot and fit fairly well in most 98mm boots "out of the box", like most skiers I felt no real need to go a full custom shell. I am thinking differently now, once you figure the cost of alignment into the purchase price (which a good amount of people could use), the Fischer's cost is in line with comparable flex models but with the Vacuums you get a full custom fit! Will I need any work on these? I might need a tad over the instep but that can be achieved fairly easy with a spot heating with a heat gun.
Shell Size Tested: 25.5
Flex rating: 110
Ski tested with: Kastle MX78 w/KTi12 176cm
Footbed: Full custom - Instaprint
Modifications done to boot: Full mold @ 280 on Fischer machine
Environment & Conditions:
Location of Test: Northstar
Number of Runs: 10
Snow Conditions: Perfect Hero Snow
Demo or Own: Demo
Height/Weight: 5'10" 190lb
Ski Days/Season: 60+
Years Skiing: 35
Aggressiveness: Moderate (Finesse)
Current Quiver: 13 Blizzard Bonafide, 13 Blizzard Gunsmoke, plus various vintage skis
Home Area: Squaw & Northstar
Preferred Terrain: bumps, off-piste, trees
Footlength: Semiweighted, 267mm
Footshape: I have a medium instep, strong arch and limited dorsal range in my ankle. Calf is high and my lure leg is very skinny.