Pros: close fit of a 'race' type boot, progressive flex, good for low volume, nice construction and hardware, great in varied conditions and terrain
Cons: none that I could find
1st, my specs. Skiing since 1965, racing (high level) in late sixties to early Mid-70's. Ski Industry associated until 1995. Stopped skiing in 1999, re-entry three weeks ago. 60 yrs old, 5' 11" (on a good day) and shrinking, 165 lbs, quite fit, ski any part of any mtn I've ever been on. Apparently that still holds true at Mammoth, based on this past weekend.
Making a full bore re-entry into the modern shape-ski world... and luvin it!
Skis used for this boot demo and entire 3 days - 184cm Volkl Motion Vertigo, 70mm waist.
Snow Conditions - varied from groomer nice hardpack to off-trail dry,variable on Friday, Saturday was a little more snow thanks to an overnite 'dusting'. Very nice alround skis, easy turn, great carve, incredibly stable at all speeds (everything seems 'short' to me...)
My Feet - lower volume, narrower width, higher instep and arch than most. I fit 98 mm lasts well. So everything quite counter from the current Nordica Line except the Dobermans.
Since 1980, boots I've considered the best for me have always been easier fore/aft flex than the race boots of earlier years. But same close fit.
Current Nordicas, fit OK after quite some work, rated at 100 flex but very easy start on the flex, very abrupt stop point.
Fischer Soma X100 - was picked because they were the only pair Footloose had available in my size - this boot was 28.5 marked - and in a 'Medium' Flex. These, BTW, as do all their Demos, had superfeet Footbeds - a nice plus.
This turned out to be Excellent Karma...
I was a bit worried, having read the blurb about the 'abducted' stance of the Fischer Soma design and its consequence on my skiing. The abduction design was clearly visible in the construction when looking at the 'sole to boot' alignment. As it turns out, not a worry.
In Shop fit. Piece of cake. Off the shelf these fit like my best boots ever fit after some hours of reworking. Close, snug, the upper wrapped the leg about as good as anything I've ever had on my feet. and even though a 98 mm last might be a little closer, these were definitely at 95% on width fit with their 100 last, and 98% on heel and Instep/arch. I wuz STOKED!
On the Hill. 1st runs were easy, carved full arcs down groomers, to get the feel of the boot and ski combo and find balance and fore/aft pressure on the ski. By mId-morning I moved up to Dave's, Climax, Cornice and all the areas open from the Gondola and Chair 23.
Boot flex was perfect, for me. Stiff enough to quickly transfer pressure to forebody and edge fo superfast linked turns, soft enough to absorb even the steepest, deepest Moguls I purposefully ran into. Boot upper seemed to follow the leg really well. Exactly what you'd expect of a good race boot (or any other boot).
I gotta say, after about 2 hours, I would completely forget about the boots and be totally aware of just the run, the mountain, the day. It took a real snap back to bring attention back to what I could determine about these boots.
Prolly was one of the most wonderful days Skiing I've ever had. Technique was a bit rusty, but the Mountain was awesome, the day was comfortable, the scenery was inspiring. It doesn;t get better. In spite of rusty technique, I almost never found myself in the backseat, which tells me I never had an issue getting my knees down and forward sufficiently to keep centered. Yet they were not 'soft'. They were just right.
I noticed no real 'unusual' effect from the Soma stance, and edging was way better than my Nordicas and as good as any boot I remember ever using. Whether this was due to better fit or Soma effect, would be hard to distinguish.
At the end of the day my Quads felt fresher and stronger than they did on the day before or day after when I had to ski on the Nordicas. I Believe this was due to Soma. Standing in the skis, with these boots, very closely approximated my leg/shoe alignment of my bike shoes to pedals on my bikes. So strong quad/hamstring/gluts positions.
Bad Points: hmmmm, candy red like 'jellies' or gummi baren ? narrower last means harder to get in and out of? Not FREE? OK, as boot prices go, these are definitely middlin cost.
Did I buy them? No. I have until March 11 to buy them from Footloose at the 'special' price; so I'm gonna 'demo' a few more boots. I wanna try some Rossis and new Langes (they always hurt, but I LUV'd That boot!) maybe they don;t hurt no more...
Am I gonna buy the Fischers? Prolly, almost certain... and I will demo more, but it would be hard to imagine another boot which could be this good . (for me)