Pros: Extremely responsive, stiff, great fit
Cons: Not warm, cannot remove when cold
Now in my third season with these and I still find them the most comfortable boot I have worn in years. These come with a lace-up liner you put on first, then put your foot and liner into the boot. Easy to do when the boots are warm, not so easy when cool, I don't try when cold. If cold (20-25degress and below), I cannot remove without warming the shell - over 25-30 I can, but it is not pleasant.
Unless you have a plug shaped foot (I don't), plan on investing plenty of your, and your boot fitters, time to get these to fit properly. Once properly fit and aligned the WC 150 is a wonderful skiing boot, though it is not tolerant of errors and will transmit them to you smartly! Likewise, it will respond immediately to your accurate input.
To my knowledge, the Dobermann WC 150 is discontinued and no longer being made after the 2007/2008 season.
Below is the write-up I did at the time I bought these and be found in the thread Boot Balance by Bergeron Since this write-up I have replaced the 5mm toe plate with an 8mm plate.
ability level (if you know)=working on it
number of years skiing=36
lessons taken=1 to 2 ESA's/ETU's per year starting with #1 in 2003;
other lessons=skiing with coaches and instructor clinics regularly
most frequently skied terrain (green, blue, black, bumps, trees, etc)=Yeah, all that
average number of days skied per year=60+ in recent years
Write-up on bootfitting in October 2006
Unlike ssh, I was able to make it to my appointment. After catching a 6:00am flight out of Fresno I arrived in Denver Wednesday morning around 9:00 and headed up to Loveland. I met with Sue Booker at Loveland where I shell fit a Dobermann WC150 in size UK5. Sue was concerned these were too small and indicated I had a 1/2 finger fit using her finger (length). Width wise, I had a negative fit, as my foot was compressed from immediately behind the toes back thru the arch and my inside ankle bones rested against the cuffs. Over my instep I had about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 finger spacing.
For what little it is worth, my street shoe size is 7 1/2 or 8 depending on brand and a solid D width. My feet are shaped into a nice wedge, flairing from a narrow heal passing bony ankles on the way.
So, I headed off to Jeff's with the UK5's and another pair the next size larger.
Step 1 with Jeff: Redo the shell fit and discuss with Jeff. My goal was to achieve the most responsive fit I could, yet still ski in the boots all day comfortably. Jeff was confindent we could achieve this with the 5's, however, it would require work and time to achieve a great fit that was comfortable.
Step 2: Evaluate my existing foot beds. I have been extremely happy with these since having them made by Steve Bagley in 2003. Other than fixing up some curling these function fine, so new footbeds are not required.
Step 3: Evaluate stance in boots out of the box before going to work on fit. Likewise, compare this stance to my existing boots. The new boots are slightly more upright than my existing boots - the direction I needed to go (rear spoiler removed). I can fully flex and extend in balance! My knees track very straight naturally and likewise in the Dobermanns. There is no where near enough room for my foot and the liner!!!
Step 4: Go to work on fitting. All told, I spent 3.5 hours with Jeff and the bulk of that time was spent conforming the shell to the shape of my foot - not an easy task...I do not have an easy foot to wedge into a Dobermann, however the stance and heel pocket are a great fit out of the box. Jeff has a great process, and - just as importantly - has considerable experience and knows what tolerances are required in the shell to achieve the proper fit. Nonetheless, I was skeptical as I had considerable pressure along both sides of the ball of the foot, but I listened to Jeff and left it as is to "pack out" - ever seen a Dobermann liner, think it will pack out?
Step 5: Alignment. Fore/Aft is good - the reason I selected these boots after comparing to mine last year. This years Dobermanns have adjustable cuffs, and this allowed Jeff to quickly match the shape of my lower legs combined with slightly planing the soles a minor amount to bring my alignment together in a matter of about 10 minutes.
Step 6: Go skiing Thursday morning I headed up to Loveland, returned the other pair of boots and grabbed a cup of coffee while they reset and torque tested my bindings. After that I met up with Mike_m, Earnie, Al, & Scott (see the Photo's B. Barnes uploaded). They were ready to go and headed out while I changed and booted up. Just as I finished buckling up and started heading for the door Bob Barnes walked in, so I chatted with him while he geared up in his Aggressors (for his first day of skiing since being fit by Jeff). As I sat there, I swear the boots kept getting tighter and tighter, and I was sure I was going to have to take them off before I even hit the slopes for one run. I sucked it up and headed out the door with Bob to make some turns. To my amazement, the boots became more and more comfortable through out the day. I never once felt the need to unbuckle and actually tightened my cuff buckles after lunch. Eventually, towards the end of the day I did develop a hot spot on my right heel and another on the outside edge of my left foot - these were so minor I elected to ski again today before addressing them with Jeff.
Step 7: Ski today and confirm hot spots remain. Visit Jeff to address them with some minor grinding and install 5mm lifts front and back. I'll update if needed, but I expect the process is complete at this point.
Other than the two minor hot spots I have found these boots to be very comfortable and I expect I'll be able to ski daily in these boots without the pain or discomfort frequently noted concerning these boots. The alignment matches me and so far I have not been in conflict with the boots and do not find them overly stiff; admittedly, conditions are uncharacteristicly soft for this time of year, so we'll see how it goes when things firm up. I can certainly soften these boots if necessary, however, I was really impressed with the responsiveness they provided for returning to center when getting jostled in the bumps and clumps yesterday.
I am totally amazed at how precisely Jeff molded these shells to my feet on the first shot. I highly recommend working with Jeff if you have the opportunity!