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2011 Nordica Dobermann Pro 130 EDT

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Title:  2011 Nordica Dobermann Pro 130 EDT

1011_dob_pro_130-md.jpg

Product:

Shell Size Tested: 28/28.5

Width98 mm

Flex rating: 130

Ski tested with: Rossi SickBirds (185)  K2 Outlaws (181)

Footbed: stock

Modifications done to boot: none

 

 

Environment of Conditions:

*Location of review: Mammoth

*Runs Taken: 2 1/2 days, All Upper Mtn areas, some groomed lower mtn runs

*Snow Conditions: 16 to 20" POW on 1st day, Tracked & Loose Pow & Bumps 2nd day, Groomed and slightly crudded, surface frozen deeper snow

*Demo or Own: Own

 

Summary (inc. Strengths & Weaknesses): excellent fit, excellent performance in a near-race type boot.

 

Other boots in class: recently owned- Fischer HeatFire 105, Fischer SOMA RC4 120 Race

 

Tester Info:

Age: 63

Height/Weight: 5'10" ish, currently 168 lbs

Average days on snow: currently 11-25

Years Skiing: 30+  (pick one)

Skis in your Quiver: A bunch, from older 205 straights to recent Mid-Fats (180+ish cms, all full camber, no early rise or rocker)

Foot issues : Pronation on both feet, heavier on left, calcifications on left Talus, numerous spurs. My foot has a very long/very high instep and arch length 8.2 in/208 mm with a foot length of 11"/281 mm, 96 mm width, so many under 100 mm width boots are still a tad too wide for me. Low Volume foot, thin lower leg which often means moving buckles to get a snug fit, but a normal, almost wider lower heel area.

 

Aggressiveness: Aggressive(Driver)

Preferred Terrain (select one, delete the rest): off-piste, trees

 

Review:
I've just come back from a 3 days session at Mammoth. Snowing heavily when we arrived with eventual bluebird days.

I have currently been really happy (and continue to be..) with my Fischer Soma Heatfire 105s (same as Soma XL 100). But, always being curious about what else is out there, it was hard to turn down a really great deal on a pair of Nordica Dobermann 130 EDT's with fewer than 5 days on them...

I've always had good experiences with Nordicas, all the way from my first pair of Nordica Plastic/Leather laminants, thru the Nordicas Astral Racers and Slaloms. So I was highly curious to see what the recent generation of Nordicas was bringing to the hill.

Of all the different boot series, the dobies would seem to be the only once which might provide a close fit.

My big concern was going to a 'stiffer' boot. I don;t nearly ski with the same level of power as in my younger days, however I do still prefer skis of length with some solidity to their flex pattern. So, you need some equivalent power from the boot.

It's hard for me to demo boots, because many don't give enough room in the instep, which certainly has been my experience with many brands/models in the past few years of trying boots. And with my foot issues I can rarely find a boot I can ski for over an hour without modifications.

But I've never been disappointed by my Nordicas... so I bought them, without even a tryon...

Well they were nice - nice almost 'out-of'-the-box' new condition.

 

First impression fit for the 28 is they are snug-tight-without being overbearing. Just enough room in the instep for me (but I will have to use a different footbed than SuperFeet Reds because I don;t have enough room for them... prolly go with a thinner Superfeet model... maybe green). Interior length is spot on. The heel pocket is firm but not overly so and will require very little work to compensate for my spurs. I used the stock foam footbeds since my SuperFeet Reds will be too thick for these boots, with my foot. I did compensate a little for my pronation with inside edge heel wedges of about 1.5 degrees.

Overall the construction is quality. The liners are well made supportive and surprisingly thin. Surprising since even though the liner is not as thick as most higher end rec boots, there were no real hotspots which couldn't be attributed to my foot issues; so these boots and liners are well sculpted and constructed to my foot contours.

Thinner liner means better feel and control; more performance...

 

First ski day was full on POW of 16 to 20 effective with 30+ reported by Mammoth. I spent the first few hours in my Fischer HeatFire 105s to have a direct comparison; then switched to the Dobermanns for the remainder of the 3 day trip.

I'll make some comparisons at the end of the review...

Once in the Dobermanns, I noticed thay they were not nearly as stiff as I had expected from a boot labeled 130 flex. The flex was very progressive with even pressure right from first contact, until you hit the stop point for your power and weight. Nice. I was really worried the 130 flex would be too stiff for me, however these are great and not overpowering. In fact staying out of the back seat in heavily skied and tracked out deeper pow sections was not an issue. I expect part of the reason is the slight increase of forward lean in tthe Dobies, as compared to my Fischers. Not enough to cause me to lose a good erect stance, but enough to get my hips well balanced. They proved to be a pretty good boot for pow. 1st day temps were about 18-20 F at the gondie top station to about 25 Mid Mtn and 32 at the base. Boots never felt too stiff nor too soft.

2nd day - The really poor visibility of the first day gave way to a Blue Bird day with the entire mountain in a full white winter suit.

Powder was quickly tracked out, but the upper mountain steeps were in as good shape as I'd seem them any time this year. A great day to rip some incredible runs anywhere along the entire upper steeps of Mammoth. I did do a few warmup runs on some early morning groomers to warm up the legs. These Dobies have the touch of a very nice GS race boot. Strong on high angles but easy enough to remain supple and absorb terrain at speed. The runout areas became soft and the the lower mtn became wet becuase of the intense sun.

Buckled them in the morning and never touched them again until I took them off at day's end. Wow! That never happens...

Even the Fischers needed some work in the heels and talus area,  for me to ski them all day without touching them.

Temps 22 F mid-day at the top, 30 F at McCoy station, 38 at the Main Lodge Base.

Day 3  - winter snow became tracked sufrace frozen crud at Mid Mtn and up and later slushy at the base. The most challenging day yet. There was no shade anywhere, and the conditions showed it. A few runs remainded consistent - Dropout and Wipeout under chair 23 held up nicely with only the lower setions becoming heavy and damp. Climax was the best that day, with good consistent snow, a touch soft and wet bit still tending more towards fresh wet rather than sun baked spring conditions. On good crud-busting skis (both the Rossi Sickbirds and K2 Outlaws proved to be the proper tools) of length, even the worst crud was skied with some semblance of competence.

Overall the Dobermann 103 EDTs are about as close to full race boot as I'd want to go. Real high performance with a nic edge of all-day comfort.

They DID NOT LEAK!  Skied them in varied deep conditions with a lot of caked snow and ice at the overlaps and toe dam. Skied them through some spraying slush. They stayed dry all day, for 3 days.

 

Dobermann to Fischer HeatFire 105 comparo.

I was surprised to find that my Fischer Heatfire 105s feel about the same flex/stiffness as the Doberman 130s. In fact the Dobermans may start a little softer, but quickly firm as you drive into them.

The Dobermanns are a 28/28.5 with a 325 sole length, yet my feet barely fit the inside length. I will not be mod-ding the length since my foot is so well locked in with no movement against the toebox front. The Fischers, same 'size' designation are a 323 sole length, yet easily 3-4 mm longer inside.

Both are labeled 98 mm width. The Nordica Dobermanns are definitely a touch narrower. They fit me great without undue overbuckling. The Fischers have need some structuring to the liners to get my width as snug as I like it.

The Nordicas are nice and snug around the leg shaft and will only need a little work to get it as snug as I like. The Fischers are also snug, however the stock liner does give a bit more 'rec' comfort to that fit.

Overall the Fischer liner (labeled their 'Performance Fit' - not race fit) is a really nice comfort rec liner, still with excellent performance for an avg volume foot/leg. The Dobermann liner is thinner and leans more towards 'race', but not getting even close to the misery a real race liner dishes out when it's a full day on the hill. A really nice balance of performance to comfort.

The Dobermanns have what seems about 2 degrees more foward lean than my Fischers - I like that additional 2 degrees for my all-mtn sking. I've already adjusted the Fischers since they have an adjustable forward lean feature...

The Dobermann buckle turn adjustment seems to have more range than my Fischers - a plus. I had no problems fine tuning each buckle setting.

Both Fischers and Nordicas stay dry regardless of the conditions - no leaking anywhere...

I like that the Fischers have replaceable toes and heels, when wear gets bad. The Nordicas onlly have replaceable heels.

Both boots have quality boot plastic, non-stretch power straps with quality velcro, adjustable spoilers and shaft side canting. The Fischers have adjustable forward lean. Buckle hardware is quality stuff on both.

 

I SCORED!  I love my Fischers and now love my Dobermanns.

I will keep both, their 2 mm diff. in sole length, so bindings readjustment is 2 minute job.

The Fischers will need new liners next season - Expect I'll look into some intuitions next season...

 

Downside - Both boots - their liners take a while to dry properly before using again, next day. I need to use my dry-guy boot dryers on either set of boots to get them properly dry by morning.

I can;t fit my SuperFeet Reds inot this boot and still fit my foot - I'll try to find a lower profile footbed with the same support...

They are both Black with very few color highlights, very plain. None of that Candies see-thru shell with funky logo goin on...

But they are still better lookin than my grey, wrinkly, geezer self... I scare people when I take my helmet off  eek.gif


Edited by moreoutdoor - 4/17/12 at 1:18pm
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

since we can no longer 'edit' after a certain time ...

wanted to add:

I like that the Dobermans come with both a tongue pullstrap AND a back-of-liner pullstrap (so do the Fischers...)

many boots miss that rear pullstrap.

after I enter the boot, I like to lift the heel slightly (while keeping the ball-of-foot down and in contact with the insole) and pull the liner up to the foot and then lower again. This makes sure I'm properly seated in the boot/liner and during that process I can also make sure the alignment of boot/liner/foot are proper. Without this process, a liner can easily squish down or squirm around a bit during entry and end in a position which makes for poor support and eventual foot pain. Not even considering the degradation of performance due to a twisted liner.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

latest update - now having some time on varied and 'firmer' conditions and a number of different ski types.

 

Most recently I've had 3 days at Mammoth where temps at the top Gondi Station were right a 0 Deg Fahrenheit (-17C). With temps in the low to mid-teens over much of the mtn (-10C).

These boots stiffen dramatically once you get below the Mid-Teens (-10c) temps. Especially on overcast days when sun warming is not possible. Conditions spectrum varied from 4-5 fresh to really firm 'Eastern Hardpack'. Mostly the moguls were firm and the off-piste was soft. The Groomers were 'groomed', hardly a good test for the range of a boot.

These cold temps dramatically affects performance. Skiing moguls and other similar sudden terrain changes becomes a bit more a chore on a stiffer ski, because absorption of terrain is more difficult as speeds and energy build . Ski reaction to small changes in pressure become more senstive and pronounced. In a word, in cold temps these boots becomes very 'race boot' sensitive.  Not a bad thing, depending on your prespective, but absorption of terrain at higher speeds requires more alertness and precision in your balance control. Again, do consider my weight  ( 167 lbs - 76 Kg) as factor in this. This boot represents the probable uplimit of 'stiffness' that I can find 'likeable' for general all-mtn skiing.

During these cold temps I found them to remain more than adequately 'warm', even though I'm susceptible to cold feet in many boots.

 

Mods:  I did find that Superfeet green footbeds allowed me enough 'roof' on the instep to get a comfortable, all-day fit, without resort to any unbuckling at any time during the entire ski day, including the lunch break. The hardware seems sturdy and has held up well, the OEM 'power strap' is solid and still working well.

 

An incredible rec boot with racing 'chops' - still a major thumbs up for me! icon14.gif

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

OK, Final update on the Dobermann Pro 130 EDT - I just came back from another 3-day session at Mammoth. Was now at the opposite end of the 'conditions' spectrum from the first days on the boot. First day was the 'softest', 2nd day was the windiest, and 3rd day was the most solid and terrain filled of days. Temps again were cold, ranging from 0 F at the summits, to teens on most of the mtn.

I did make some boot 'adjustments' since last using the Dobies - pulled the upper bolt on the rear of the cuff, and very lightly rounded (with slight chamfer to the inside) the bottom edge of the ankle strap surface - no real plastic removal, just a rounding of the very straight edge. The combination of these 2 changes brought the flex right into where I felt the best combination of forward support and good terrain absorption by the boot. The rounding/chamfering gave me just a slight further forward stop point where further flexing pressure usually bells out the boot lower as you push harder. Certainly not a 'race' mod, but very big improvement when skiing varied-All Mtn terrain, especially steep bumps and heavy crud.

1st day was somewhat soft snow to be found, but also most of the steeper terrain was well skied out with a lot of bumps. The new boot mod/changes really helped in getting my 98 width skis thru this stuff. There was some soft stuff to be found in the avy chutes of Lincoln mtn, and again the boot mods allowed much finer control of pressure and turn initiation.

For the next 2 days I changed to my Fischer Cold Heats, a much more high energy, strong edging and carving tool for higher speed skiing on hard snow. Was a good choice, especially for surviving wind-scoured sections.

2nd day was under full-on high wind conditions. The entire upper mtn was closed due to steady gale force winds (which stripped the top clean of any snow). But there was skiing to be had on pitches of the lower mtn (and Lincoln) and in trees. I found some nice snow on leeward facing pitches and in tree areas. Visibilty was tough, so skiing by braille was the order of the day. Again good conditions to test terrain absorption, when you can't see it coming...

3rd day was a bluebird day, with both 'hard', windblown and 'wind buff'. I really liked the boots that day. There were very abrupt transitions from completely stripped, very hardpack sections to areas of 5-6 inches of windbuff, and if you were unlucky (or not forewarned) you might end up having to cross large stretches of heavily windscoured snow. Again the transitions went from hard edging to an immedate need for a delicate touch of balance and edge/ski control.

I was lucky to find some great skiing in large windbuff sections on the upper mtn, behind what were wind protected areas.

A really great day of skiing with not a lot of competition for the good spots I found.

In all, the Dobies (now that they're nicely dialed in) get a big Thumbs up icon14.gif for helping me handle the tough spots, for smoothing me through the wonderful windbuff and giving the super confident edge control to really lay some great edge on the hard and steep. Their edge control is superb and immediate - as good as any boot I've ever done turn in. The fit is tight without being uncomfortable, the flex very progressive. It's easy to understand why the Dobermann series has such a solid reputation.

I'm totally stoked to have them, and looking forward to some great skiing in them, for the coming seasons!

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