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2013/2014 Fischer Vacuum Experience

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I have 5 days on my new Vacuum Ranger Pro 13 (size 23.5) and thought I'd give a quick report of my experience.


I have short, wide feet. 7.5 D and it's always taken a lot of work to get a boot to fit. For reference, coming from a 23.5 Lange RS 110SC that had to be heavily punched and ground to get my foot in. They fit well, but you know how it is... aways looking for something just a bit better :)


I had the Fischers molded by Greg Coulter at the Mountain Shop in Portland, OR. He has a lot of experience molding them over the last few years and felt they would work well for my foot. He did say I wouldn't like him much while we were doing this... the process would be a bit uncomfortable with all he would have to do for me. Just trying things on out of the box, I could hardly get my foot into the liner, much less the boot. First we made new footbeds, as Greg wanted a slightly lower profile footbed then the ones in my Langes and I didn't want him to grind those.


Then we turned to the boots. Greg baked the liner (the new one with the ultralon) and the boots. He baked the boots extra long, which he said he found works better. While they were baking he cut out a number of foam pieces and stuck them on top of my arch, outstep, met heads, etc. Then he put 2 toe caps on and covered it all with a tight sheer stocking. With all that in my foot, it was almost impossible to get my feet into the liners and boots, even heated. But with a lot of muscle we got them in. He set the machine to a medium pressure (220 I think) and ran it. My toes and feet were so crunched the whole time... he wasn't kidding about it being an uncomfortable few minutes. I have to say I was pretty skeptical the whole time.


We then gave the boots a few minutes to cool down and my feet a few minutes to rest. When I put my foot in, it was shocking... they seemed almost... loose. I let them cure the next 2 days before skiing them. 


When I put them on after curing, they felt great. Definitely snug, but with a remarkably even pressure all around the foot. There were no hot spots or loose areas. Toe box felt a little tight in the big toe but not bad. They skied great... felt perfect right on the first turn. Since it was early season, we were mostly on groomers. I did notice they felt fairly stiff. 


Over the next few ski days, more of the mountain opened and I got them off trail more. Fit still felt awesome, but I was getting kicked into the backseat a lot off-trail. Didn't feel like my fore-aft balance was correct. (I compared the forward lean to my Langes - it looks exactly the same.) I talked to Greg and he pulled one of the rivets and made small heel lifts. That made all the difference... my weight was centered better and I felt my ankles flexing. Not sure if it was the flex as much as the heel lifts, but whatever.


Anyway, so far I'm really pleased and I think for someone with a wide foot, this boot can work. But, as always, the key is to have it done by an experienced fitter.


A few quick points...

-There hasn't been any pack out of the ultralon liner so far... fit is still as snug as the first day.

-They are not any colder than other boots I've owned, and warmer than my Langes. Single digit temps on Mt. Hood this weekend, too.

-I don't notice any difference with the SOMA stance (though I have abducted feet to begin with, so if anything it should help). 

post #2 of 2
You definitely got fitted by the best in Portland.
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