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Nordica Doberman Aggressor 150 review

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Nordica Doberman Aggressor 150 (UK 5): I am in these boots for one reason: Jeff Bergeron, upon reviewing my feet and stance this summer after we ran laps at a cart track, said that they were likely to be ideal for me. I picked up a pair at the Loveland Ski Shop thanks to Sue Booker, and after seeing me in them, he decided that they were, indeed, ideal. Even before any work by Jeff, they put me in a very balanced position, with my usually knock-kneed forward flex corrected by the very slight toes-out stance of the boots. This toes-out stance is accomplished by taking a normal Doberman 150 shell and rotating it about a pivot at the rear center of the heel.

These boots are downsized so that I have between a zero and one-half finger fit in the shell. For my larger foot (my left), my big toe extends beyond the end of the liner, pushing out the neoprene that wraps the front of it. As you'd expect from a Doberman, the shell fits the foot very closely, and allows for substantial modification by a skilled boot specialist. Once balanced and fit, however, the boot is incomparable in my experience.

The accuracy and precision of these boots cannot be overstated. They have changed the feel of my Metrons dramatically, driving them with significantly more power than the Tecnica XTs I have used for the past three seasons. Furthermore, the boots bring skis like my new Mach 3 Powers to life with power and precision.

I have been amazed and delighted by the additional sense of the edge of the skis. The transmission of even subtle movements is incredible.

That said, I have been equally delighted that, even at the 150 flex, they have not proven to be overly stiff for my skiing, even in the bumps. I have not softened them (yet?), and yet I have found them comfortable for all-day, all-mountain skiing.

If you seek precision and power from your boots, I cannot recommend these highly enough. But, that said, please make sure that the fit, the geometry, and the flex match your feet, stance, strength, and ability. I'm sure that if they didn't, they could make you as miserable as they delight me!

Details of the day and the skier:

Conditions: A broad range of conditions over 9 days so far this season, including conditions ranging from manmade hardpack, packed powder, freshly groomed, bumps, and fresh snow up to about a foot deep.

My specs: 6’, 175lbs. male, 36th season skiing, PSIA level II cert. Ski reasonably fast, love to turn, enjoy the “arc and spark”, and powder. Gearhead.

My own equipment: Nordica Mach 3 Power (170) and Afterburner (170) skis, Atomic Metron m:b5 (162) skis, Leki AERO Viper Trigger poles, Marker helmet and goggles.

This review consists of my thoughts and impressions of these boots. As all should know, such impressions are driven by personal preference, technique, preferred sensations, and so on. Some have said that we prefer equipment that masks our technique issues. Probably true. We also probably prefer those that our technique can really use. So, this is not doctrine. Simply what I think about what I felt.

Skiing style/technique: I have asked some ski instructors and race coaches to describe my skiing to give you an idea of my technical ability. Here's what they had to say: "dynamic, smooth, efficient. Good turn completion. Occasional tendency not to move down the hill on initiation that is easily corrected when you think about it." "...skiing looked generally quite good. You seem to ski a pretty aggressive line and generally in balance. Your turns are generally carved, even on the pitches. The thing I did notice that I would comment on if I were coaching you was a stance that seemed a bit narrow, and a turn initiation that seemed a bit steery." "...you are a technically strong, aggressive skier with a bias toward power rather than finesse. Smooth and fast!!"

Preference in boots: If you consider the skis that I prefer, you'll see that I like 'em light and lively. I like a lot of snow feel and energy in the ski. I prefer a slalom racing ski feel for my personal skis, and I love the carve. In boots, I like them very snug, with no movement of my feet within them. I am absolutely 100% convinced that the selection of boots that closely match the shape of the foot and further have geometric characteristics that allow for the body to be in a neutral balanced stance when the boot is in neutral.
post #2 of 9

forward lean

ssh. since you are so articulate and you have described the boot so well, can you tell us how you evaluate forward lean in a potential new boot for yourself
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
duke walker, thanks for your kind comments!

The short version of the answer to your question is, "I don't." I trust my boot specialist to take that into account as he gets me into the boots.

That said, the ratio of my foot length to my height means that ramp angle is a very important consideration for me (since I am way out of average in the ratio of CoM height to the distance from the ball of the heel to the ball of the big toe). Since my ramp needs to be flatter, the forward lean needs to be more upright (or I'd have an extreme ankle angle).

The arch support of my insoles helps with my knee flex angle, but the toes-out stance made the difference. Interestingly, Jeff mentioned that the Fischers (which rotate the last on the lug around a pivot in the middle of the foot instead of at the heel like the Aggressor) would not work nearly as well for me.

The key point: there is no substitute for a real boot specialist. I feel so strongly about this that I would recommend centering a ski vacation around visiting a top specialist rather than just using someone nearby. I did this for my bride starting many years ago, but now think that it's virtually essential for everyone, and I am grateful that Epic's own Jeff Bergeron is quite close to where I live (less than 2 hours' drive).
post #4 of 9
Any more info to share?
post #5 of 9
One thing that is necessary for these boots in my mind is a heated boot bag. You can't get them on or off if they are cold.
post #6 of 9
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
One thing that is necessary for these boots in my mind is a heated boot bag. You can't get them on or off if they are cold.
The cheap alternative is a hair dryer, which also does the trick. They are basically solid rock when cold.
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by doublediamond223 View Post
The cheap alternative is a hair dryer, which also does the trick. They are basically solid rock when cold.
I strap a hair dryer on my pack and only put my boots on in the lodge. (I have never done the boots on in the parking lot thing) Don't know about you guys, but I'm using the lace up liner in the Raptor 150 and put the liner on and then put the shell on.

Also I don't like grinding all the parking lot sh_t into my bootsoles.

Without the hairdryer, they just are not going on! Taking them off at the end of the day is almost as brutal. the hairdryer works great!!!

But once on, most comfortable boot I have ever owned! And skis like a dream
post #8 of 9
Too cheap to buy a Hot Gear bag - yet. But already had a 12vdc to 110 vac converter in my truck. So bought a $12 heating pad at the drug store and have it in the bottom of the boot bag on the drive up. Makes boots toasty warm to put on. And works well for drying them out overnight, too.
post #9 of 9
I got my Aggressors in the spring of 07. They are, without a doubt, the best boot I've ever skied. The abducted stance fits me to a tee. The cuff adjusters allow me to get by without grinding for the first time ever, since I'm 2 degrees different from side to side. Last winter I put an 11 mm lift on my right side to make up for my short right leg. It's true, the last 10% makes 90% of the difference. WOW.
I'm encouraging all my kids who wear the outside of their heels off to try them (or the Fischer Somas)
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