Boot Model: Dobermann WC 150 Size 28.0
Snow Conditions Used In: Groomed, bumps, powder, spring oatmeal
Number of Days Used: 15 or so
Your Ability: Advanced
How Many Years Have You Been Skiing: 33
Avg. Days per Year Skiing: 40
Previous Boots: Head RS 96, Tecnica XT 17, DPXR, TNT XR
Your Height/Weight: 6' 180#
There have been three real epiphanies in my skiing, the first being lessons resulting in the understanding of balance and stance, the second and third being boots which allowed the existence of balance and stance.
I have narrow feet. Forefoot A, left foot longer, right foot shorter but wider. Very narrow heel / achilles area. The XT 17 fit like a glove right out of the box, and was the second improvement in my skiing: Boots that fit! A boot that actually held my heel in place. But the XT 17 was designed for an earlier age, when skis were narrow and long.
The Head RS 96 was an uncomfortable boot with too much room in the heel/ankle and not enough in the instep/forefoot but provided an effective stance geometry that turned black runs into blues. Ditto the Atomic CS 110, way too roomy in the heel, much to tight in the instep, but good stance geometry and great flex pattern.
Overcoming my fear of a "real race boot" (and getting them at a very low price) enter the Nordica WC 150, the boot I should have bought years ago. Lace-up liner, snug heel pocket, instep room (unlike the Atomic CS series), and just enough forefoot room.
WOW! So this is what the sport of Alpine skiing is all about. It only took 30 years to find out. Instant response, total precision, absolute control. Think about the turn, it's already over. I now understand one of the reasons how WC athletes can do what they can do: Boots that work.
At first, I could only stand to have these boots on my feet for maybe 10 minutes. I was convinced that I was in for many long sessions with the boot fitter. As it turned out, the liners conformed to my feet quickly. Soon I was leaving them on indoors for 15, then 20, then 30 minutes. Then a couple runs on the snow. In the end, I saw the bootfitter only once: to have a tad more instep room created by heating up the tongue of the boot and squeezing it in a vise, and grinding out the shell in the area of the "tuberosity of the 5th metatarsal bone".
After 15 days on the snow, the instep adjustment may not have been necessary, and the shell grinding probably should have been reduced 50%. Also, even in this 95mm width boot, the heel pocket could be tighter.
The stock 150 flex is ridiculously stiff for free skiing. After my first two full days, I cut out the outlined saddle cuts to reduce the flex to 130. On warm days, this is perfect for me, as I like to ski short radius off-piste fall line turns. On cold days, the flex is still a bit too stiff.
I can't really put into words how much faster and more confidently I am skiing in this boot. This boot puts me in a balanced stance and transmits the slightest input instantly to the skis. Double blacks have now become blues.
The WC 150 is also much warmer than the XT-17. After 4 hours at Kirkwood in teen temperatures, my feet were still warm. BUT, here is the negative about this boot: They do NOT come off in cold temperatures. Repeat, they do NOT come off. Plan on hanging around in the lodge for awhile after lifts close, because you will not be able to remove these boots while cold.
If you have narrow feet, do not be afraid of these boots, even if you are an intermediate skiier. These boots will put you in a balanced stance over the skis resulting in confidence to go faster, steeper, and deeper than ever before. Plus, they are in the one and only appropriate color for a ski boot: Black.
Edited by stvbck - 9/11/09 at 2:00am