Specialty retailers sold out of ski boots this winter, with many top models and sizes disappearing in some places before the snow even began to fall. Since re-ordering all those buckles, footbeds, and shells is such a time-consuming -- and expensive – process, that means that there is a ski shoe market out there that is ravenous for next year’s gear.
Which is good news for stores and suppliers alike, as there is some top-notch new technology ready to dance its way onto the SIA Snow Show floor. From new shell technology to innovations in fit to a backcountry market that is absolutely on the edge of coming in from the out-of-bounds, there is plenty to talk about this year. Here are six of the best new boots that will be helping to write the storylines for next year’s gear. The entire lineup of top new ski boots and new boot technology will appear in Day of the Snow Show Daily, published by SNEWS WinterSports.
Dalbello continues its charge into the four-buckle arena with the new Viper, a blend of Scorpion-like performance in a 100mm shell with relaxed Contour 4 fit system. Last season the company experienced a great deal of success with the launch of their classic 4 buckle overlap Scorpion Series of Ultra high performance Race and Freeski boots. A major component to Scorpion’s success was the introduction of Dalbello’s innovative Contour 4 Technology fit system, with foot mapping contours to accommodate 4 critical fit points (ankle, heel, 5th metatarsal, and navicular).
Fischer is making a major move in boots -- so big that they wanted to keep this under wraps until the Show actually kicked off. But word got out, and here’s the scoop. Using a proprietary plastic that molds at about 175 degrees F, Fischer has created the first-ever fully custom moldable shell. Five models will be offered to a limited dealer base for 2011-12. Tabbed Vacuum Fit, the process promises to adjust forefoot width +/-4mm, taper to lower leg shape and also accommodate forward lean change by up to 5 degrees.
Head’s venerable wide-last Edge is updated into a new wave of adjustable boot named AdaptEdge, which feature a unique forefoot width that can actually morph from 104mm to 102mm with the turn of a screw in the sole. Head is betting that the boot will not only be a top fitting, top selling model at retail, but that it will also appeal to more game and precision improvement oriented consumers.
Lange is back in a big way, with some incredible new levels of fit and performance that are also creating some healthy sell-through. Although they share the RS and RX shell technology with their sister-brand at Rossignol, the RX 130 and RX 130 Pro are aimed at the top echelon of all-mountain skiers, also with a tighter ankle fit for more edge control.
Nordica goes big in boots, seeking to catch up to and complement new ski technology, and even offers a new three-point system for measuring performance parameters. The Fire Arrow is a three-buckle, three-piece shell collection with a focus on progressive flex and rebound to mate with new ski design characteristics. Already a favorite amongst the SNEWS crew, this model is sure to stir up some sales.
The all-mountain Quest line expands up and down with a new aggressively stanced 14 model for men and a top of the group woman’s 10. Originally intended as Salomon’s answer to the growing number of backcountry boot brands looking to expand into the lift-served market, the Quest has now expanded into a full on line of its own.
Bonus Boot - Garmont
Garmont goes after hard-charging skiers leading the sidecountry surge with a new PowerFrame Freeride collection. The men’s Delirium offers trick adjustable features such as EZFit liners and magnesium buckles.
-- Peter Kray
On Oct. 6, 2010, veteran journalist Peter Kray joined the SNEWS team and is now editor of the new SNEWS WinterSports channel. We trust you are enjoying the full offering of WinterSports news. Be sure to email your friends and let them know the best WinterSports news has arrived -- just in time for the winter season. Got WinterSports news? Send your WinterSports news to Kray at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribers can also post WinterSports news releases directly to the SNEWS website. Email us at email@example.com to learn about posting your own news releases, or for any other questions or comments. We love to hear from our readers!