Author Topic: Fischer 'vacuum fitted' boots  (Read 1381 times)

jim-ratliff

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Fischer 'vacuum fitted' boots
« on: October 09, 2012, 10:12:58 am »

Has anybody tried or planning to try these boots, or do you know anyone who has?
Is it a revolution in boot fitting, or more marketing than substance?
Fischer seems to be making a big push in this direction?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 10:35:43 am by jim-ratliff »
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HighAngles

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Re: Fischer 'vacuum fitted' boots
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 05:58:48 pm »
I went to the fitting appointment with a close friend last season.  I also filmed the whole thing, but I'm not sure where that is at the moment (it was on an old camera).

My concern is that the custom fitting is certainly quite adaptive, but it's not going to perform miracles.  If the shell isn't somewhat close to being sized correctly and generally fit right then I would certainly approach them with caution.

There were tons of complaints about the liners last season.  It's like they completely forgot that the liner really needs to be customized along with the shell.  My buddy ended up ditching the liners and switching to a pair of ZipFit Worldcups that I had available.

Last season was really a learning period for Fischer and the fitters.  I would assume that there will be more success this season using what everyone has learned.

LivingProof

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Re: Fischer 'vacuum fitted' boots
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2012, 01:24:51 pm »
I've no experience with the Fisher vacuum boots, other that to read the various detailed posts on Epic regarding the boot. John Botti did a recent post in the PMTS forums that I found insightful, hopefully, JB will cross post here.

Of all who post on Epic, my friend in Jackson Hole, Stephen McDonald (who posts as Skiing-n-Jackson) is a bootfitter who did many pair of the new Fisher boots, and, he is a proponent. He gave some extensive insights into the fitting process on Epic. He is the only person that I would personally trust to fit me with that boot.

http://www.epicski.com/t/111816/live-from-jackson-hole-my-fischer-vacuum-thread

Stephen also has a e-book available on bootfitting, it's well worth the few bucks to gain his insights. As hew works right at the base of the mountain, he skis all morning, then, does fittings by appointment all afternoon. If you ever get to Jackson, look him up.

Svend

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Re: Fischer 'vacuum fitted' boots
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2012, 01:42:55 pm »
Jim, I have not tried these boots, but just wanted to pass on a little related story that may be of interest.

Last autumn I decided to get my wife an early Christmas present in form of a new pair of skates.  Some of the best skates made anywhere are from a small company named Graf -- formerly Swiss-owned, now Canadian.  Many of the pros use them.  Like ski boots, their skates come in different last widths, achilles area profiles, and boot flex stiffness indices.  But they take it a step further (pardon the pun) and also build to different instep heights for a really close fit in all dimensions.  This is something that ski boot makers really should pick up on and start incorporating in their designs -- check out their site, and walk through the skate selection process, and you'll see what I mean:  http://www.grafcanada.com/hockey/hockey_en.php.

In the shop here (a small, family-run hockey specialty shop....the best kind of place) my wife tried on a few pairs and settled on the model and size that fit best.  Next step:  heat molding the skates.  The young tech put the skates in an oven for about 15 minutes; gently laced them back on her feet, and then wheeled over what looked like a small version of a sauna chamber.  "Put your feet in there" he instructed; upon which he flipped on a timer to start the machine humming, popped a video into the little TV in front of the chamber, and said "Relax and enjoy the show.  I'll be back in 20 minutes".

The chamber turned out to be an air bladder device that firmly pressed the softened skate boots around the feet to give a custom fit.  The kicker is that this machine looked to be at least 20 to 30 years old.  Dented, scuffed, noisy....definitely not new technology at work here.  I was gob-smacked, having just read all the fall ski magazine gear issues in which everyone was banging on about what a revolutionary concept the Fisher Vacuum Boot was.  And here I was standing in front of exactly the same thing, only for hockey skates, and that had obviously been in use for many years.

My point is, that Fisher seems to be doing nothing novel or original here, but has simply adapted a method that has been used by skate makers for quite some time (judging by the vintage appearance of the air bladder machine, it's been decades).  Fisher calls it the vacuum boot, but it's really the same idea -- soften the boots, insert wearer's feet, press upon them with air bladders, and Voila! A perfect fit.  One significant difference, and which relates to High Angles comment, is that skates do not have removable liners, but ones that are integrated into the construction of the boot.  The heat molding forms both the boot and the liner at once.

« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 04:01:18 pm by Svend »

jbotti

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Re: Fischer 'vacuum fitted' boots
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2012, 07:29:23 pm »
A good friend of mine who is a great skier and was big time professional ski coach just got a pair done. He has very wide feet (about 110mm wide at their widest) and he has bone spurs on both from abrasions from so many years of wearing boots that were too tight. He was skiing in some Nordica Dobie Pros (98 last) that had huge work done to them so that he could ski them. He loved the boot, but he was still in some discomfort while skiing. He went to a good boot fitter he knew who has the Fischer Vacuum system. After they molded the shell he still needed some punching but the final result is the best fitting and most comfortable boot he has ever been in.

My view is that if you can fit in a 98 lasted boot or smaller, I don't think you need the Vacuum boots. Getting a boot that fits right and then having good work done on them by a good fitter is all anyone really needs (although this combo can be hard to find). For someone that needs a stiff boot in a wide last these are the only real option (I think Salomon has some modlable shells as well but not sure what flex they come in)

The fischer boots have what they call the Soma stance which is abducted feet. From all that I have read I beleive these will be OK for people that are bowlegged but more problematic for those that are knock kneed.

I aslo think if you get these boots make sure you start very tight. If you can mold and expand the shell you would never wnat to start off with something that wasn't tigher than glove like. Assuming one does this, most likley you will end up with a good fit.

Svend

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Re: Fischer 'vacuum fitted' boots
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 07:54:24 pm »
John, I have read something on the new Salomon boots for this year, and they have taken the Custom Shell concept that was previously used to expand the forefoot area only, and taken it to cover almost the entire lower boot.  They start with a narrow-lasted shell, heat it and expand it to fit feet that are wider than their factory mold.  They do the opposite of Fischer, in other words.  Flex indices for the Salomons are 100, 120 and 130.

I'm not sure if Salomon changed their lateral stance position, but previous models of their X-line of boots, and the related women's Instinct line, placed the foot in an outward pre-canted position.  This was great if knock-kneed, but not so great if neutral or bow-legged.  My daughter has the 2011 Instinct 90 (a narrow-lasted performance boot; same as the present 100 model) and it instantly solved her teenaged knock-kneed stance. 

« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 08:21:58 pm by Svend »

Philpug

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Re: Fischer 'vacuum fitted' boots
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 08:56:08 am »
This is the second year of the Fischer Vacuum boots and while the shells haven't changed the liners and the procedures have. Initially, there were some unrealistic expectations of the boot last year as far as fit, we (Fisher, boot fitters and the customers) expected the boot to be the perfect fit for everyone. Not the case. To realistically expect a 95mm shell to adapt out to 110mm or to expect a boot to improve your performance without touching your foot isn't happening. Where the boot does excel is with unusual fit problems like a very high instep, the toughest area to get room in a boot. Canting can be done during the mold process so no need for external plates. I did about 40 Fischers last season with success no more or less than any other boot that I fit. As with any boot fit, it is just a matter of starting with the right boot.

Salomon's new CS shells are some of the better fitting Salomons ever. But Salomon's Custom Shell can only really be expanded out, not inward like the Fischer due to the Vacuum system. With the Salomon though, it is one of the most generous 98mm shells on the market, it is closer to a 100mm fit. Stance (ramp & forward lean) is much better than any previous Salomon offered.

Svend

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Re: Fischer 'vacuum fitted' boots
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 09:08:25 am »
Salomon's new CS shells are some of the better fitting Salomons ever. But Salomon's Custom Shell can only really be expanded out, not inward like the Fischer due to the Vacuum system. With the Salomon though, it is one of the most generous 98mm shells on the market, it is closer to a 100mm fit. Stance (ramp & forward lean) is much better than any previous Salomon offered.

Phil, have Salomon fixed their outward cant bias in the X-series? As mentioned, previous models in this line seemed to be noticeably canted outward.  Not sure if it was the boot board or sole or something else that caused this.  Bootfitters that I spoke to, and online reviewers mentioned the same thing about these boots.

If this is fixed, and the shell has a better overall fit than the previous models, I would seriously look at these again.  I tried them a few months ago, and the fit just didn't work for me -- metal hinge bolt was right on top of my ankle bone, if I recall, among other issues.


Philpug

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Re: Fischer 'vacuum fitted' boots
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2012, 09:13:47 am »
Phil, have Salomon fixed their outward cant bias in the X-series? As mentioned, previous models in this line seemed to be noticeably canted outward.  Not sure if it was the boot board or sole or something else that caused this.  Bootfitters that I spoke to, and online reviewers mentioned the same thing about these boots.

If this is fixed, and the shell has a better overall fit than the previous models, I would seriously look at these again.  I tried them a few months ago, and the fit just didn't work for me -- metal hinge bolt was right on top of my ankle bone, if I recall, among other issues.
While i have not skied the new X-Max but did ski the older CS, the stance feels much better. I was not a fan of the way the Impact and Falcons skied. Should this be on your list of boots to try? I have no idea, I haven't seen your feet and what you need for a boot. If you do go in and try this boot, make sure the fitter planes the boot board, they are concave in forefoot.

Svend

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Re: Fischer 'vacuum fitted' boots
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2012, 10:06:22 am »
I have no idea either if this boot will work in it's new form.  I'll pop into a shop to try one on and see.  I tried these on at least three times over the past few years -- first the Falcon, then the X-3, and none of them fit well.  I ended up with a Tecnica Inferno which is an excellent fit, but I have outgrown the flex (110) and am now looking for a replacement.  The Inferno 130 as at the top of my list.  I also tried a Head Raptor recently, and it too was a very good fit -- actually more snug overall than the Inferno.  That one is presently a strong possibility too.


Philpug

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Re: Fischer 'vacuum fitted' boots
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2012, 11:12:53 am »
I have no idea either if this boot will work in it's new form.  I'll pop into a shop to try one on and see.  I tried these on at least three times over the past few years -- first the Falcon, then the X-3, and none of them fit well.  I ended up with a Tecnica Inferno which is an excellent fit, but I have outgrown the flex (110) and am now looking for a replacement.  The Inferno 130 as at the top of my list.  I also tried a Head Raptor recently, and it too was a very good fit -- actually more snug overall than the Inferno.  That one is presently a strong possibility too.

If the Inferno is working for you, don't bother with the Salomon X-Max, it is much more generous. While the X-Max won't be bad...there are closer fits to the Inferno. IE. the Inferno 130, Nordica Dobermann EDT, Spitfire 120 and Patron Pro and Head Raptor (narrower in the heel). Without seeing your foot, the Lange RS120, Dalbello Scorpion are possibilities too.

Svend

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Re: Fischer 'vacuum fitted' boots
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2012, 11:26:15 am »
Good insight, Phil -- thanks.  I would buy the Inferno 130 without hesitation, as my 110 fits extremely well - just needed a minor ankle punch to make it a perfect fit.  It's just too soft for me now.

I actually tried a Nordica Girish (130) boot this spring, and really liked the fit, but (at least at room temp) it was way softer than my Inferno 110, so no real upgrade seemed likely there.  Fit was excellent, though, so perhaps the Patron might be similar fit, but stiffer?

Lange RS didn't work -- weird fit between heel and forefoot.  I used to ski in a Lange Comp Pro, and loved the edge grip it gave me.  I miss that, and hope to regain it in a new boot.

I have not tried a Scorpion, but could give it a whirl.  That, and the Dalbello KR Two.

So far, those with the best fit and stiffness combos have been the Inferno and Raptor.  Either would need minimal work to make them fit exceedingly well.