Fischer had a long and illustrious history as a ski maker before they decided to jump into the boot pool, despite said pool already being awash with brands. The focus of their debut models was an abducted (toes-out) stance, a clever idea it slightly overcooked, leaving some test pilots feeling like they were travelling in a downhill herringbone.
Undeterred by the difficulties of getting traction in an over-served market, Fischer pressed on, tinkering with their stance and story until several years ago they went all-in on a fancy new system for custom molding the shell, Vacuum Fit. Vacuum technology had been part of Fischer’s manufacturing expertise for many years, so transferring this concept to ski boots may have been an easier step for Fischer to imagine than for other, tradition-bound brands.
Vacuum Fit was such a hit with specialty shops it enabled Fischer to steal the limelight from industry leader Salomon, even though Salomon was first to market with a shell-molding technology of their own called Custom Fit. The big deal about Vacuum Fit was that it didn’t just expand the shell (although it could); it could shrink it. Even the one-in-a-thousand shops with a history of boiling boots to modify them never had the means of reducing shell volume all around the forefoot like Vacuum Fit.
Like many first-of-their-kind innovations, Vacuum Fit didn’t get everything right immediately. The biggest limitation was it didn’t have much effect on the critical rear foot, but a second-generation Vacuum station corrected this oversight. Today, the Fischer Vacuum is a Full Fit process, and still the only heat molding technology that facilitates reducing shell volume.
Vacuum Full Fit is standard on the new RC4 The Curv series of narrow (97mm) race boots, with the exception of the value priced 130 ($599.99). The top models in the medium-lasted RC Pro series, the 130 and 110, also reap the benefits of Vacuum Full Fit.
The latest high-octane, 97mm boot from Fischer borrows its name from The Curv collection of carving skis, and it has the same mission in mind: to facilitate trench digging. The close fit feels spot-on right out of the box, although Vacuum Fit will make it even more accurate. Initial fit impression is greatly enhanced by added radius in the toe box that creates wiggle room hereto unknown in a narrow-lasted Fischer. The cuff cant on The Curvs covers a 6o range, so skiers who routinely ride a raked-up rail can dial in their angle of attack.
Whether you live to race or race for a living, the new RC4 Podium family of 92mm-lasted race boots are power incarnate. If you’re not an active racer, or you just can’t crush your foot to this degree, the RC4 The Curv 140 Vacuum Full Fit will have to suffice.
Returning to the Fischer stable is its medium-lasted (100mm) RC Pro series. The key to the dynamic comfort of the RC Pros (and RC4 The Curvs) are Active Fit Zones (AFZ) built into the liners that provide something Fischer had previously been missing: instant gratification. Customers tend to judge a bootfit almost immediately, so Fischer concocted an inner boot with 3 separate fit zones that don’t require thermomolding to provide an accurate, comfortable fit. The Power Zone in around the ankle is reinforced to transmit energy, the Flex Zone in the midfoot allows for subtle movement and the Comfort Zone in the forefoot provides elasticity, cushy materials and insulation. The AFZ liner is found in all RC4 The Curv and RC Pro models and the Ranger 120.
The RC Pro 130 and 110, as well as the women’s RC Pro W 110 and W 90, offer Vacuum Full Fit, but the hidden gem in the series could be the RC Pro 120. This value proposition dispenses with shell customization in order to hit the $499 price point, or roughly $100 below the standard market price for a 120 flex, 100mm last boot. The women’s RC Pro W 100 offers a similar superior value.
All RC Pro models can be retrofit with rockered WTR walking soles ($60).