2017 Brand Profile
Last season Nordica revived its legendary Dobermann and Grand Prix franchises; this year the resuscitation trend continues with the reanimation of Speedmachine in a whole new package built on a medium (100mm) last. The new Speedmachine models would be comfortable and capable 4-buckle overlap shells even if they didn’t feature a trifecta of bonus features that Nordica bundles under the umbrella term Tri-Fit Technology.
The sexiest element in the Tri-Fit triad is a locally applied infrared heating system used to achieve quick and lasting shell expansion. An Infrared Heating lamp warms the shell from the inside out, then a suction cup is placed over the heated zone to initiate the shell’s distortion. After a few minutes the separately heated liners (the second element of Tri-Fit) are re-inserted and the skier puts the still warm boots on and wears them for 5 minutes.
The oven-heated inner boots use a cork compound to follow every contour of the heel and ankle area, a material that readily adapts to any foot shape. The third piece of the Tri-Fit tool kit is the ability to disassemble whatever parts of the boot aren’t molded together; buckles, power straps, cuff cants, soles and spine screws are all removable.
The new Speedmachine models should shore up Nordica’s position in the critical medium-last chunk of the market, and with all their fit malleability, performance-oriented skiers with wide feet should be able to fit into Speedmachines, as well. The skier who wants more convenience in a wide-body shell can opt for the new N-Move, a 102mm lasted boot with a walk mode. Note that we – and Nordica – don’t call their unlatchable cuff feature a “hike” mode, as this skier’s longest hike of the day is probably from the car to the ticket window.
Skiers familiar with Tecnica’s first line of Cochise boots will recognize the N-Move’s metal-to-metal latching mechanism on the spine and the way the Velcro strap serves as the top buckle. Used in tandem, the Ski/Walk feature and strap give the N-Move cuff a long range of motion for a more relaxed stride. Skiers who want to make walking in a ski boot feel almost natural can buy aftermarket, rockered and treaded soles useable with WTR bindings.
The arrival of N-Move has relegated the NXT family of basic, 4-buckle boots in a wide (102mm) last to entry-level status in 90, 60 and 50 flexes.
Anyone who races knows that Nordica doesn’t need to inflate its resume to establish its street cred. Great racers of a bygone generation hoarded secret stashes of the venerable Grand Prix, and if Nordica ever stops making their Dobermann line of undiluted race boots, they’re also likely to be black market booty the instant they’re officially retired. The GPX line fills an interesting market need: a really good boot for the thin-profile foot that, while imitating a classic race paradigm, subtly softens the vise-like grip of a true race boot.
Nordica is at their best when they don’t stray from their roots in traditional, overlap shell design. Purists will applaud how the new Dobermann GP 130 delivers the support and power of a true race boot in a flex more suitable for freeskiing on today’s rockered skis. Any skier who likes sensation in all his toes will appreciate that the rounder radius of the new GP’s toe box has room enough for five digits.