If there is such a thing as the holy grail of ski boot development, it is the perfect combination of comfort and sportiness. Like knights of the round table, ski boot developers go out year after year to find the formula for the ski boot that is as comfortable as a slipper and at the same time puts the power exactly where you want it - on the edge.
Year after year they set off, but they never quite get there. But sometimes they come pretty close. One candidate for the last step is definitely the Italian manufacturer Nordica, which has managed to reconcile tradition and innovation like no other for over eighty years.
Nordica took a huge step in the right direction some time ago with the two series Speedmachine (for medium width feet) and Sportmachine (for slightly wider feet). What is particularly convincing about these models is the precise coordination of the individual elements. This starts with the shell and continues with the inner boot.
By manufacturing the shell from three different hard plastics, Nordica succeeds in combining an easy entry for buckle boots with a comfortable fit that corresponds to the foot anatomy and a perfect power transfer from the foot to the edge. In addition, the innovative PU material mix ensures that the shell is particularly easy and effective to adjust.
Fit and comfort are further improved by the liner, which, thanks to the cork material embedded in the ankle area, not only ensures natural and precise adaptability, but also a particularly good connection between the liner and the shell and thus a particularly precise power transmission. The cold insulation is also unsurpassed thanks to the Primaloft fibres used.
And of course, these models are available for skiers of all skill levels: The sportiest are the men's models Nordica Sportmachine 120 and Nordica Speedmachine 120 as well as the women's model Nordica Speedmachine 105 W. They all feature very direct power transmission and also meet the demands of true speed fanatics.
The men's model Nordica Speedmachine 110 S and the women's model Nordica Speedmachine 95 S W are somewhat softer in flex, while the men's ski boot Nordica Sportmachine 100 and the women's models Nordica Speedmachine 85 W and Nordica Sportmachine 85 W are aimed primarily at beginners and slightly advanced skiers and riders.
At first glance, the latest throw from the developers at Nordica seems to hark back to something quite old: namely, the good old Heckeinsteiger. The Heckeinsteiger evokes nostalgic feelings in some people and time and again we are asked "if there is still such a thing". This is not really a wonder, because the good old tailgater had one huge advantage: its comfort. It sat comfortably on the foot, and above all it was comfortable to get in and out of.
But the good old rear entry boot also had a huge disadvantage and therefore almost completely disappeared from the market for years: It had pretty poor power transmission and ski control is simply miles better with buckle boots. If you then consider the huge advances in the adaptability of buckle boots that have been made since the era of rear entry skis, their disappearance is no longer really surprising.
But still - the need for ski boots that are as easy, intuitive and comfortable to put on and take off as trainers is clearly there. To combine this with excellent comfort and sporty performance, Nordica has come up with a few ideas.
The result: the new Nordica HF 110 GW models. "HF" stands for "HandsFree" and that says it all. The core of the concept is the sophisticated monolock closure system. This lock, which is integrated in the rear shell area, is simply pressed down with either the ski pole or the other foot - that's all. No more contortions, no more struggling with the buckles, just slip in, press shut, done. At the end of the ski day, the ski boots can be opened again just as quickly and easily. You don't even have to bend down to do it, because with the help of the ski pole you can even do it standing up.
To ensure that this massive gain in comfort does not come at the expense of the skiing characteristics, Nordica has developed a modern, anatomically shaped shell with the well-known high-quality Cork inner boot on the basis of the well-proven, sporty and performance-oriented Machine ski boot collection. The cuff and shell of the HF models are designed so that the connections are perfectly positioned and coordinated. The smart material combinations offer unsurpassed lateral support and perfect control. This allows the ski to be controlled ideally.
All of this makes the Nordica HF 110 GW not only the perfect choice for tail beginner nostalgics and skiers of a higher age who want to make skiing as easy and comfortable as possible, but also for comfort-oriented recreational skiers of all ages. Of course, they can't compete with a hardcore race boot in terms of sportiness, but the blend of comfort and power transfer is pretty close to the perfection they're all looking for.