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Nordica Fire Arrow F1

Nordica Fire Arrow F1, Blister Gear ReviewBoot: 2012-2013 Nordica Fire Arrow F1

Size: 27.5 / 315mm Boot Sole Length

Stated Flex Rating: progressive up to 135

Last: 100mm

About My Feet: Bony, with excessive forefoot and heel pronation (corrected to a more neutral, stable position with custom footbed). Pretty normal, medium-height instep. B-width, but with pressure imparted on 6th toe area.

Reference Boots: Full Tilt Krypton, Salomon Falcon Pro CS

Test Locations: Las Leñas Ski Resort; Taos Ski Valley; Summit County, Colorado

Days Tested: 23

MSRP: $875

Last season, Nordica came out with the 3-buckle Fire Arrow series of boots, and we found two reasons to be interested in the stiffest boot in the line, the Fire Arrow F1.

First, Nordica’s marketing presents an interesting approach to the 3-piece genre:

“The Fire Arrow boot is a completely new design built to meet the needs of modern skiers who create greater lateral forces, increase inclination and ski at faster speeds. The Fire Arrow boots address these new demands with an entirely new shell design to enhance lateral precision, progressive forward flex creating easier ankle articulation and a 45 degree closure system for maximum heel retention.”

The Fire Arrow’s design involves a carbon fiber reinforced boot board (which they call EDT—Efficient Dynamic Technology) adopted from Nordica’s Doberman line. The boot board is screwed into the lower shell in order to increase torsional stiffness and maintain the best transfer of energy and feedback into the ski. The lower shell of the boot is also extended much farther up into an already more upright cuff than a traditional 4-buckle boot, in order to increase lateral response.

The F1’s design sounds very reasonable and is intriguing in itself, but with a purportedly stiff 135 flex rating, we also couldn’t ignore an apparent likeness to the decidedly big-mountain/freeride-focused Dalbello Krypton and Full Tilt Konflict (even though Nordica groups the Fire Arrow in its all-mountain line), which also claim a stiff, smooth progressive flex. The F1’s allegedly stiff flex and 100mm last had us wondering if the boot might bring the same performance and feel of the narrower 3-buckle Krypton and Konflict (built with 98mm and 99mm lasts, respectively) to skiers with wider feet.

I’ve owned Full Tilt Konflicts, and while I loved the smoother progressive flex and rebound over a traditional 4-buckle boot, the width wasn’t enough to comfortably accommodate a prominent 6th toe (without some serious punching), and the boot’s cuff design and placement of the topmost buckle caused some serious inflammation of the peroneous longus muscle on the outside of the lower leg (a problem I’ve known others to have with Full Tilts).

So I’ll try to address two primary questions: (1) does the F1 seem to deliver the special lateral response and great 3-buckle heel hold that Nordica claims, and (2) how does it compare to Full Tilt and KR2 3-buckle boots?

Will Brown, Nordica Fire Arrow F1, Blister Gear Review

Will Brown in the Nordica Fire Arrow F1, Las Leñas

Before getting into the boot’s performance, I’ll first say some things about the fit of the F1 and its stock liner.

 

3 Comments

  1. Billy Balz March 29, 2013 Reply

    What a precise review! I started the season on the Fire Arrow F1….very nice boot. But as I read more reviews I had to try the RX 130…hadn’t been on Langes since early 1990s when my shins/feet paid dearly every time out. The response of the RX 130 (vs the F1) is almost like the difference between my Fischer FIS SL skis versus my all mountain skis. Your review steered me to the RX 130s and I am ecstatic…..the pop is back as I release to the other side…amazing, reassuring and fun. Both awesome boots, but the Langes better suit my aggression. Thanks for your great work from guys like me who don’t have time to try everything before we buy.

  2. David Slayden July 14, 2015 Reply

    Really appreciate the thoroughness and honesty of this review, especially the attention to detail.

  3. Thomas October 27, 2016 Reply

    Great review, thanks!

    I am an intermediate-advanced skier (6′, 160 lbs ) and I couldn’t resist the to buy the F1’s because they were on sale in a local shop for the same price as a entry-intermediate boot. But I’m afraid that the flex might be a lot too high for me because of my weight, and I don’t ski very aggressively. Do you know how much the back screw influenced the flex while skiing (or is it just a gimmick?) and do you think these can be fine for an intermediate skier while on the soft-flex setting? (98% on-piste, but conditions can be tough)

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