Intermediate to Expert
On Some Models
130, 120, 110, 105, 100, 95, 85
Last Width (mm)
25.5-30.5 M, 23.5-27.5 W
I’ve always been intimidated by race boots. They are usually super low-volume, very stiff, and designed to be uncomfortable in the name of pure performance. So when it came to testing the Head Raptor World Cup boots, I always found an excuse to avoid testing them, unloading the cramped plastic punishment on someone else.
But this season, Head released a boot that fits the gap between their Raptor race boots and the more comfort-oriented EDGE LYT boots. Called the Formula—there is also a lower-volume version called the Formula RS—these boots take the renowned performance of the Raptor line, and mate it with some of the Nexo’s consumer-friendly fit features. The result is an absolutely amazing high performance all-mountain resort ski boot.
The performance factors of this boot come directly from Head’s race expertise. The shell is made from a new type of PU material that provides a progressive flex, smooth rebound, and less vibration. Although it’s a tad heavy, the new shell is designed to be exceptionally stable in all resort conditions.
In terms of comfort, the Head Formula ski boots have an extended toe box, a new cuff alignment control, and the brand’s signature LiquidFit liner. All of these factors make customization a breeze, and, even though the boot is designed to fit the majority of feet in the American and European markets right out of the box, drastically improve the skiing experience.
How well do these comfort features actually improve performance? I spent a few days in this boot at Eldora Mountain Resort without any fitting done. The shell in particular skied well, actively damping vibrations and chatter in moguls and skied-out areas. The extended toe box was also appreciated, however, the boot didn’t really strike me as a game changer.
After getting the simple LiquidFit process performed, however, the boot not only fit better, but became noticeably more reactive while skiing. The better fitting liner worked in conjunction with the extended toe box as well, reducing foot strain while turning at high speeds and making it easier to maintain a balanced stance.
After the customization process, I spent the rest of the season in the Head Formula 130 boots, which continued to get better as they became more broken-in.
During late season testing at Loveland Mountain Resort, surprise spring storms would lead to six inches of fresh which would transform into classic Colorado chop before melting into mank. When I tested boots in these conditions during prior seasons, I would usually have to take a break in the early afternoon to pop off my boots and give my feet a break. This year, however, I stayed strong all day long, outlasting my friends and other testers every day.
The only thing that would improve these boots would be the addition of a Booster strap or something a bit more performance oriented than the Velcro top strap. I find that Velcro never performs as well as a solid-strap, plus it’s easier to adjust. Otherwise, after a proper fitting, the Head Formula ski boot might be one of the best new ski boot debuts over the past decade.
Shop for the Head Formula: evo