Nordica Boots 2001-02
At a press intro in Vail, a journalist stepped right into one of Nordica's new Free boots without setting down the cocktail in his right hand or the pizza slice in his left. "Our goal was to build the easiest-to-use, easiest-to-enter, easiest-to-adjust boots on the market," says Nordica Alpine product manager Chris O'Donoghue.
The other message Nordica is pushing in 2001-2002 is shock control. Spurred by team-rider suggestions, Nordica has added an under-heel, impact-absorbing Shock Eraser wedge, along with a stretchy Energy Driver power strap developed by Booster, to the top boots in its Wave freeride line.
The new comfort-driven Free collection fills out what O'Donoghue calls "probably a deeper, broader line than what anyone else is currently building." Nordica's line stretches from the World Cup-ready Dobermann ("It hasn't sold aggressively, but that was never its intention," says O'Donoghue) to the old-standby junior Super N-01 ("probably the best-selling boot in North America"). Outlast temperature regulation appears throughout the line. For retailers who don't know where to start, O'Donoghue offers this advice: "Go with Wave and Free, for sure. Then look at the Next line-it has comfort and performance features that sort of bridge the distance between those two."
Back in black, the Dobermann returns, still a bare-bones, stripped-down race machine, but available in two new flex options-the Dobermann Med, even stiffer than the original; and the Dobermann XS, sized down and comparable in flex to Nordica's higher-end K boots.
New: Dobermann Med, Dobermann XS.
Modified: Dobermann Soft.
Carve (K) Series
Nordica's top-of-the-line recreational racing/carving boots get their lightness and lateral rigidity from the company's year-old Exopower II bi-injection technology. Most of the models have gained new vibration-dampening wedges under the heels and new cant adjustments; two all-new midseries models join them.
New: K 8.2 w.
Modified: K 9.2, K 7.2, K5.2.
Wave (W) Series
The new air-happy, shock-absorbing technologies in Nordica's W freeride series, especially as applied to the all-new W 10.2, shouldn't distract the land-lubbing masses from the basic concept behind these boots: lateral rigidity and relatively forgiving forward flex. Every model has the new Energy Driver power strap, which O'Donoghue says "is really like a fifth buckle."
New: W 10.2, W 5.2 w.
Modified: W 9.2, W 7.2, W 5.2.
Next (N) Series
The Next line-with Exopower II, flex adjustments, and ski/walk mode-returns, updated with new buckles and graphics and various liner changes throughout the series.
Modified:N 9.2, N 9.2 w, N 7.2, N 7.2 w, N 5.2, N 5.2 w.
Free (F) Series
"The new Free boots were really spurred by talk of 'soft' boots coming up in the market," says O'Donoghue. "We believe the best way to get response from a boot is to maintain the hard shell, but the Exopower frame leaves room for softer plastic above the foot and in the instep area." Hence the Slide-In system, which allows these entry-level boots to be slipped on hands free. The high-end Free boots have Outlast, and the women's models have a new insulation called Warm-a-Fit.
New: F 9.2, F 9.2 w, F 7.2, F 7.2 w, F 6.2, F 6.2 w.