LF stands for Live Fit, one of this year’s more interesting innovations. Soft, flexible panels on the walls of the shell expand as needed for comfortable fit for the widest of feet without undue compromise in performance integrity. The upright stance reduces leg fatigue, and the two-buckle design is the ultimate in ease, providing just enough wrap for relaxed skiing.
The women’s version of the Impact series (see Men’s Freeride) is a study in minimalist design, using only essential material to provide all the foot envelopment and power transmission a relaxed expert could want. It has an uncanny ability to fit a variety of foot shapes, including wider ones that can take advantage of Salomon’s expandable Custom Shell technology.
The Poison will please experts looking for a snugger, more responsive fit than the Idol 8 (below). It’s the women’s version of the Ghost (see Men’s Freeride), with a roomier, lower cuff and a heel wedge. The two-buckle construction is more youthful in styling than the Idol, and more upright in stance. It feels at home in the park, but explores the whole mountain eagerly.
Our women liked the Vita slightly more than the pricier Electra Sensor3 90 (see previous). Must be a comfort thing. The Vita is roomier than the Electra, but it’s equally well balanced, the liner is every bit as well designed, constructed and married to its shell, and the more relaxed flex is still enough to power a ski. As one tester put it: “a bedroom slipper with some zest.”
With a notch more power than the Vita (next page) and a snugger fit, Rossi’s Electra series is the better choice for experts or athletic intermediates. Our lankiest tester wanted a taller cuff, but for most women it’s fine. As with all the new Rossis, the liner is plush but not sloppy, fitted perfectly to its shell, and the shell’s geometry sets the skier up for a balanced and responsive ride.
A slight softening of flex makes the Electra 80 a bit less powerful than the 90 (below), but it’s a better choice for intermediates or lighter experts. Otherwise, it’s a carbon copy of the 90. Both have rubbery Vibram soles that make parking lots and base lodge staircases easier to navigate, and both have quilted fleece-fur liners that ski accurately while keeping the cold out.