New Speedmachine vs. Discontinued Belle Pro
The new Speedmachine line is offered in five different flexes from 115. We haven't gotten our feet into them just yet, but you can check out the differences for yourself here: the new Speedmachine 105 on the left and the original Belle Pro we tested on the right.
A stiff, aggressive boot for ladies who charge. The fit may be best for tall ladies.
The Nordica Belle Pro is a highly customizable boot for an aggressive lady skier.
Comfort and Fit
In our experience, Nordica doesn't seem to distinguish between men's fit and women's fit enough. The Belle Pros feel tall, stiff, and narrow around the calf with more room in the heel, much the fit of a man's boot. We had to keep the power strap loose when skiing to prevent shin-bang. We experienced a bit of heel lift, but didn't notice it when it counted and were still able to turn with ease. The Belle's liners are comfortable and heat moldable, and we suspect that the heel lift problem could be solved by molding them. With some love and attention from a boot fitter, these could be a great boot for a taller woman who has slim legs and high calves.
Downhill Ski Performance
These boots feel very stiff and upright. We suspect that they are stiffer than the advertised 105 flex, at least relative to the other boots we tested. The Lange RX 110 - Women's have an advertised flex of 110, but feel much softer than the Belles. Because of the tall, tight cuff and upright stance, we have a hard time really flexing into this boot and experience shin bang on any bumps. When it really counts, the Belle Pros do their job. When skiing the steeps, these boots turn on a dime and are very responsive.
The Belle Pro have a stiffer than advertised feel, and we experienced some shin bang in them.
The Belle Pro is a very customizable boot and boasts that it is boot fitter friendly. They have many adjustable parts to dial in the perfect fit. We really like the idea of the cork liner - it is cushiony yet dense and we suspect that this feature has something to do with the boot's responsiveness. Nordica has also designed their new series of boots to have extra waterproofing with an overlapping shell to keep more water out. We don't think this is especially important unless you are in a very rainy or wet climate. These boots are the heaviest in this review, adding an extra half a pound to each foot, which may make the walk from the parking lot extra strenuous, considering they don't have a walk mode either.
We like the cork liner in the Belle and suspect that it has something to do with the responsiveness of the boot.
We didn't find any durability issues with these boots. As with the other boots in this review that have white shell materials, such as the Salomon X Pro 90 - Women's, they will show scuffs easily and their white liner materials will show dirt sooner, but these are superficial issues.
The Belle Pros have warm Primaloft insulation in the liners and our feet stayed warm in these boots. As with any other boot, the fit is an extremely important contributing factor to warmth, and the medium last of this boot was roomy for our forefoot and did not cut off circulation.
The Nordica Belle Pro is a great alpine boot for advanced to expert skiers who are looking for something stiff. We think it would be especially good for a woman who has high calves and slender legs, and may usually reach for a men's boot because of this, but still wants the features of a woman's boot.
The Belles are on the expensive side of the boots we tested, although they are only $50 more than the Full Tilt Soul Sister, but outperform them by leagues. For a better value and a more comfortable boot, we prefer the Dalbello Kyra 95 ID.
We were pleasantly surprised at the comfort and performance of the Nordica Belle Pro, especially when compared to last year's counterpart, the Hell and Back H1. The Belle is a stiff boot with an upright stance that will take an expert skier to drive them, but are responsive and fully customizable by a boot fitter. Tall ladies, feast your eyes.
The Nordica Belle Pro and the Nordica Wild Belle skis, a great combination for skiing the steeps, on and off-piste.