Our testers agree that these boots are aptly named "Hell and Back" because they are hellishly uncomfortable! We think Nordica's attempt at a high-performance women's boot fell short, and the Hell and Back H1s seem more suited to a man's anatomy. These boots did not appropriately fit any of our female testers. They were roomy in the heel and ankle area and created shin bang and pressure points on our legs. Multiple women noted that they had a hard time controlling the boots because their feet were moving around so much inside the boots.
Nordica Hell and Back H1 - Women's Review
Cons: Uncomfortable, heel lift, low performance
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Hell and Back H1s fit more like a man's boot, with extra room in the heel and a tall cuff height. Our testers found this boot stiff and uncomfortable.
Comfort and Fit
Downhill Ski Performance
The Hell and Back H1s are designed to be a high performance, stiff boot with 105 flex. We agree that they are stiff, but we could not drive these boots very well because the sloppy fit allows the feet to move around too much inside the boot.
Nordica advertises these boots as being a "boot fitter's best friend". These boots have several customizable parts that can be tweaked to suit your foot and skiing style. This could help with some of the fit issues, but compared to the out-of -the-box fit of the rest of our boots in our test, we are still unimpressed. The Hell and Backs have a very generic boring look, but they do come with hand stitched, customizable, heat-moldable liners and micro adjustable buckles.
The Nordica Hell and Back H1s seem very durable. We did not notice any broken parts and their hard rubber soles seem burly.
Because of their roominess and thick hand-stitched liners, the Hell and Backs are very toasty warm.
For the retail price of $599 we think you would be better off buying our Editors' Choice Award winner the Salomon X-Pro 90 - Women's for a boot that does it all and is just as customizable as the Hell and Back. Notably, these boots are the same price as the men's version of the Hell and Back, while all other women's versions are less expensive than the corresponding men's version.
The Nordica Hell and Backs are an aggressive boot with a tall cuff height and lots of room in the heel and ankle area. They are adjustable for boot fitters to work with, though we think that a boot fitter would have their work cut out for them to make these fit an average woman's foot well. These could be good for someone with slim calves and large heels — kind of like a man. It makes us wonder if Nordica put much thought into making this a women's specific boot. It has no feminine details and the shape and performance seems better suited for men.
Other Versions and Accessories
The women's Hell and Back's are available in three versions, the H1 (105 flex), H2 (100 flex) and H3 (95 flex).
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 18, 2014
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