Nordica Speedmachine 105 - Women's Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
In our humble opinion, the Nordica Speedmachine 105 is one of those models that makes you a better skier. It's forgiving when it needs to be and tough when it really matters. We skied this boot exhaustively over miles of terrain and concluded that it loves to be finessed. If you want to look good while skiing the entire mountain, this might be the boot for you.
The bottom line? This boot does everything it's supposed to. The Speedmachine 105 is advertised as an intermediate boot, and we nod our heads in agreement with the manufacturer's evaluation. Oddly, it skis identically to the Lange RX 110, which, based on numbers alone, we expected to be stiffer than the Speedmachine 105. The flex is perfect for medium speed cruisers and less aggressive off-piste skiing. It is smooth and progressive, and the energy translates well to the ski.
As mentioned earlier, our 150lb tester had to tone down how aggressively they pushed this model. It's meant to be finessed and responds better to a lighter less aggressive approach. This boot wants precision over brute force. This holds true when you take it off-piste and through the bumps, making for a welcome change from the boots you have to bully to perform. We conclude that this model would also suit the petite yet aggressive snow goddess who has mastered both finesse and technique on the slopes.
Comfort and Fit
Like many other companies, Nordica produces performance boots that are light, comfortable and easy to get into, even when they're cold. The Speedmachine 105 is easy to put on thanks to Nordica's use of Tri-force plastic. It's meant to be lightweight yet stiff where you need leverage and soft where you step into it.
Whatever they're doing in research and development is working in the field. The soft plush liners use Primaloft insulation and moldable cork in important areas of the boot like the heel pocket. Our testers with narrow feet found them to feel more like slippers. We concluded that, if you typically wear a low volume (LV) boot (around 98mm), this will feel a little big. The extra space can always be remedied by adding a beefier aftermarket footbed. Or consider the Lange RX 110 LV, which we found to fit slightly more snug through the forefoot while producing an almost identical feel and performance on the mountain.
There are so many thoughtful features added to modern ski boots. Unfortunately, many of them are hidden inside the shell where we can't see them. So we'll unveil the mythical secrets to the exceptional comfort offered in the Speedmachine 105.
Many companies are moving to natural materials like lambswool (Technica Mach1), and Merino wool (Rossignol Pure Pro Heat), but Nordica uses Primaloft. This is a synthetic down-like material manufactured from recycled goods. It's warm, lightweight, breathable and water resistant. The Speedmachine 105 liner is is a combination of Primaloft insulation and 3D cork and is external heat customizable. (Go to your local ski shop and have them bake it in the oven for you). The cork is strategically placed in often hard to fit places around the ankle and Achilles tendon. It softens and molds to your foot using your body heat and pressure from any boney spots.
Like many of our other models, Nordica uses a sturdy plastic shell that is meant to be heated by a boot fitter and heat-customized to relieve pressure from sensitive areas and bunions. The cuff includes a calf adjustment and a canting adjustment if you need.
Even with all these solid design features, we do have a little criticism. You know the expression the grass is always greener right? We looked at the power strap on Nordica's 98 last and were shocked at how robust it was compared to the Speedmachine 105. Hey Nordica, intermediate skiers want exceptional shin to tongue contact too!
P.S. If you don't like the black and pink color story it also comes in a race-inspired black and red.
The Speedmachine 105 is no slouch, the thick, durable plastic, and replaceable toe and heel pieces mean you'll likely replace the boot because you want to. You probably won't wear it out anytime soon.
That said, the power strap is a two-piece afar and is plastic where it bolts onto the boot. More pieces mean more chance of failure and in our opinion, a two-piece strap is entirely unnecessary. Not to mention the plastic parts feel and look cheap.
Strangely this boot seemed a little warmer than average. Perhaps it's the Primaloft insulation, the extra room in the toe box or maybe even the waterproof weather shield on the top seam of the boot. Either way, our feet stayed comfortable in below-freezing temperatures.
After exhaustive testing, and by testing we mean tearing around the mountain, we agreed that the Speedmachine 105 is for the woman who finesses her turn. The woman who breathes between turns, and would rather caress the snow than hammer through it. If you're inclined to look to the mountain and ask it, "what line should I ski?", this may be the model for you. This boot prefers short to medium turns and does not like to be bullied. It wants to ski with you not against you.
Chock full of premium features and performance the Speedmachine 105 wins our Best Buy award. It's among the least expensive boots tested and is a top performer. To our surprise, we felt it performed like a twin sister to the Lange RX 110, which is a bit more expensive, with one notable difference. The Speedmachine 105 has a slightly higher cuff than Lange. If you're a smaller frame, you may prefer the lower cuff of the RX 110
If you savor your turns, ski with precision, and prefer finesse over speed while you shoosh effortlessly down the slopes with style and grace, find your zen in the mountains with these boots. Even in spite of its agro namesake and energy, this is what the Speedmachine 105 is all about. It prefers a moderate pace. A little precision goes a long way, and this model will do anything you ask it to. It's not for the hard charger. It's for the woman who would rather make someone lean in by whispering than be heard shouting.
The SpeedMachine comes in many flex ratings for beginner to expert. We tested the 105's but they come in 75, 85, 95, and 115 flexes as well.
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