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Nordica Speedmachine 3 130 S Review

Oustanding comfort supplied by a cork and EVA foam liner in a high-performing polyurethane shell makes this one of the most comfortable boots we've tested
Nordica Speedmachine 3 130 S
Photo: Nordica
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $750 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, cork liner, Grip Walk outsoles
Cons:  Expensive, velcro power strap
Manufacturer:   Nordica
By Ryan Baker ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 25, 2021
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82
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 9
  • Comfort - 30% 9
  • Performance - 30% 8
  • Materials & Durability - 20% 8
  • Warmth - 10% 8
  • Features - 10% 7

Our Verdict

We wound up sliding into the extremely comfortable Nordica Speedmachine more often than any other boot we tested this season because of its supreme relief and support. The firm cork and EVA liner transmits power and control to the snug polyurethane shell making for the most comfortable boot we tested that also rips. Winning our Top Pick Award for most comfortable boot, this durable work boot will bring a smile to those who work in ski boots all day or anyone tired of cramps, pinches, and bruises from uncomfortable boots.

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Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price Check Price at REI
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$749.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at REI
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Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
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70
Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable, cork liner, Grip Walk outsolesEasy to customize, stiff consistent flex, quick-release cam power strap, very warmComfortable walk mode, stiff consistent flex, sturdy constructionComfortable, easy instep, variable last ideal for larger feetComfortable, consistent flex, Grip Walk outsoles, reasonable price
Cons Expensive, velcro power strapExpensive, requires a strong, aggressive skierSmall switch on locking mechanism, heavy, expensiveSoft flex, low performanceLower performing, not much for extra features
Bottom Line Oustanding comfort supplied by a cork and EVA foam liner in a high-performing polyurethane shell makes this one of the most comfortable boots we've testedWhen you want a boot that can drive any ski in any condition, look no furtherA comfortable medium-fit boot made from strong materials that can master the front and backcountry with smile-inducing controlThis comfortable boot is easy to get on and off with plenty of room and variability for most foot shapesThese boots offer consistent and progressive flex for the advancing skier looking to step into a top-notch alpine boot at a fair price
Rating Categories Nordica Speedmachin... Tecnica Mach1 MV 130 Tecnica Cochise 130... Dalbello Panterra 1... Atomic Hawx Prime 1...
Comfort (30%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Performance (30%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
Materials & Durability (20%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Warmth (10%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Features (10%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Specs Nordica Speedmachin... Tecnica Mach1 MV 130 Tecnica Cochise 130... Dalbello Panterra 1... Atomic Hawx Prime 1...
Available Widths Promachine (98mm)
Speedmachine (100mm)
Sportmachine (102mm)
LV (98mm)
MV (100mm)
HV (103mm)
99mm only 100-102mm (variable) Hawx Ultra (98mm)
Hawx Prime (100mm)
Hawx Magna (102mm)
Available Flexes 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130 110, 120, 130 110, 120, 130 90, 100, 120, 130 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130
What We Tested Speedmachine (100 mm)
130 Flex
MV (100mm)
130 Flex
99mm
130 Flex
100-102mm (variable)
130 Flex
Hawx Prime (100mm)
130 Flex
Walk Mode? No No Yes Yes No
Number of Buckles 4 4 4 4 4
Buckles Microadjustable? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weight (per boot, size 27.5) 4 lb 2 oz 4 lb 3 oz 4 lb 2 oz 3 lb 12 oz 4 lb
Boot Sole Length (size 27.5) 315 mm 315 mm 315 mm 318 mm 315 mm
Liner Thermo-Moldable? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Binding Compatibility Gripwalk/Alpine Gripwalk/Alpine DYN/Gripwalk Gripwalk/Alpine Gripwalk/Alpine
Shell Material PU PU PU/PP DB Hyperlite PU

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Nordica Speedmachine 130 is a solid alpine boot with easy entry, unbeatable comfort, and great performance. The soft plastic at the instep of this boot lets your foot slide into the cork and Primaloft liner for all-day comfort. Our testers agreed this is a solid work boot or all-day resort boot earning it one of our Top Pick Awards for its comfort. From early morning lift lines in freezing sub-zero temps to the heat of spring afternoons, we found ourselves choosing this boot over others for its stiff support yet supple comfort. We recommend this boot wholeheartedly to anyone who values comfort or spends all day in ski boots.

Performance Comparison


There are so many boots on the market but few offer all-day comfort...
There are so many boots on the market but few offer all-day comfort and support in all weather conditions. We put the Speedmachine to the test and never felt desperate to take them off.
Photo: Scott Rokis

Comfort


Our testers swooned over the cork heel in the liner of the Speedmachine. This durable, firm material wicks moisture to stay dry and is remarkably breathable while having excellent heat retention. Our testers preferred the firm material for comfort and power transfer (more on that in a bit). The Speedmachine is a true medium fit that will fit most feet right out of the box. Nordica does offer the Promachine for narrower feet and the Sportmachine for wide feet. We found the Speedmachine to have a comfortably snug heel and a roomy toe box for our medium feet.


The power strap is easily adjustable up and down for a perfect fit by loosening the two screws on the spine. The honeycomb 3Force design in the spine allows for softer polyurethane (PU) material in the rest of the cuff. This makes for a soft, comfortable fit around the calf and ankle with tightened buckles without sacrificing performance. Nordica utilizes its Infrared technology to shape the shell. The technique is to heat and then use suction to mold the problem areas rather than punch the PU. We didn’t need to do this since they fit so wonderfully out of the box.

It has a fully removable and adjustable tongue with a heat-moldable...
It has a fully removable and adjustable tongue with a heat-moldable shell and liner.
Photo: Ryan Baker

Performance


The internal honeycomb structure called 3Force increases lateral stability and control in turns. The Speedmachine’s underlying structure is then encased in softer polyurethane. We felt in complete control through every turn, no heel rise, no foot rattling, and just consistent progressive flex. This boot was not as aggressive as other boots tested but completely capable of handling any ski in all snow types.


The Speedmachine is a daily driver boot. Solid and uncompromising, but it lacks some of our favorite features of higher-performing models. Specifically, the power strap isn’t as snug as we would have liked, diminishing the power to really push the boot in turns. The Power Driver velcro strap just doesn’t hold as tight as the sturdy cam buckle style straps do. For those who aren’t quite ready for full rigidity, this boot does have a flex attenuator if you want to decrease the flex. Say you are moving from a softer flex boot, and the 130 is a little too stiff, or it could be condition-dependent. This is a nice feature for those between flex sizes. Nordica’s 130 flex is pretty close to a true 130; our testers agreed about a 125 relative to the stiffest boots we tested from other brands. With that said, the flex is beautifully consistent throughout the turn and the entire cuff.

We found the Speedmachine lived up to its name ripping down the...
We found the Speedmachine lived up to its name ripping down the slopes, Comfortmachine would have been a good name too.
Photo: Ryan Baker

Durability & Materials


We love the construction of the Speedmachine. Polyurethane is a strong, durable plastic, and the honeycombed 3Force spine gives great power transfer in edge-to-edge transitions. The boot feels connected to your whole leg. The 3Force EVA foam reinforcement lateral to the malleolus in the liner further holds your heel snug in place. The high-quality materials wrap around your foot and hold it in place, making for great control.


We can’t say it enough. We love cork liners. We wish every manufacturer would implement this into their boot design. Cork is wonderfully firm but comfortable. It is responsive and molds to your heel. Cork stays warm and breathes to let moisture be pulled from your foot. Our feet stayed dry on warm days after hours of skiing, also thanks to the Isotherm and Primaloft in the liner. Also, the buckles are solid and heavy-duty with micro-adjust capability.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Warmth


Our testers had no issues staying warm through early morning lift lines on single-digit mornings wearing the Speedmachine. As we said above, the cork does an excellent job at insulating. The true medium fit allows for good circulation and foot swelling. The synthetic Primaloft in the liner also does an excellent job of insulation and moisture-wicking.


The Isotherm in the forefoot of the liner and cork in the heel both do a great job on hot days in full spring sun to cool the feet and allow for evaporation. Our feet didn’t get too hot despite the black shell being suited to collect radiative heat from the spring sun.

The cork heel provides ultimate comfort. The EVA foam behind it adds...
The cork heel provides ultimate comfort. The EVA foam behind it adds support and forms a snug heel box.
Photo: Ryan Baker

Features


Ok, if we haven’t said it enough, our favorite feature of the Speedmachine is the cork liner. This feature highlights how different metrics can overlap, but we can’t stress enough how much this simple addition influenced the performance, comfort, and warmth of this boot. Grip Walk outsoles are another favorite we were happy to see on this model.


It’s not a huge complaint, but as we’ve said, we would have preferred something a bit more snug than the velcro power strap. Overall this boot is a standard alpine boot with few frills. The heat-moldable polyurethane shell and EVA foam liner are the premier materials for a boot of this caliber. The greatest feature of this boot is its unbeatable comfort provided by those materials, but it doesn’t sport much in the way of flashy extras.

The flex adjuster allows skiers who are hoping to step into a...
The flex adjuster allows skiers who are hoping to step into a stiffer flex to work their way into it safely.
Photo: Ryan Baker

Value


Can you really put a price on comfort? Nordica has, and the Speedmachine is worth every penny. This boot continually became the first one we grabbed on test days, especially in the cold early morning to start the day off right before moving to other models as the day warmed up. It also was our favorite boot to end the day with, giving our feet a rest after wearing multiple pairs for hours on end. Our testers agreed that this boot is a bargain for anyone intending to treat their feet with love.

Conclusion


The Speedmachine sets the benchmark for comfort and, in so doing, snags a Top Pick Award. Being a true medium fit and a solid boot for the price, our testers agreed this boot is perfect for instructors and ski patrollers who spend all day in boots. It’s also great for all skiers that want top-tier comfort with rock-solid performance. The high-quality materials and innovative design promoted this to one of our favorite boots on the market.

Ryan Baker

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