Featured Individual Review Long-Term Review: Fischer Podium GT 130

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by Drahtguy Kevin, May 8, 2019.

  1. Drahtguy Kevin

    Drahtguy Kevin Après aficionado Pugski Ski Tester

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    I switched ski boots in the middle of the season this year. For the past 250+ days, I have been in the Head Raptor 140 RS with Zipfit liners. @Philpug arranged for Fischer to send me a boot for a long-term review, and the Podium GT 130 arrived at my house in mid-February.

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    Immediately upon unboxing, I noticed a huge weight difference compared to my Raptors. The GT is much lighter. I don’t pay much attention to how much my gear weighs unless I’m touring, but this was that much of a difference. I was curious to see if I would notice a difference skiing.

    I called A Racer’s Edge in Breckenridge and made an appointment with Chuck Ginsburg, the shop owner, for a bootfit and new insoles. Previous experience with A Racer’s Edge for boot work and ski tunes/repairs (@Doug Briggs is a magician with skis) eliminated any doubt that the bootfitting process would be done thoroughly.

    First, Chuck poked, prodded, squeezed, flexed my foot, and scribbled notes on his form. Next, he checked the shell fit of the GT. He called it “very aggressive” and scribbled more notes. Then he checked my alignment and yet more notes. Chuck was confident the vacuum process would correct the slight cuff alignment that was needed.

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    It was time for the shells to go into the 150° oven to warm the plastic for the vacuum molding process. While the shells warmed, I asked Chuck about using my Kulkea Thermal Trekker boot bag. He assured me I won’t have issues. This was great news because I’ve become a sissy and really enjoy warm boots in the morning.

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    Chuck gave me a toe cap to put on, and I laced up the stock liner. The GT’s liners are impressive. They are fairly thin, so packing out won’t be much of an issue, and the neoprene toe area stretches and hugs the foot comfortably. The heel and ankle area are secure with a nice pocket. A detachable tongue and spoiler add adjustment options as well. Chuck pointed out a feature of the tongue. It pulls apart to expose a foam layer that can be ground for relief over the instep. Chuck did this on my liners after my first few days in the boot.

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    Now to the vacuum machine. I’ve never had vacuum boots before and was interested to try the process. Chuck told me in great detail what I was going to feel and experience. He told me I may feel some discomfort and not to worry about it as it was part of getting a proper mold. Chuck put my foot in the warm shell and I toddled over to the machine where he slipped my boots in the vacuum bags, hooked up the tubes, and got me situated for the mold process. Chuck adjusted the pressure settings and off we went. I did as instructed for a few minutes. I could feel the pressure and did have some very mild discomfort but it wasn’t an issue.

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    In short order, my new boots were ready to ski -- so off to meet the Colorado Crew I went.

    Initial impressions of the Podium GT 130 were positive: excellent snow feel, outstanding power transmission underfoot, and a smooth, even flex. The clog of the boot flexed more than I was used to in my Raptors, but I soon didn’t notice. As expected, the GT 130 is softer than my old Raptor 140 RS. Fischer will offer this boot in a 140 once they are in shops.

    I went back to A Racer’s Edge after a few days in the GT. I needed a tad more room in the sixth toe area and relief over my instep. Chuck did some grinding and sent me on my way. The GT has been pure bliss ever since. Getting into and out of the GT is easy -- a new experience for me and one that is much appreciated.

    The more I ski the GT, the more I like it. I can feel the ski and the snow so well in these boots. Lateral movements happen immediately upon thought, and the flex is spot on. I didn’t expect so much power out of this 130-flex boot.

    On a trip to Taos I got a surprise. I arrived before the rest of the crew and met up with some locals. We made a couple of laps and then decided to hike. The weight difference I mentioned earlier was evident and made hoofing it much less tiring. I’ve noticed the weight skiing these boots in trees, bumps, and off piste. I’m able to ski with less effort because the boots are so reactive. I’m beginning to change my mind about the weight thing for alpine equipment.

    I have about 25 days in these boots in all conditions and don’t have any complaints on performance. I did put my Zipfits in recently. I have no issues with the stock liner and would continue to ski them happily if I didn’t have Zipfits. The Zipfit liner is a security blanket for me after having skied in them for so many years.

    I haven’t experienced any water seeping into the boot, which is always a concern after having Langes a few years ago. My only quibble with the boot is the strap on top of the cuff. The buckle seems to slip a tad and I need to retighten it every so often. I plan to put a World Cup Booster Strap on.

    All in all, Fischer has a winner in the Podium GT 130 with tremendous snow feel, power transmission, and comfort. The vacuum process is the real deal and eliminated most fit issues. I look forward to a few hundred days in these boots and will update this thread as time goes on.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
    Mendieta, Noodler, bbinder and 6 others like this.
  2. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Nice review! The images aren't showing.
    I agree on the Head Boots weight. I really only notice lugging through airports, onto trains, and to places. But the B3's are heavy.

    Which zipfit do you have that fits in there?
     
  3. Thread Starter
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    Drahtguy Kevin

    Drahtguy Kevin Après aficionado Pugski Ski Tester

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    I have the Gara in the GT.

    Also, I think I fixed the pics.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  4. gilgamesh0

    gilgamesh0 Booting up Skier

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    The caption for those last four pics should be, "Ve have vays of making you talk.."
     
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  5. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    @Drahtguy Kevin , are they still doing the abducted stance thing? That's what killed the Vacuums for me. I know it works for many.
     


  6. Philpug

    Philpug Notorious P.U.G. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I see nothing about abducted stance in the catalog anywhere, I will shoot a message to Fischer to confirm but I believe they abandoned it.
     
  7. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Aren't most boots abducted a little? Some call it rail angle. I think the thing was Fischer took it to like 7 degrees with Soma tech instead of 1 1/2 or something.

    This is pretty old I think, and doesn't have specific numbers of degrees in it, but useful.

    http://modernskiracing.com/AbductionJunction.php
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  8. Alexzn

    Alexzn Ski Squaw Skier

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    Any signs of plastic cracking? This is what killed the earlier generation of Vacuum boots. They always skied like a dream, still the best filling boot I've ever had. Mine started cracking over instep.
     
  9. Thread Starter
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    Drahtguy Kevin

    Drahtguy Kevin Après aficionado Pugski Ski Tester

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    I don’t see any signs of cracking on mine after ~25 days.
     
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  10. bbinder

    bbinder Out on the slopes Skier

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    Nice review Kevin!
     
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  11. Alexzn

    Alexzn Ski Squaw Skier

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    Great. Mine started developing in the end of the season after maybe 35 plus days. However that was with the old first generation vacuum boots and my fit was fairly aggressive to begin with. I did hear a lot of complaints about cracking, so I don't think it was a fully isolated issue. But I'm sure Fischer has been improving the plastic. Promising.
     
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  12. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Just don't leave the boot in the trunk in May sun. I've seen what happens.

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  13. Noodler

    Noodler My win/win/win for 2020: Ikon/LL/A-Basin Skier

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    @Drahtguy Kevin - we discussed this issue briefly, but would you mind posting some direct "compare and contrast" info between the Raptor and the new Podium GT? I'm interested in how the fit may differ and the stance alignment (mostly fore/aft). Which boot do you most prefer at this point?
     
  14. Thread Starter
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    Drahtguy Kevin

    Drahtguy Kevin Après aficionado Pugski Ski Tester

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    As far as fit goes, the GT is much more precise in my lower leg/calf area and across the top of my foot to the toe box. I gotta believe it is a result of the vacuum process. The fore/aft stance of the boots feel similar. I don’t use spoilers, so both are fairly upright.

    The GT is a better boot for me and how/what I ski. The smooth, even flex of the GT is a blessing in broken up variable snow, moguls, trees and powder. I don’t get pushed around as much as did in my Raptors.
     
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  15. Noodler

    Noodler My win/win/win for 2020: Ikon/LL/A-Basin Skier

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    Thanks. Definitely on my radar for next season. I've always been intrigued by the vacuum fit process. Sounds like at this point they have all the kinks worked out of the process and the materials. One last question, is the plastic highly impacted by the outdoor temp or is it fairly consistent in flex?
     
  16. Thread Starter
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    Drahtguy Kevin

    Drahtguy Kevin Après aficionado Pugski Ski Tester

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    So far I’ve been out in mostly winter temps with a couple of warmer days mixed in. I haven’t noticed much of a change. I'm at ABasin today, so I should get a better feel this afternoon. First three runs today were exquisite. Riding the FIS SLs today...
     
  17. Thread Starter
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    Drahtguy Kevin

    Drahtguy Kevin Après aficionado Pugski Ski Tester

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    Skied the GT130 today in true spring conditions — temps had to make 50+ F. The boots skied extremely well with virtually no noticeable softening.

    I mentioned the outstanding snow feel in my review, and today blew me away with what I could feel underfoot. The even flex and power transmission were also greatly appreciated in the variable snow conditions.
     
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  18. Erik Timmerman

    Erik Timmerman Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    For those that asked, this boot is not abducted, that has been gone (by "gone" I mean no longer abducted significantly more than other brands of boot) for the most part for like two generations of boot.
     
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  19. Speeder

    Speeder Booting up Skier

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    Nice review. I had a pair of Fischer Full Fit 130's which I loved until the clogs cracked around the saddle. The boots had at most 100 days on them and the Fischer rep said tough luck because they were 2 seasons old. Please keep an eye on them and let us know if they break anywhere. I've since switched to Salomon S/Max 130's.
     
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  20. nesneros

    nesneros Needs another base grind Skier

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    Interesting, I picked up this same boot and it has SOMAtec and mentions abduction in the marketing booklet. I heard it had been toned down from years past though, probably the same as others as you say. Just interesting that it is still marketed as such.

    Also, I was thinking these boots were a tad heavy coming from Nordica speedmachines. Mine weigh in at 2.2kg per boot. Can’t wait to try them!
     

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