Featured Individual Review Long-Term Review: Roxa R3 130 T.I. I.R.

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by Doug Briggs, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    The ROXA R3 is what I call a crossover boot; it has alpine boot performance with walk mode and GripWalk soles yet lightweight and pin-binding capable. It offers strong alpine descents and easy touring. This boot that delivers that.
    [​IMG]

    IMG_20190328_094425040.jpg

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    I have not demoed ski boots for review nor have I skied a cabrio boot other than too-big Raichle Flexons on retro days.

    20150401 epic mix photo..JPG

    In my noob-ness to cabrios, I had to fiddle a bit to get the liner lined up and the outer tongue all on the outside where it belongs. Putting the boots on with the right pieces overlapping properly has been an ongoing learning process. It isn’t a shortcoming of the boot, but of my lack of familiarity.

    My initial reaction when I had them on in the house was "They are stiff." I worked the walk mode hinge and the easy-to-operate walk mode power strap. I was dubious of the strap/buckle at first. Once I got the location on the strap dialed, it became easy to get the boot adjusted quickly.

    IMG_20190415_185134294.jpg IMG_20190415_185241191.jpg

    Opening the buckle and leaving the strap velcroed as you would to descend skiing loosens it enough for easy walking. The buckle has a sliding mechanism that gives the range and lets the buckle lie flat against the boot.

    IMG_20190415_185218502.jpg IMG_20190415_185223123.jpg

    I went touring in the boots while they were pretty new to me, 3rd or 4th day old. They were comfortable and, as they are similar in weight to my Hawx [get stats on weights], were not a burden. The range of motion is considerable less and different than the Hawx or even the Lange FreeTour XTs I had a couple years ago. The cabrio tongue doesn’t move nor bend much. The farthest back you can open your ankle is to about 90* which isn’t a touring killer but is really nice when you are going extended distances on flats such as roads. I skied on a pair of BD Carbon Megawatts in 5 in. of dense on low-angle, smooth, firm snow. It was fast and I felt pretty happy making GS turns on the hill. The pin fittings are Dynafit-certified and work great.

    Except for the tour, I have been skiing them with a ski that I started using with my Hawx. The Renoun Endurance 98 is a fine ski. These are shortish for me (178 cm) with some early rise tip and tail. Their dampness makes them ski longer. Their radius is just over 20 m but they can turn much smaller than that. I’m pretty fond of 9X-mm skis. If I wasn’t buying a new furnace next week, I’d make an offer on these. So, I’m on a pair of skis I like and trust.

    As I alluded to before, these boots are a strong alpine ski boots that tour nicely. After a bit of time skiing the boot with no modifications, I decided that my stance in the boot was off. I felt like I was too erect in the boot and as it is stiff, I always felt like I was getting pushed back. I was uncomfortable charging pitches I knew and liked.

    I needed a little more forward lean so I added some 3-4 mm shims at the boot top in the back between the already installed shim and the liner. This made a big difference for me. I was able to get forward enough so that I didn’t have to push into the tongue, but was flexing into with more effect due to my more forward COM.

    The newly adjusted R3s fit right into my routine. I was back to hitting everything with my usual enthusiasm. We’ve had powder, slush, hard winter snow, sastrugi and frostings of cream cheese blown in overnight. I have been skiing everything hard and enjoying the boots a lot. They deal with large edge angles on hard snow (no ice to test on, though), heavy and crusty conditions as well as quick tree skiing and SL-like turns very well. Lateral stiffness and control are excellent.

    I would like to soften them a little as they are far more like my RC4 Pro 130s than my Hawx 130s, and if I am to have a ‘tween boot, I’d like it a bit less stiff. That said, if I didn’t have my race boots, these would be just right as is.

    The fit of these boots is unlike what I’m used to. First, the cabrio tongue leaves your foot without direct, firm contact with the boot. My double overlaps provide all around contact while barely buckled. I like that feeling. As I’m not interested in cranking the lower buckle on the R3, I am living with a different feel. So far I haven’t noticed that it affects the skiing.

    The BioFit last is
    This marketing sound bite actually is true in my case. I typically have pressure on my right little toe. Sometimes on my left little toe. Not so with these boots. The areas are textured to illustrate where they are on the boot and they are pretty common punch zones.

    Heel hold has been very good. I’m not surprised with the middle buckle's position. I suspect this is a benefit of the cabrio design and typical buckle location. I don’t often have heel-lifting problems skiing, but I certainly haven’t had any with the R3s.

    This boot delivers. Strong alpine descents. Easy to tour. What more could you ask for in a touring boot?
     
  2. ted

    ted Putting on skis Skier

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    Are you skiing them in the stiff or soft mode?
    Interesting boot.
     
  3. Thread Starter
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    I'm skiing them in the soft mode. I haven't tried stiff. For free skiing they are plenty stiff enough.
     
  4. neonorchid

    neonorchid Out on the slopes Skier

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    Can you comment on those two fit areas compared to your Hawx 130 and also to the Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour and Scarpa Mastrale RS ll? Additionally, how does the instep volume compare to the Hawx ultra xtd 130?
     
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  5. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    I have the Hojis and had the XTD's and the Hojis have a pretty tight instep zone which is great for my lowish instep feet. The toes open up so good room there and the max last width is wider than the XTD's. The XTD's have a typical Hawx last which is lowish volume overall but with a medium instep and a toe box typical for a boot with that last width (98~99mm). The Hojis are stiffer no question and easier to get on and off.

    If you are only going to use pin bindings the HOJis are unreal. They walk amazingly well and you just flip the rear lever to engage walk mode and the cuff loosens, no need to loosen the strap or the buckle, which is awesome.

    Those Roxa's look like a cleaner version of the Mestrale Design. They look nice and slick.

    A LOT of people love the Mestrales and the new ones look even better.

    Someone else can elaborate on how they all compare.
     
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  6. Thread Starter
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    I had my Hawx heat molded (shell and liner) after a 7 - 10 days of skiing in them 'as is'. This was to address fit issues especially my right foot's hot spot: '6th' toe. The Hawx started off just fine, then as the liner adapted to my foot, I started to get fit issues. I'd have expected the other way around, but it is what it is.

    After molding the Hawx fits my foot like a glove. There are no hot spots, there are no loose spots, just contact everywhere, especially around my arch and ball of the foot. This is very similar to my Fischer RC4 Pro 130s. I don't like tight fitting around my forefoot as I like to feel the contact between boot, ski and foot, if you know what I mean. I don't buckle down my first two buckles when I race. I work the top two buckles to get the leg support and flex I want (softer on soft snow, etc.) I like to do the same with my recreational boots.

    The R3 has a loose feel (contact in some spots, no contact in others) around my foot which doesn't affect me other than it is a different feel than the Hawx. I feel that the instep has plenty of room; I haven't been challenged by it, for certain. If anything, I wish it was a little tighter all around. The problem I find is tightening the lower buckles to get a snugger fit doesn't work the same as a double overlap boot. I am still getting used to the cabrio 'fit'.

    Most boots that I put on off the shelf have hot spots around my little toes. My arch and instep aren't particularly high so those aren't usually trouble spots for me. Except for adding the shim behind the calf and custom footbeds, I haven't modified the boot. I started using the HotGear bag with it to help the liner conform. I will have a 'real' heat molding done soon to see if I can make the forefoot have more contact all around my forefoot. Apart from being a bit stiffer than I prefer for recreation (given I have race boots already) I like these boots. I'm happy to take them out (versus my Hawx) on any given day. I don't think I'll need any punches done, it is just minor volume redistribution that I want to achieve.

    I consider fit, other than gross volume or lack of volume issues incidental. Most purely fit issues can usually be dealt with by the right bootfitter. Getting right flex and stance can be adjusted but having a boot work the way you want it to from the start is pretty important to me. I'm still learning the idiosyncrasies of a cabrio boot. It has a completely different 'attitude' than a double overlap boot.

    This boot works well (with the shim) but is stiffer than I'd like in a recreational boot.

    I haven't tried the Hoji or Mastrale. I apologize that I've kind of danced around your direct questions. I'm trying to give you an impression of my experience as much as answer questions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    I'll add that for anyone that feels that boots that are tourable are too soft, they should look into the R3. It is NOT soft.
     
  8. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    BSL, compared to your alpine usual?
     
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    The BSL of the R3 is 300. My Hawx are 303. My RC4s are 307. All are 26/26.5 shell sizes.

    I have not done a shell fit of the R3. I'll do that soon and report back. The other two pairs were fit by the bootfitters at the shop. The R3s were provided sight unseen, untried on and because I was a '26.5'.
     
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    I just did a quick shell fit of all my boots.

    My RC4s, are about 1 finger. The Hawx are 1 and a half. The R3s are almost 2.
     
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    The BioFit is a real thing. After pulling the liners, I put my hands in the shell and you could feel the corresponding 'punch' at each of these locations:

    IMG_20190419_093353621_annotated.jpg

    IMG_20190419_093331487_annotated.jpg
     
  12. neonorchid

    neonorchid Out on the slopes Skier

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    Re stiffness: Would you say the R3 110 Grilamid/PU is a better option for us lightweights? I can't find a weight spec on R3 110 T.I. I.R., R3 130 is about as heavy as I would want to go.
     
  13. neonorchid

    neonorchid Out on the slopes Skier

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    I need a low instep and roomy bluntish toe-box shape, no fricken nosecones, yet I couldn't get those Hoji's off fast enough and was ok in the Hawx 130 (very thin sock) when I tried both in a ski shop. Could be Hoji liners needed to be cooked. Hoji shell shape appeard as though it should work better for me then Hawx. Hawx heel hold wasn't very good, Hoji a vice grip. Maestrale ll in a 24.5/25 had better heel pocket fit then Hawx 25.5 (liner out shell fit good in both). I like a four buckle Overlap feel best, the Cabrio is just weird with odd pressure points.
     
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    Today I came to the conclusion that the boot is just a bit larger than works for my skiing. That could also explain some of the trouble with the stiffness. I had presumed that a 300 mm BSL 26.5 would not be too long for me, but I was mistaken.

    I was skiing spring condition groomers that were a bit sticky in places, steep tight pitches and snow fields. The grabbiness of the snow made me realize I wasn't held sufficiently by the boot. A 25.5 would probably fit better for my skiing.
     
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  15. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    If someone in shouting distance of @Doug Briggs who is a 26.5 and hale a hand off of these boots to continue the review process shoot Doug and myself a PM and we can make the arraignments.
     
  16. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    The Hoji stock insole is awful. That might have had something to do with it.Also as you said, the liner should be cooked in that boot.
     
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  17. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    I was gonna arrive in Colorado tonight but im stuck in Miami due to cancellations. Be back Sunday. All my boots are 26.5 now. My Dynafits have PLENTY of room to adjust.

    I would love to check them out and compare them to the Hojis and my experience with the XTD's.

    I can swing by Doug's on Monday / Tue.
     
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  18. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    @Doug Briggs put @Ken_R's name on them.
     
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    Ken_R likes this.
  20. neonorchid

    neonorchid Out on the slopes Skier

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    Yes, and although I require a low instep boot, I have a good medium arch so it's definitely possible a junk footbed was causing my foot to shift to the outside of the boot as rhe entire outter edge of my forefoot got sore, numb even. Same sore to numb trouble with the uppermost part of the cuff at the buckle area, as though a result of missing the more diffuse and even pressure spread over two points of the cuff in a 4 buckle overlap design. Like @Doug Briggs, I too barely buckle the two lower clog buckles on a 4 buckle overlap boot and as I had previously said, Cabrio's feel weird to me too.
    Will be tagging along to read of your impressions and comparsions @Ken_R, and thank you for volunteering.
     
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