Head Raptor 140 RS

Model Year
2017-18
Category
Frontside
Last Width
96
Flex Index
140
Price (MSRP)
$800.00USD

The Gist

The 2018 Head Raptor 140 RS, the capo dei capi, came all the way from Italy (that's where the Head factory is, you know) unchanged (why would you?) to reclaim his spot at the head of the frontside family table, and did so with ease (well, he shared the head of the table with one other boot) and style. Raptor 140 RS continues to impress testers, both veteran and rookie alike, with its near flawless frontside (hell, all-mountain too) game.

The Fit

Enough with the parenthetical notation, the Raptor's fit is straightforward—tight and right. Testers gave it 1's and 2's--1 is true race boot tight--but also commented that there's enough shape built-in to house the common bony prominences and wider areas, but just barely. The liner is thin and dense, but padded just enough to separate bones from plastic and provide a well-wrapped and connected fit. The sense that the ski is not far from the foot is a common mention on test forms. The flex feel is a strong 130, so sure, 140 works, but the feel on the leg is accessible to good skiers—this isn't a World Cup race boot. Yes, testers mention some spots that'd need work for their particular hotspots (styloid process is a common one in the Raptor) but that's what a monoinjected polyurethane shell, cuff and a good bootfitter are for. The Raptor 140 RS fits traditionally lengthwise (i.e. not overly long), so if the other narrows seem to be growing of late, this will remind you how they should fit.

Performance

The stance set-up is strong, meaning with a little extra oomph to the inside edge, and this along with the beefy, solid-sole lower boot construction and a bolted cuff creates monstrous leverage over the ski for sick-and-wrong trenching on-piste. It's just as strong off-piste, but it's not forgiving of mistakes and is transmissive of terrain hits back into the skeleton—so, highly skilled all-mountain skiers will be thrilled, but keep in mind a smooth surface is the Raptor's native habitat. Most testers find the fore-aft stance just right without the rear spoiler installed, which is the way the boot comes boxed. The Flex Performance tuning anchor for shell and cuff is designed to be drilled and pinned for an even stiffer flex rating—you won't need it, just make sure the one set-screw is tight and then fuggetabout it! Old school racers who've tried going wider and softer and hated it…well, goomba, come home to the family.

Cool Features

Testers like the Double Power Booster power strap that combines a Booster strap with a three-to-one mechanical advantage pulley for serious leg wrapping crankage and a snappy return to center. Dual-side cuff adjustment is a worthy amenity for fine-tuning edge angles, and the Spine Flex buckles wrap the radius of cuff and lower boot (and very few complaints about them from testers this year, they've pretty much given up).

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
22.0-30.5
Hike Mode 
No
Heat Moldable Liner 
No
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Narrow
Also in this Collection 
Raptor 120 RS, $700; Raptor 100 RS, $600
Cantology Compatible 
Total Avg Score 
22.50
  • 2017-18 Head Raptor 140 RS at America's Best Bootfitters Boot Test
  • 2017-18 Head Raptor 140 RS at America's Best Bootfitters Boot Test
  • 2017-18 Head Raptor 140 RS at America's Best Bootfitters Boot Test

Kudos

  • “Five-star awesome—it's a Raptor!” -- Charlie Bradley
  • “Alert! Energetic! Keen! Ludicrously good! Still a winner!” -- Marc Stewart
  • “Tried and true brick-like power!” -- Chris Wiberg
  • “This one's got the juice!” -- Jack Rafferty
  • “Burly, but comfortable—I was in this boot the longest of any model in the category.” -- Bret Acuff
  • “Really holds me down and back into the heel pocket—like the proverbial glove!” -- Jim Schaffner
  • “This one needs a new outfit, but it's as strong as it ever was!” -- Erik Korman
  • “Turbo-powered, lightning quick, race car steering—skis were on rails!” --
  • “Ooh baby, solid as Gibraltar! Exceptional power laterally, can really gun it with total security.” -- Jackson Hogen
  • “Great edge transmission, great support fore and aft—likes to be skied aggressively!” -- Tanner Eccles

Caveats

  • “Lacks some rebound and snappy fun factor.” -- Chris Wiberg

This boot available at...

Morris Plains, NJ
Westwood, NJ
Ellicottville, NY
Valatie, NY
Glenmont, NY
Princeton, MA

Special thanks to all of our sponsors!

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