The Vector is dead—long live the Vector! The 2019 Head Vector RS 130 returns with a similar name but with an all-new shape (narrower) and an all new liner (Liquid Fit injection technology). Thankfully the new Vector also stomped our regrets about the now long lost favorite medium-last old-Vector straight into oblivion with its hellaciously stepped-up skiing performance which, as a nice bonus, came without any loss of its namesake's creature comfort.
The shell is a revised shape (a new, internal mold) that differs from the previous Vector mainly in how it fits around the heel and rear area of the boot, where testers confirmed that it's quite snug, while the forefoot maintains some room to spread out before tapering back into a toebox that testers agreed felt a little short and low in height. The liner feel is slightly bulky and well-padded, but in a comfortable handshake with the foot and leg kind of way. Testers characterized the fit as evenly snug throughout for the most part, without any primary hot spot locations.
Testers all rallied around how the Vector RS 130 skied, though they focused on different aspects of its downhill game. Some liked how smooth it transitioned in and out of turns. Others loved the deep power and torque that came on progressively—no twitchy, hard to manage jolts. Many liked how accurately it steered and placed the ski precisely where directed. The only complaints testers came up with were about Spineflex buckles, and just like the boot's rather loud cosmetics, it was an either-or, love-hate sorta thing with them.
So, new this year for some Head boots (Vector, Nexo Lyt, Kore) is the Liquid Fit liner. The ankle and heel area on both the medial and lateral side of the liner has thin, hollow packets into which the yellow syrup-like stuff can be injected to better fill the natural void spaces there. We tested this liner customization extensively at the boot test this year and testers like the simple and intuitive nature of it—you wear the boot while it's injected and choose when to say, "When!" We found it easy to decide when enough was enough for a better fit in the ankles and heel, but just in case you overdid it, it can be easily removed. We did some long-term testing on the injected liners and found that the material did not sag or ooze out of place over time—pretty cool stuff. The Vector RS 130 plastic is Form Fit ready, so broad-sword shell expansions are easily done after an oven cook job. The Perfect Fit 3D liner on the Vector RS 130 can be cooked (as well as injected) for an even better match from foot to liner and from liner to shell interior. Yes, the buckles are Spineflex, and the top two are the double-power lever style for maximum crankage.
“Not too overpowering—a perfect all-mountain boot that does everything great. Super quick and nimble. The Spineflex buckles allow the fit to wrap around the foot and leg.” -- Jeff Rich
“Looks like it should feel roomy due to its kinda fat optics, but it feels like a 98 to me. Solid-feeling like a raptor underfoot but with a more padded and comfy fee--instantly ripping. So fun I forgot I was testing! And the liner's a squirter!” -- Mark Elling
“Very positive foot/lower leg control--it feels like it really grips the entire foot and lower leg. I could tell from the first turn that this fit was perfect for transferring all my subtle foot and ankle movements. The way the foot is hugged by the liner and the liner is hugged by the shell really makes this boot work for me—it's like being on autopilot. This was a big surprise in that the Vector name has existed, but today it rocked my world and it never has before.” -- Jim Schaffner