Last season, the Mindbender 130 got testers thinking about how comfortable this category has become—its silky, luscious liner had them salivating on the first slide in, and while it received the roomiest fit scores within the narrow group, testers loved the ample room for warm and compression-free touring. The toebox and forefoot offers lots of space in width and height but the fit tapers to a snug grip for the ankles and heel. Great power-to-weight ratio with a trick set of features, testers said. This year it returns with a bold new paint job but otherwise unchanged.
While testers agreed that it is not a narrow fit, they liked the way it felt! The room in the toebox and forefoot, both in width and in height, flew a bit in the face of the quite snug heel pocket. Some testers liked this combination and others felt the height over the toes allowed them to shift a bit into the backseat too easily. That said, toes were warm and comfy on the chair or touring! The clamp on the lower leg shaft felt more in line with typical narrow boot grippage, and testers liked the flex feel against the shin. The ease of entry, exit and closure were a hit across the board.
If testers lacked a little fore-aft security at times, they loved the lateral edge work of the Mindbender 130--crisp and reactive for such a light and comfortable boot, they agreed. Most were surprised at its edge power and simultaneous sensitivity for the snow (due the thin shell well and close feeling connection to the ski). In touring mode the Mindbender has few peers in this category, it's a long-traveling, friction-free affair with decent range both forward and back. The metal to metal Powerlock spine functions as billed for a rigid connection between cuff and lower.
With a full-thermo moldable liner and an oven-cookable shell, the Mindbender offers some pretty easy tools for creating more room, but testers say start with liner molding only as the shell really moves and is easily over-done for added room. The boot comes mounted with GripWalk soles and testers dig the easy releasing Ripcord Power Cinch strap at boot top.
“Easy walk hike mode and a ton of customization available. ” -- Neal Scholey
“Skied on groomers at high speeds and on steep chopped up soft snow. Felt locked in on both. Loved walk mode and liner--impressed, would be happy owning a pair. ” -- Stacy Crumpler
“More of medium profile and refreshing to see a more open model in this category. BIG toe box. Most unique hike mode in the mix, BIG SMOOTH hike mode range, cool too. Specifically shaped and anatomical. Skis with a fair amount of touch and quite supple. I liked the feel of the shorter cuff, made ankle involvement more effective with pressure and absorption. ” -- Marc Stewart
“Voluminous for the category in the forefoot. Tapered shape in the heel contains the foot in a surprising way. The lack of forefoot connection was a bit disconcerting, but the substantial heel grip compensated. Solid lateral connection drives the ski smoothly. ” -- Bob Gleason
“Too roomy to call it a narrow. ” -- Mark Elling