The R3 130 TI I.R. has taken the classic three-piece shell's flex feel to a newer, more solid level, testers have said, and this year it returns with updated buckles a new look and an option on either a tongue or spiral-wrap style Intuition liner at the same price. The 99 mm BioFit last of the R3 design puts it on the snug side of the medium width group, and the all-Grilamid construction of the lower shell, upper cuff and tongue adds up to a noticeably light feel on the foot, though testers say the tall and stiff cuff commands serious leverage over the edge.
Painted-on close for a medium width with a particularly snug fit over the midfoot—our lowest volume guys loved it but quite a few of the others were a bit tingly and looking for the heating stacks for a custom Intuition liner molding session. The ankles, heel and lower leg shaft were encased in a well-padded cast, they said. Testers mentioned that the tongue was a bit on the firm side against the shin, at boot top, and the solidly upright cuff didn't budge much.
The test team agreed that the boot's forte was in strong lateral moves where the rigid lower boot and tactile feel underfoot really shined for rolling edge to edge in smooth and tuned-in transitions. Testers said there was a nice fore-aft sweet spot to make these liquid lateral moves from. Testers also agreed that the fore-aft stance started from a slightly too-upright position and offered so little flexing movement that it was hard to do much other than roll laterally from burly arc to burly arc and try to stay in the driver's seat as the speeds increased.
Testers liked the R3 130 TI I.R.'s uphill action—lightweight, easy to actuate mechanism, friction free travel in both directions (terrific rearward, adequate forward) and tech-compatible with GripWalk soles (and alpine DIN soles in the box). Testers remain split on whether they love or hate the 3-buckle system with Velcro pulley top buckle, but either way it gets the job done for closing up shop around the foot and leg, they report.
“Nice strong boot. Felt a bit stiff at first, but adjusting cuff strap helped a bunch. Good control, easy to ski boot once you put some effort into them. Really nice boot for the guy that leans towards more backcountry skiing, but still wants performance in bounds.” -- Adam Tutskey
“Quality, well-formed rearfoot and ankle fit. Close, snuggy cuff feel on the leg. Decent stance. Easy to move along the ski. Low and close to the snow. Stronger cuff than the other Roxas. Solid and progressive enough. Quick-n-easy switching in and out of hike mode. ” -- Marc Stewart
“Lots of power from top of shin. Strange but fantastic. Really surprising. Agile and responsive with good feel under foot and some real edge power. ” -- Kevin Gabriel
“Fit shape has an even grip on the foot. Strong, crisp edging power with a light and quick feel.” -- Bob Gleason