The 2021/2022 Head Raptor 105 RS W was tested in the women’s All-Mountain Traditional narrow category by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.
Our hardest charging and most critical testers loved this boot—and that’s saying something. By far the best showing for a women’s narrow all-mountain in years for Head, maybe in forever. The new shape impressed testers who were worried that it was too roomy in the toebox (is that a thing?) to be a true performer, but came to find it only added to comfort, warmth and sensation without any detriment to the deep-trenching power of the new Formula RS 105 W.
Yes, it fits a little long and roomy in the toebox compared to the average narrow category favorites and perhaps most noticeable to testers coming from years of shorter-than-average Head Raptors. The fit remains generous in the forefoot but tapers back quickly behind that point to a firm and sculpted grip in the ankles, heel and lower leg shaft area. Testers felt like the heel and ankle were great without liner cooking and without Liquid Fit injection, so put those on the back-burner for fine-tuning after a few weeks of skiing this boot as is, they suggested. The calf fit is flared-enough for muscular calves attached to the narrow feet that will be happy in this 98mm last, but any real calf volume will require using the dual-cam cuff adjustment to open the cuff circumference by 10mm, and the Form Fit shell is cookable for those with higher volume legs but who want to stick with the RS for the narrower shell fit around the foot.
The power of the new Formula is so smooth, said testers, that it wasn’t immediately apparent—until the speeds at which our testers were traveling through all manner of terrain and snow surfaces registered with them. The flex feel is more progressive and longer in travel than either women’s Raptor or Nexo models of the past but without any complaints of collapse or failure with high impacts or heavy legged drivers. Newfound flex energy made this a much more agile and precise boot for testers who felt that they could moderate drift and steer at will with fine feathering of the edge and ability to manage engagement tip to tail easily.
Head claims that they have a new and secret polyurethane that is the source of the Formula’s mojo—our inquiries have been met with proprietary plastics weasel words and such. The new cuff adjustment mechanism offers 2-degrees of total movement and better glide between cuff and shell via different cuff attachment inserts. Testers liked the power strap's adjustable Power Plate that helped spread shin pressure where they wanted it. Testers dig Liquid Fit injection for snugging up the heel and ankle fit but recommend that people ski the boot to break in the liner before adding that material—a little goes a long way they say!