The 2021/2022 Head Raptor WCR 140 S was tested in the men’s Frontside category by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.
One of only six men’s boots to break the 4.80 score barrier (perfect score is 5.00) at this year’s test, the new Raptor WCR 140 S stunned testers (in a pleasant, non-stun-gun sort of way) with its sneaky combination of comfort and still-awesome Frontside power. Anytime a perennial favorite (old Raptor) goes under the update knife we worry that it’ll come out in a less-excellent fashion—that was not the case for this all new boot. Testers say it’s different but in all good ways. Testers gave it perfect scores for its balanced stance, edge power and quickness—not a bad debut.
This is an ample fit in the toebox and forefoot for a 96mm, testers agreed, and conspicuously so coming from the Raptor of yore that fit shorter than most in the toebox due to an old-school internal dimension and liner construction that stuffed all the piggies together into a tiny home. Some testers wondered if the fit was too open up front for the category and last width but once they skied the boot their concerns were allayed—the boot holds the foot solidly in place with the additional comfort in the forward cab they said. The fit tension tapers tighter to the rear of the lower shell, gripping the ankles and lower leg firmly and downright immobilizing the heel. Some testers felt the heel contours were a bit too aggressive for them, so chronically loose heel folks should take note. We did do some minimal grinding on one test boot’s shell (there are some pronounced shell contours medially and laterally in the heel area) and this immediately dispatched those few testers’ heel bite complaints. The flex feel is firm against the leg, but with a bit longer range of travel and more progressive feel than with the past Raptors, which testers loved for the natural feel but also for the dynamic moves it enabled.
As strong as any Raptor progenitors but with a bit more modulated feel—easier to feather power to the edge on and off and smoother engagement of the arc at the top of the turn. Testers thought it was equally strong and quick, without a bias to either side, and felt this balance of skills occurred within a much more comfortable package. The new polyurethane plastic Head is using in the 96mm WCR is slightly different (less expensive) than that of the plug boot line up but testers felt is part of the new magic for the Raptor—a more resilient, wrapping feel that also translates to performance under foot.
The Raptor WCR 96mm inherits most of the design evolution that occurred with the 93mm race WCR last year—longer toebox shape, revised lower shell and cuff shapes, similar new plastic (but not quite same), new bootboard design, new upper cuff (aka canting) adjustments that use a swap-in 0.5-degree disc for a total available change of 1-degree either in or out from the stock position (which is 0.5-degree out). Testers like the 50mm Double Power Velcro power strap, two simple liner pull loops and they continue to tolerate the Spine Flex buckles. If the new flex feel seems too rangy, put in the additional spine anchor and bump it to a 150-flex.