Head Raptor WCR 140 S

Model Year
2022-2023
Category
Frontside
Last Width
96
Flex Index
140
Price (MSRP)
$975.00USD

Our test team old guard was very skeptical of the new Raptor WCR last year at its debut boot test, given the number of years the old Raptor had dominated the Frontside field without any big structural changes to the boot. But the new shape, new polyurethane plastic and all new liner gave them an all-new reason to love the Raptor all over again. This year's sophomore year re-test offered a chance for our testers to ratchet back their enthusiasm and make amends for any fluke--but they didn't, in fact they gave the Raptor WCR 140 perfect scores across the board (with one minor exception) for a score total of 4.90 out of 5.00.

The only score category that the Raptor didn't ace was the Convenience, Warmth and Features criterion and even our most critical testers gave it perfect scores--except two, and they downgraded from a 5 for the color (apparently they're tired of white) and for the Spine Flex buckles (apparently they're really, really tired of Spine Flex). So, essentially one should consider the Raptor's a perfect score! Long live Raptor! Death to Spine Flex!

Not to rehash last year's review but this time around the comments were all quite similar. Folks are surprised (all over again) by the length and width available in the toebox and the width at the forefoot. The heel pocket is deeper to the rear but nobody notices that too much, except for the fact that it's comfortable and snug in the way expected for a 96 mm last. The liner is much softer against the foot and the leg than the short-lasted and rigid Raptor liners of yesteryear but testers assure that it's not a mushy-feeling liner. It still transmits full-gas energy to the shell and ultimately the ski but is just more comfortable in doing so--magic. One of the other most characteristic differences that testers again bring to the conversation is the flex feel--it's longer and more progressive in its feel than the full-stop brick wall Raptor of yore. At first, this increased range of travel concerns testers who invariably sense that the boot won't be as strong on edge--that assumption is quickly proven false as the boot puts a ski on edge at speed and hard snow equally as well, or better than it did before. Then with a few more runs (or days for some very stubborn testers) they begin to like and even prefer the new long-travel flex feel that enables more supple movements and fewer episodes of terrain impacts tossing the skier in the backseat.

Stance-wise there is not supposed to be any real difference from the Raptor of old but the boot board is less arch-humped and slightly lower in ramp angle, and while the lateral cuff angles feel familiar, testers still require a bit more time sorting out their fore-aft balance.

Testers like the Liquid Fit liner injection feature as an option one might employ after much use and liner pack-out but they say that if the boot is the right size there isn't much need to employ the feature, and when done, they remind users that a little goes a long way (and extracting the goo is a bit of a hassle).

 

 

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
22.0, 22.5-30.5
Hike Mode 
No
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Narrow
Also in this Collection 
140 Pro (black), 120
Cantology Compatible 
No
Total Avg Score 
4.90
Shell/Cuff/Tongue 
PU/PU
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
5.00
Dynamic Balance 
5.00
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
5.00
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
5.00
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.40
Tech Compatible 
No
CANT SHIM OPTIONS - NONE

Kudos

  • “The quintessential, high-performance, four-buckle overlap, polyurethane snow-trenching machine. The firm-feeling liner is well-matched to the shape of the shell for a very positive feeling against the foot and leg. The fit is confidence inspiring. Grip, grip, and more edge grip--the foot to ski connection through this boot is perfect. Great angles, edge power and agility. ” -- Jim Schaffner
  • “Still one of the very best of its kind--essentially a perfect boot. ” -- Mark Elling
  • “Designed to be a real skier's boot--get serious with this one, no lolly gagging!The even contact all around the foot is exceptional. ” -- Jack Rafferty
  • “The foot simply fits in this boot, with very little buckle pressure needed to close it up with just a little bit of room for the toes. Liner feels good, no pressure points. Boots put me in an nice, neutral, athletic stance It's strong yet flexible--the plastic seems to mate forward flex with lateral movements for some rippin' skiing. Race quick. Instant response. The Double Power strap really closes the upper cuff well. ” -- Mike Evans
  • “Fits like a surgical glove - every nook and cranny of the foot has contact with the boot. Like most low-volume race boots, it can be a bitch to get on and off, but once you're in, the boot connects with your foot and leg like a Vulcan mind-meld connects with the brain. Easy to find the middle of the ski and stay there. Wanna bend the ski tip? Oh yeah, baby. ” -- Jim Morris

Caveats

  • “I think the spine buckles reduce the level of simplicity. ” -- Jim Schaffner
  • “Racecourse ready--maybe a little too much for most folks on freeski days. ” -- Kevin Gabriel
  • “Perfect...except for how slippery the soles are! Watch the f*** out!” -- Mark Elling

This boot available at...

Portland, OR
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Telluride, CO
Breckenridge, CO
Hotham Heights, VIC
Columbia, SC
Ellicottville, NY

Special thanks to all of our sponsors!

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