Over the last several years there has been a ski boot trend of building supposedly narrow boots that for all intents and purposes fit like medium widths. We continue to call out these poser-narrows as we can. The Nordica Promachine 115 W is absolutely not one of them. This is a narrow's narrow, made for real skiers with low volume feet and legs--the kind of body that belongs in a narrow lasted ski boot. Our fit scoring is calculated over eight different fit zones, from toebox to heel pocket to calf, on a scale of 1 through 5. A "1" indicates the sort of tight fit you find in a World Cup race boot. A "5" indicates the sort of roomy fit found in, say, a packed-out rental boot. New testers are instructed that the ideal medium width boot might receive mostly 3's, whereas the wider 102mm last should receive 4's while the 98mm gets 2's. What did the Promachine 115 W get, averaged over the eight fit zones? A 1.96.
Not to belabor the point, but even though one of our testers complained that her navicular and arch were being crushed by the Promachine's tightness, she noted that it wasn't a problem with the boot but just a mismatch for her more mediumish foot--what was the Promachine's score for Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel? It received a perfect 5.00.
Did the snug fit equate to high power and quickness scores? Duh, yes it did! This is a boot built to ski, first and foremost, testers said. That it is fairly easy to get on and fits without typical hot spots is a fortunate secondary benefit. The construction and materials are derived from the race-bred, Frontside Dobermann boot, so with that sort of engineering heritage Nordica would have to really screw things up to not have a ripping all-mountain model in the Promachine. Testers mentioned that it has a slightly taller than average cuff height against the shin and it's also a touch upright in angle and it's stout--so, shorter, lighter and less aggressive skiers experienced some challenges getting out over the front of the boot and staying in the driver's seat.
“Snug as a bug in an appropriately low-volume rug. With a bit more floor-to-ceiling instep breathing room--not quite a 3, but a wee bit more than a 2 there. This boot has a perfect shape for that low-volume lass with a slender heel. It's a bit of a challenge to get into, due to the snappy nature of the thin-walled plastic, but when on, its the hold the skinny foot has been looking for. The liner has a comfortable plushness, but not to the extent that the skier feels like its going to pack out within 5 days of skiing. Aesthetically, it looks like its ready for business; nothing too flash, but very complementary of the ride it's about to take the skier on. Great boot. ” -- Sam Tischendorf
“A consistent narrow fit through the whole boot with a little bit extra for the toes. A very powerful feeling boot--very firm and stiff. It's a great boot for the little bird foot. Narrow all the way through though the arch and navicular area was crazy tight. The padding of the liner is really thick right there so it may break in. Really fun, strong skiing boot. You need to stay on top of it but it rips. Very dynamic and transferred energy to the ski well. ” -- Kori Coggin
“Great, slightly tall cuff height, excellent foot feel, heel hold is perfect, pretty great all around. It's probably stronger than a 115 with really great positioning for whatever you are looking to accomplish--pow turns or groomer run--puts you where you need to be. ” -- Emily Poore