Where the 97mm boot might be given allowances for some discomfort because many often prioritize performance in that width category, and the 102mm boot may be given a pass for its performance demerits as it's often designed with a premium placed on comfort, the do-it-all medium width 100mm boot receives no such forgiveness--it must merge comfort and performance in equal measure. In this class, the 120 flex remains the market base money shot for its not-too-stiff, not-too-soft flex feel and palatable price point bullseyes. This year's Nordica Speedmachine3 120 exemplifies a nearly perfect execution of this tricky feat of engineering according to our test team that was universally impressed with its masterful blend of all the above mentioned elements.
Last year's introduction of the Speedmachine3 spooked some of our veteran testers who are also Nordica dealers. In Nordica's quest to "toughen up" the Speedmachine softie of old their early production liner might have gone overboard on the performance fit, producing what many felt was an overly snug and firm fit for a medium width. While we don't know what happened between that test and this year's, those testers were unanimously relieved (no, overjoyed) to discover that this year's liner feel in the 120 flex nailed the target, dead-center. They said the fit was more anatomically precise and firm feeling than the overly cushioned feel of the past but without feeling harsh or treading into narrow last fit tension territory. The initial slide in was classically Nordica-easy with a silken feel that managed to lock up around the foot and leg upon buckling and eliminate any feel of slipperiness that might otherwise detract from steering movements.
Testers thought the Speedmachine3 120 skied stronger than they'd expected from a 120 flex and said that the agility and quickness was perfectly mated to the boot's power and torque curves--this was a balanced ride, both in stance and also in its blend of skiing traits. There were virtually no complaints about this boot, in skiing performance or in fit. Bravo Speedmachine, we're glad you're back.
“Grip and control, with comfort! Surprisingly strong for a 120 flex. Snappy and responsive from one turn to the next. One of the best blends of relaxed comfort, with Lamborghini style skiing. ” -- Jim Schaffner
“Its new liner interior is as form-fitting as any foam injected boot's. Very precise, predictable fit with plenty of power. Nordica technology is second to none. This boot goes head-to-head with the Tecnica Mach1 MV and the Lange RX 120. ” -- Jack Rafferty
“The Speedmachine is back where it needs to be--opened up from last year's fit, more cushioned and better shaped with a really draped, dreamy feel. Firm ankle pockets hold well--I think they've nailed their intended target this time around. Nordica's crushing it this year. ” -- Mark Elling
“Great initial feel--will be a strong contender in boot to boot, retail floor try on. Easy going and effective edge command. The material of this shell has a lively snap It is a fun ride. These are in the running for the most comfortable boot of the test. The shape and character of fit are at the top of the class. ” -- Bob Gleason
“I loved it! Great boot--cushy, comfy and light with a great shin fit. Tight ankles (good) with a roomy toebox (good).” -- Kevin Gabriel
“My styloid is barking and would need some attention.” -- Jim Schaffner