Testers thought that this newest version of the R3 was the best they've tested, with its characteristic tall and upright starting position for a move through a resilient-feeling flex range, a la Grilamid plastic in the cuff and shell. The hinged polyamide tongue improved hiking range-of-motion as advertised, without creating any undesired folding on flexion during descent. Testers who have liked the R3 in the past were pleased with the continuation of the long-travel, spring-loaded fore-aft movement pattern and found it most playful in off-piste, soft conditions.
Testers pointed out that the full-thermo I.R. Intuition tongue liner was not best suited to an off-the-rack fit test, and a couple of our testers took it for additional tests after heat molding the liner. Prior to liner molding, most testers experienced an excessively flat and firm fit over the top of the midfoot and our heat molding testers made a point of pre-padding their feet on the midfoot bumps for molding, which evened out the fit tension well, they said.
While the fore-aft set up is on the upright side and fits tall against the leg, testers who pushed the boot through its long range of motion found a balance sweet spot mid-range. Laterally, testers thought it was slightly under-edged, which made for a loose and slashy off-piste attack (where this boot would most often be found) but a little absent of inside edge bite on harder pistes.
The hike mode switch was particularly well-executed and the resulting range of stride when released and combination with the rolling stride enabled by GripWalk soles made the R3 130 one of the best travelers in its class, testers said.