Expert Review: Fischer RC4 Podium 130 Ski Boots · 2020
This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2019.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2019.
The Fischer RC4 Podium 130 is an ultra high-end and performance-driven ski racing boot made for Fischer World Cup athletes. These are also for a ski racer or ski racing background skier looking for a narrow boot that can handle aggressive skiing. These boots are catered to the advanced to expert-level skier.
About the gear
- Model: 2020 Fischer RC4 Podium 130
- Size: 26.5
- Height: 6’0’’
- Weight: 185lbs
- Street shoe size: 10 men’s
- Experience: 26 years skiing and 16 years ski racing
- When I tested these: October 2019
- Days tested: 15+
- Skis: 2020 Fischer RC4 WC GS skis (185cm)
- Bindings: 2020 Fischer RC4 Z20 WC
- Where I’ve used it: Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood, Crystal Mountain
- Terrain: Hard groomer, soft groomer
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a race boot with a narrow profile and a very stiff flex rating. I was still ski racing, wanted a new pair of racing boots, and needed a responsive yet comfortable pair of boots. Race boots are hard to come by, so the Fischer boots were a great find.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the Fischer RC4 boots with a 130 flex rating because right out of the box, these boots were comfortable and not too stiff for moving the boot. As I am phasing out of the really intense ski boot phase of my life, I still wanted a 130 so I could put a lot of power into the boot, but not too stiff where I couldn't move it. Again, getting ski racing boots is tough, so the other options I had were the Rossignol Hero WC 130 or the Atomic Redster 130 WC, all of which can be plugged in for an increased flex rating.
What I love about them
- Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness: The boots have a very accurate flex rating. These 130-rated boots are stiff and very responsive.
- Accuracy of Claimed Fit: Fit is spot on, as they are listed as an ultra-narrow racing boot profile at 92mm last, the smallest and tightest last on the market for a boot style.
- Flex: The movement and transfer of energy are unreal on these boots. If one thinks they want to get forward, they’re there. These move well for being such a stiff boot and flex well, but as a forewarning, these are race boots, so they’re stiffer than average boots.
- Resort: These are really good for resort skiing, as they are made for racing and hard carving. I would try not to use these for a powder day, as one’s feet might hurt pretty quickly as these boots are 92mm last, but there isn’t a better option for the groomers.
- Durability: Very durable, as these Fischer RC4s have heavy, thick, and tough plastic throughout the construction of the boot. I have skied many days on these and had lots of ski-to-boot and boot-to-boot contact, and they have held up nicely.
- Responsiveness: The Fischer RC4 boots are fantastic boots that are excellent in responsiveness. They already sit at a forward-positioned stance, giving the skier a push to get forward right off the bat. The RD20 race canting allows the boot cuff to align to the skier for maxim power transfer.
- Heel Hold: The heel hold in these boots are very firm. As a 92mm last boot, everything inside the boot is extremely firm, if not tight. The 3D pre-shaped ankle pocket in the race liner perfectly matches the foot's anatomy for comfort and power transfer.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Comfort: These boots hurt, no doubt about it. They are 92mm last, 5mm skinnier than a typical low-volume boot on the market. The idea is that a race boot is a feel like a cockpit of a fighter jet, as it's super reactionary and responsive. No energy is lost when getting forward or moving side to side. These boots are not comfy, but they are very good at performing high-end aggressive skiing.
- Weight: Race boots and their plastics are as heavy as a car battery. Just joking, of course, but these boots are fairly heavy compared to boots at a retail store. That is just because race boots use more plastic to transfer that energy and also more weight on a ski race, the faster one goes.
- Walk mode: No walk mode, just a full stiff spine on these boots. It doesn’t affect anything with the boot.
- Grip: Almost no grip, as these boots have race balance plates on their soles for tuning balance and stance for a ski racer.
- Versatility: It's a plugged race boot, so it's only made for ski racing or hard groomer skiing. I can’t ski all-mountain as these boots are tight and don’t offer any comfort.
Favorite moment with this gear
When I received these boots from Fischer in the mail, I was so excited to get on the snow and take them out for a great groomer and hard-charging day of turning. When I got to the ski hill, I brought my race skis and new race boots and made some good hard turns. I couldn’t believe the responsiveness of the Fischer RC4 130s as I easily zipped across the groomers. These boots are great and can be quick and agile enough for slalom racing and sturdy enough for some intense downhill racing runs.
Value for the money vs. other options
Ski racing gear is expensive, so these Fischers are neither cheap nor most competitors' boots. However, these are worth it, as they have the boot vacuum technology, the lace-up liners, and the bright yellow Fischer look. If one is looking at other options, many of the other manufacturers have a race program, such as Rossignol and their World Cup Hero 130 boot or the Atomic World Cup Redster 130. Both boots have a 92mm last, so it depends on which boot feels better.
A ski racer or an aggressive, hard-charging skier looking for a great new aggressive boot to carve some hard turns, the Fischer RC4 130 Podiums are a great boot to consider. The RC4 130 is the same boot that World Cup athletes have used for the last several years. However, it has a straighter stance, a 92mm race plug last, and does not use Fischer vacuum technology. By dispensing with vacuum technology, Fischer created a boot with plastic that would perform better in cold weather and have greater durability.