Expert Review: Fischer Ranger Free 130 Ski Boots · 2020

Published on 02/03/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the ski boot, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2019.
Austen Law, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Austen Law

All photos courtesy of Austen Law

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boot, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2019.

My take

The Fisher Ranger Free 130 is a great boot for an intermediate to expert-level skier who is looking for a boot that can ski in both resorts and crush the side or backcountry. It’s a medium-volume boot at 100mm last. For the skier who wants to ski hard in bounds and out of bounds, this boot is a great fit.

About the boots I own

  • Model: 2020 Fisher Ranger Free 130
  • Size: 26.5

About me

  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 185lbs
  • Street shoe size: 10
  • Experience: 26 years of skiing

Test conditions

  • When I bought these October 2019
  • Days tested: 20+
  • Skis: 2020 Rossignol Sender
  • Bindings: 2020 LOOK SPX 12
  • Where I’ve used it: Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood, Crystal Mountain
  • Terrain: Powder, mixed snow, groomer

How they perform

Claimed Stiffness Accuracy
5/5
Durability
5/5
Versatility
5/5
Responsiveness
4/5
Walk Mode
4/5
Weight
4/5
Heel Hold
3/5

What I was looking for

I was looking for a new ski boot that could ski well at the resort as well as ski like a resort boot in the backcountry. Something stiff, but not too stiff that I couldn’t move it easily and fluidly. I wanted a medium-volume (MV) boot to accommodate my custom footbed, and something that had enough comfy room for touring.

Why I chose this gear

Having demoed the ski boots before I purchased them, I was able to feel that these boots were a good fit for what I was looking for. I chose these not only because they looked cool, but because they skied so well for a hybrid-style boot. I also considered and demoed the Atomic Hawx Ultra 130 and the K2 Mindbender 130.

What I love about them

  • Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness: These hold true to the stiffness rating of 130. They do have a higher cuff up on the shin, so they do require a little bit more emphasis when getting forward.
  • Accuracy of Claimed Fit: As a MV boot, these do have a 100mm last. The toe box is comfy and roomy, and the heel cup shaping and the liner makes it snug but not too snug.
  • Comfort: The new liner from Fisher makes these boots some of the more comfortable boots I have skied in. With the addition of custom footbeds, they snug right up. The shells of these Fisher Ranger are semi-customizable, allowing any skier to move the shell to accommodate any foot problems.
  • Flex: These boots stand fairly straight up, so movement to get forward is tougher than some boots that have that forward lean already. From the boot room, as I tried them on, to on-hill, these boots and their flex rating are smooth.
  • Ease of use: With the synthetic liner, these boots are very easy to get on and off. My feet almost just slide in.
  • Resort: From the multiple days I have skied these boots on resort, they crush it. They can handle the pow, the groomer, and that mixed crud snow.
  • Backcountry: These boots crush it in the backcountry and touring. Are these boots a little heavier than some of the options available for touring? Yes. But they ski downhill as strongly as a resort boot.
  • Walk mode: The touring mode/walk mode gives an extra 50 degrees of range-of-motion, allowing the skier to have an ease of a day with touring and hiking.
  • Grip: These have GripWalk soles, making them great for grip and for walking. The sole allows hiking/touring to be easier too, as it mimics a natural walking movement.
  • Durability: Having skied these boots for over 20 days and had many touring trips and ski days with them, they have held up great. The plastic hasn’t been beaten too bad from ski to ski contact or from walking from the parking lot.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Weight: For a hybrid boot, these are pretty chunky. They are just as heavy as a full resort boot, but they are comfy and they shred on the downhill.

Favorite moment with this gear

I was asked to go on a little two-day backcountry hut trip and I knew my new Fisher Ranger Free 130s would be great. I knew they weren’t the lightest ski boots out there for touring, but I was young and in shape, so I told myself that wouldn’t be a problem. Sure the boots were a little heavy, but after a few minutes, I didn’t even notice them as we toured. But, when it came to hiking up and getting ready to ski down, I knew these boots would give me everything I wanted from a ski boot for their downhill ability. They crushed the downhill, meanwhile, my friends with the touring boots didn’t have as much boot to ski with, making their skiing less fun on the downhill descent.

Value for the money vs. other options

Ski boots aren’t a cheap date, but these Fisher Ranger Free 130 are worth it if one’s looking for a ski boot that can ski resort and backcountry with no problems. Some other boots to consider would be the Atomic Hawx Ultra 130 and the K2 Mindbender 130, both great options for a hybrid boot, but it is all dependent on personal fit and ease of use.

Final verdict

For me, the Fisher Ranger Free 130 has been a boot that skis like a full-alpine resort boot. With control, stability, and drive, I have been skiing on these for two years, and they are my daily driver boot. A boot that can really do it all.

Out of stock
  • We price match
  • Returnable

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