We are all familiar with the Nordica Speedmachine, right? The Speedmachine has been Nordica’s entry in the 100 mm medium volume boot segment and very well one of the most successful ones through its first two generations. The reason it has been so successful is that the fit is great for the average foot. For a boot fitter, the recent Speedmachine has been a very easy fit, no matter the flex rating. This is a very good thing for a boot. It takes a lot of time to choose the right boot for the customer on the boot bench. If a shop didn’t have to appease all of their reps and “partner brands,” the outgoing Speedmachine could replace three to four other boots on the wall.

Last spring I received an e-mail saying that Nordica was going to send me their new boot and just needed to confirm size. Since I am a 25.5, which is not the usual reference size, it is not uncommon to have to wait a few weeks or even till the following season for my sample. During that time I was thinking, “Please, let it be a low volume HF, Nordica’s very good rear entry boot.” Realizing that it wasn’t, I then got some cold sweats and thought, “Gawd, don’t let it be another Speedmachine!” since I knew that boot was due for replacement and Nordica had last sent me a Speedmachine 2. Because I usually ski in a 97-98 mm shell, I just swam in the previous generations and immediately passed them along to a tester or coworker that had a higher volume foot.

When is a Promachine not a Promachine? When it is a Speedmachine 3 130S.

When the new Speedmachine 130S arrived, along with a Nordica-branded Dakine boot bag, I immediately knew something was different with this boot. This was not what I expected a Speedmachine not only to look like, but most importantly, to fit like. The new Speedmachine 130S boot was snug, not just for a 100 mm last, but even for a 98 mm. Implausibly, the fit of this Speedmachine 130S was on par with Nordica’s narrower Promachine. I compared the fit with the other boots in my stable/rotation, the Lange “Pink Panther” and the K2 Recon Pro, both 97/98mm boots. The SpeedMachine 130S was snugger, especially in the back half of the boot. Granted, these other boots have significant days in them, but the Nordica is supposed to be a 100 mm-last boot. I have a skinny leg and I normally have to move the top buckle ladders so I can get the cuff tighter. This was not the case with the Speedmachine 130S.

From Nordica's website:
From bottomless pow to pristine groomers, the mountains have so much to offer—and Nordica’s all-new Speedmachine 3 130 S is your ticket to ski it all. Inspired by decades of refinement, this legendary all-mountain boot has been completely reimagined to meet the needs of the most demanding skiers. Nordica’s 3 Force technology maximizes the transmission of energy from the leg and foot to the liner and shell for unrivaled power and control. It also boosts comfort and efficiency. To further enhance support and the lateral transmission of energy, the liner features Nordica’s 3 Force Eva Reinforcement. And for a truly personal fit, the boot’s liner and shell can readily be customized. Reign over the entire mountain with Nordica’s Speedmachine 3 130 S.​
    • Last: 100 MM
    • Volume: MEDIUM
    • Size Range: 24.0 - 31.0
    • Soles: 5357 PU EXTRA GRIP (extra sales kit: Gripwalk, Canted Lifter)
    • Shell: INFRARED PU
    • Cuff: INFRARED PU
    • Liner: 3D Cork Fit Primaloft®
    • Buckles: 4 MICRO ALU
    • Spoiler: REAR SPOILER
    • Power Strap: 45 + POWER DRIVER
    • Canting: DUAL

The “S” in the 130S is what separates this newest Speedmachine from the rest of the Speedmachine 3 collection. The 130S does not have the typical liner and fit for a Speedmachine due to the 3D Cork Fit Primaloft® which is an upgrade. From a 120 flex and softer, we can expect the typical volume of earlier Speedmachines, but if you are in the States and want a 130 flex in the Speedmachine, expect this lower volume boot. I know it will be confusing from a consumer‘s perspective, but it will be just as confusing as a bootfitter on how a boot wall and selection is set up. While the rest of the Speedmachine line from the 120 on down is the more traditional 100 mm fit at the measured point across the first and fifth metatarsals, it is much more snug in the heel pocket, and more defined with Nordica’s new anatomical liner.

Speaking of the boot from a boot fitter’s perspective, there is a lot of not only good, but very good in the design of the third generation Speedmachine, and but a few misses. Let‘s get into the pluses first. When a Nordica boot has a Gripwalk ISO 23223 sole, they also include a set of DIN ISO 5255 soles in the box. In the case of the new Speedmachine 130S, the Gripwalk soles are Nordica’s premium Michelin-labeled ones. Most brands are shipping their boots with either a DIN or Gripwalk sole, not both, and charging the consumer up to $50.00 for the extra soles. The other significant design plus of the boot, which is brilliant, is the two-part power strap that not only can adjust for skinnier calves like mine or more athletic legs, but also has the ability to adjust up and down.

The liner is very well one of the best consumer liners that Nordica has produced. The toe box is very generous, the tongue is adjustable and is attached by the strongest velcro I have ever tried to adjust. The cork heels are not only one of my favorite heel pockets to wear, but one of the most anatomically designed ones.

The only two shortcomings of the boot are the Zeppa (boot board) and the heel lug. On the Zeppa, there a little hump under the instep which is very noticeable in the 130S because the instep over the foot is on the low side. This hump pushed you up into the roof of the boot. This design in the Zeppa is usually addressed by sanding the boot board flat. I can almost understand putting the arch rise in lower performance boots where the skier might not use a better drop-in footbed, let alone a custom one, but in any boot over 100 flex, ALL bootboards should be flat. In Nordica’s defense, this is almost an industry-wide problem. The other is the aesthetic red cut outs on the heel lug which limit the workable range for canting and/or dealing with someone with a leg length discrepancy. I have never understood the need to compromise a boot (or any product) for visual appeal at the cost of function. If you want to have some contrast simply for looks, it can be done with graphics. Grrrr.

Who is the Speedmachine 130S for: You like the fit of the ProMachine 130 but want more beef; this skis like a stout Promachine.
Who is the Speedmachine 130S not for: You have a traditional Speedmachine medium volume foot; the 130S is indeed snug.
Insider tip 1: Stance is a bit more aggressive than the common 4° ramp and 12° forward lean with a published 4.5° and 13° respectfully. For someone who has a narrower than average calf, that extra degree of forward lean is welcome.
Insider tip 2: Like any boot review, take what I wrote above with a grain of salt. You need to try the boot on and see if it will work for you.​
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