Nordica has joined Atomic with the [re]introduction of a rear entry ski boot. The HF [Hands Free] uses a single rear lever closure, reminiscent of the Salomon SX92 and a secondary instep buckle to snug the heel. With an integrated Therm-ic boot heater it's very much targeted to the more mature skier.
SIN prediction, more to follow.
"Nordica launches HF, a boot to wear without using your hands. Target: the senior skiers, who represent the 7% of the market and search for both performance and comfort. Rear entry, a monolock buckle to push up or down, and a 40° max opening. The winter sport market meets the senior economy.
"According to a research conducted by HFarm for Tecnica Group on French, Austrian and Italian consumers, 7% of skiers are aged around 70 years. They are wealthy people, who have a second home in the mountains, they’re retired, so they ski for 20-30 days a year, usually with their wives. And despite being good skiers, they look for a simpler but at the same time more relaxed way to keep skiing, so they can have fun even if they have some age-related issues. Many of them every year give up skiing because of these physical difficulties, but technology can help them continue their sporting activity, as like e-bikes helped senior cyclists.
"Nordica set out from this portrait of the senior skier’s needs, in order to create its new boot, following the motto "keep it simple". Which does not mean a low-cost boot, but on the opposite, a boot so technological that it is both performing, comfortable and easier to use. The goal: keep skiing.
"After two years of studies, the result is Nordica HF, Hands Free: a boot you can step in or out of without using your hands. The boot has a max opening of 40 degrees to insert the foot without help. Instead of the traditional 4 front buckles, there is a rear monolock buckle that you can push down with your foot or pole. Once opened, the boot allows you to walk around on the snow easily, thanks to the GripWalk soles and the one-piece liner. The lightness is guaranteed by the polyurethane shell (only 1.7 kg for the 26.5 size).
"A rear entry boot is not a new concept on the market: Nordica had introduced it in the 1980s*. Today however, it’s a high performing yet comfortable boot, thanks to new technologies available: both the shell and the liner are Infrared compatible, like the top of the range models, they can be highly customized.
"In addition, Primaloft keeps feet warm; and for the chilly ones, HF is available also with a Therm-ic integrated heating system, which you can command via Bluetooth. Senior skiers will love it, like all those who want to enjoy skiing with as few complications as possible.
"Nordica also created a new ski to pair with the boot. Nordica Drive Elite is the new allmountain ski model, characterized by extreme lightness; stable and reactive, thanks to the hexagonal titanium structure. Nordica HF will be on sale from December in selected specialized shops."
*No they emphatically did not, ask Denny Hanson.