The 2019/2020 Head Kore 1 was tested in the men's All-Mountain Freeride medium width category at Silver Mountain Resort by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.
The Kore 1 got a shell overhaul for this coming season, with thickened shell walls in critical zones to stiffen the flex and provide more stability on edge. Testers could feel the difference and liked it, citing a stronger feel on edge than last year’s version. The hike-articulated 3D Perfect Fit liner’s Liquid Fit injection feature remains a tester favorite for anatomically snugging the heel and ankle pocket, and testers who underwent the Form Fit shell-cook customization process said both fit and flex feel improved dramatically.
Head's first true foray into lightweight Freeride boots in the Kore 1 G was met with broad tester approval. They liked the fact that the light weight of the Grilflex and Graphene shell and cuff didn't reduce the kind of "real boot" fit or performance they've come to expect from Head. They liked that the simplicity and tradition of the Head four-buckle overlap has been modernized with space age plastics, tech binding compatibility and an intuitive, functional hike mode.
Testers found the fit evenly snug and well adapted to bony points and wide spots, but they said it ran on the narrow end of the medium-width fit spectrum. That was not a criticism, but an observation—testers had zero complaints of hot spots or other fit issues. Testers that underwent the Liquid Fit liner injection
Process reported an improved rearfoot (heel and ankle) fit that they were able to control during the process, which they liked for its simplicity and immediately perceptible result.
The Kore 1 G displayed accurate steering and a quick move to the edge (a perfect score there) then easily found a stable sweet spot through a variety of snow conditions during our test period, testers reported. Some testers thought the boot felt a little edgy at first but discovered that Form Fit shell molding created a more balanced and neutral feeling position. All testers who got Liquid Fit injected noted an uptick in steering, quickness and edging performance.
The Smart Frame shell construction maintains thicker, ribbed and rigid Grilflex plastic in areas where stability and power are critical and keeps the thinner, better wrapping Grilflex where it suits foot-shape matching and easing entry and exit. Graphene is a powder additive to the plastic that increases stability and provide a damp feel like polyurethane without adding substantial weight. GripWalk soles come mounted on the Kore.
“I love the ultra light technology and the easy hike mode switch--so light. No hot spots but at the same time they fit tight. I can't believe this is an On-Off Area boot--feels like they have spine, like a real 130 flex. A three-pound boot can be almost too quick, but you can trust the tech here--there is some real shock absorption going on that the other light boots have lacked. Smartframe and Graphene works apparently--this is frickin' NASA for skiing. Inject me! Form Fit bake me!” -- Mark Korman
“The initial feel improved after skiing it--the liner needed to break in. Ski performance is pretty competitive with medium All-Mountain on-area boots. Props to the Kore for being so simple and light. ” -- Brian Elling
“I think the fit adaptability made available through the Liquid Fit process is both unique and easily accomplished—the modern, upright cuff keeps the quads from suffering. ” -- Erik Korman
“The Kore is super light weight and has great ground feel and foot feedback in all terrain. I liked the upright, natural fore-aft stance.” -- Mike Evans
“Off the shelf fit feels like a Fischer-Price toy--light, simple and kinda junky.” -- Brian Elling