Testers who loved the new S/Pro medium width all-mountain boot last year but wanted a touch more room--everywhere--get it this year in the new S/Pro HV 90 W. The entry and exit is even easier than the medium S/Pro due to increased instep height and testers say the forefoot and toebox room is massive but not quite cavernous. They like the more open calf fit of the HV, though the upper cuff still grabs the leg with performance-minded intentions. They said the flex feel is even and feels a touch stronger than the listed 90 rating and said this was the highest performing wide ride from Salomon they've ever tested.
The forefoot and especially the lateral border of the foot has a more ample fit than expected from a 102mm last, which, along with an open and tall feeling instep fit makes for a great fit match for the thickest of feet. Testers said the ankles are well-contoured for an anatomical grip but not as snug as the medium width S/Pro. Similarly the HV's cuff fit is slightly more open than the medium width S/Pro, and flared at boot top to accommodate the muscular calf, though testers say the cuff fit sits on the snug side of the wide last category average, while the lower boot sits to the wide end. The Custom Shell HD feature offers easy fit adaption as needed--our tests have shown positive, if subtle, results for opening up the fit in tight spots and improving stance alignment.
As with S/Max and medium volume S/Pro, the HV is built on the Coreframe chassis which utilizes a stiff insert as a way to provide rigidity and power to the edge in a lightweight, thin shell wall design. In the S/Pro HV 90 W the shell is polyurethane with a fiberglass Coreframe insert and a polyurethane cuff. Testers have liked the power to weight ratio in all the Coreframe boots and mention that tactile awareness of the snow surface is very high, but manages to avoid feeling twitchy.
Kaprolene is the additive to polyurethane that allows for Custom Shell molding. Now in certain models within the S/Max, S/Pro, S/Pro HV and MTN lines the Kaprolene used is pre-mixed in precise amounts into the polyurethane itself rather than as a somewhat random additive at the time of plastic injection. This creates a more predictable and defined molding response which, when used in these thin shelled boots, drastically reduced cook times from ten minutes to only two, molding from five minutes to only three and cool-down to five minutes. Our tests showed legit results without a degradation of performance, post-molding. Salomon now offers a kit for bootfitters to drill out the Oversized Pivot cuff hinge point and replace it with a lateral cuff adjustment for skiers who need more stance angle adaptability than the Custom Shell molding process will provide.