The 2021/2022 Head Formula RS 130 was tested in the men’s All-Mountain Traditional narrow category by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.
Testers had nothing but good things to say about this new one from Head, starting with multiple claims that this would become a tester’s daily driver—and that’s high praise coming from this critical bunch. Frontside power with all-mountain suspension is how another tester described it, and others commented on how surprised they were at the level of edge power and rapid fire response achieved with such a comfortable fit. Best Head to hit the All-Mountain category ever, was the consensus.
Testers agreed that the toebox and forefoot fit was one of the roomiest of the narrow last group, and while initial impressions raised eyebrows, concerns were allayed once testers were moving downhill as that extra space didn’t detract from skiing performance, they said. The entry and exit is stupidly easy (especially for testers expecting a more Raptorish get-on) and the closure system is traditional and straightforward with the exception of twisty, fiddly Spine Flex buckles which testers love to hate. The open front fit is reduced on the trip rearward to an evenly snug lock on the ankles and a legitimately tight heel pocket. Several testers mentioned a low and pinchy heel grip which we explored and found that the liner heel counter material and a slight convexity in the shell’s heel area combined to poke some folks. We did a light grind on a test boot’s shell to reduce those contours medially and laterally and it solved the problem instantly. Testers loved the fit against the shin and the slight flare at the boot top for a comfortable calf fit.
Testers said this all-mountain boot had frontside power to the inside edge on hard snow—fueled by a slightly outboard stance set-up (+0.5 degrees out of the box)—but they didn’t have any trouble moderating that edge angle in softer snow or to get off the edge into another turn. The cuff height and angles were spot-on for testers across the board. The Formula RS 130’s top (nearly perfect) scores fell in the edge power and quickness categories, so skiing performance takes a front seat for this boot but according to testers without leaving convenience and comfort behind.
Testers didn’t feel any need to inject the liner with Liquid Fit as they said the ankle and heel was money right out of the box, but they all like the idea of it after some time spent skiing it in. Our experiences with Liquid Fit are all positive, but don’t do it unless you need it, and don’t over do it is our advice. The Form Fit shell offers some cook-wear-and-form moldability, but similarly none of our crew felt they’d need it. Testers still don’t love the Spine Flex buckles, but as one said: just take a pill and get over it. The new bilateral cuff adjustment (aka canting) system is simple and functional—just swap in the 0.5-degree circular inserts and off you go. Many testers preferred the Formula’s fat 50mm Velcro power strap with Head’s gliding Power Plate pressure distribution piece over the Raptor-style double-power stretchy pulley, but both work well.