The 2021/2022 Head Raptor WCR 115 W was tested in the women’s Frontside category by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.
Testers weren’t expecting the level of ease and comfort with the new Frontsider from Head, but after they were reassured that all the Raptor’s characteristic power and quickness were still in place they relaxed and enjoyed the (way too comfortable) ride! The Raptor WCR 115 W is longer and more open in the toebox than Raptor of old and suspiciously absent of hotspots, but testers said that somehow it remains just as aggressive and quick to the edge—amazing!
One tester put it this way: “Shouldn’t it be tighter (that’s what he said)? Shouldn’t it be stiffer (that’s what she said)?” and that probably sums up the initial fit impressions our test team had of this all new 96mm solid sole, hard snow workhorse. The new mold’s toebox is about 5mm longer internally and more modern in shape (more square), and the overall shape of the lower shell is deceptively anatomical. The lack of hot spots on typical bony prominences led testers to say “it’s not tight,” but when skiing there was no negative foot movement cited as a problem. It begs the question—does tight have to hurt? Testers liked the slightly open fit at the top of the cuff—way more anatomical and less jabby than Raptors of yore, and the fit through the instep is less aggressive over the top of the foot and the adjustable Velcro tongue attachment can adjust that fit as well.
That the Raptor WCR 115 W was this year’s highest scoring Head boot (and one of the highest scoring boots of the entire test) says something, and it also received a perfect score for edge power, so we’ll take that to mean it will leave a fat trench in its wake on any surface. Head’s new polyurethane plastic being used in the WCR line-up is a bit sneaky testers say—feels a little soft and compliant but still loads tons of energy to the ski, and without any spool-up or lag time. The newly energized flex feel--a bit more travel, a bit more elastic in feel than in the past—is attributed to the new PU plastic and testers liked the shin comfort during flexion as well as the dynamic moves that a little more ankle flex enabled. There were zero comments related to any collapsing flex feel, so while the flex is progressive in feel it is not a weak link.
The Raptor WCR 96mm inherits most of the design evolution that occurred with the 93mm race WCR last year—longer toebox shape, revised lower shell and cuff shapes, similar new plastic (but not quite same), new bootboard design, new upper cuff (aka canting) adjustments that use a swap-in 0.5-degree disc for a total available change of 1-degree either in or out from the stock position (which is 0.5-degree out). Testers like the simple 40mm Velcro power strap, two simple liner pull loops and simple, normal buckles! And the gray color way was a hit.