So, don't be fooled by Fischer's 101 mm last label in the Ranger One 120, its a wide-fitting boot like anything in the 102 mm group and in fact it's labeled HV in the Fischer catalog for high volume. Those seeking medium width fit need to scoot over to the Ranger, sans One, to get that. Here, though, is a special creature. Dare we call the Ranger One 120 a unicorn? It's a lightish weight wide ride with a substantial amount of walk mode range of motion that fits like a slipper and skis as well as most narrower and stiffer boots. In fact, most of our test team preferred the fit, feel and performance of the One over the 99 mm Ranger at this year's test and elevated this roomy 101 to gold medal status and to one of the highest scoring boots of our test (only two other men's models scored higher).
Testers liked the Ranger One from the moment the slid into it--so easy, and even better with the walk mode activated, they said. This feature alone should attract a certain number of skiers, especially those who are, shall we say, flexibility-challenged and might have a hard time reaching behind a boot to access most hike mode switches, because the Ranger's release mechanism is stashed just under the top cuff buckle and requires barely a flip of a fingertip to actuate. The anatomical fit is ideal for the higher volume foot and leg, testers said, noting plenty of room throughout the lower boot and instep and flaring progressively up through the cuff--the only areas not to receive 5's and 4's (widest) were the ankle and heel that received mediumish 3's. Testers liked the well-appointed liner feel that hedged a bit toward the silky and cushioned end of the comfort versus performance spectrum, and they were fine with that because the soft, plushy interior did not hamper the boot's on-snow character.
The Ranger One's stance is dialed, testers said, and they called the cuff height and flex feel "ideal." One tester commented that the boot collapsed under full load, but he is one large dude. The boot's performance scores were very high 4.75's across the board for Balance, Edge Power and Quickness and only bested by a perfect 5.0 for Features & Convenience. A wide boot that's quick? A soft boot that's strong on edge? Testers said yes, a unicorn.
Speaking of the Features, Warmth & Convenience test parameter, testers like GripWalk just fine and the 35 mm power strap was adequate. They note that the boot lacks an upper cuff lateral adjustment as is the fashion with most freeridey boots for the sake of maximizing cuff rotation while in walk mode. However, the Ranger One is a Vacuum boot, which means it can undergo a variety of different oven cook and manipulate machinations, some of which will improve stance alignment, so that's a nice ace up its sleeve. Did our testers find reason to consider a Vacuum session for fit or stance reasons? No, they did not, but one could.
“Shaped smartly for a positive first impression--this is a higher volume fit that incorporates effective foot containment. Flexible fore and aft, but strong enough for effective control. Rolls from turn to turn with easy finesse. A touring-capable boot that has a conventional look that doesn't sacrifice fit. This boot has quality on run character with uphill travel capability. It is engineered with sleek design and capable performance. ” -- Bob Gleason
“Feels like a big boot, even for my meaty club foot inside of it. Easy in and out, liner was puffy and soft. The shell plastic was reactive and lively. ” -- Jim Schaffner
“Great fit shape for the higher volume foot--everything is open where it needs to be with enough control in the heel and ankle, super job. Shockingly good edge power and quickness! I was pleasantly surprised at how well this boot fits and skis. Makes me want to retest the Freeride Category medium width Ranger Pro 130 because the Ranger One kicked its ass. I still love the sneaky beetle wing hike mode feature--it doesn't offer as much range of motion here as it does in the tech compatible models but it's still super slick. ” -- Mark Elling
“I liked the upright stance however it gave way with very little forward force, causing me to use a lot of quad muscle to stay balanced. ” -- Jim Schaffner