Nordica Dobermann 5 Stiff

Model Year
2023-2024
Category
Frontside
Last Width
96
Flex Index
130
Price (MSRP)
$900.00USD

We're not going to say that the new Nordica Dobermann 5 Stiff is a real man's boot because it's clearly a real woman's boot too given the sizing available down to a 22.5, so let's just call it a real skier's boot. No, maybe we should call it a really-tough-badass-skier's-boot. Though, that still might not be strong enough language.

Where most brand's so-called narrow boots feel closer to medium fits these days and as flex index numbers mean even less and liner construction just gets fluffier, the Dobermann 5 Stiff pushes back on these trends with a remarkably aggressive narrow fit in a legitimately stiff flex. They don't even give it a flex number, as if to thumb their nose at a gentrified metric that has lost its meaning. They could have named it the Dobermann That You're Not Worthy Of and it would have sent the same message. And that's okay. Because there's a place for a boot like this. First, it belongs on the piste and accordingly we tested it in the ever-shrinking Frontside category. Second, it belongs on the feet of the world's greatest skiers and accordingly we...well, we're still looking for some of them to test it. But in the meantime, our much-better-than-average-skier test team had a crack at it and they were smitten. As in smote down, made low and generally humbled by the damn thing. And yet, they gave its performance scores three perfect 5.0's in some sort of on-snow Stockholm Syndrome phenomenon.

This is a proper evolution of the Dobermann, testers agreed. It's always been a boot that had no performance limit other than those boundaries established through the failings of the human attempting to harness it. It is hard to get on and hard to take off. It has a thin liner that barely pads the body from the shell--and it's cold. It has a forward-leaning stance that reminds you that no, you didn't get in the gym one, single time throughout the off-season. It reacts immediately to every movement a skier makes. When such movements are accurate and at least assertive (better yet, aggressive) the skier is rewarded with god-like carves and wrought iron stability that begs for more speed. When those moves are weak or tentative, the boot's disdain for its driver is palpable. And this is the 96mm Dobermann we're talking about--a veritable recreational wide ride when compared to its stripped and ripped 93mm plug boot brother Dobermann 5 RD Stiff (no thank you, we're just fine here).

Testers rate a boot's tightness or looseness on a scale of 1 through 5, with 1's reserved for true plug-race boots and 5's for the widest rental fleet buckets available. Most of the narrow boots we test (96-98mm) are scored with 2's and 3's (straight 3's would paint a picture of an ideal medium width fit). Our testers gave the Dobermann 5 Stiff all 1's, with just a sprinkling of 2's thrown in here and there. There is no place in the lower shell or upper cuff that we could point to as a place of relief from this boot's unrelentingly aggressive grip--it's all tight as...well, you know. And testers loved this! They applauded this! And yet they simultaneously feared this as a daily driver because they could see the looming project ahead if their intent was to make it an all-day go-everywhere boot with adequate blood flow finding its way to the piggies. The lowest volume, most perfectly formed feet on the planet belong here--everyone else will have to work for it a bit.

And as one of our testers said, it will be worth it.

 

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
22.5-29.5
Hike Mode 
No
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Narrow
Also in this Collection 
Medium
Cantology Compatible 
No
Total Avg Score 
4.67
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
polyurethane/polyurethane
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
3.67
Dynamic Balance 
5.00
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
5.00
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
5.00
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.00
Tech Compatible 
No

Kudos

  • “When it's that tight you know it's gonna be quick! You better want a tight boot. Tight!” -- Dallas Goldsmith
  • “Great boot for the correct foot. Super leg wrap and the angles are awesome! I had to warm up the boot in an oven to get it on...but it was worth it. ” -- Greg Hoffmann
  • “The Dobermann 5 is great, as expected, and it is tight!” -- Kevin Gabriel
  • “Outstanding power and fore-aft support--same for quickness! Smooth powerful flex and I like the elasticity of the three-layer power strap.” -- Mike Evans

Caveats

  • “I wanted it to be better cuz I'm a big Nordica fan, but apparently Dobermanns aren't for pu*****. Maybe I'm getting old and I'm a pu*** now. We probably shouldn't put this on the website. ” -- Dallas Goldsmith
  • “The liner is thin, so you definitely feel the shell--everywhere--and it's a little cold.” -- Mike Evans

This boot available at...

Ann Arbor, MI
Costa Mesa, CA
Chicago, IL
Glenmont, NY
Pagosa Springs, CO
Westwood, NJ
Stowe, VT

Special thanks to all of our sponsors!

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