Fischer Ranger Free 130 Ski Touring Boot – First Look

Post by blogger | August 28, 2018      

(Post sponsored by Cripple Creek Backcountry.)

We got the Fischer beef boots, field testing to commence when winter (hopefully) arrives shortly here in the PNW. For now, quick look.

Black, yellow, and stiff. The Fischer Ranger Free 130

Black, yellow, and stiff. The Fischer Ranger Free 130 ski boot.

Cuff height comparison. Range Free 130on the left, Atomic Hawx Ultra Xtd 130 in the middle, and Maestrale RS on the right. All boots 27.5. The Ranger is similar height to the Atomic, and a bit higher than the Scarpa.

Cuff height comparison. Range Free 130on the left, Atomic Hawx Ultra Xtd 130 in the middle, and Maestrale RS on the right. All boots 27.5. The Ranger is similar height to the Atomic, and slightly taller than the Scarpa.

Black, yellow, and stiff. The Fischer Ranger Free 130

The ski/walk mode lever is located on the side of the boot, just under the buckle. Unique.

Rear flex in walk mode. Fischer says the boot has 55 degrees of motion. This seems about right. Certainly not as much as other boots out there, but it's above average for a boot that's this burly.

Rear flex in walk mode. Fischer says the boot has 55 degrees of motion. This seems about right. Certainly not as much as other boots out there, but it’s above average for a boot that’s this burly.

The ski/walk mode is mostly hidden. However, the mechanism can be seen a bit when the boot is flexed all the way forward in walk mode. Perhaps a way for ice and snow to enter? We'll see.

The ski/walk mode is mostly hidden. However, the mechanism can be seen a bit when the boot is flexed all the way forward in walk mode. Perhaps a way for ice and snow to enter? We’ll see.

Interior view of the ski/walk mode.

Interior view of the ski/walk mode.

Nice thick, stiff boot board that can be modified if needed.

Excellent: thick, stiff boot board can be modified as needed.

Conclusion: For the most part, a worthy addition to the beef shoe genre. We think the walk-ski mech needs extensive field vetting. As for use in free-touring bindings, the “normal” shaped sole (Vibram brand GripWalk) appears to be okay for Salomon/Atomic SHIFT, and doubtless will function with Fritschi Tecton as well as various classic tech bindings (though pairing this beefy a boot with minimalist bindings makes about as much sense as bolting a Mercury Sea Pro 300 HP outboard motor to a kayak). Claimed “99 mm” last will make some skiers happy, while wider footed others will be seeking the boot fitter’s punching skills. Use of Grilamid plastic results in reasonable weight for a free-touring class boot, though you can perhaps do better in the mass department.

Weight size 27.5 (confirmed): 1602 grams (Fischer claimed weight: 1540 grams)
Last width: 99mm
Walk mode range of motion: 55 degrees
Tech inserts: Dynafit certified
More here from Fischer


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14 Responses to “Fischer Ranger Free 130 Ski Touring Boot – First Look”

  1. wtofd August 30th, 2018 8:23 am

    How close to the Scarpa Maestrale RS would you consider these? I can read the spec charts, but given that you found understated weight on these, I wonder if you found something similar with the Maestrales. 125 vs. 130 flex isn’t too big of a difference? RoM seems identical. Something about the Fischer’s durability makes me nervous, but I have no experience to back that suspicion up. Have had such incredible luck with Scarpa durability over the decades. But the narrower last makes a difference. Interested to hear your thoughts and others.

  2. travis August 30th, 2018 8:45 am

    Interesting boot. How do yo think it will compare to the Salomon Mtn Lab?

  3. Rudi August 30th, 2018 9:05 am

    Having skied Fischers alpine boot offerings and knowing the companies heritage, im sure these ski pretty darn well. I’m interested in more details about the ski/walk mode. I cant really tell how the mechanism works…. Fischer really does seem to go outside the box on a lot of their offerings (profoil, vacuum fit, soma tec) and I applaud that even if it is not always successful.

  4. wtofd August 30th, 2018 1:54 pm

    Any idea how warm these will be?

  5. Blair August 31st, 2018 10:28 pm

    .How is this boot to get into? I have an ankle with restricted dorsi-flexion and arthritis. I have found the twist to get into some boots painful. Once in, I am splinted up nicely in the boot and away I go. What are the easiest boots to enter? This rarely comes up in reviews.

  6. Lou Dawson 2 September 1st, 2018 7:41 am

    Blair, any stiff overlap boot is difficult to enter-exit if you’ve got limited dorsi. I have the same issue with one ankle, and suggest sticking with a tongue style shell such as Sportiva or Scott, you can open up the shell a bit to allow easier insertion of your foot. I heat mold the lower shell opening a bit, then trim a small amount of plastic. I’ll add a photo to my recent Cosmos post, but the process is trivial for a boot fitter. You just show them where during foot insertion you encounter resistance from the shell, and they work that area. The plastic trimming can be usually be done with a sharp utility knife, and is possible as DIY though irreversible so care required. Lou

  7. Blair September 1st, 2018 6:29 pm

    Thank-you. Interestingly, my current boot is the overlap Dynafit Titan. It works because its soft enough that I can twist open the overlap, and not my foot, to insert straight into the boot.

  8. Lou Dawson 2 September 2nd, 2018 7:13 am

    Blair, sure, if an overlap boot is soft enough to manipulate, then by all means… but the norm in overlaps is they’re stiff and default to a closed up configuration that’s hard to open widely without a lot of effort.


  9. Andrew Wagner September 17th, 2018 1:22 pm

    I got a pair of these last March and have probably 30 days in them. They’re light, walk mode is pretty good for the category. I would say these feel pretty soft on the “130” spectrum and have a very long (seemingly endless) forward flex. For a centered/balanced stance this is fine, but driving a stiffer ski race-style from the tip, they can tend to get squashed. That said I’m 200lbs and for a smaller person they’re probably awesome.
    The ski walk/mechanism, is super comfortable and convenient but can get clogged with snow making it difficult to return to ski mode. This can be remedied with a small pole tip or credit card, but it’s an awkward operation and very annoying.

  10. Ryan November 29th, 2018 9:19 am

    Any on snow updates?

  11. Landis January 18th, 2019 5:30 pm

    I agree with Andrew Wagner regarding icing up the internal ski/walk mechanism. After my first snow pit today I couldn’t get either boot locked into ski mode. Thankfully a little time with a small knife got them running again, but not inspiring to say the least. And since this operation requires removing the liners, it may limit when I ski them in the backcountry.

  12. Landis January 24th, 2019 9:33 am

    It is probably time to post some skiing perspectives on these boots, although I don’t want to pre-empt any future coverage from the Wildsnow team! Full disclosure I have the 120 flex version. 5’11”, 175 lbs, intermediate skier. Maybe 15 days use in the bc.

    I like these boots with a few caveats. Weight is good, although not outstanding compared to the new generation touring boots (Technica Zero G especially). Flex is linear but somewhat long, but so far all my skiing has been on soft snow so I can’t speak to driving the tips aggressively. Stiff all around, I have not felt “undergunned” on any bc laps. No time on piste yet.

    The ROM numbers are OK, but the shell and liner do provide resistance, especially to the rear, in a long stride. I have contemplated shaping some of the scaffo plastic, new liners, maybe remove one of the forefoot buckles, etc, but these boots are too new for surgery yet for me.

    These are definitely cross over bc boots in my opinion. The ROM is somewhat limited, weight is upper end of category, and the internal ski lock is sensitive to snow and ice. Just yesterday the wire to the ski lock lever became disconnected at the end of a lap, which left the boot locked into ski mode and no easy way to discern what was happening until I got the boot off at the snowmobile.

    If you are looking for one ski boot to do it all, like me, this is a contender IF Fischer addresses the reliability issues next year. As Lou says, early adopters are paying to be beta testers!

  13. Lou Dawson 2 January 24th, 2019 10:01 am

    Landis, user input appreciated! Louie has indeed been using those boots, so we’ll get his take eventually. But the more the better! Thanks, Lou

  14. Bruno January 31st, 2019 10:12 am

    Has Fischer quantified the amount (degrees) of toe-out of the SOMA stance of the Ranger Free? Also, any cuff cant mechanism on these boots? Thanks – Bruno

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