2023 Nordica Sportmachine 3 130 Review
With this boot, advanced and expert skiers with a wider foot no longer have to sacrifice performance for fit
This article was first published by SkiMag.com
Last: 102 mm
Level: Advanced, Expert
Nordica’s redesigned Sportmachine 3 130 comes with a bevy of thoughtful features for larger skiers who want a boot they can really push. The brand has made serious leaps and bounds in the last few years for accommodating wider-footed skiers who still want their boots to perform at the highest level. The third generation Nordica Sportmachine 130 is an incredibly easy boot to manipulate and expand to fit the foot of anyone who wants to ski it.
Intermediate skiers shouldn’t be afraid of the 130 flex number. We found the Sportmachine to have an extremely progressive flex that is very easy to bend at the top of it and slowly stiffens as you drive deeper into the tongue of the boot. Flex is more often determined more by body type than ability so don’t be afraid to give a stiff boot like this a try.
Speaking of the plastic, we were impressed by Nordica’s Infrared PU, which holds punches very easily. Nordica has a neat infrared heating system that uses suction to make more room in the shell of the boot, but the plastic has proven to work great with the standard hydraulic expansions with which most boot fitters are familiar. The roomy instep height and forefoot of the shell combined with the excellent, thermo-moldable cork-reinforced liner makes for a stellar out-of-the-box fit that is easily customizable for people with bunions, bursas, and bone spurs.
We appreciated that the hardware on this boot is all easily modifiable with a simple hex key, instead of a series of rivets that have to be drilled out and replaced. This makes cuff and flex alignment as easy as using an allen wrench, and also makes it far easier to replace broken buckles or swap a power strap.
This boot’s progressive flex led to a wildly energetic rebound when pushed, especially on hard snow. When our testers drove the Nordica Sportmachine 3 130 into a turn, we found that it wanted to load up energy and then snap us onto our next outside edge. This boot was super fun to carve on and also felt really comfortable on steep windboard snow and firmer chalk. In rougher snow, the deeper flex pattern allowed the boot to remain calm, cool, and collected while skiing fast and making longer turns, but was very responsive laterally when we needed to either ride the rails or shut things down quickly.
In our experience, people with really wide feet tend to spend a lot of time in the boot shop, but we think Nordica made great strides with the Sportmachine 3 130 to streamline expansions and customizations and get people out on the hill faster, instead of sitting on the bench when the snow’s dumping outside. This boot will be great for people who think of themselves as “tough fits,” whether that means skiers who have had lower leg surgeries or just the various bumps and knobs that are a part of life. If you are an adept skier, but don’t want to cram yourself into a race fit anymore, check out this boot and save some time in the shop on your next trip.