This season nothing has changed with the Fitwell Freeride Splitboard Boot. The fresh yellow colour of the previous season has also been retained. Slightly softer than the Backcountry Boot it offers highest performance for all splitboarders who value European production and Italian quality.
Fitwell Freeride 18-19
As there were no changes to the boot, here are the results of the last two season.
After 50 days of touring it still looks very good, but the rubber cover of the seams has discoloured, not so nice but doesn't affect the performance. If you get into your shoe properly with the crampons there will be a scar in the rubber cover. But the shoe remains tight and warm.
Less extreme than its big and already known brother Backcountry, the Freeride Boot is in our opinion the optimal splitboarding and mountaineering boot for those who like it hard, but also comfortable.
Already at first sight the Freeride comes across as very high quality. If you put it on for the first time, the lacing system of the inner shoe looks a little bit special at first, but it quickly turns out that it works very comfortably when putting it on and taking it off. The Reel Knob screw cap is great. This allows you to adjust the shoe optimally to the desired firmness and the heel stays exactly where it belongs - at the bottom of the shoe. Quick and comfortable is the Reel Knob also when taking off, just turn in the opposite direction and you get out of the shoe. I might have wished for the wheel to be a little bigger so that it could be turned more easily with strong tension. Nevertheless, so far it works perfectly. The additional strap at the top of the shaft of the Fitwell Freeride gives additional support.
All in all the shoe sits bombproof and very comfortable on the foot or vice versa, the foot is well covered in the Fitwell Freeride. Even after hours of use on the road or piste, it remains comfortable and very dry for a snowboard/splitboard boot, which means that my feet sweat less than with other shoes of this kind. At the same time the Freeride keeps my feet warm even in adverse conditions.
Size: Compared to other boots of this caliber, the Freeride is quite short from the sole length. Even though the design makes it look a bit bulkier, due to its tight fit I wear the Fitwell Freeride one size bigger than my "conventional" splitboard boat.
Ascent: The Davos sole with the tiny glass splinters keeps its promise. Of course - ice is ice and you need crampons. Thanks to the "lip" on the heel of the shoe, semi-automatic crampons can be attached easily and sit securely.
So now to the ascent in the binding. Yes, the lateral pressure is transferred well and directly to the board and the edge, which makes traversing with the split board much easier. On flatter climbs it is not as comfortable as a boat with a pronounced hike mode, but due to the softer area on the calf and only slightly closed lacing it has amazing flex to the front and back which makes walking pleasant even on long tours.
Downhill: Due to the rather hard flex when closed, the pressure is applied very quickly to the edge and quick edge changes can be carried out effortlessly. The edge even comes so fast that you should get used to it for a few descents before going into technical terrain. But then you can completely trust the Freeride.
The sole of the freeride is slightly higher than on "normal" snowboard boots. Here a compromise is hidden, because a higher sole offers great advantages when climbing in different terrain. The boardfeel on the descent is still in the upper middle compared to conventional snowboard boots.
Conclusion: The shoe can do everything you need for normal and ambitious splitboard touring. It increases the climbing safety and the performance of your entire splitboard setup and is also very comfortable. Super also that Fitwell produces in Italy!
Price / Performance = Top!
Here is our subjective review of the Fitwell Freeride Boot.
Power transmission: 8-9
Heel hold: 8-9
Weight: 8 Processing: 9
This season nothing has changed with the Fitwell Freeride Splitboard Boot. The fresh yellow colour of the previous season has also been retained. Slightly softer than the Backcountry Boot it offers highest performance for all splitboarders who value European production and Italian quality. The multi-layer system guarantees highest wearing comfort and sensitivity for splitboarding / snowboarding. The inner shoe consists of memory foam. The REEL KNOB lacing, combined with the Velcro strap gives a firm fit on the foot. The flexible shaft facilitates the ascent and makes everything a bit more comfortable, even if you wear the splitboard on your back. The sole features tiny glass splinters to increase the grip even further.