Let's get the most important thing out of the way right up front: this boot is discontinued, but as of the moment we write this you can still find it at deep discounts on the intertoobz. And let us list the reasons you should be looking, beyond the drop-dead good looks. Murdered out, no doubt.
The Nordica Patron Pro from 2014-15 is essentially a racing shell with an all-mountain liner, combining extreme performance with just enough comfort for all-day hucking. The shell is basically the Dobie world cup shell, a no-nonsense affair with screws instead of rivets, no heat molding needed due to the already ergonomic shape, and a stiff 130 flex. All of this sounds intimidating, and my first impression as I forced my slightly-lower-than-average-volume feet into the rather narrow opening was: "Hmmm, this might be too much boot for me…" I reminded myself that the bootboard had a rubber dampener, which should add to the comfort, but I won't lie: I was nervous.
Once on the Patron Pro felt oddly comfortable, like a running shoe or light trail hiker. When I got it on the slopes and started to carve, all anxiety was gone. It was eyes wide open and a stupid grin on my face the rest of the day. It was like driving a particularly user-friendly high-performance sports car. Think where you want to go and the boot translates that thought into movement immediately. No more mushy backfeel, I felt the Patron Pro raised my skiing ability by a category right off the lift. What was more amazing was that it felt comfortable doing it. Part of that might be that I was driving the boot with 195 pounds of bodyweight on a 5'10" frame, so the otherwise high flex index was relatively less to me. I also do a lot of strength training so I was happy to load up the boot with an aggressive forward lean, and this boot repays aggressive skiing.
At the end of the day I just love this boot. It was comfortable, and although it demands you pay attention it also rewards that attention with noticeably enhanced performance. The comfort level is more than adequate, and although I was sore in places that I didn't expect I know the Patron Pro made me a better skier. Nordica is replacing the Patron Pro with the GPX next season, and there will also be a racier GP version, but we're here to tell you, you don't need to wait.
Normally $699, but search around; we found our size at the REI garage for $105.