I haven't had the Republics, but I have last years Factions and Shakas. I think they were both of good build quality but they are heavier than my other bindings. The weight did not bother me but you may not like it if you are into light weight bindings, but last year's also had aluminum heel hopes, I don't know about this years. Both of the ankle straps are different styles but are comfortable. The toe caps look the same as last year. The will work as toe caps, but they may take a little more adjusting to get to fit perfect than others, but they do work well. Sorry I can't speak directly to the Republics but I tried to mention the general things I could about Forum bindings. Hope that helps a little.