You just know that ski boots made in Italy, like precision automobiles made in Germany or fine timepieces made in Switzerland, are going to be well-engineered, ergonomic, and appealing to the eye. Suffice it to say that Dalbello boots are made in Italy.
The 2011-12 product line offers a boot for just about any skier out there, from high performance plug boots for racers and aggressive experts to the 3-piece, 3-buckle cabrio design of their freeride boots to the new-next-season Viper and Mantis series of boots for all-mountain skiers who want a boot that fits close and performs accurately without sacrificing comfort. I expect most EpicSki members, men and women, will gravitate toward one of these three categories of boots when upgrading next season.
First is the Krypton collection of all-mountain and freestyle boots. These boots feature Dalbello’s 3-piece (shell-cuff-tongue) “cabrio” design, which combines an “open on top” lower boot assembly with an external nylon tongue available in stiff and medium flexes. This architecture has been the cornerstone of Dalbello’s upper end all-mountain boots for over a decade. The design gives the boot smooth progressive flex with superb support of the foot and lower leg.
The Krypton and the Axion and Raya series feature the cabrio design. All of the models in these series are 3-buckle boots with the Dynalink rearfoot closure system. This is an independently functioning closure strap assembly that anchors under the cuff and buckles at the ankle. It holds the heel in place and minimizes foot sliding inside the boot without distorting the shell. All the Krypton boots are from a 98mm last.
The men’s Axion and women’s Raya series are from a 103mm last. Both are recreational models. The Raya women’s boot is notable for having a low profile cuff and a heel lift incorporated into the boot to accommodate the larger and lower calf muscle that often presents fitting problems for women. Dalbello’s women’s boots are “Fit for Women” with special ladies’ lasts and liners that are soft, warm, cushy and comfy, and structural materials that are softer than those used in the men’s versions of these boots.
The men’s Kryptons have what Dalbello calls the contour-4 fit concept that accommodates four major issues skiers have with boot fit--the ankle, heel, the 5th metatarsal (base of the little toe), and the navicular bone—by molding into the inside of the boot shell a little bit of “space” in these areas. (From the company website) “Contour 4 Fit Technology delivers all the comfort, precision, and control of a close fitting, low volume, high performance ski boot that has been “punched” and “stretched” by a custom bootfitter--with minimal need for “punching” or “stretching.” High performance has never felt so comfortable.”) The Krypton Pro and I.D. models come with two bootboards, one firm and the other anti-shock. The forward flex can be adjusted between 100-140.
I.D. stands for the Intuition/Dalbello custom liner that is an upgrade from the stock liner. The Krypton Cross and I.D. has a somewhat stretchy shell. The forward flex of this boot can be adjusted between 90-120. The Krypton Rampage is the first boot that Tanner Hall helped Dalbello design. It has a flex adjustment of 80-110 and comes in three varieties: the all-mountain freeride version is black with light blue accents, has the Contour 4 fit, and a firm bootboard; the park and pipe version is blue, yellow, and white, has a freeride fit system, and an anti-shock bootboard; the third permutation is adding an I.D. liner.
The women’s Kryptons are the Kryzma (95-125 flex) and the Storm (85-115 flex), both of which can be upgraded to the I.D. liner, which allows the boot to accommodate a foot width from 75 to 105mm. The Storm, which is the women’s counterpart to the Krypton Cross, is the bestselling women’s boot in the Dalbello line. The Krypton Lotus (75-105 flex) is the women’s version of the Rampage park and pipe boot.
For those who want a plug or high performance fit in a boot, Dalbello has the Scorpion race (SR) series that comes in 110, 130, and 150 flex, with a junior 90 flex boot. The Scorpion Freeride (SF) series comes in 110 and 130 flex. The Scorpion women’s freeride (SF) boot comes in 105 flex. The freeride series boots come with replaceable Hypergrip® ice lock heels/toes for safer hiking for your turns. The SR-150 is the plug boot at 95mm wide. All the other boots in the series are 98mm wide high performance fit.
The all-new Viper series for men (100mm width) and Mantis series for women (99mm) are unique in that the men’s and women’s shell lasts are different. Both are classic 2-part overlap boots with 4 buckle closure in a tri-molded material (“tri-injection technology molecularly bonds 3 different density polymers into one structure” is the official description) called the 3-D Powerframe which allows the boot shell to be rigid at the sole, softer around the foot, and softer yet over the instep--for ease in getting the boot on and off. The other innovation in this series is “true-balance stance” that adjusts foot angle, cuff angle, and cuff inclination for a centered stance. The boots also have the Contour 4 Fit where a little space is allowed inside the shell at 4 key pressure points to accommodate common fit problems. The boot shells, like many of Dalbello’s boots, have cool sublimated graphics.
We have covered only a few of the boots Dalbello has in store for 2012 here—the “Rider Development Project” collection of softer-flexing park and pipe boots, led by the multicolored Il Moro model, have great cred with the new schoolers—we narrowed our focus to the models that we think EpicSki members will want.
I want to thank Matt Titus, VP Marketing, Dalbello Sports, for his guided tour of their 2011-12 line at the SIA Show, January 28. It’s always fun to hear someone tell you how much he loves his boots!
Edited by nolo - 3/7/11 at 7:36am