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DaleBoot . . . again

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yes, I know that DaleBoot has been discussed before on this site, and yes, I have used the search function to explore that subject.

Now, I ask anyone who has had and used DaleBoots to tell us how they like them. Please tell us whether you had them fitted at a DaleBoot store or whether you used the mail-order do-it-yourself fitting method, your height and weight, years skiing, ability level, and usual types of terain and conditions skied.

post #2 of 8
I used a pr of Dale boots for many years (almost a decade if I remember correctly, ending about 1994). One summer, stored off the floor in the garage, some rodent got to them, ate through the bag they were in, nested in them, and nibbled away an amazing amount of the liner. Since they were alredy seriously worn and several other pieces were broken from the years of use, I retired them.

I had them fit in a store, and as you can guess from my comment about a decade of use, I really liked them. I particularly liked the little toggle in back with which you could set the forward flex to be hard or soft. I used it a lot in the soft position in irregular, cut-up snow.

As far as I can tell, their current recreational model is almost unchanged from the model I had. A good friend of mine (another physicist, good skier) bought a pair a couple of years ago, and would probably give a similar report.

I am now in a pair of Icons (usually adjusted for soft forward flex). If I could directly A/B them against the Dales, I probably would prefer the Icons, but not by a huge ammt. I like the fact that the Icons go further up my leg and have more tweakable adjustments. I'm pretty sure the Icons are more responsive. The Dales might have been a smidgen more comfortable.

WRT age, wt, etc., I think you already know my background pretty well, but if you have any questions, feel free ...

Tom / PM
post #3 of 8
Oboe My Friend, I don't have Daleboots just aDale boot liner I really love this liner I also ski in a technica and they fit fine. the liners in techincas seem to pack out fast so instead of buying new boots i got a Daleboot liner. I have alot of friends here who use daleboots. All Love thier boots. He has people skiing that would never be able to ski if they couldn't be in a Daleboot. Dale is a good man to talk to he really knows his stuff. His boots have asofter flex and he stresses that you the skier need a stiffer cuff side to side not so much fore aft.
He holds or has held many patens on boot design. In fact he was the first with a Plastic shell. Lang took his shell and copied it. He sued and won his case but it took him many years and a lot of money to win his case. One problem well a problem for Daleboot anyway is that they last a long time. Like Tom said 10 years Friends have had thiers for 10,12 years or more they get new liners some ajustments and keep on skiing. Tom Dale now makes a race boot stiffer and Higher cuff as I recall.
post #4 of 8
don't know about current models, but a good friend skied them in the mid-80s. he liked them because they were soft flexing, but he had to do a LOT of modifications to improve the fit, and he doesn't have an odd foot.

as I recall, that older model had a "bellows" problem. when you flexed forward, the boot expanded in width around the ankle. that's not a good prescription for maximum control.

hopefully Daleboots have improved since the mid-80s.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
His current web site "seems" to suggest that the bellows problem has been addressed. It seems like the way to go, with exchangeable heels and toes, etc. I'm thinking about it. One of his "testimonials" is from Jules Older, editor of Ski Press, who says that it needed some tweaking but was good once tweaked at the store.

I would expect that those who go for mail order fitting may have more difficulties than those who have store fittings.
post #6 of 8
Got mine at a retail shop that is more a skateboard/snowboard oriented place with just Line skis & Daleboots for us 2-plankers.
Shop owner told me he started out elsewhere in traditional snowsports retailing around 25 years ago and dealt with many different lines of boots. For his own shop, he has ended up with the one that works consistantly well for his customers.
Older boots = 4-5 fittings or more. Daleboots = 1 or 2.

For me, he went with an "off the shelf" standard model instead of a cusstom build as my feet are not that far from "norm".
The work he did on mine consisted of 1 session of grinding the foam liner to accomodate my high volume/high arches feet & setting heel "L"s for a narrow achillies, then one more minor tweek this season to fix a heel rub that would happen while hiking more than a half hour in them.

On my year's model, the toggle/lever in the back of the boot sets a supersoft mode designed for walking or normal flex.
The amount of normal flex is adjustable for your prefered stiffness.

The replacable toe/heel plates were copied by Soloman for thier high end rear entry boots back in the 80's.

I went from comfy pair of high end rear entry Solomans to a horror pair that hurt even after 14 tweeks, then to Dale. (FWIW, Icons were at the top of my next to buy list before I read about Dales.)

Hope that helps your decision.
post #7 of 8
When in Utah a couple seasons ago I went to the expensive but well catered sure-foot. They were friendly and worked hard to make one of the latest, more expensive fast boots fit me well. Ultimatly, it hurt me so bad I lost a couple days of skiing from the pain and blisters.

So I kept the footbed (recommend) and returned the boots. We made a bee-line for Dale-boot central and I had a pair custom fitted with my sure-foot beds on bottom.

Now, everyone, up to that point, had told me, hard boots, great control, the way to go! F-that! After talking to our house landlord for an hour about his 10+ year old soft boots from Dale I decided it was worth the chance and made the investment. The sad part was I didnt get to ski on them at all for the remainder of the season as we headed home and there aint no snow worth its worth around DE.

A few seasons later I'm still loving my Daleboots. I was inches from quitting skiing and going to snowboarding. Those big cushy rubber boots look so comfortable. However, my new ski-boots turned it all around. They are low-tech, not super attractive and way excellent!

Last year I was at Straton where a manager of "starting gate" insulted my "K-Mart" boots. What a fool I thought. He's so pumped full of $$ from the posh NYC/CONN crowd that are happy to pay $800 for a $250 jacket that he couldnt see the quality through the green. Dont be suckered by fools like this. Skiing would be a thing of the past were it not for the comfort of my DB's.

One more note. If you are ever at Straton, avoid a resteraunt called "Outback at Winhall" (not the aussi-chain). The worst service I have ever had. The food simple and unimpressive. We would have tipped them nothing were it not for the fact that they tacked it on without our consent. And to a party smaller than they promised to cheat. After an argument with the hostess (who dropped a table down the stairs during our time there) we stormed out and wrote the owner a letter. They never responded.

So, if you are in a lot of foot pain, consider the Dale-boots, but if you are in Straton, avoid the "outback" like the plague.

post #8 of 8
Originally posted by pcwood:
"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion."
--Norman Schwartzkopf
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