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Dalbello Krypton Cross Followup Review

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Edit: On-snow review is now fifth post.


Me: Advanced, late middle aged technical skier who is moving toward more of a finesse style, 160 lbs, 6', live in NE but ski several weeks a year out west. Current boots: Salomon Falcon 10 deeply modified, and Salomon Lab plug.


I've been in the market for boots since last year when, having dumped my Solomon Falcon 9's, I discovered that my Falcon 10's were maybe not optimal for western soft snow, bumps, and trees. Let alone increasing amounts of hiking sidebounds terrain both here and out west. Recently I inquired on the boot forum about medium flex boots with Vibram soles, got some sound advice, went a-looking. 


Could not love Atomic or Nordica models, but was fairly sold on Lange Blaster, a 100 flex 98 last with a walk mode (nothing suitable for AT, but handy) and Vibram on front and rear, still DIN. I've owned Langes before, and other than that fact they're too narrow for my forefoot, I love them.) Then found a store that sold Dalbello, and out of curiosity, asked to try some on. Namely the Krypton Cross with the standard (Performance/Gold) liner. This is a review of the 27.5, weight 5.8 lbs per boot. (Yep, checked that on a postal scale. Super light compared to most other alpines.) 


Had never tried a cabrio (three piece shell) design before. For the uninitiated, three revelations: 1) You feel like you're gonna fall through the fronts. The flex pattern is totally unlike an overlap design. Instead of having a progressive flex, that increases as you press forward, cabrios have a quasi-linear flex. Same at beginning as end. (Actually, I have a hunch it's slightly parabolic, meaning that it's a touch stiffer at the start than at full forward flex.) This produces an unsettling soft sensation, like "where's the beef?" However, I also learned that as they come out of the box, these have a flex insert of 90. (Inserts are little plastic rectangles with tabs that fit into a small niche in the rear spine of the shell.) You can replace with 100's or 120's in the box. I put in the 100, and noticed an immediate improvement. It felt at store temps within ballpark of the Lange Blaster at 100, although the lack of progressive resistance was still disconcerting. They say that it takes about one day to get used to it. 


2) You feel like every twitch of your ankles laterally is transmitted to the sole. My Falcons are known for their lateral responsiveness, but these are in another league. The quickness is not accompanied by a typical sense of a beefy side body that requires some muscle commitment to get going, then wow, quick. Rather, the entire rear of the boot feels, weirdly, very light and very stiff at the same time. It just goes as your ankle does. I am told this also reflects the cabrio design, with a comparatively low hinge with more anatomical advantage, and of course, the solid rear that extends forward past the ankle bone.


3) There is no need to worry about heel slipping. First because the cabrio front is flexing separately from the ankle, so there's no pull upward as you lean forward. Second, because the middle buckle fastens onto the actual rear of the boot, so when you buckle down, you are anchoring your heel to the rear spine. As much as I tried, no amount or type of forward flex could make my heel move. 


Some additional details: The last runs true to size. I am a 10.5-11 street shoe, wear a 27.5 Falcon, this was also a 27.5. Normal 1.5 fingers behind the heel in the shell. Tried a 26.5, just not long enough. The last shape was very much like the Lange's, also 98 across the ball, low to moderate volume toe box, and in general made for a narrowish foot. The heel, allowing for the different design, felt a bit tighter than the Lange, so call it also low volume. Wider, higher volume feet would not be happy in these,  nor would folks with long toes. 


I was told, incidentally, that unlike most brands, the difference between the 27.0 and 27.5 (same shell, of course) was not achieved by having a thinner liner, but by having a thicker footbed. So it just pushes your foot up a bit toward a lower volume areas of the shell. 


Finally, the standard liner seems very similar to my Falcon 10's, which means it's nicely made and should gradually reform around your foot as you ski. This took about 2 or 3 days in my Falcons. Not comfy along the way, and can be baked and formed in the shop, but factory rep says better to do it the old fashioned way. I don't like the tongues, which can be had in two stiffnesses, and are very thick. 


Far more interestingly, the boot can be found with ID liners, which are made by Intuition specifically for Dalbello. They add about $180 to the cost. Hmmm. I checked one out, it's a dead ringer for the power wrap except in orange. 


So (drumroll) to my surprise I bought these boots. Have been wearing them around the office, trying to keep them flexed in a decent position, can feel the liners beginning to adapt. Suspect I will eventually end up with the Intuitions, which are warmer, provide the best fit out there in ski boot land, and give more forward stiffness. Meanwhile, I will use the liners that come with the boot, and let them do their thing until I can decide if I need to stretch out the front of the boot (probably, 6th toe issues).


Will update this in a few weeks when the snow shows up and I can see how it feels not to put so much pressure on the fronts of my skis...

Edited by beyond - 1/19/11 at 4:00pm
post #2 of 8

FYI with the stiff tongues from a pro you can have about 140 flex but not really cause you will never get shin bang like you would in any other 140 boots.


I think youd like these even back east. They pretty easy to ski in. 

post #3 of 8


Far more interestingly, the boot can be found with ID liners, which are made by Intuition specifically for Dalbello. They add about $180 to the cost. Hmmm. I checked one out, it's a dead ringer for the power wrap except in orange.




I've talked to Intuition in the past about the Gold ID liner (I have the Krypton Pro) and they stated that the Gold ID is thinner in under foot than their other liners.  Copy and paste from Intuition email to me:


"...DalBello liners have a thinner insole, 7mm VS our 9-12mm's, as they stock their liners with footbeds..."


If they change from the half size to a whole size is by raising the footbed, the power wrap or non Dalbello specific Intuition liner is going to exaggerate this since it is thicker.


I put an Intuition Tongue liner in my Pros this year (it's the FX model and I don't see it on their site) and can tell it's thicker.  I like the flex with the tongue more than the Gold ID.  If you're wanting to keep it around 100 flex, the Gold ID and I guess other power wrap designs are going to add 10 - 15% stiffness.


It just seems to me that a boot with a tongue should have a liner with a tongue and a boot with a clam shell should have a liner with a clam shell.  Maybe it's just me. 


If you're really bored, I did a comparison of liners for flex change between the Gold ID and FX (FX representing a Dalbello stock liner) this summer and is posted here:




That's where I get the 10-15% increase in flex.  I haven't skied the FX yet but I did bake it and without flexing, I have a hard time telling the difference between my Gold ID and the FX.  I had each flavor in a boot and had them both on.  Fit wise I couldn't tell the difference.  Flex I could.  I'm in a 1/2 size and have a custom foot bed so it isn't raised.

post #4 of 8

I have skied the Krypton Cross ( 29.5 with the silver thermofit ID liner & custom footbeds) for 4 seasons the last two mated to Volkl AC50's. I'm 6', 230 lbs. , level 8 and the 120 flex setup for my boots has worked well (responsiveness and ski feel) in all conditions  - powder, bumps, trees, groomed, hardpack and ice. The thermal fit was a one shot deal with no tweeks needed after the initial fitting. After 3 years, 130 days, I had them re-thermally fit at the beginning of last season. The boot has been the warmest I've owned and also the best fit for my foot including heel retention. I think you have made a good choice but would highly recommend considering the silver Intuition ID thermo fit liner.


This seaon I am moving into the Krypton Pro (28.5) with the gold ID thermo fit liner + custom footbeds set up for a 140 flex. My Cross's were a 29.5 but I realized I could go a size smaller, 28.5,  after rechecking the shell fit. My foot width is 100mm so a good match for the 98mm last. Note I have read that the specified last width is for a 26.5 size and you should adjust approx +/- 3 mm for each full size increase/decrease from 26.5. Always shell fit first to be sure the initial sizing is correct. I haven't skied them yet but will post a comparative review after putting them though the paces.


I hope you enjoy your Cross's as much as I have enjoyed mine.


Falcon_O aka Charlie

Edited by falcon_o - 11/15/10 at 11:21am
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Update - These run a few mm larger than other boots at same size. After meditating on some advice by mntlion, I ended up swapping my 27.5's for 26.5's. Really tight across forefoot and toebox - basically fit like plugs before work - but perfect super snug ankle/heel. Will need some stretching in front, but think down the line I will be happier. Also decided to go ahead with the ID/Intuition liners, will get them baked after a few basic shell changes. 


Only problem now is 1) none of my mounts fit the smaller BSL and 2) Still no snow to try then out on. Sigh. 

Edited by beyond - 11/14/10 at 1:05pm
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

OK, here is the on-snow review as advertised: These are currently set at 100 flex, which is a bit soft, but am adding Intuitions next week, which should bring to within my Falcon 10 specs. They have the stiff sole board. Fit at 26.5 is still a work in progress; these run very narrow in the toebox, and all my other boots have been 27.5's. These are tighter in the toes than my plugs before any work on them. Have done some grinding, which has helped to a point. Will have my Intuitions molded next week, which should take care of more issues. Not a deal breaker, but a pain. Literally. There are pros and cons with these on groomed, hardpack to light pow, lots of bumps:


Payoff 1: Lightening quick edge to edge, and feel oddly light/thin while doing it. My Falcons feel a lot thicker and more beefy in the barrel, more inertia. But these are pretty stiff laterally; no lateral flex detected even at high edge angles. I attribute that to the single rear piece.


Payoff 2: Bumps are suddenly a lot easier. Your boot doesn't transmit the forces nearly as abruptly back to your legs. I actually looked down a couple of times to make sure, and watched the boot flexing back and forth, but only about half as much impact being transmitted to my legs. So everything is smoother. I attribute this both to the forward flex and the very low, anatomically advantageous pivot for the rear barrel. 


Payoff 3: Keeping my CM well forward, and thus becoming more aggressive with my angles, was also suddenly easier. I found myself concentrating more on lateral movement, crossing under, less on pressuring the tips and big crossing over moves. Again, some of this seems to be that I can use my ankles now (retraction and small foot movements are super easy) without losing lateral stiffness. By comparison my Falcons feel like solid blocks welding my lower leg to the ski; using my ankles or toes requires attention and effort.


Payoff 4: Small thing, but nice touch. With a three piece design, running your power strap under the tongue, as god meant us to, is stupid simple. With most overlaps, it requires moving rivets, punching holes, or maiming the strap. OK, now to the bad stuff.


Con 1: Linear flex forward means that you use your leg and trunk muscles a lot more; no resting against the tongues and air pressure while you cruise. So more work. Time to up the workout intensities.


Con 2: You really want to get your legs out to the sides in these. If I weren't committed to becoming better at high angles and lateral, rather than downhill, motions, they'd be wasted. As it is, they require more attention to balance IMO. Cruising is less relaxing. 


Con 3: At higher speeds on ice/hardpack, not as much feedback from skis pushing against tongue. Not sure these will work as well as my overlaps for serious carving/racing, but that's not why I got them.


Con 4: So far no cabrio designs appear to fit feet that are wider in front and narrower in back, which Salomon, Technica, and these days Lange cover nicely in overlaps. So be prepared for time with your bootfitter.  

post #7 of 8
I am on the Cross with the Intuition liner after being on Tecnica Diablos for years, the last three with Intuition Power wrap liners. The Cross's have made me a better skier, although I have new boards, too, so it's hard to be too specific. Very smooth power transfer is especially noticeable in crud and mashed potatoes. Smooth flex helps in the bumps. My only issues: I had to have the forefoot stretched - the are too narrow for my E width feet. And the screw of the micro-adjustable buckles bent the first time I used them. It makes me nuts that you spend hundreds on gear and they are too cheap to use hardened steel.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

To update my review, since it's waay old; on Fusions now. Still sold on the cabrio design for how and where I ski recreationally. Use  a plug for racing. The Fusions are the Crosses with the new K2  last that is significantly more anatomical. Have these in 27.5 (the 26.5 experiment didn't work), with the denser ID liners made for the K2 Pro, and the Vibram sole inserts. Short version: First time I can remember that a boot gives me the lateral reaction I want but doesn't kill as a tradeoff. Took some shop work, mind (Shout out to Northern Ski Works at Killington), but they simply do what I need, are more comfortable than any boot I've ever owned, and very warm as a bonus. I know as they gradually pack out, this will change, but for now, GREAT! 

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