I got an email this morning pointing out how many “Skier’s Choice” awards Dalbello ski boots have received for the 2016/2017 season. I thought I would take a moment to share with you some personal experience and thoughts regarding Dalbello boots.
First off, Avie’s Ski/Sport is carrying Dalbello ski boots this season, so if you find any of my thoughts intriguing, stop by the shop and check out some ski boots.
I had a pair of Dalbello “Scorpion” ski boots that I loved. They were traditional 4-buckle boots with a 110 “flex.” Given that there is no industry standard for ski boot flex numbers, you can interpret 110 as “pretty stiff but not really stiff.” Sorry, that’s the best I can do on that one.
The liners in my “Scorpion” boots were getting “packed out.” That’s jargon meaning they are getting thinner in spots from compression between foot/shin and the hard plastic of the boot. So my feet were getting colder quicker and picking up some less than comfortable “pinch points.” My options were to replace the liner or get new boots. I chose to look at new boots first.
Given my good experience with Dalbello, I figured I would look to this brand first. I also wanted to try out a slightly stiffer boot (in the “really stiff” range) to see how they performed. Most of the Dalbello boots in the stiffer categories are a 3-buckle design. I had always been a bit leery about 3-buckle ski boots, having heard that they provide comfort, not performance. While I like comfort as much as anyone, I’m not willing to give up performance.
I settled on a pair of Dalbello “KR Pro” boots, with 130 flex, and Dalbello’s unique “cabrio” 3-buckle boot design. After a season skiing in them, I can honestly say that there was absolutely no lag in performance. In fact, the boots fit snugger, held my heels down flatter, and left me with a very solid leg-to-ski connection that provided much more control over the skis. And yes, they were comfortable, but not at any cost to performance.
So—great fit, great performance. All good. But here are a few other thoughts. The Dalbello cabrio-design is soooooooo easy to get on and off. My “Scorpions” were a very snug fitting boot, and I would always work up a sweat getting them on, and then again getting them off. It was a struggle that started and ended every day on the slopes. The cabrio-design eliminates the struggle, but retains the snug fit. That’s a real win-win in my game book!
Since I tend to have cold feet and hands, I opted for the Intuition™ liner in my new boots, as this is one of the warmest boot liners on the market. I heat molded the liners using a bag of uncooked rice in a sock—yes, it’s recommended by the manufacturer. The fit came out great, but the biggest bonus is that upon taking my boots off at the end of the day, I smell fresh cooked rice. It does make folks nearby scan the area looking for whoever is having a meal of rice, but that’s far better than the aroma often emanating from a pair of ski boots at the end of a hard day at work on the slopes.
So I invite you to stop in at Avie’s and check out the Dalbello line of ski boots. While I can’t vouch for other brand 3-buckle boots as I haven’t had the opportunity to ski them at length, I can vouch for the Dalbello cabrio 3-buckle design and say there is no slip in performance while providing great ease of entry and exit, and comfort.
And about that rice smell. I once had to use my Dalbello “Scorpion” boots as the weight for a panini press as there was nothing else with substantial weight in the ski house where we were staying. They worked pretty good in that role. Having new boots that smell of fresh cooked rice, in my opinion, simply continues that tradition. And it goes to show that Dalbello ski boots have greater value après ski than just “looking cool.”