What’s New with Custom?

What should your first thought be if you have tricky feet and a history of painful boots? Find a better bootfitter, duh! (do that here). What should your second thought be? Maybe try a DaleBoot!

DaleBoot-VFF-Pro

It’s the only truly custom-built boot on the market (we think), and it’s been updated in recent years with high tech plastics and modern stance angles. There are lots of ways to customize a ski boot, but only one way to start from scratch, like a custom-shaped surfboard for your feet.

The process begins with a DaleBoot dealer taking essential measurements and tracings of the skier’s feet. North American specs are sent to the factory in Salt Lake City, UT.  European specs are sent to DaleBoot’s European HQ in Kitzbuehel, Austria.  Both locations also host DaleBoot-branded factory fit centers. As the specs are received, the lower boot is built to match the foot shape using a variety of heavy metal lasts and a steam bath that permanently molds the thin shell-wall polyether plastic. The upper cuff is selected to match the lower leg’s length and modified as needed to suit the calf’s shape. Then the bespoke boot is shipped to the dealer (to meet the deadline they’ve stipulated, often within the week) where the Intuition liner of a variety of styles, thicknesses and densities will be molded and then stance alignment checked and modified as needed.

All of this is included in the price of $825, which also includes any needed modifications made by the dealer down the road. Our recent boot tests have favored the VFF Pro, DaleBoot’s most popular model, for its long-travel flex feel, high agility scores and hyper-aware feel for the snow. Their VFF is preferred by less aggressive skiers and more petite women, and the ST is a stiff beast of a boot that big dudes and frontside carvers love for its power and stability. Any of these models can be made as narrow as a 92 mm last and as wide as a 114 mm, as well as from a size 23 all the way to a 33.

New shell and liner designs are in the works for 2022 and DaleBoot also intends to retire their unique snap-on alpine soles for a better traction screw-on style that will transmit skier inputs more directly to the ski, and they’ll still offer canted options. There are also plans for a patented tech-compatible canted sole which will put DaleBoot on the map as the only provider of such technology, and in concert with a new, releasable AT cuff will take their already lightweight custom designs further from the chairlift.

–Mark Elling

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