Dalbello Lupo Factory

Model Year
2017-18
Category
All-Mountain Walk
Last Width
98
Flex Index
130
Price (MSRP)
$1100.00USD

The Gist

You can see by testers' custom score averages that the way to unlock the comfort, balance and performance potential of the 2018 Dalbello Lupo Factory is to take the time to custom mold the Intuition-built I.D. Max Hike liner—getting this lightweight full-thermo job matched to the foot and leg evened out the fit and helped tap the Lupo's beastly power and quickness.

The Fit

The Lupo Factory experience isn't for wimps or wannabes. Just getting into the boot takes a certain level of skill and commitment. The lightweight, rear-articuluated lace-up liner goes on the foot first, gets laced, then the foot and liner enter (i.e. get crammed into) the three-piece shell. Keeping the shell's tongue, internal weather-proof gusset, overlaps, straps and buckles all clear for takeoff is a little bit of a cluster—but once the foot has a clear path to the floorboards it slams right down into place. This is an overall narrow fit, with extra room at the forefoot and quite a bit of space in the toebox—testers said this clean, even, narrowish fit came only after liner molding. Prior to liner cooking, fit scores were more scattered. The upper cuff crawls up pretty high on the leg shaft, and the tongue has a nicely padded feel against the shin. Testers say this is not an open calf fit at the boot top—slender feet and long slender legs will do best here.

Performance

Testers were in agreement that the internal bootboard ramp angle is fairly low, the cuff is pretty upright and the 130 flex is plenty stout—this put testers on their heels and left them struggling to get up and out in front of this boot. Those who could (taller, more aggressive, i.e. real men) tapped into megatons of shovel-bending force, and those who couldn't ended up moving side to side, tapping into megatons of lateral, edge-driving power. The lightweight Grilamid lower shell and hand-laid carbon upper cuff are undoubtedly strong and super transmissive of skier inputs, just a little hard to harness for three-dimensional skiing. A lot of skiers mentioned needing a little bit of heel lift and a little bit of rear spoiler in the cuff—good suggestions, and easily accomplished.

Cool Features

The Lupo Factory started the removable tongue hike modality last year, and this year it's available on all the Lupo models for men and women. The industrial-strength cuff release mechanism is pretty standard, but by completely removing the plastic, external tongue, the cuff is free to hinge widely forward and aft, with a light and unhindered quality and a rolling stride enabled by the rockered GripWalk soles the boot comes with. Yes, the cuff must be stashed somewhere, like a pack, but for a decent length skin mission having a pack would make total sense, right? The weatherproof gusset that hinders entry initially is what keeps snow out of the boot while touring, which can be done with low-tech or A.T. bindings. Alpine-norm soles are available for a more area-based attack.

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.0-29.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Cabrio/3-PC
Boot width profile 
Narrow
Also in this Collection 
Lupo 130 C, $950
Cantology Compatible 
No
Total Avg Score 
19.44
  • 2017-18  Dalbello Lupo Factory at America's Best Bootfitters Boot Test
  • 2017-18  Dalbello Lupo Factory at America's Best Bootfitters Boot Test

Kudos

  • “Excellent edge power and support—can work the ski as needed. Well done!” -- Greg Coulter
  • “Well engineered on/off-area boot—meets the demands of the strongest skiers.” -- Bob Gleason
  • “Fits really well and is strong on edge.” -- Charlie Bradley
  • “Very strong edge power and awesome walk mode.” -- Tanner Eccles
  • “Great feel for the snow and quick side to side—steers well.” -- Andrew Orlich
  • “Strong like bull! This boot moves when you do!” -- Dave Alleman

Caveats

  • “Is a P.I.T.A. to put on and skis from the leg only—lacks foot feel.” -- Charlie Bradley
  • “Better for walking than for skiing.” --
  • “Tough to get and stay forward.” -- Dave Alleman

This boot available at...

Ludlow, VT
Flagstaff, AZ
Wethersfield, CT
Ellicottville, NY
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Telluride, CO
Teton VIllage, WY

Special thanks to all of our sponsors!

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