This year we broke with long-standing tradition and did not test one of our all time favorite boots, the award-winning Kyra 95, but instead tested the softer 2019 Dalbello Kyra 85 as a "Soft-Value" entry. Testers said it was a great comfort option for low-level skiers looking for ease of entry and extra room for the lower leg. Up against the other boots in the category it was out-matched, testers said. Their takeaway: pay the extra $50 for the upgrade to the Kyra 95. (check out last year's review: www.bootfitters.com/reviews/2017-18-dalbello-kyra-95)
Testers loved the easy 102 mm fit and hyper-cushioned initial feel when sliding into the Kyra 85—its entry and exit marks were top of class too. This is a comfy, warm fit for thick feet and the average to wider calf, testers said, but they also found that the middle 45-degree buckle did a fine job of keeping the foot in place. Testers found no real fit flaws here, just lots of extra room.
Testers were unanimously vexed by the collapsing forward flex feel of the Kyra 85, and mystified by how a supposed mere 10 flex index points separating the previously tested Kyra 95 from the Kyra 85 could feel so different. The apparent difference is the DB Hyperlite plastic used in the 85's shell and cuff, compared to higher-performance Irfran plastic found in the 95, as well as different tongue materials used between the two. Testers said for lightweight novice skiers this should not pose a problem as the stance angles and fit were on target, but said the Kyra 95 performed on a whole other level, suitable for intermediates to advanced skiers.
Testers did love the creature comfort of the Kyra 85's cozy Thinsulate liner and they said the simple walk mode switch was easy to operate and offered a decent range of motion and smooth, gliding quality of stride. GripWalk soles are available as an option for even better walking!
“Whoa, I'm not in walk mode? Way too soft for anyone over 120 lbs. Good for a fat blow up doll--who else could use these?” --
“Decent foot hold, but an unsupportive, collapsing cuff like this creates a serious struggle.” -- Emily Poore