K2's maiden voyage into true Backcountry boot territory was a successful mission according to our testers who liked the Dispatch W LT for its massive and smooth range of motion in touring mode, coupled with a generous medium width fit and reliable lefts and rights on the way down. While not the most important element, testers did agree that the boot looks cool, too.
Gone are the lateral cuff adjusting elliptical spacers, which had to go to maximize the range and feel of the upper cuff's rotation when released for walking or skinning. Testers said that the lateral stance set-up felt neutral and balanced to them out of the box, so at least most skiers will have no need for lateral stance work. The fore-aft stance was upright and tall against the lower leg shaft, testers said, which they liked for low quad-burn levels and for touring but they mentioned that it took a little attention to get over the sweet spot while skiing.
Testers loved the roomy-medium fit that gently matched the curvatures of the foot and leg without offering too much squeeze. Our higher volume testers loved the extra room (more than they expected from a 100 mm last), especially over the instep where they noted very high ceilings. Testers liked the soft address of the Tourfit LT liner and while they appreciated its full-thermo Ultralon molding capabilities, only one mentioned feeling a need to utilize it. Testers appreciated the dual liner pull loops, but said they felt a bit let down by the wimpy, narrow power strap.
Testers generally gave the boot highest marks for its comfortable fit and category-best touring features and skills. It skied just fine everywhere they pointed it, they said, but also mentioned that skiers seeking untracked pow stashes farther afield from the chairlift might best appreciate the Dispatch's adventurous character.
“Plenty of toe room for touring. Medium width, but tons of room over the instep. This is the best fitting Backcountry boot I have ever put on! Walk mode is easy with loads of travel--very smooth. Adjustable forward lean is built into the walk mode assembly. ” -- Emily Poore
“Extremely roomy in the lower boot for a 100 mm but nicely shaped.” -- Lee Ann Ross
“This roomy fit will allow folks with higher volume feet to be more comfortable with this category of boot (which is really needed, there just aren't many higher volume touring boots out there) but K2 should not be marking this as a 100 mm last. I digress. Visually, K2 brings a fresh look, which is great and helps the boot stand out in the crowd. The range and quality of movement in the hike mode is totally appropriate and done well, but nothing flash or exciting, which is fine. ” -- Sam Tischendorf
“Fairly consistent 100+ mm fit throughout the whole boot. ” -- Kori Coggin