Expert Review: Dalbello Lupo AX 120 Ski Boots · 2022
This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
The Dalbello Lupo AX 120 is a great ski boot for any skier who wants a boot that fits and skis like an alpine boot but provides the freedom and comfortability of a touring boot.
About the boots I own
- Model: 2021 Dalbello Lupo AX 120
- Size: 26.5
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 160 lbs
- Street shoe size: 10.5
- Experience: 18 years of skiing
- When I bought these: November 2020
- Days tested: 100
- Skis: Armada Tracer
- Bindings: Armada Shift
- Where I’ve used it: Breckenridge, Abasin, Snowbird, Alta, backcountry
- Terrain: Groomers, cliffs, couloirs, glades
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking to upgrade from the Dalbello Krypton to a lightweight pair of boots that I could use to ski in the backcountry with a touring binding and in a resort with a normal alpine binding. I also needed something comfortable for long days.
Why I chose this gear
I decided to go with the Lupos because they are a lightweight boot that fits my foot extremely well and allows me to ski with any binding. I have always loved Dalbello boots because of how well they fit and perform for me, so it was really my only choice.
What I love about it
- Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness: Dalbello claims a 120 flex, and these boots are pretty accurate on that. Unless turned to walk mode, the stiffness is very accurate.
- Accuracy of Claimed Fit: I am in a 26.5 and the sizing is very accurate. I sized down from a 27.5, and the 26.5 fits extremely well as a performance boot.
- Comfort: Boots all fit differently for everyone, but for me these are some of the most comfortable boots I have ever owned. The liner is extremely soft, easy to maneuver, and formed to my foot almost immediately.
- Flex: The flex on these boots feels like a 120 as stated. Not too soft but not too stiff for someone of my size. I never feel as if I'm pushing the boot too far.
- Weight: Weighing in at about four pounds, the Lupo is similar in weight to an alpine boot from Dalbello, but a little less than other companies. They never feel like they are dragging me down when boot packing or touring.
- Ease of use: It is extremely easy to put these boots on and take them off. The tongue is very maneuverable, which allows the liner to flex open easily. The tongue can also be taken off to make this easier.
- Resort: Even though it is considered a touring boot, the Lupo is very sturdy and reliable in the resort. It skis the same as a normal alpine boot, but it just has the option to use tech toes.
- Backcountry: These are not the lightest backcountry boots there are, but they are extremely easy to use, very comfortable, and work for all lengths and types of tours. In the backcountry, they are comfortable and sturdy boots.
- Walk mode: Super easy to use with the flip of a lever on the back of the boot. The walk mode allows the boot to easily flex when walking or touring. To ski, just flex the boot forward and flip the lever down to increase the stiffness. Walk mode is very helpful on this boot.
- Grip: Grip walk on the soles allows for amazing grip when walking on all types of terrain and conditions.
- Durability: I have put these boots through the ringer and they still look and perform amazing. I have used them over 100 days in all conditions.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Park: Not the best for park because they are made a little softer for touring. The boot feels great when skiing all terrain, but in the park and on rails, it is easy to push through the boot and lose balance or control.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with these boots was when I toured and skied Storm Peak in Silverton, Colorado. The day started with a normal tour up the main couloir. The boots felt amazing as we made our way up the switchbacks. Eventually, it got too steep, and we needed to start boot packing. The Lupos were very easy to walk in, extremely comfortable, and had an amazing grip, which helped a lot. Once to the top, my feet felt great, which allowed me to relax before the ski down. Then, when I put the boot into ski mode, I could confidently ski the couloir and charge through the ice at the top until I reached the soft snow lower down.
Value for the money vs. other options
Retailing at $800, the Dalbello Lupo is very similar in price to other freeride tour boots, such as the Salomon Shift Pro 120, Tecnica Cochise 120, and Rossignol All Track 120. I think the Lupo is priced very well with the quality and comfort this boot provides. I would recommend the Lupo over others because of the ease of use and how comfortable they are.
The Dalbello Lupo 120 is an all-around boot for anyone looking to ski in resorts and go into the backcountry. Super comfortable, easy to use, and reliable, the Lupo can be the go-to boot for any adventure.