Expert Review: Dalbello Panterra 120 ID GW Ski Boots · 2021
This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2020.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2020.
I love the Dalbello Panterra 120 ID GW Ski Boots. They are tight, powerful, and super easy to put on. The Panterra has a range from intermediate to expert skiers because of its wide range of flexes.
About the boots I own
- Model: 2021 Dalbello Panterra 120 ID GW
- Size: 27.5
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 160lbs
- Street shoe size: 10M
- Experience: 10 years of skiing
- When I bought these: December 2020
- Days tested: 40
- Skis: Dynastar Cham 87 and Blizzard Rustler 11
- Bindings: Marker Tour 10 and Look Pivot 14
- Where I’ve used it: Grand Targhee, Mt. Baker, Crystal Mountain, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St. Helens
- Terrain: Powder, icy junk, trees, groomers, cliffs
How they perform
What I was looking for
While looking for boots, I was looking for something that I could use in the resort as an all-mountain boot while introducing me to backcountry/ski mountaineering.
Why I chose this gear
I went for the Marker Tour 10 to use as a hybrid binding, and this boot has a walk mode and gripwalk soles to accomplish my goal of a backcountry introduction. Two other big sellers for me were the highly heat moldable wrap liner and three-piece Cabrio design, making for an easier step into the boot. I was also very interested in the Tecnica Cochise. I decided to go for this boot because of the wrap liner and the three-piece Cabrio design. I’ve always found ski boots to hurt putting on, and the Panterra was the first boot I tried that was easy to put on without pain.
What I love about them
- Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness: The brand claims it is a 120 flex boot, and I got what I asked for. It is a stiff boot; the wrap liner contributes to this.
- Accuracy of Claimed Fit: I got exactly what Dalbello claims about their fit. They claim a medium fit (100–102mm), and it never felt too big or too small (I have a 100mm last foot). Though I have definitely noticed that they have packed out a bit more than I would like. They aren’t too loose at this moment, but they aren’t as tight as they were when I first got them.
- Comfort: I love these boots partly due to their comfort. The heat-moldable wrap liner gives me an incredible fit. The heat molding process at my local shop was surprisingly easy.
- Flex: They weren’t as stiff as 130-flex boots I’ve tried in the past (since it is a 120-flex boot), but I love the tiny bit of give that the boot gives when I rip down a groomer. It places my shins at the right angle to really push it down the mountain.
- Weight: I never felt like the extra weight of this boot really held me back. I look for power in a boot, and this thing gives me all the power I could ever need. I wouldn't say it’s a winner in weight, nor a loser in that regard.
- Ease of use: Putting these boots on my feet is easier than any other boot I’ve tried. The three-piece Cabrio design and wrap liner make it really easy to put on, even when they sat in my cold trunk for the whole ride up the mountain.
- Resort: I love these boots for the resort. I ride them pretty aggressively, and they have been fun in both the soft stuff and the choppy crud. The excellent fit gave me a really good time wherever I went. The immediate transfer of power from my legs to the skis that the boots give me makes for a quick and exciting ride in the trees as well.
- Park: While I don’t spend much time jibbing any cool features in the park, I have used these many times in the natural park of the trees and cliffs. I love to drop cliffs and throw a few backflips, and I feel like these boots really stay strong and keep me up on the landing. They don’t collapse under my weight like a softer boot.
- Backcountry: I loved this boot as an introduction to backcountry skiing. It’s not a lightweight touring boot, but I don’t care about weight. I loved pulling it up to the top of Mt. Adams and Mount St. Helens. The downhill performance is worth the extra weight.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Walk mode: Getting the boot back in ski mode can be a pain, especially when packed with snow. The hinge is small, and I felt like I wasn’t strong enough to flex the boot back down enough to get it in ski mode.
- Durability: Although the boot has held up very well, the plastic does seem a bit soft, and has been a bit beat up with my mountaineering use.
Favorite moment with this gear
It was in these boots that I went on my first backcountry ski trip. I skinned up to the top of Mount St. Helens in a 50mph blizzard. Between each charlie-horse step, and the pulled hip flexor, my feet stayed warm and tight. I loved being able to take these up with me, because it’s the downhill that makes it all worth it, and these boots are incredible at the downhill.
Value for the money vs. other options
These boots are definitely worth their price. It is a cheaper option compared to the Tecnica Cochise. I have tried both pretty heavily, and I have to say that in every way I like the Dalbello better, except for the walk/ski mode switch, which is a little quicker on the Cochise. In terms of bang for your buck, the Dalbello Panterra is definitely the way to go.
After two awesome seasons riding these boots, I have to say that I really love these things. If one is looking for a non-expensive boot at a really high quality, look no further. I got an easy step-in, a perfect heat-molded fit, a tight wrap liner for the best performance, and a walk mode to ease into backcountry skiing. I 100% recommend this boot for anyone wanting a really good time on the mountain.