Once again the 2018 DaleBoot VFF Pro's custom test score tops the category, reminding testers that there is only one true custom boot at the boot test. Best-in-test entry and exit may be a reason some skiers might go with VFF Pro, but best-of-category fit and on-snow performance earn it a look for good skiers, too.
There's really no way to go try on a DaleBoot to decide whether or not to buy it—well, you could try on some generic sample at a DaleBoot dealer shop to get a feel for how it goes on and buckles up, but that's about all you'd get. You might even get scared off—the non-customized DaleBoot experience is so different from the full-meal-deal custom program that is their business model. We know because to be fair to other brands at the test we asked them to submit off-the-rack models in addition to their custom-built-for-tester models. Some testers loved the generic test samples, others not so much, but every tester was stoked on the VFF Pro that was built just for him. The shell and cuff are selected to match the foot and leg, then modified as needed prior to leaving the Salt Lake City factory. The pre-selected Intuition liner is molded to the skier at his local dealer shop to finalize the fit. So, the fit isn't a narrow or a medium or a wide—it's you.
This year's VFF Pro comes with a revised upper cuff design (taller with a stiffer, thicker back area) which produced a noticeably stronger feel on snow over previous versions we've tested. Testers noticed a firmer flex feel and a better command over the skis edge on hard snow this year. This did not create any loss of feel in the lower shell, which remains one of the most sensitive and in-tune with the ground of any boot in the test. The lower boot has two unique design features that give it such touch—a very thin but stiff polyether shell wall and a three-quarter length bootboard that puts the ball of foot directly on the floor of the shell. The flex feel is able to be adjusted by the skier with the rear spring-loaded cable closure from long and soft to progressive and firm—laterally the power comes from the rigid plastic of the lower boot and the new more powerful cuff design. Testers unanimously praised the VFF Pro's unique combination of fit, feel, flex and power.
The best feature of the VFF Pro is that all custom fitting, modifications, and stance alignment is included in one price. The stance alignment part of the equation is finalized with the application of snap-on, canted soles if needed—a very effective canting solution found only on DaleBoot.
“Promotes smooth ankle freedom without being too free-hinging. ” -- Marc Stewart
“Snug and smooth in matching the contours of the foot—responsive and quick.” -- Bob Gleason
“Quick and sensitive to subtle skier input—very warm and free adjustments!” -- Jack Rafferty
“Seemed just about perfect, like it was made for me! Agile, balanced, powerful.” -- Eric Kipp