The 2019 Dalbello Lupo AX 120 is the slightly softer, roomier little brother to the narrow, carbon-cuffed Lupo Factory, but the AX 120 comes with all the same backcountry bells and whistles and put skis on a mean rail (testers said) for 300-bucks less! Worth a look, testers said again this year.
The Lupo AX shares the same lower shell as the non-hike-mode Krypton AX, so testers found a roomy-side-of-medium-width fit here as well. The AX suffix indicates a medium, whereas sans-AX the Lupos and Kryptons are narrows (for the sake of nomenclature clarity). What was clear to testers was that an extremely easy slide in was followed up by a very easy fit in the lower boot—cushy, cozy and warm. Testers agreed that thicker feet will be fine here, so both medium and wide guys should have this on the short list if they're looking for ease of fit with backcountry styling.
While not Grilamid, like the skinny Lupos, the AX 120 is noticeably light (polyolefin shell and cuff, polyamide tongue), which testers liked, but they also liked that for its heft, it still managed to roll a ski up on edge and rally through chunder and smooth pistes alike with adequate stability. As with the Lupo Factory, many testers found the boot's ramp angle a bit too flat and its firm-flexing cuff a bit too upright—a combination that put them into turns on their heels--a little heel lift and extra rear spoiler and the problem would be solved, was their consensus.
Testers dug the unique tongue-free walk mode feature once they figured it out—the tongue is released with an easy-to-use pin and then the tongue gets stashed in your pack. Without the tongue hindering forward rotation, the cuff is free to walk and skin like no other, and the weatherproof gusseting keeps the feet dry and warm. The Lupo AX 120 is tech-compatible and comes with rockered, lugged GripWalk soles—alpine soles are available as an extra.
“Feels great compared to similar boots. I like how stiff the cuff is and they feel like they would stay warm in cold conditions. They ski as well as other non-hike boots!” -- Miles Rinne
“Superb fitting boot. One of the more consistent out of the box impressions. Definitely a true medium width boot all the way! No ambiguity about it—it's comfy. Very well thought out for going uphill.” -- Marc Stewart
“Hard to be quick when you're fighting for the front seat. ” -- Bob Gleason