Packed full of all-terrain and hiking features, the Dalbello Lupo AX 105 W continues to impress our test team with its dialed fit, stronger than expected flex feel, light weight and touring goodies. It is also one of only a few tech-binding compatible boots on the market that come in a size 21.5. Testers dig the ease on and off here, after learning how to navigate the weatherproof gusset and cabrio-centric wraps. The fit is evenly medium-width, with a little extra room for the higher instep, and testers love the extended touring range of motion when the external tongue is removed.
Testers agreed that the fit is very evenly distributed—essentially how a medium width should fit—a little extra room in the toebox, a good snug heel pocket and a comfortably uniform grip everywhere else. They said the upper cuff's stance is a little upright and the 105 flex rating is for real, so plenty of fore-aft support on tap for charging, and slightly easier on the shin than with its predecessor 110-flex from two seasons ago.
The downhill power-to-weight ratio here was commendable, according to testers who said it tipped and ripped as well as it drove to the front of the shovel, handling all speeds, all terrain and all turn sizes equally well, with no surprises. The hike mode is unique in that to access the boot's full range of touring motion, the tongue must be removed completely using a simple switch at its connection point. With the tongue out of the way, the comfy fabric gusset keeps moisture out and the boot rolls through a massive range. Yeah, you gotta stow the tongue in your pack, but you probably have one if you're slapping on skins, right?
The Lupo AX utilizes a polyolefin plastic called DB Hyperlite in the lower shell and the tongue but a polyamide composite in the cuff to shave substantial weight without a noticeable reduction of stability. This tech-compatible boot comes with rockered, lugged GripWalk soles for use with compatible bindings.