Last season an all-new women’s performance three-piece line-up took up the mantle from the softer, cruiseyer Kyra boot. Our testers loved the stronger, quicker Panterra 105 W for its higher performance character, but felt it ran stiffer than billed and firm against the shin. Enter the Panterra 95 W--a softer and gentler beast of a cabrio that clocks in at 100-bucks less. The Panterras are all supremely easy to slide on due to their 3-piece architecture and spiral ID (Intuition-Dalbello) liners are available in top tier models for men and women to further bump up custom moldability and ease on and off.
The last width for the women's Panterras is listed as a 101-99 mm (1 mm narrower than the men's) and testers agreed that its fit hovers on the borderline between medium and wide. Testers all note the extra high vertical space through the instep made available by the cabrio lower shell--a bit of fit freedom which is hard to come by in performance medium widths and a blessing for those with high arches. The 2 mm differential is due to the Variable Volume Fit (VVF) first buckle feature--closing it tight allows the cylinder of the forefoot area to tighten by those 2 mm's across. Yes, it's just a buckle, but closes the volume in a circular way, without squashing the top of the shell flat against the foot. Testers say the ankle and heel are snug in a performance-minded way and the upper cuff runs a bit tall on the leg with a bit of flare for larger calf muscles.
Testers have always been impressed with how strongly the Dalbello cabrio women's boots have skied--surprisingly powerful and stable, and this new version is more agile and accurate than cabrios they've tested in the past. For a combination of ease of entry and exit with all-mountain charger cred, it's hard to find a better option than the women's Panterra line.
A benefit of the VVF buckle is that once it is set to the wearer's desired volume, it can be left alone--the boot can be put on and taken off easily without opening it back up--set it and forget it volume control. This year GripWalk soles come mounted on all Panterra models, and as such plan to have a GripWalk compatible binding. At a list price of only $600 we think the value here is a cool feature--and for an extra 50-bucks you could upgrade to the spiral wrapped full-thermo I.D. liner version.
“Strong boot. Fits tight around the ankles and leg but it’s roomy in the foot. It allows for solid, balanced skiing. Worth the extra minutes it takes to figure out the buckles. ” -- Liz Elling
“Floor to ceiling space for that cavus foot. Will take a wiener heel well.” -- Sam Tischendorf
“Skied remarkably well. Relied a lot on steering and it performed--very sturdy and held an edge well. It plowed through sticky crud with confidence. ” -- Megen Johnson
“Buckles are a mess, they are all over the place, facing different directions, and each one is different. With that said, once the foot is in, it’s held in place. ” -- Emily Poore