DaleBoot 2020-21 Update: New shell and liner designs are in the works for 2021 and DaleBoot also intends to retire their unique snap-on alpine soles for a better traction screw-on style that will transmit skier inputs more directly to the ski, and they’ll still offer canted options. There are also plans for a patented tech-compatible canted sole which will put DaleBoot on the map as the only provider of such technology, and in concert with a new, releasable AT cuff will take their already lightweight custom designs further from the chairlift.
The DaleBoot VFF Pro's top scores were for its initial fit and feel, its quickness and its ease of entry and exit—and that fairly sums up the best elements of this fully custom-built boot. Its fit is built to a customer's individual specs and a variety of DaleBoot/Intuition custom liners fine tune that personalized shape. The thin shell and all-polyether plastic construction was light and cool way before lightweight was cool. The three-piece design, in concert with a spiral-wrap liner is hands-down the absolute easiest to slide in and out of.
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 which is their business model. We know because to be fair to other brands at the test we have 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.
The VFF Pro now comes with a revised upper cuff design (taller with a stiffer, thicker back area) to create a stronger feel on snow over previous versions we've tested. 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 we've tested. 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 firmer—laterally the power comes from the rigid plastic of the lower boot and the new more powerful cuff design. Testers praised the VFF Pro's unique combination of fit, snow feel and smooth flex.
The best feature of the VFF Pro is that all custom fitting, modifications, and stance alignment is included in one price through DaleBoot partner dealer shops. 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.