The 2021/2022 DaleBoot VFF Pro was tested in the All-Mountain Traditional category by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.
The revised VFF Pro was an answer to testers many years of prayers that there might come a day for a buckle system update, and praise Ullr, that day is come! The clean and crisp feeling (and looking) cuff is modeled on its venerable predecessor but it sports, shall we say, normal buckles! Testers liked their feel in the hand but even more importantly liked the wrapping closure of the new cuff design which gripped their shin in a characteristically cushioned and long-travel DaleBoot sort of way but with a bit more performance constriction and with a stronger flex feel.
The fit with a DaleBoot is. Meaning, it’s all about you—it’s custom—and our tests over the years have shown that a one-off shell build plus an Intuition-DaleBoot custom molded liner adds up to a great fit. That said, the new cuff is thicker on the sides, which generates more edging power but also contributed to a more robust fit though the upper boot where the lower leg felt more supported than your previous VFF Pro. Testers loved the ease of buckling with the revised and less-unique clasping, and while the lower buckle will remain reversed (that’s not so crazy considering the many three-piece designs that followed DaleBoot’s 5-decade lead on that) but they will transition that bale buckle to a modern catch for next season.
The VFF Pro always sat on the agile and steery side of the quickness-power fence, but not so much now as testers said that the revised cuff build and a slightly more positive (tipped out) lateral stance unlocked some previously untapped horsepower and torque in this lightweight-before-lightweight-was-cool cabrio. The direct-drive feel of the forefoot sitting directly on the thin and stiff polyether shell floor remains a characteristic asset of the new VFF Pro as that design element has not changed. Nor has the three-quarter-length bootboard with adjustable weight-bearing posts that allows for incremental ramp angle tweaks as well as available adjustment in rearfoot varus and valgus (for the super techy stance geeks among us). The well-cushioned and rangy flex feel is also still recognizable as a signature DaleBoot trait, though the new cuff’s “travel slots” are more easily extended to offer even more travel in flexion for those who want it. As with all VFF Pros of yore, the free-hinging three-piece flex range is restrained by an adjustable spring-tensioned cable and lever-action tightening throw on the rear of the cuff.
As with all DaleBoot models the coolest feature of the VFF Pro is that it is built for each individual customer in their Salt Lake City factory and then shipped to the partner-dealer who does the final liner molding and stance work, plus any additional fit tweaking for one single price. The original provider of on-sole canting, the VFF Pro still offers a wide range of modular canted soles to put the final touches on a custom fit.