Kastle K130P

Model Year
2023-2024
Category
Frontside
Last Width
100
Flex Index
130
Price (MSRP)
$949.00USD

Testers who got to put the Kastle K130P through its paces at last year's test agree that the liner revisions made in its second season have made a huge and positive difference in fit, which in turn improved their entire experience with this boot. A couple testers thought this was one of the best out-of-box fits of the test--though these guys place a premium on a close fit, the tighter the better. Most testers thought the fit was certainly on the snug side of the medium width fit spectrum, and most made mention that part of the initial fit that was awesome was simply the relief they felt once they finally got the boot on their foot.

It's structural story is one of traditional thickness polyurethane without tricky, co-molded soft panels at the instep, which means it's a little work to get on (its lowest score), in traditional four-buckle overlap fashion. But this plastic story also tells a tale of serious edge driving power (its high score) and rapid fire response time from turn to turn (its second highest score). This boot rewards the skier whose first rodeo this is not and perhaps has had many other boots that were even tougher to get on but that were similarly worth it for how they skied. This is not a boot for the soft-handed, post-pandemic, remote-working, new local who thinks he might try out the skiing lifestyle. This is not an apres boot but a now boot, a ski boot. Get it on, buckle it up (with buckles, dammit), suck it up, and go skiing--testers suggested. For the right skier this could be a world class match.

The fit is close for a modern medium--in fact, it scored more closely to narrows in our test than the mediums--but that wasn't a demerit but an observation, testers reminded. It has a particularly firm, almost aggressive, fit through the lower leg shaft and up into the shin and calf, which testers actually loved. One said it felt like a foam-injected liner just for him, right out of the box. The liner is a lace-up number that can be donned prior to entry into the shell (might be the easiest way) or left in the shell for more typical entry. There are a couple pull loops on the liner and a Velcro tongue attachment, but that's about where any Gucci adornments end--it's a stripped down, elemental affair made for the job of controlling a ski and it did that with surprising command.

Testers were again impressed with the Kastle's downhill game, and those who hadn't tested it before were downright shocked that a new boot could perform at levels close to par with the best in the world (seriously, look at the other boots in the Frontside category). Testers mentioned that it's something of a throwback to a past era where boots were tough and the skiers were even tougher, but that's an exaggeration--with a little bit of bootfitting, the harsh feel on bony points could be managed, and a nice warm start to the day would get the boot on just fine. Just be sure to hang by the fire in the bar at the end of the day a while before exiting--that's real apres skiing.

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.0-30.5
Hike Mode 
No
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
110
Cantology Compatible 
No
Total Avg Score 
4.44
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
polyurethane/polyurethane
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
4.40
Dynamic Balance 
4.50
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.70
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.60
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.00
Tech Compatible 
No

Kudos

  • “Probably the most accurate fit out of the box for the medium width boots tested. Fits like a true 100mm last boot should! Snug everywhere without an oppressively tight fit. Outstanding! Liner is not like Velveeta--firm, but not race boot hard.” -- Jim Morris
  • “Fits like a proper performance boot in all aspects. New kid on the block has some skills. Buckles are a notch ahead, nice release levers. Strong and predictable on snow.” -- Jack Rafferty
  • “It's a snappy little bugger! The closeness of fit was surprising and they skied MUCH better than I was anticipating. ” -- Marc Stewart
  • “This is my vote for best new kid on the block! Perfect medium. Liner is great in every way. Huge improvement. It's a huge move forward for Kastle as a boot company. The liner is now fantastic. Way to go. This thing fits great and skis better. I love a 100mm Frontside boot with replaceable soles.” -- Kevin Gabriel
  • “For a new boot company, they have hit it out of the park.” -- Jim Schaffner
  • “Much improved liner from Gen 1.” -- Erik Korman
  • “Big improvements in the liner from last year--feels like a foam injected liner going on. Closure is impeccable, though a bit old-school--difficult to enter, difficult to exit, hard to buckle up its rigid plastic. It's a real ski boot. No problem with stance, no problem with skiability but nonetheless, it's a hardcore skier's boot.” -- Mark Elling
  • “Overall fit is solid, good grip without pain.” -- Jim Schaffner

Caveats

  • “ No issues other than how hard it is to get this boot on my foot!” -- Jim Morris
  • “There are difficulties getting it on and off.” -- Jack Rafferty
  • “Really tight on my navicular bone.” -- Stacy Crumpler
  • “Kinda like first time sex--the liner wasn't sure where to touch me. And too much forward lean.” -- Greg Hoffmann
  • “Hard as hell to put on but once that obstacle is overcome the experience gets a little better. Pretty damn snug overall for a medium width. Certainly not a boot you would eat lunch in.” -- Charlie Bradley

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