Now an established brand after rocking the big boys with its simple high-quality, value-priced products, Dalbello breaks technological ground for the first time this year. The new Carvex Series has been designed from the ground up, specifically to enhance shaped-ski performance. The company has also upgraded all its innerboots, buckles and power straps, to create a truly dialed-in product.
TX-907 $475 TX-807 $425
What a difference a year makes. Last year's TX models were sluggish, but with a beefed-up flex, the Triax models took home heavier metal this year. And the three-piece shell gives all the TX models easy entry and exit. The 907 thrived at higher speeds and in longer turns. "It doesn't quite attack like the Tecnica TNT or Rossignol Course K, but then it's a couple of hundred dollars cheaper," said Elling.
The 807 is a friendly, easy-to-ski boot that transitions seamlessly from high-speed arcs to tighter, slower slalom turns.
The 707's forward flex may well be "as soft as willows in the wind," said Gleason. But for its projected price, it is, according to Cygielman, "an ideal comfort machine for skiers ripping up the blue."
Key Features Adjustable forward lean, cuff cant (dual cant on 907).
Thumbs Up Undisputed value champs.
Beware Forward lean disengages in walking position, so left and right boots can wind up in different flex positions after use in walk mode.
Who They're ForTX-907: All-Mountain Expert, Executive, Player TX-807: Executive, Player TX-707: Player, Aspiring Carver, Newcomer
Extreme $495 Freeride $445
Both the stiff Extreme and the gentler Freeride Carvex models are geared for shaped-ski control. Their elevated boot boards (9 mm higher than traditional models) provide powerful leverage and edge pressure and reduce the incidence of boot-out. The inside cuffs have a height-adjustable spoiler for leg and leverage adaptations.
Evans roamed Bachelor's wild Northwest Territory with confidence in both models. "They work well with conventional or shaped skis," he said. Scholey liked the Freeride better than the Extreme. "It's more versatile for a wider range of skiers," he said.
The Carvex series got high marks for fit with "great contouring through the instep and a good high cuff," said Elling. "The cuff hugged the leg, and the tongue contact with the shin was perfect," said Hoffmann.
Key Features Two-position flex control, walk mode, forward lean adjuster, cuff cant, height-adjustable medial cuff, heel-height adjuster.
Thumbs Up A raised sole makes for quick edge sets. Super values.
Beware They ski much better in "ski" mode than in "carve" mode.
Who They're ForExtreme: All-Mountain Expert, Supercarver, Executive Freeride: All-Mountain Expert, Supercarver, Executive, Player
MX-69/59 Diva $330/$320
The lightweight Diva models are targeted to women. These hybrids are functional, solid performers.
The 79's medium-stiff flex allows for powerful skiing when demanded. "Cruise at moderate speeds and pop medium-radius turns, and this boot will deliver performance and unparalleled comfort," said Hoffmann.
"High-fives to Dalbello," said Steinberg of both MX models. "Strong, easy-to-use buckles, classic angles and attractive cosmetics. At this price, they're what the Model T was to cars-affordable quality."
Key Features Macro-adjustable top buckles, walk mode, two-position flex adjuster.
Thumbs Up Exceptionally easy to get in and out of. Super values.
Beware Same forward-flex adjuster problems as the TX models.
Who They're ForMX-79: Executive, Player, Aspiring Carver MX-69/59: Player, Aspiring Carver, Newcomer