Dalbello Chakra Elevate 115 TI ID - Women's Review
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Dalbello Chakra Elevate 115 TI ID - Women's
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|Pros||True to flex, fashionable exterior design, touring compatible, includes tech soles||Energetic, responsive, true to flex, cork liner, best out of box fit||Very comfortable, integrated heating, adjustable flex, decent performance||Comfortable, warm, responsive, adjustable forward lean||Lightweight, powerful, ultra-stiff|
|Cons||Touring compatible but no walk mode, no forward lean adjustment, unimpressive power strap||Bulkier than others, slightly wider fit than competition||Unreliable Bluetooth heating, softest flex in category||Overrated flex value, not sturdy enough for heavier skiers||Narrow, too race-oriented, stiffness may be too harsh|
|Bottom Line||Lost points with out of the box fit and overall comfort but provides solid downhill performance with a dynamic and progressive three-piece Cabrio construction||An all-around snappy and responsive boot that delivers all-day, all-mountain downhill performance without compromising comfort||The softest-flexing boot in our lineup that suits a wide range of skier abilities while keeping your toes toasty warm||A race-inspired design in a comfortable and easy to ski boot, this is the perfect all-rounder boot suited for a wide range of skill levels||A no-frills, high-performance boot with a sleek, lightweight construction made for hard-charging skiers, though likely too stiff for less-advanced skiers|
|Rating Categories||Dalbello Chakra Ele...||Nordica Promachine 115||Rossignol Pure Pro...||Lange RX 110 LV - W...||Salomon S/Max 120 -...|
|Features & Customization (15%)|
|Specs||Dalbello Chakra Ele...||Nordica Promachine 115||Rossignol Pure Pro...||Lange RX 110 LV - W...||Salomon S/Max 120 -...|
|Available Widths||Elevate (98mm)
|Pure Elite (98mm)
Pure Pro (100mm)
Pure Comfort (104mm)
|RX LV (97mm)
S/Pro HV (102mm)
|Available Flexes||95, 115||85, 95, 105, 115||70, 80, 90, 100, Adjustable||80, 90, 110||90, 100, 110, 120|
|What We Tested||Elevate (98mm)
|Pure Pro Heat (100mm)
|RX LV (97mm)
|Number of Buckles||3||4||4||4||4|
|Weight (Per Boot)||4 lbs 3 oz||4 lbs 1 oz||4 lbs 6 oz (size 24.5)||4 lbs 6 oz (size 24.5)||3 lbs 7 oz|
|Liner Material||ID MAX Liner||3D Custom Cork Liner||Merino wool + Thermic System||Thinsulate Dual 3D Pro||Custom Shell HD Race Liner|
|Shell Technology||Cabrio Construction Shell||Tri Force Shell||Polyurethane||Dual Core Shell||Polyurethane w/ Fibrglass Coreframe|
|Binding Compatibility||Gripwalk, Touring||GripWalk + ISO 9523||Alpine, Gripwalk||Alpine||Gripwalk|
|Size Range||21.5-26.5||22-27.5||22 - 27.5||22 - 27.5||22 - 27.5|
Our Analysis and Test Results
While it was nice to throw a three-piece Cabrio design into the lineup, the Dalbello Chakra Elevate ultimately didn't compare to the favored capabilities of the two-piece boots. The ID Max wrap liner resisted aligning to a narrow foot and shin profile and maintained a boxy feel. While we were impressed by the adjustability of the cuff, we were disappointed to see there was no forward lean adjustment or walk mode for a boot advertised as a touring boot. Luckily, the boot's performance was not entirely lacking. It provided a smooth and responsive energy transmission across a variety of terrain.
Despite a lackluster fit, the Chakra Elevate provided a reactive and dynamic feel with an approachable cuff height and prepositioned stance. Where two-piece constructions offer more snappy responsiveness, the Chakra generated a smoother energy transmission that provided a long, connective flex range. The progressive flex excelled in fore and aft movement, and while it provided solid torsional movement, it didn't provide as much stability as other boots in the lineup.
A smoother rebound left us with somewhat limited power on hard-charging groomer pursuits when compared to the capabilities of two-piece constructions. The ID Max Liner has medium-density EVA foam for greater shock absorption, creating a more damp feel in choppy crud. Performance lagged on the days that testers bounced through a variety of terrain and conditions. The boxy fit of the Dalbello Chakra Elevate limited confidence in playful pursuits through trees and heavier powder because of dead space around the heel and arch. Leaning over the boot and engaging linear power was fairly easy, though we felt unstable and wobbly moving freely from bumps to groomers to crud and back.
Overall, we were impressed with the boot's performance when compared to its average fit. However, it had more of a stale, damp personality than other boots in the lineup that were characteristically dynamic across all types of terrain and conditions.
Comfort was inevitably compromised with the Dalbello Chakra Elevate. The boxy fit of the ID Max liner just didn't do it for us. Intuition's EVA foam is supposed to resist compression to reduce the rate of "packing out." Perhaps we needed more like 15-30 days for the liner to really begin to make an impression on the liner. The flip side of this coin is that not everyone is patient enough to accept a long period of discomfort after spending a huge chunk of change on new boots. For the intermediate skiers looking for a more plush option, this is not the boot for you. For those that care about warmth, the Chakra Elevate was warm but nothing to write home about.
Regarding ease of use, the inverted forefoot buckle construction is not very user-friendly as it faces an opposing direction to the top two buckles. It does, however, make for a secure fit on the instep. The ease of entry and exit is usually greater in a wrap liner and Cabrio shell than a tongue liner and two-piece shell. You can slip your toes right in as you peel the shell pieces away from one another, rather than jamming your toes in while stretching the tongue and fighting the closing gates of the two-piece overlap.
The Dalbello Chakra Elevate is the only boot in our lineup with a three-piece Cabrio construction. The medium-density ID Max liner is fully customizable and designed for maximum shock absorption. Unfortunately for the narrow-footed athletes, this shell and liner combination is best accustomed to wider feet. The ID Max liner is made by Intuition Liners and is not designed to have a form-fitting out-of-the-box fit. It is almost mandatory to heat mold these liners.
Our first impression of the boot was that it felt like stepping into a cardboard box. The ID Max had minimal shape, and despite the brand's claims of this being an ultra-comfortable liner, it was actually the least naturally comfortable boot we tested. The medium-density foam in the wrap liner inevitably contributed to the lack of form as they are inherently stiffer than tongue liners. The Contour 4 Technology built into the shell is likely a contributor to the roominess of the overall construction. Dalbello punched out extra space in the ankle, heel, fifth metatarsal, and navicular. For someone with a truly narrow foot, the pre-punching of the boot is not necessary unless there are specific irregularities that need attention.
The Dalbello Chakra Elevate's low profile cuff with a low hinge point (10 centimeters lower than standard boot designs) was a welcomed change in design. It provided more space in the shin and calf region, though arguably too much in the lower shin and ankle region. This is where we felt the majority of dead space, even after visiting our local boot fitter. The wrap liner with the three-piece Cabrio construction is an ideal option for someone with a wider foot (closer to a 100-millimeter last width) and thicker calves. The Dalbello Chakra Elevate also includes a removable rear cuff spoiler. The cuff insert can be removed to expand the opening of the liner by 5 centimeters and lower the cuff height by 1.5 centimeters. This is a really cool feature for those with wider shins and calves.
Features & Customization
The Dalbello Chakra Elevate has a fashionable white, blue, and black design that stands out amongst the categorically standard black and blue exterior used on many of the women's boots this season. Thumbs up, Dalbello. One big thumbs down is the lack of adjustable forward lean and the missing walk mode. We don't expect high-performance resort boots to have walk mode, but if a brand is going to advertise the boot as a cross-functional boot that works in the backcountry, it ought to have a walk mode. Walking uphill in a stiff boot will expedite the pack-out rate.
We do like the approachability of this boot for a range of skill levels. It feels like an appropriately stiff flex for intermediate to advanced skiers that take on a variety of terrain and conditions.
In our opinion, the Dalbello Chakra Elevate is a bit overpriced for its capabilities. It's likely priced based on its ability to be used as a backcountry and resort boot; however, we feel that it's just a resort boot dressed up with tech plates. We don't think it's worth the extra money without walk mode for walking uphill or an adjustable forward lean. That being said, it is a solid boot that many female shredders would be happy with. It's just a bit overpriced compared to the rest of the competitors.
All in all, we didn't love it; we didn't hate it. It helped us slide, slash, carve, traverse, hike, fly. This boot can do anything the other boots can do; it just wasn't AS good as the competitors in the lineup. Dalbello wanted to make a hard-charging in-bounds and out-of-bounds boot, and in trying to achieve that goal, they made a boot that was good enough, just not great.
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