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Dalbello DS 130 Review

The Dalbello DS 130 is a beast of a boot, combining strong all-mountain skiing ability with all-day comfort.
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Price:  $700 List | $699.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Easy entry, top-tier performance, good value
Cons:  Sizing seems a bit off
Manufacturer:   Dalbello
By Ryan Huetter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 4, 2019
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Our Verdict

The Dalbello DS 130 is a sleek, capable boot that offers up pure performance to the aggressive skier looking for a medium width fit. This 100mm wide, 130-flex rated boot comes with a stiff PU Powercage that effectively transfers power into the ski and has so much side to side stability that it was hard to find a snow condition that it could not thrive in. While most race-inspired boots come with a race-inspired level of foot pain, the DS 130 is comfortable enough that you can keep on charging until the closing bell.


Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison



Quick edge to edge and super stiff  the DS 130 is a high-performance machine that loves to be skied fast and confidently.
Quick edge to edge and super stiff, the DS 130 is a high-performance machine that loves to be skied fast and confidently.

Performance


We tested the Dalbello DS 130 boots in bounds at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, the perfect place to get a sense of how well this 130-flex rated boot could do when given the chance to ski big fall line, varied terrain. The bottom line? This boot rips. With a polyurethane Powercage spine that creates a strong backbone that keeps you positioned over the ski when in demanding terrain, we felt like this lives up to its flex rating. The lower is built from a slightly thinner PU material that is more malleable, but it still hugs the foot snugly enough to keep the boot stable from edge to edge, a benefit when railing turns at speed, whether on or off the piste. The adjustable boot board angle and canting systems allow you to fine-tune the fit, giving you the best performance that you can and should expect out of this boot.

The many canting options allow these boots to be fitted to your stance  making them perform.
The many canting options allow these boots to be fitted to your stance, making them perform.

Comfort


So many overlap boots that are the "all-mountain" answer to race boots, with overly stiff shells tend to be uncomfortable to the point of not being able to enjoy the skiing. The Dalbello DS 130 boot does not suffer from this problem. We found it to be comfortable right out of the box, and we were able to keep the boot on our feet without wincing in pain. Our lead tester, who often feels pretty snug in a size 28 shell, found that he did not need to release the buckles on the chair lift to allow the blood to get back into his toes - the fit is slightly longer than most others, as well as in the width. While touted as a 100mm last, we felt that this boot was more spacious then even some 101mm lasted boots we have in this review.

This medium volume foot felt comfortable enough to ski all day  even before heat molding.
This medium volume foot felt comfortable enough to ski all day, even before heat molding.

Features


This boot is a four buckle, no-nonsense charger, but it is not some stripped-down race boot that eschews features. While it fits our feet well right out of the box, there are several options for tuning the fit in, whether you choose to do it yourself or with the aid of a bootfitter. There is a shim that allows you to increase the ramp angle inside rather than through an adjustable forward lean on the shell, and there are dual canting adjustments available on the inside and outside of the boots. The Instant Fit liner is able to be heat molded, whether or not your local ski shop has the Dalbello MyFit system.

This boot fits standard alpine binding systems and is also available with a Grip Walk sole that fits Grip Walk bindings.

The power strap really allows you to crank down and tighten the cuff of this boot.
The power strap really allows you to crank down and tighten the cuff of this boot.

Warmth


The Instant Fit 130 liner provided good warmth, and we did not feel our feet getting cold during the test days, though the thinner material and shell thickness near the fore of the boot may give those with some circulation issues cause to use boot heaters, which is true for many of the boots we have in our review. The extra roomy fit that is delivered by the 100mm last and the slightly enlarged shell length provides less constriction and allows you to wear a thicker than normal sock if you choose.

We had no concerns about warmth while wearing these boots.
We had no concerns about warmth while wearing these boots.

Durability


With replaceable components like buckles and soles, this boot should last for a very long time, given that those are the typical wear points for a ski boot. We have no glaring issues to report from our time testing this boot.

The DS 130 is ready to ski down advanced terrain and is best for intermediate to advanced skiers who demand top-notch performance out of their boots.
The DS 130 is ready to ski down advanced terrain and is best for intermediate to advanced skiers who demand top-notch performance out of their boots.

Value


With an MSRP of $700, this is a lot of bang for your buck. Not everyone wants a boot that is aggressive as this one, but those who are will find a whole lot of performance for a great value.

Conclusion


We really like this boot, and enjoyed testing it. It fits well, maintains good all-day comfort, and absolutely rips on the slopes. If you are looking for a comfortable, stiff boot that is intuitive to ski, then the Dalbello DS 130 is an optimal choice.


Ryan Huetter