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Dalbello Panterra 130 ID GW Review

This comfortable boot is easy to get on and off with plenty of room and variability for most foot shapes
dalbello panterra 130 id gw ski boots review
Credit: Dalbello
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $700 List | $699.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, easy instep, variable last ideal for larger feet
Cons:  Soft flex, low performance
Manufacturer:   Dalbello
By Ryan Baker ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 25, 2021
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 9
  • Comfort - 30% 8.0
  • Performance - 30% 6.0
  • Materials & Durability - 20% 7.0
  • Warmth - 10% 8.0
  • Features - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Dalbello Panterra 130 provides loads of comfort with a variable last capability and a soft, plush, moldable liner. The boot's flex is adjustable on the spine, and the walk mode allows for comfort while relaxing or walking back to the car. The three-piece Cabrio design makes for the easiest instep to get into and out of, and the opposing top foot buckles allow for fine-tuned adjustment. This boot is perfect for those tired of wrestling with tight stiff boots or who want something that fits like a glove all day. Unfortunately, the all-around performance and stiffness did not match up compared to other boots with the same flex rating.

Editor's Note: This article was updated on November 10, 2022, sharing info on new design updates to the Panterra 130.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Comfortable, easy instep, variable last ideal for larger feetEasy to customize, stiff consistent flex, quick-release cam power strap, very warmComfortable walk mode, stiff consistent flex, sturdy constructionComfortable, cork liner, Grip Walk outsolesLightweight, comfortable last width, inexpensive
Cons Soft flex, low performanceExpensive, requires a strong, aggressive skierSmall switch on locking mechanism, heavy, expensiveExpensive, velcro power strapPowerstrap is hard to operate with gloves, can be cold
Bottom Line This comfortable boot is easy to get on and off with plenty of room and variability for most foot shapesWhen you want a boot that can drive any ski in any condition, look no furtherA comfortable medium-fit boot made from strong materials that can master the front and backcountry with smile-inducing controlOustanding comfort supplied by a cork and EVA foam liner in a high-performing polyurethane shell makes this one of the most comfortable boots we've testedA great intermediate ski boot that is light on the feet and on the wallet
Rating Categories Dalbello Panterra 1... Tecnica Mach1 MV 130 Tecnica Cochise 130... Nordica Speedmachin... K2 Recon 120
Comfort (30%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Performance (30%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Materials & Durability (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Warmth (10%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Features (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Specs Dalbello Panterra 1... Tecnica Mach1 MV 130 Tecnica Cochise 130... Nordica Speedmachin... K2 Recon 120
Available Widths 100-102mm (variable) LV (98mm)
MV (100mm)
HV (103mm)
99mm only Promachine (98mm)
Speedmachine (100mm)
Sportmachine (102mm)
LV (98mm)
MV (100mm)
Available Flexes 90, 100, 120, 130 110, 120, 130 110, 120, 130 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130 90, 100, 120, 130, 140
What We Tested 100-102mm (variable)
130 Flex
MV (100mm)
130 Flex
99mm
130 Flex
Speedmachine (100 mm)
130 Flex
MV (100mm)
120 Flex
Walk Mode? Yes No Yes No No
Number of Buckles 4 4 4 4 4
Buckles Microadjustable? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weight (per boot, size 27.5) 3 lb 12 oz 4 lb 3 oz 4 lb 2 oz 4 lb 2 oz 3 lb 12 oz
Boot Sole Length (size 27.5) 318 mm 315 mm 315 mm 315 mm 314 mm
Liner Thermo-Moldable? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Binding Compatibility Gripwalk/Alpine Gripwalk/Alpine DYN/Gripwalk Gripwalk/Alpine DIN
Shell Material DB Hyperlite PU PU/PP PU POWERLITE TPU

Our Analysis and Test Results

Product Update Note — November 2022
Dalbello released an updated version of the Panterra 130. There are upgrades to ergonomics with the intent of increasing comfort and performance, including a new tongue designed to fit better into the shell and make getting in and out of the boots easier. The liners have also been redesigned for a more comfortable fit. We've yet to test the latest model, but we are now linking to it in this review. Above, the model we tested is shown left, followed by the revised boot, right.

The Dalbello Panterra 130 GW earns a Best Buy Award for super-plush comfort, reasonable price, and variable last width to accommodate many different foot shapes and volumes. This isn't the highest performing boot in our lineup but made up for that with warmth, extra features, and a three-piece shell design that makes it easy to take on and off. For riders looking to step into a high-end boot but not ready to shell out the extra cash, or those having trouble finding a boot that fits out of the box, we don't think you will be disappointed with the Panterra.

Performance Comparison


dalbello panterra 130 id gw ski boots review - this boot performs well at moderate speeds but starts to collapse...
This boot performs well at moderate speeds but starts to collapse with heavier skiers and faster turns.
Credit: Ryan Baker

Comfort


If you are looking for a boot that slides on easily and has a lot of room for odd foot shapes, sixth toes, or bunyons — the Panterra is your boot. Dalbello has given this boot a cross buckle system on the top of the foot that allows for a variable last width from 100 to 102 millimeters. This boot is large for a medium volume fit, so our testers had no complaints about the last being too narrow. The opposing buckles pull evenly across the top of the foot to vary the last without creating pinch points. The plush IF (Instant Fit) liner is soft and accommodating right out of the box. This liner is made from high-density Ulteva foam and is heat moldable. Panterra offers a number of liner options. Other pairing options include the ID liners that are made from more firm EVA foam.


The Cabrio three-piece system makes getting in and out of the boot very easy. There is no plastic to bend out of the way like on most other ski boots. The tongue simply pivots forward at a hinge point on the forefoot. The Panterra also includes a 51-degree pivot in walk made. The low hinge point on the cuff and lower connection make for good ankle comfort when pushing through a turn. This coupled with the Grip Walk sole makes getting around feel like a street shoe. This boot also had the longest sole length of any boot tested in the medium fit category this year at 318 millimeters. Try sizing this one down half a size, depending on the length of your foot.

dalbello panterra 130 id gw ski boots review - this boot is well adapted to the moderate playful skier who is...
This boot is well adapted to the moderate playful skier who is looking to step into a more approachable high end boot.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Performance


With all the plush comfort packed into the Panterra, we were surprised to find that it handled the downhill considerably well. The 130 flex rating felt the softest of all the boots tested in this category. Of course, as we state in our Buying Advice article, not all flexes are equal across brands, and this is apparent with this boot. Different skiers are looking for different attributes in a boot depending on riding style. We prefer boots in this metric to perform with consistent progressive flex in fast turns on groomers and steep chutes and moguls. This boot's more flexible cuff is rated low in this metric because it reduces responsiveness and precision.


The plush IF liner also decreases performance as it is very soft and allows for a lot of movement within the shell. Consider the ID liner if you want a more firm response. The DB Hyperlite construction felt soft when we pushed through the boot in turns and almost made the cuff feel like it was collapsing unevenly onto the forefoot. For park riders or less aggressive skiers, this will suit your style more than a hard-charging slalom skier.

dalbello panterra 130 id gw ski boots review - roomy and accommodating translates to ample lateral flexion and a...
Roomy and accommodating translates to ample lateral flexion and a looser forward flex that compromises performance for comfort.
Credit: Ryan Baker

Materials & Durability


The Panterra is made from Dalbello's proprietary DB Hyperlite material in the cuff and lower with a polyurethane tongue. DB Hyperlite is lighter than polyurethane, and overall, creates a softer flex. This softer material conversely contributes to comfort while diminishing performance. Dalbello claims that this material saves on weight, and the Panterra lands in the middle of our lineup for weight at 3 pounds, 12 ounces. The construction is sturdy, and there were no issues during months of testing.


The Cabrio design can create issues if the user is unaware of where they are placing all the pieces. It is important to make sure that all the flaps are in the right place. It is easy to crank the F-5 buckles down when the cuff is incorrectly aligned with the upper buckles, and this will cause damage. Take the time to make sure everything is in its proper place before tightening the buckles down. Finally, the Grip Walk heel and toe caps are replaceable, which can protect and extend the life of the toe and heel lugs.

dalbello panterra 130 id gw ski boots review - the cabrio three-piece tongue design, if liner, and cross buckle...
The Cabrio three-piece tongue design, IF liner, and cross buckle system provide soft plush comfort in the shin and topfoot.
Credit: Ryan Baker

Warmth


The roomy nature and variable last make the Panterra one of the warmest boots we tested. The potential for plenty of air to circulate around the roomy toe box and the plush soft liner make for very good insulation. The IF liner holds heat well, even on sub-zero days.


The trade-off with having room to circulate air is the loss of performance. Also, on warm days in the late spring, our feet were sweltering. At least the boot is easy to get in and out of, so we could easily escape the heat.

The cross buckle allows for even tension from a 100 to 102...
The cross buckle allows for even tension from a 100 to 102 millimeter last.
The polyurethane Cabrio tongue can get a little frustrating crossing...
The polyurethane Cabrio tongue can get a little frustrating crossing with the cuff buckles and Hyperlite lower.
Replaceable Grip Walk caps, so nice for added security and longevity...
Replaceable Grip Walk caps, so nice for added security and longevity as long as they are replaced periodically.

Features


As a resort boot, there is plenty to love about the extra features of the Panterra. A 51-degree walk mode coupled with Grip Walk soles makes this our favorite alpine boot for cruising around the deck and resort. These features make this boot very approachable for those less confident or just nervous about icy parking lots. Aftermarket soles and spikes are always a good idea to throw on ski boots on those icy days to prevent slips and falls.


The Panterra also has a flex attenuator on the spine above the walk mode lever. We've seen this on a few models, and it does create a noticeable change in softness. This is a welcome function if you are considering a 130 flex but are not sure if you are ready to go up. If you are in between on your ability but hope to grow into a stiffer boot, this may appeal to you.

The lever on the spine easily flips the boot into walk mode.
The lever on the spine easily flips the boot into walk mode.
The walk mode lever seats in an arch above the heal bail. The flex...
The walk mode lever seats in an arch above the heal bail. The flex attenuator is above and adjusted with an allen wrench.

Value


This boot is a moderate price from a top-of-the-line manufacturer. Not many boots offer the comfort and extra features we enjoyed with this boot with such a flexible fit that can accommodate many lasts and foot shapes. Also, if you have a lot of trouble getting your foot in your boots and have considered rear entry boots, consider the Panterra as well. For comfort and ease of taking on and off, this boot offers plenty of features at a fair price.

Conclusion


Sliding away with one of our Best Buy awards this season is the Dalbello Panterra. Unbelievable comfort, a variable last, and the kindest instep impressed our testers. Although this boot doesn't perform as highly as others we tested, the comfort and soft flex will appeal to many riders who want something they can wear all day without crying.

Ryan Baker
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