We’ve been reviewing alpine touring (AT) boots by Dalbello since the inception of this site. First there was the Dalbello Virus Tour ID boots, then the Sherpa 2/8 and 5/5 boots. Last year we reviewed the Lupo Ti ID’s, which are basically the non-carbon version of the Dalbello Lupo Carbon Ti Boots that we’ll talk about in this review. The Lupo Carbon Ti’s are a hybrid freeride boot built on Dalbello’s Krypton and Lupo last. Their lightweight Grilamid construction and carbon spine shave a respectable 720 grams off the non-carbon version that we reviewed last year. With the elimination of the power strap and the introduction of a removable tongue, the Lupo Ti Carbon boots sport a very respectable 67˚ range of motion in walk mode—that’s 27° to the back and 40° to the front.
A more subdued colour scheme for the carbon version of Dalbello's Ti Boots.
Lets tak a 360° Look.
Not since the Virus Tour ID boots have we seen a Dalbello boot this light. Only this time with the Lupo Ti Carbon there is a huge increase in performance and stiffness with no weight penalty. Dalbello kept all the performance of the Lupo Ti ID boot, but lightened things up significantly and increased the cuff rotation to make this a true backcountry skiing contender. A super stiff flex rating of 130 is achieved in part by the Lupo’s carbon spine and its three-piece (tongue, cuff, and shell) Cabrio shell design; a mainstay for Dalbello’s alpine touring boots. The Cabrio design provides a smooth power transmission with a dynamic rebound not found in other AT boots. Traditional overlap construction boots compress the lower shell as they flex. But Dalbello’s unique Cabrio design and Kinetic Response Tongue avoid this, allowing for a more natural distortion free flex.
On the inside of the Lupo Carbon Ti’s you’ll find a well-padded, heat moldable ID Max Hike Light Intuition liner. Unlike other alpine touring boots that shave weight off their liners to lighten things up, Dalbello uses this high-quality Intuition liner that won’t make your feet cold due to lack of padding and insulation. With a 10-minute cook you get 100% customization. Medium and high-density EVA foam provides a solid foothold while not sacrificing warmth or lightness. A built-in gaiter ensures snow doesn’t come in contact with the liner when the tongue is removed for climbing. An integrated lace-up closure system further ensures a snug fit. And in case you are wondering, “Ti” stands for Tech inserts.
The Dalbello Lupo Carbon Ti Boots are a vast improvement over the non-carbon versions that we previously reviewed. The 720g weight savings is reason alone for celebration. Factor in the removable tongue and the same great ultra-stiff 130 flex rating, and you have a true freeride boot that can also climb a skin track with the lightweight boys. All this goodness comes at a cost however ($300 US, to be exact).
On the fit side of things, the Lupo Carbon Ti’s feel a bit narrower with less room in the toe box than I’m used to. However, after some experienced boot fitting, things improved significantly. For my average width foot, I found the 98mm was limited in the space it provided straight out of the box. On the plus side, Dalbello’s “Dynalink Rearfoot Retention System” is the cat’s meow. This is basically a fancy term for the location of the middle buckle that secures your foot in the middle and rearfoot sections of the ski boot. Essentially positioning your heel in the heel pocket of the boot, right where is ought to be (and stay).
Having skied the resort and backcountry for multiple days around Whitewater Ski Resort with the Lupo Carbon Ti’s, I can confirm their 130 flex rating. It’s stiff. SUPER stiff. While there is some flex, it’s minimal compared to what I am used to for an AT boot. I attribute most of this to the carbon spine. While stiff is good on the down, it’s not on the up. Cuff rotation is limited while fully buckled up, unlike the La Sportiva Spectre 2.0 boots. However, if you undo the three buckles, things improve vastly. Take out the removable tongue and you’ve found the true 72° of rotation. While taking out the tongue does require undoing all the buckles completely, it’s well worth the effort if you are on a serious climb. Notice I didn’t mention anything about a power strap as the Sportiva Spectre 2.0 boots. However, if you undo the three buckles, things improve vastly. Take out the removable tongue and you’ve found the true 72° of rotation. While taking out the tongue does require undoing all the buckles completely, it’s well worth the effort if you are on a serious climb. Notice I didn’t mention anything about a power strap as the Lupo Carbon Ti Boots don’t have one, and truthfully, I didn’t miss it one bit. Once the tongue is removed the built-in gaiter ensures that snow doesn’t impede the liners and get your feet wet. I removed the tongues on rare occasions as it was an extra step which takes time, but I’ll leave that return on investment call up to you.
On the down side, the walk/ski mode on the rear of the boot is impossible to engage or release without first undoing the top two buckles on the boot. I had this very same issue with the Lupi Ti ID boots. It’s a huge hindrance, and one I wish Dalbello would address by implementing something as simple as the all-metal design that Atomic uses for their walk/ski mechanism on the Backland Carbon boots.
Overall the Dalbello Lupo Carbon Ti are a big step up from previous iterations. Not a revolution but rather an evolution. They are ideal for aggressive backcountry skiers and those that want a single boot that can go big at the resort, but still cross the ropes and climb with the best of them.
Price: $1249.99 CAN / $1100 US
Weight: 3300g / 7.27lb (25.5)
Cuff Rotation: 67° (40° forward & 27° back)
Warranty: 2 years
Cuff Rotation 1.5/2
Quality / Price 1.5/2
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