This marketing-savvy Italian brand was among the first to aggressively promote shaped-ski boots with its CYB-X models. This season, look for more lift-a 15 mm Profile Lift Sole in three new CYB-X Carve models. The Varix race series adds a new base-level VZ model. The top two buckles on all Dolomite models are now macro-adjustable.
VXR Comp $625/$690 w/ foam liner VXR $575/$640 w/ foam linerVXS/L $530 VX $475 VZ $400
The Varix group drew varied reactions. "Too many doohickeys that are difficult to adjust," said Monique Pelletier. Countered Thoren: "But they all work and the boots can roar."
The Comp's stout flex limits its versatility. Beefy Steinberg judged it a "NASCAR rocket with 1,000 hp and 4WD." And Scholey, also no munchkin, advised users to "eat your Wheaties."
"The VXR blends precision with strong rebound in a comfortable package," said Gleason. "It's a magic boot," said Steinberg. "Manly enough for the diciest of situations yet subtle enough to dance feather arcs with the softest touch."
The VXS and VX both received high marks for their strong medial and lateral flex, which is especially helpful on shaped skis. Our female testers felt most at home on the VXS, with Lawrence describing it as a "performer that you can push and play on." The VX's soft forward flex makes it better for lightweights or less accomplished skiers, but when Hoffmann pushed all the mechanical gadgets to stiff and added a second power strap, "the VX went from mediocre to a full-on blast."The new VZ was noticeably softer than the rest of the Varixes, especially rearward. "It lets you flex your ankle enough to snap off shorties, but it's less stable at high speeds," said Elling. Our smaller female testers were less enthusiastic about the VZ because the high cuff shaft made it difficult to steer.
The new VZ was noticeably softer than the rest of the Varixes, especially rearward. "It lets you flex your ankle enough to snap off shorties, but it's less stable at high speeds," said Elling. Our smaller female testers were less enthusiastic about the VZ because the high cuff shaft made it difficult to steer.
Key Features Adjustable front-spoiler power plate, buckle-activated heel lock and adjustable forward flex. Heel fit volume pockets and vibration absorption system (not on VX or VZ).
Thumbs Up Lots of adjustability.
Beware You need an engineering degree to figure it all out. High-volume fit with wide cuff.
Who They're For VXR Comp: Racer VXR: Racer, All-Mountain Expert VXS: Racer, All-Mountain Expert, Executive VX: All-Mountain Expert, Executive, Player VZ: Executive, Player, Aspiring Carver
CYB-X Series Super Carve $535/$600 w/ foam liner
Free Carve $480 Sport Carve/L $435
CYB-X 4/L $400 CYB-X 3/L $350
With their ebony-and-ivory cosmetic scheme and platform-shoe sole with see-through panel, the CYB-X Carve models are the most radical looking boots on the market. We tested the Super and Sport Carve models, which differ primarily in the quality and firmness of their liners.
The extra height of the Super Carve's Tower of Power sole "makes for a powerful push off the tail," said Thoren. But Steinberg cautioned that "you've got to experiment to know if the extra leverage is right for you."
Wetherbee called the Sport Carve "a real surprise, with great turn control from start to finish. The lift sole lends itself nicely to shaped skis." Cohen noted that the "accelerator pedal was concentrated right on the lateral power plate. Wiggle-waggle side to side and don't expect turn initiation from the front of the boot. It's pretty soft." Added Gleason: "If you launch out of a turn, it's tough to climb back in the driver's seat."
On the more conventional CYB-X 4, testers noted a dramatic difference with the flex set stiff. Said Steinberg: "Crannk the flex stiff and the 4 skied-and carved-as well as many of the so-called carving boots."
Key Features Carve models: 15-mm Profile Lift Sole, booster wedge on inside upper cuff, asymmetric flex control, rear spoiler height control, buckle-activated heel lock, vibration absorption system.
Thumbs Up Creative adaptations to shaped-ski needs. Very comfortable liner.
Beware All models perform significantly better with flex pushed to the max. Liners difficult to put into shell.
Who They're For Carve models: Supercarver, All-Mountain Expert, Executive X4: Supercarver, All-Mountain Expert, Executive X3: Player, Aspiring Carver, Newcomer