Dalbello KYRA 95 (2014)
Call it a hybrid, call it an alpine crossover boot-it packs the works for adjustability, mobility and fit customization. One tester said it was like getting a bootfitter in the box. The three-buckle cabrio design comes loaded, packing Dalbello's new hike mode mechanism, a two-position flex adjuster, a boot board ramp adjuster, a single side cuff adjuster and a calf volume adjuster. Sometimes a load of features like this are heaped on to cover flaws, but that’s not the case with the Kyra. For all the boot's fluffication (testers said it was a one percenter in “luxury feel”) it skied like it meant business. The heel and ankle fit provided the control to drive everywhere on the hill. Three different testers used the word “hug” to describe the fit feel. The Kyra is unique in that the lower boot shell is built off a women's specific mold, and may explain the close match between thinking it and doing it here. Yes, testers loved the long, progressive flex feel that is the hallmark of the functional three-piece shell, but they really got fired up for the sensitive and accurate feel the boot provided directly underfoot. Testers liked its neutral stance set-up and how this “slim” widebody properly secured the heel in its pocket. It combines comfort and performance in an exceptionally easy on/off package. Its hike mode teams with the cabrio shell's long forward flex to provide one of the longer, smoother cuff rotation ranges in the women's test. Tester Comments: "Hugged my foot and leg. I didn't want to take them off." "A dream combination of comfort and performance. Fits with the wides, skis with the narrows."