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2010 Dalbello Virus Lite Boot: Backcountry Ski Gear Review | UNITED STATES, WYOMING | 01/14/2011, by WarPigSinFin
After hearing such good things about the 2009 Dalbello Virus, I had to give them a try this winter.
I've been a die-hard Dynafit boot fan for years, so I was skeptical at first.
I've ridden ~25 days on the Virus Lite so far, and here's what I have to report.
The Good:*Skis stiffer than the Dynafit boot of comparable weight.
*Unprecedented range of motion and comfortable to tour in. More walk-mode flex than my Dynafit Zzero boots.
*Three-buckle system is awesome and adjustable.
*INTUITION Heat-Moldable Liners.
*Liners have laces. Great for assuring a snug fit and strolling around camp.
*Beefy Vibram Sole.
*Comes stock with Dynafit System inserts.
*Toe and Heel attachments inspire confidence in alpine style bindings.
*Designed with help from legendary skier Glen Plake.
*Made in Italy, not China.
The Bad:*Weighs in slightly heavier than the Dynafit Zzero but much lighter than the Dynafit Titan. Since it skis with a stiffness somewhere between the two, this is expected. The Virus Lite weighs in at ~3lbs 12 oz per boot.
*Slightly more expensive than some other boots. Virus Lite: $800. Dynafit Zzero: $750. Dynafit Titan: $760. In my opinion, the heat-moldable INTUITION liner makes up for the additional cost.
*No room for a BOOSTER strap? The top buckle is very high on the boot, leaving little room to install an aftermarket strap. Arguably, the buckle is so high that it eliminates the need for additional straps.
*Standard toe-inserts make them a little trickier when stepping into Dynafit bindings than the new Dynafit inserts. The new Dynafit boots feature a small groove that guides the boot into the binding.
*Too STEEZY? Perhaps for some. The yellow is so bright that the snow around you glows. It looks like these boots have ground affects... not necessarily a bad thing.
Dynafit Toe Connection (L) vs Dalbello Toe Connection (R): Advantage? Dynafit!
The Bottom Line:The Dalbello Virus Lite is a solid, high-end AT boot that can hold it's own with the rest of em'. Designed with input from Glen Plake, the Virus embodies all the principles you want in a backcountry ski boot.
In addition to the Virus Lite, Dalbello also offers a identical but slightly heavier option: the Virus (minus the "Lite"). The Virus is priced $50 less than the Lite but weighs in a hefty 7oz (per boot) more. If you're going to be do some serious touring, spend the extra $50 to get the Virus Lite.
If you're looking for a comfortable, all-around ski boot for the resort and beyond, the original Virus should serve you well.