Dalbello lists the Lupo’s flex as 110 or 130, depending on which one of the two included tongues you use. But flex ratings are not standardized in the ski industry, so one “130 flex” boot may feel softer or stiffer than another. To try to better locate the Lupo, then, I’ll compare it to a couple boots with similar stated flexes that I’ve used.
I was initially worried that the “C” (110 flex) tongue included with the Lupo would be far too soft. I was used to skiing a pair of Il Moro’s with a 120 flex rating, and at room temperature, I could easily flex deep into the boot. But once I got the boots on snow, I found the 110 flex “C” tongue to be just about perfect for me—quite comparable to the “120” flex on the Il Moro, in fact, if not a bit stiffer. The Lupo also flexes similarly to the Scarpa Mastrale’s (which is a stated 120 flex) and my old Lange RC Comps (120 flex).
Personally, at 135 lbs, I haven’t had a reason to swap in the Lupo’s 130 flex “B” tongue. With the stiffer tongue installed, I’m sure the boot would be substantially stiffer, and too stiff for me. But if you are looking for a boot with a walk/hike mode and a “legitimate” 130 flex, then I think the Lupo should be on your list along with the Tecnica Cochise Pro 130 (I haven’t skied the Cochise Pro, but Paul Forward has a lot of good things to say about it’s downhill performance in his review.)
Lastly, with respect to forward flex, one of the things I love about Dalbello’s Cabrio design is the on-the-fly flex adjustment offered by the upper buckle. Crank the top buckle down, and the boot can get really stiff; loosen it up a bit, and the boot will soften up. I love being able to adjust my flex quickly. I can take a lap through the park without shin bang, or make a short skin a lot more enjoyable. Then, if conditions get sketchy, I can really crank them down too. I’ve never been able to dial in this type of on-the-fly adjustment with 2-piece, four-buckle boots that have two buckles on the cuff.
I don’t have any negative things to say about the Lupo’s downhill performance. The boots are very precise, powerful, and responsive. I feel more confident skiing hard in variable terrain in them than in any other boot I’ve used.
The fit and performance of ski boots is rather subjective, but there are some factors that should help you decide whether the Lupo is a boot you should check out.
One big difference between the Lupo and the KR2 Pro I.D. is the lack of forward lean adjustment in the Lupo, which I mentioned above. In and of itself, that’s not a huge deal, but without using the included rear spoilers behind the liner, the Lupo has only 9 degrees of forward lean and it can’t be adjusted in any other way due to the walk mode.
In this way, the boot caters to an upright, balanced skiing style in general. And while you can increase the forward lean by 2-4 degrees with the spoilers, you’ll still be standing in a more centered position over your skis.
I didn’t have any issues adapting the Lupo’s 9 degrees forward lean, but if you’re are used to skiing a traditional boot with forward lean in the 11-14 degree range, you may have to adjust your skiing style a bit. If you’re used to, or are looking for, or a more aggressive race boot w/ forward lean closer to 16 or 17 degrees, the Lupo will probably be too neutral for you.
If you are looking for a boot with strong touring capabilities, or a boot with a steep, aggressive forward lean, the Dalbello Lupo SP I.D. probably isn’t for you. But if you have more of a freestyle mindset and do a lot of hiking in the resort, it may suit you very well. Even though it’s a touch wide for my very narrow feet, for me, the Lupo SP’s performance and features make it just about the perfect boot for everyday lift-accessed use.