2019-2020 Dalbello Lupo Pro HD

Boot: 2019-2020 Dalbello Lupo Pro HD

Stated Flex: 130

Available Sizes: 24.5-29.5 (half sizes only)

Stated Last (size 26.5): 98 mm

Stated Range of Motion: 67° (w/o tongue)

Stated Forward Lean: 11°

Size Tested: 26.5

Stated Boot Sole Length: 307 mm

Blister’s Measured Weight (size 26.5):

  • Shells, no Liners: 1589 & 1596 g
  • Liners, no Footbeds: 266 & 267 g
  • Tongues: 158 & 158
  • Shells + Liners + Tongues = 2013 & 2021 g
  • Shells + Liners = 1855 & 1863

Buckles: 3 micro-adjustable aluminum

Powerstrap: 40 mm cam-style

Shell Material:

  • Rear Cuff: Carbon-reinforced Polyamide
  • Shoe / Clog: PU
  • Tongue: Polyamide (Dalbello’s “B” tongue)

Soles: Grip Walk (alpine soles available)

Binding Compatibility: Grip Walk; MNC Bindings

Tech Fittings: Yes

MSRP: $950

Luke Koppa reviews the Dalbello Lupo Pro HD for Blister
Dalbello Lupo Pro HD
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Review Navigation:  Specs //  Intro //  Weight & Comparisons //  Design & Features //  Fit //  Bottom Line

Intro

Dalbello’s Lupo series of ski boots has served as their “Freeride Touring” line for a few years now. The 3-piece boots have removable tongues, walk mechanisms, tech fittings, and lightweight materials — all of which are designed to make the boots work well for people who like to work for their turns.

We’ve received a lot of requests for reviews of the Lupo boots, and now we’re finally getting in one — the brand-new Lupo Pro HD. Debuting for the 19/20 season, the Lupo Pro HD is reportedly a beefier, 130-flex version of the other Lupo boots designed for patrollers and hard-charging big-mountain skiers, but it still maintains many of the other Lupo boots’ touring-friendly features.

Weight + Comparisons

Dalbello is targeting the Lupo Pro HD at skiers who value durability and skiing performance, but who also want a boot that they can tour in and that works with tech bindings. The Lupo Pro HD comes in a bit heavier compared to other boots that target the same group of skiers (e.g., Tecnica Cochise Pro 130, Full Tilt Ascendant, Nordica Strider 130, Lange XT Free 130).

The Lupo Pro HD is significantly heavier than dedicated touring boots like the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130, Scarpa Maestrale XT & RS, and Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro. And it also comes in a couple hundred grams heavier than the stated weights of the Lupo Factory and Lupo 130C. Overall, the Lupo Pro HD falls on the heavier end of the spectrum when it comes to boots with walk mechanisms, though, with its tongue out, it’s pretty similar in weight compared to other 50/50 boots.

For reference, below are a number of our measured weights for some other notable boots (keep in mind the size differences). Our measured weights show the size of boot, then the weight of each boot + the weight of each liner, then the total weight for shells + liners, listed in grams:

Scarpa Maestrale RS (24.5 / 25.0): 1053 & 1057 + 244 & 245 = 1297 & 1302 g
Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro (26.5): 1099 & 1100 + 210 & 211 = 1309 & 1311 g
Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 (26.5): 1130 & 1132 + 276 & 282 = 1406 & 1414
Salomon MTN Explore (26.5): 1126 & 1135 + 281 & 281 = 1407 & 1416 g
Scarpa Maestrale XT (26.5 / 27.0): 1258 & 1258 + 247 & 252 = 1505 & 1510 g
Head Kore 1 (26.5): 1132 & 1136 + 392 & 393 = 1524 & 1527 g
Salomon S/Lab MTN (26.5): 1257 & 1246 + 288 & 303 = 1545 & 1549 g
Fischer Ranger Free 130 (26.5): 1204 & 1204 + 348 & 351 = 1552 & 1555 g
Roxa R3 130 T.I. (27.5): 1319 & 1320 + 263 & 263 = 1582 & 1583 g
Salomon QST Pro TR 130 (26.5): 1389 & 1391 + 273 & 274 = 1662 & 1665 g
Nordica Strider Pro 130 DYN (27.5): 1445 & 1440 + 363 & 373 = 1808 & 1813
Lange XT Free 130 LV (27.5): 1472 & 1473 + 376 & 376 = 1848 & 1849 g
Nordica Strider 120 (26.5): 1486 & 1494 + 365 & 366 = 1851 & 1860 g
Dalbello Lupo Pro HD w/o Tongues (26.5): 1589 & 1596 + 266 & 267 = 1855 & 1863 g
Full Tilt Ascendant (27.5): 1613 & 1615 & + 3018 & 311 = 1921 & 1962 g
Tecnica Cochise 130 DYN (25.5): 1493 & 1496 + 440 & 441 = 1933 & 1937 g
Dalbello Lupo Pro HD w/ Tongues (26.5): 1747 & 1754 + 266 & 267 = 2013 & 2021 g

Construction

The main thing that sets the Lupo Pro HD apart from the other Lupo boots is that the Lupo Pro HD uses a PU main shell, rather than the Grilamid and Irfran shells used in the other Lupo boots. Dalbello says that the PU shell used in the Lupo Pro HD is the same plastic used in their race boots. The idea behind using PU in the Lupo Pro HD is that the boot will offer better skiing performance and durability, with a slight increase in weight.

The Lupo Pro HD’s rear cuff is made of carbon-reinforced polyamide, and the boot comes stock with Dalbello’s “B” tongue, which is their stiffest stock tongue. The tongue has an easy-to-grab tab that lets you easily take it off / put it on, which is convenient for touring.

Liner

The Lupo Pro HD uses a tongue-style liner with a flex zone around the Achilles area.

Luke Koppa reviews the Dalbello Lupo Pro HD for Blister
Dalbello Lupo Pro HD — Liner

If you’ve used Intuition liners in the past, the Lupo Pro HD’s liner should feel very familiar. The foam material in the Lupo Pro HD’s liner is pretty dense and stiff (I wouldn’t call it particularly “plush” or squishy), and it’s also fully heat-moldable.

One noteworthy aspect of the Lupo Pro HD’s liner is its quick-lace system. It has a cord that can be quickly cinched tight for a close fit, and easily loosened up when taking the boot off. One thing I really appreciate about the Lupo Pro HD is that it has a high gaiter on the shell that not only keeps out water / snow, but also serves as a tidy place to store the long strands of the quick-lace system.

Luke Koppa reviews the Dalbello Lupo Pro HD for Blister
Dalbello Lupo Pro HD — Liner

While I like the quick and easy functionality of quick-lace systems like that on the Lupo Pro HD, I hate having long strings hanging out of the shells of my boots. So I like that the Lupo Pro HD offers a way to keep things tidy.

Walk Mechanism

The Lupo Pro HD, like the other Dalbello Lupo and Panterra boots, uses a very simple external walk mechanism. It consists of a piece of plastic that wedges between the rear cuff and lower shoe / clog of the boot. Unlike the walk mechanisms on many overlap-style boots, the Lupo Pro HD’s walk mechanism only affects rearward range of motion as there’s no latch or attachment that restricts forward range of motion.

Luke Koppa reviews the Dalbello Lupo Pro HD for Blister
Dalbello Lupo Pro HD Walk Mechanism in ski mode (left) and walk mode (right)

So far, the Lupo Pro HD’s walk mechanism has proved to be very easy to use. It’s got a small toggle that’s easy to grab while wearing mittens, and you just need to flex the boot slightly forward to engage / disengage the walk mechanism. It’s also pretty easy to know when the walk mechanism is or is not engaged simply by leaning back.

Dalbello claims that the Lupo Pro HD offers 67° of range of motion (aka, “ROM”) with the tongue removed. The tongue is an important caveat, as the Lupo Pro HD offers very little forward ROM with the tongue installed. But the tongue on the Lupo Pro HD is very easy to remove.

Buckles

Rather than a more traditional 4-buckle layout, the Lupo Pro HD has one upper cuff buckle, one lower buckle, and a cable-style buckle that goes over the ankle / instep.

Luke Koppa reviews the Dalbello Lupo Pro HD for Blister
Dalbello Lupo Pro HD

The Lupo Pro HD’s lower buckle is reversed in orientation in order to help prevent it from being flipped accidentally while hiking. All of the Lupo Pro HD’s buckles are micro-adjustable, and have been easy to actuate while wearing bulky gloves.

Power Strap

The Lupo Pro HD has a large 40 mm power strap that uses a cam-style closure. We’ve become fans of cam-style power straps on many other boots, so we’re glad to see this included on the Lupo Pro HD.

Soles

The Lupo Pro HD comes standard with Grip Walk soles, and standard alpine soles will be available for purchase.

Fit

First and foremost — please go to a bootfitter to see what boot will work best for you. Fit is the most important thing with ski boots, and is where you’ll want to start. With that said, here’s how the Lupo Pro HD fits my feet.

For reference, I have pretty average-volume feet, but I have large lateral splats which mean my midfoot widens when I am standing / skiing, and I often get pain on the outside of my forefoot and midfoot when running, skiing, skinning, etc. I have a low instep and an average to low arch. My feet tend to work best with boots that offer ample room in the midfoot, and have lower insteps (e.g., the Salomon QST Pro 130). Since my toes taper significantly (i.e., my pinkie toe is much shorter than my big toe), I’ve never needed a 6th toe punch in any boots.

The Lupo Pro HD uses the same last and mold as the other 98mm-lasted (not the “AX” versions) Dalbello Lupo and Krypton boots. So if you got a good fit with any of the 98mm-lasted Lupo or Krypton boots, your feet should work well with the Lupo Pro HD.

I typically resort to medium- to higher-volume boots to deal with my wider midfoot, so I was worried that the 98mm-lasted Lupo Pro HD would be too narrow for me. But right out of the box, the main thing that stood out to me with the fit of the Lupo Pro HD was how comfortable it felt on my feet.

The toe box of the Lupo Pro HD feels average in terms of length, but above average in terms of overall volume for a 98mm-last boot. I have plenty of room to wiggle my toes in a 26.5 (my standard size). The Lupo Pro HD’s toe box is way higher-volume than the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD’s, and feels pretty similar to the Nordica Strider 120 and Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro in this regard.

The midfoot of the Lupo Pro HD also feels a bit higher-volume than most other 98mm-last boots. I’ve been able to comfortably ski it all day, as long as I unbuckle the instep buckle and lower buckle while skinning, hiking, or riding a lift. I still get some pain around my midfoot if I keep the buckles tightened for more than an hour or so, but I have been surprised by how well this boot fits my foot, given that my feet rarely work well with 98mm-last boots. And it’s also worth noting that the fit seems to have gotten better as I’ve used the boots, which I’d guess is due to the liner packing out and forming to my foot.

Overall, the midfoot of the Lupo Pro HD feels pretty similar to the Nordica Strider 120, and a bit narrower than the Salomon S/Pro 130.

The Lupo Pro HD’s instep feels pretty high. With my low instep, I have plenty of room above my instep and, if anything, I could probably use a bit less room. But this hasn’t proven to be much of an issue so far.

The Lupo Pro HD’s heel pocket feels pretty average in terms of overall volume. I can get a pretty snug fit in the ankle, which is aided by the instep buckle doing a good job of snugging my foot back into the boot. That said, I have gotten some blisters around the inside of my heel after skinning / hiking in the boot for about 1.5 hours. I’ll see if this becomes a persistent issue going forward.

All in all, the Lupo Pro HD seems like it’s a bit higher-volume than most 98mm-last boots I’ve used.

Bottom Line (For Now)

With more people becoming interested in touring, it comes as little surprise that Dalbello has chosen to expand their touring-friendly Lupo lineup. The new Lupo Pro HD brings uphill-oriented features to a burly package that seems to put it in competition with the many other “50/50” boots designed for both resort and backcountry use. Blister Members can check out our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review linked below, and then stay tuned for our full review.

Flash Review

Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the Lupo Pro HD for our initial impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, and personalized gear recommendations from us.

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11 comments on “2019-2020 Dalbello Lupo Pro HD”

  1. Glad to see Dalbello directly addressing the complaints they’ve had with the previous Lupos. Their Grilamid shells are so soft you legitimately have to be careful not to bash in the toe or heel on a rock or even when engaging your bindings, and their first attempts at non-Intuition liners were…mixed at best. I bought a pair of 130Cs for this season, and while they ride and walk great I already have some serious dings in the toes and am going to have to try to warranty the liners.

  2. have Dalbello gone back to intuition liners?

    i had some ’18 Kryptons which i bot thinking they they had the same intuition made/ dalbello designed liners that they have been using – but it was some crummy copy of a powerwrap – a real POS – was never particularly comfortable or warm and the sole just about pealed off – lasted maybe 30 days

  3. Do the replaceable alpine soles have tech fittings in them? Also, will you guys be reviewing the ’19-20 Lupo 120 AX? Asking for a friend…

    • The tech fittings are actually installed into the shell of boot, so whether you have alpine or Grip Walk soles on it, you’ll be able to use tech bindings. And we don’t have the AX 120 right now but we’re working on getting in a pair.

  4. How would you compare the HD Pro to the 2018/19 AX 120? Specifically, Flex, forward lean and heal fit? I have the AX 120, love the boot for everything but at speeds seems a little unstable. Could be me….

    • In terms of the foam density, it feels pretty similar. But the Lupo Pro HD’s liner is a lot thinner than a Pro Wrap and feels less substantial overall (and then it’s also a tongue-style liner, not a wrap).

    • With my feet, a 26.5 is kind of both. I’ve never been able to wear a 25.5 in any boots for longer than a few minutes due to pain, and every 27.5 I’ve tried has felt way too sloppy and sometimes even more painful due to my foot moving around too much. So I worn a 26.5 in every boot I’ve liked.

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