If a person were to place a wanted ad in a paper for a pair of boots made for long spring mountaineering tours, all-day comfort, and easy uphill walking with a claimed 65-degree range of motion, I bet these boots would answer. Possibly, if the stars align, there is potential for love at first sight. At least that’s the guess I’m hazarding at first look. Although knowing Dalbello’s history of making ripping alpine boots, I wouldn’t put it past them to make a lightweight boot that charges in midwinter powder and steeps as well.
Right off the bat, it’s obvious they’ve figured out a way to minimize weight by eliminating all buckles and creating a boot that weighs in at a light 1103g per boot (size 25.5, spoiler included). The cuff buckle usually appearing on most boots is replaced by a piece of easily sinch-able Dyneema cord. The cord attaches to the walk/ski (or hike/ride in Dalbello’s terms) mode lever in the back of the boot and a small cleat in front. By tensioning the cord, the boot’s upper is locked out.
A quick lacing system referred to as QLS, similar to BOA, easily tightens the bottom half of the boot, snugging it around the foot. Unclear as of yet how to fix the system in the event of failure, however, Dalbello states QLS replacement parts are available. (We’ll have more on QLS replacement in our long-term review.)
Under the cam cleat closure on the upper front that holds the Dyneema cord, there is a piece of wide velcro on the boot liner to add snugness around the calf, handy for calves on the slender side like mine. The boot does not feature a power strap. The QLS system is simple to use, and there is a small tab velcroed on the laces (kudos to the thoughtful engineers) to pull when it comes time to loosen the laces and/or pull your foot out. I imagine the QLS will enable a firm heel hold.
We’ll stop here for a second. What is not apparent is this: has Dalbello, in eliminating upper-cuff buckles and sans a minimalist power strap, created a comfy boot that lacks the relative stiffness to make the Quantum anything other than an uphill fitness boot? That’s a question I am eager to answer.
The boot also features an inner gaiter (like the Fischer Travers CS), which is supposed to create a weather-proof barrier between the lower and upper boot.
There are many moving parts. So for all those visual learners out there, Dalbello offers step-by-step instructions for inserting your foot, tightening and loosening all parts, removing your foot, inserting the liner, and changing from hike to ride and ride to hike. Maybe this begs the question; the system might be overly complicated if you need instructions to get in and out of the boot. Time will tell.
As far as volume goes, they’re on the narrower side with a 99mm last. With my narrower foot, I’m appreciative of that. At the same time, my foot also has room to breathe and wiggle, which I also appreciate. The ID Touring Pro liners are heat-moldable, and the boot comes with two items to reduce volume, a ‘size/volume adjuster’ sole insert and a spoiler that velcros on the back of the liner. The spoiler serves two functions; it takes up space between the liner and the shell and creates a steeper forward angle. No two feet are alike and I love that Dalbello provides ways to adjust fit from foot to foot.
The boot features a Vibram rocker sole constructed with varying hardnesses across the foot to work well while walking, climbing, and skiing.
So far, my wearing experience consists of walking hot laps around the kitchen while making a puttanesca and focaccia dinner. Homemade noodles and homemade focaccia seemed appropriate for the occasion.
The Quantums might be on the softer side, but I’m reminding myself that I’ll reserve judgment until I get on skis and boot uphill. I’m optimistic that the advertised two-piece bonded shell structure and dual-link cuff, (made from a rigid, fiberglass-reinforced polyamide) will do their job well.
I spent last year skiing in a combination of Hoji Pro Tours, Scarpa F1s and Dynafit PDGs, which span the freeride to touring to racing spectrum in that order. I imagine this boot will fit smack dab in between the F1s and PDGs. I’m looking forward to testing these out on my Black Crows Vastus Freebirds (171.4cm, 980g per ski)/Dynafit Superlite 150s combo and possibly Black Crows Navis Freebird (169.4cm, 1675g per ski in the 179cm length)/G3 Ion combo as well. We’ll see how they do.
In a DALBELLO nutshell:
Dainty (in a fast and far and probably able to pull off sweet dance moves type of way)
Après ski aperol spritz compatible
Look both speedy and sexy
Buckles – zero
Optimistic that the boots will be stiff enough to drive my skis and satisfy my desire for a Ferrari like boot on the ups
The green lower is last season’s color scheme.
MSRP: $899.95, last season’s boots can be found on sale for approximately $560.00.
Zoë is a multi-sport athlete from Bend, Oregon, where she is likely to be found operating her underground pizza restaurant, throwing early morning pop-up dance parties or skiing in the Three Sisters Wilderness with a gourmet charcuterie platter stashed in her backpack. She is also the Development Director for the Central Oregon Avalanche Center and moonlight chef at Talus Lodge in BC.