Dalbello Sherpa 2/8 I.D.
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The Dalbello Sherpa 2/8 I. D. Men's Alpine Touring Boot doesn't have a dyed mohawk, but it's got all the downhill chops you'd expect from a boot developed under the guidance of freeskiing pioneer Glen Plake, with a healthy dose of uphill DNA snipped from Plake's mountaineering genes. Traditionally, Dalbello's been all about the downhill, and that heritage shines through in the Sherpa's Cabrio 3-piece construction, which utilizes a shell, cuff, and tongue with varying degrees of stiffness to provide top-shelf lateral support and a progressive flex that is designed to drive big-mountain skis without folding under the pressure of steep, high-consequence lines. To lock your foot in place in these no-fall zones, Dalbello used their Dynalink technology, which attaches the ankle buckle at both sides of the shell, rather than the traditional method of attaching one end of the buckle to the cuff and the other to the shell, allowing for a precise fit that eliminates foot slide and heel lift, but doesn't interfere with the carefully-crafted flex of the upper cuff. The wrap-style I. D. Thermo Sherpa Flex liner is also completely heat-moldable, so you can dial in the fit and save your feet from unnecessary punishment. Don't get confused into thinking the Sherpa's a capital-A lowercase-t alpine touring boot, though--it's got plenty of juice for the skin track, starting with a ski/hike mode that snaps into place with the pull of a tab, disengaging the cuff at a low-set hinge to provide plenty of forward rotation for easy uphilling. The three-piece Bio-Stride tongue loosens at a single hinge to keep the fit snug and responsive even while the cuff hinge is released, and works with a rockered, A/T-compatible Vibram sole to keep you rock-solid when navigating tricky knife-edge ridges or knocking out some quick 5. 6 moves on the way to the summit.