The great 3 part boot debate:
So this is all about the differences between the dalbello krypton and the full tilt boots.
If you are reading this to find out the answer the “what is the better boot for me” question the answer is buy the boot that fits YOU best. Not your buddy, not some pro, not the one that has the best features. To do this you MUST see a good boot fitter (not just a guy who sells boots in a big box store) and try them both on to see what works for you better.
Also I’m not directly affiliated with either company. I personally use the dalbello boots, and the boot fitting store that I manage sells the full tilt (as well as other brands). This information is taken from information that the companies and sales reps have given me, and from taking apart many boots over 15 years of boot fitting. The boots tested, photographed etc are a size 25 krypton (295mm) and a 25 full tilt (293)
First a short history lesson: the full tilt boot is not new or a revolutionary. It is the same old design that raichle used for many years, and has a cult following. A full story is avail on the full tilt site.
Basically the boot was in production from the late 70’s to mid 90’s. Rachlie made a few other models that never really caught on, and in 1996 the company was sold to Kneissl who then used the molds for afew years, then they too left it alone. In 2005 K2 bought the molds and re-released the shape as the Full Tilt boot. This “new” full tilt boot is the same as the old raichle, with the addition of a full intuition liner and a power strap.
The krypton came to the market also about 3 years ago. Design ideas and work from some former raichle skiers like glen plake. This boot is sometimes referred to as a step up from the raichle. I’m not convinced that different is always better.
SO the basic idea of both boots is similar. Both boots have three parts rather then the “normal” two-part overlap boot. It is a lower clog, matched to an upper cuff, with an open throat design, that is covered by a tongue. Both boots have a few parts that are removable and changeable to make the design work for skiers, and almost none of the parts are interchangeable
Both boots have an interchangeable tongue. The FT has flexes from 2 (very soft) to 9 (very stiff). This gives a range from about 50 to 130 for a flex index. The tongue color(s) have no effect on the flex, and are not the same for different years. So black tongue is not always a 6 flex. You have no way to tell the flex other then bending it. For the 10 boot sizes (4-13) each tongue fits about 3 boot sizes and a total of 4 sized exist. The dalbello tongues come in 2 different flexes (80 and 100ish) and a similar range of sizes. The FT tongue has 6 groves to fit the 3 cables that do up around the boot. The Krypton has one groove for the middle cable and the rest is smooth. Both attach just at the toe area by a small metal buckle, and are both easy to change out.
The rear cuff on both boots is again similar. The cuff attachment point is 70mm for the boots sole and symmetrical on the krypton. The FT is 88mm on the medial side and 85mm on the lateral side. Upper cuff alignment is done on both boots thru a removable shim that is under the cuff screw. Commonly, and incorrectly called canting, this is made to help align the upper cuff of the boot to the natural curve of the lower leg. One of the main differences between the boots is the middle buckle attachment point. The FT buckle attaches to the lower cuff and the Krypton attaches to the upper cuff. As a boot is flexed forward, the rear cuff moves forward, and the middle of the tongue stays about the same. So on the FT the buckle tension will stay about the same under flex, while the Dalbello will loosen a bit while the boot is being flexed. Both rear cuffs are also moveable forward and back by using a small shim that fits between the upper and lower cuff. They both have three setting (no shim, thin, or thick shim). Some models also have a rear spoiler on the top of the rear cuff that is both adjustable, and removable for different leg sizes, shapes and skiing styles
The FT buckles are a very unique design that relies on a metal cable (3 sizes, 235mm, 245mm and 255mm) to attach to a plastic buckle that moves on a ratchet. Both the upper and middle cables are the same and interchangeable. The upper cuff has a few different placements for the cable to give it a larger range to adjust. The buckles are prone to freezing up and not being adjustable, and the springs break too. They still work, just not as well. The cables and plastic buckles help to make the boot very light and with nothing on the inside of the boot to catch on rails, gate, trees make the cables very durable
The Krypton buckles are a more traditional design, on the top and bottom, and only the middle used a unique design. All the buckles are on screws and Tnuts so are easy to replace. The catch for the upper buckle is adjustable for 3 different sizes and can be re-drilled to make this adjustable for most people. Some modles have the toe buckle reversed to prevent it catching, and breaking.
Both boots are listed at a 98mm last (for a 26 boot) but the volume is a bit different on them. I measured back form the end of the toe lug 10cm, and then marked that on the open part of the boot. Then measured from the boot board, to the opening of the boot. On the FT this was 74mm and the krypton 78mm. 4mm instep is the difference between a low and mid volume boot. The internal width is 1-2mm narrower for the FT as well depending on where on the boot you measure.
The basic shell weight is measured for a size 25, without the liner (as you should just use the intuition liners and they are the same for both brands). You pairs might be more or less depending on the accessories that you use (power straps, cuff heights, cable size, boot boards etc)
FT: 1.27kg, shell only
Krypton: 1.71kg shell only
Well depends on the model that you buy. The FT comes with an intuition liner and the Krypton can come with an intuition or a “normal” liner. If you have the option get the intuition one. It is lighter and warmer then any stock liner.
As listed earlier both boots have a few flex options for the tongue. The Krypton also comes with a small wedge that helps to stiffen the boots flex, by not allowing the two sides of the lower cuff, in the back of the boot, to come together. This can be removed, or used in two different positions. With the FT flex ratings of 1 to 9 and the Krypton tongues and stiffening shims this makes both boots about the same for overall range of flex adjustment.