Skiers from around the world descend on utah for Daleboot’s custom, comfortable fit
Utahns are lucky to have high-caliber ski gear companies in our midst. One of those companies, DaleBoot ski boots, has been around for decades and enjoys an international following but has managed to maintain its hometown roots and resounding customer service.
These custom boots are not just for the pros, although Darian Stevens and Wiley Miller are sponsored by the brand. DaleBoot makes a lighter, warmer, more comfortable boot that’s easier to get in and out of. The company is constantly updating its designs with new materials and technology.
In discussing the company’s 40-year history, Mike Sheets, DaleBoot’s North American sales manager, tells how company founder Mel Dalebout came to the University of Utah in the ’60s to play Ute football. Dalebout quickly discovered skiing—so quickly, that within two years, he was an alternate for the U.S. Ski Team.
From his first time standing in a pair of ski boots, though, Dalebout knew they could be a better fit. So, he took a pair home to his garage and started tinkering. Soon after, in 1969, Dalebout sold his first homemade ski boots in the Alta resort parking lot. DaleBoot took off and began competing with some of the biggest ski-boot companies of the 1970s and ’80s. After surviving legal battles and a diminishing market, Dalebout secured a contract to make boots for what was then the new sport of snowboarding. DaleBoot provided Burton with some of its first boot liners.
In 2007, Rob Graham, a skier sponsored by DaleBoot in the 1980s, approached Dalebout to open a shop in Europe. That shop—in Kitzbühel, Austria—is now the company’s headquarters, and Graham, the new owner. But the company retained its North American headquarters, with factory and retail store, in Salt Lake City.
Sheets says that customers often fly into town just for a pair of boots. The customer will take some easy measurements at home, and a pair of boots will be awaiting them when they arrive at the shop. After the customer wears them for a day of skiing, the boots go back to the shop for fine tuning. Even after returning home, customers can return their boots to the factory for adjustments.
All the work that goes into a pair of DaleBoots may sound extravagant, but the flat rate of $825 is on par with an average high-end ski boot. All adjustments are free, and the boots come with a money-back guarantee.
Even still, DaleBoot doesn’t have a monopoly on custom ski boots. Big companies like Nordica and Rossignol are tapping into the market. When asked if he was worried about staying ahead of the curve, Sheets seemed genuinely unconcerned. He explained that while it’s true that big companies are moving into their territory, DaleBoot has been innovating and delivering customer service for more than 40 years. “We will never be a big-box brand,” Sheets says. “Anyone we take care of, we want them to be happy. That’s our goal. We want them to be on the hill longer; we want them to be skiing longer.”
And this is why DaleBoot stands out. Customer satisfaction comes first and foremost to the entire team. The staff in the shop work at the factory during the summer, so you can look forward to being helped by someone who really knows what they’re talking about.
2955 E. 3300 South