Delirium Strikes — Garmont Beef Boot is the Red Bombshell


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Shop for Garmont ski boots here.
Mental problems can take many forms for backcountry and slackcountry skiers. Powder madness. Peak fever. Going postal at work from looking at powder trip reports while cubified. Insanity from 36 hour drives or 12:00 am starts. Thus, I wasn’t surprised when Garmont named their flagship beef boot “Delirium.” Check out our firstlook unboxing of the delirious Red Bombshell.

Garmont Delirium backcountry skiing boot.

Garmont Delirium backcountry skiing boot, actually, better term would be 'sidecountry boot.'

With a manufacturer claimed flex rating of 130, tall cuff, interchangeable sole blocks and more, this shoe is indeed crazy. One has to guess that Garmont took note of the beef boot craze and decided to simply make the proverbial alpine boot with a touring sole. Not faux, really. So they did.

While the market might be oversaturated at this point with big boots such as Delirium, that can only be a good thing for you hard chargers out there. No doubt you’ll find plenty of beef boot choices on the sale circuit. More, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a massive shoe that fits your feet and skis the way you want it to with minimal or no modifications. And if you want the latest, and one of the biggest, I mean, BIG, be sure to explore Delirium.

Garmont Delirium sole block.

In some ways, the most important part of a backcountry skiing boot is the sole, especially if you want to use tech bindings. Delirium touring sole blocks are tech compatible. The boot has swap soles, of course, and they were solid in testing. Alpine sole blocks will be available.

As we do with most new model boots, I torture tested the toe block tech fittings before proceeding with our first-look review. I’m happy to say that the Garmont toe fittings are quite strong. I levered up on the toe with my ANSI approved crow bar, and eventually popped the boot up out of the locked Dynafit toe unit I had screwed to a test ski. The force required to do this was immense.

Another important test for tech compatible boots is that toe fittings allow a smooth side release in tech bindings. Some tech fittings may look correct, but actually stick and can even block lateral release to the point of being dangerous. The Garmont toe fittings were sticky when first tested, but after a few releases to the side they broke in and loosened up enough to pass our scrutiny. That said, I’d rather see tech fittings come from the factory without the need for break-in, as some users may simply not remember to bench test and thus break in their release, but rather just grab their mounted skis and head out the door in a fog of powder delirium.

Delirium Garmont tongue

Delirium is an overlap boot with an extended flap that acts as a shell tongue, as with most other Garmont overlap boots. This allows for strong forward support as well as enhancing ease of entry as the tongue acts as a handle of sorts to pry open the boot shell.

Garmont Delirium boot liner.

Check out this liner. Nothing less than beautiful. Stroble lasted, with plastic stiffener on the tongue, heat moldable but firm, lace anchors, hand loops at front and rear. As nice as the best alpine liners out there.

The lasting of the Delirium is interesting. Shell toe is wide enough to appear almost oddly blunt in comparison to typical Italian influenced ski boot lasting. Perhaps an American boot designer was involved who, while succumbing to espresso snobbery, stuck to his guns about how difficult pointy toed ski boots make for boot fitting and keeping your feet warm? Yeah, that’s probably what happened… Whatever the case, nice. Shell finish is lovely, a matt surface that speaks of serious freeride business, set off by clear PU windows that look, in a word, cool. A rubbery rim on the edge of the overlap seals things up and appears very high-tech. Plastics used are said by Garmont to be “selected technical polymers,” which we interpret from the babble to mean a mixture of PU and Pebax. The buckles appear to be average strength and delightfully easy to replace as they’re 100% fastened by screws and T-nuts. Upper buckles have the Garmont catch that holds the bail in no matter how loose, an important thing on this sort of boot as making it walk even half way efficiently requires loose cuff buckles, and without a retention system your buckles are going to end up flopping around or coming undone when you want them to keep the cuff gently closed.

Delirium rearward cuff articulation.

Delirium rearward cuff articulation.

Be clear that only super hardcores would want a boot this heavy for extensive backcountry skiing — Delirium weighs 5.4 lbs per boot (2449 grams), size 28.5 BSL 325 mm. What is more, you’re not going to experience anything approaching the lovely for/aft cuff motion that most modern dedicated touring boots now provide. Delirium rearward articulation goes to about 90 degrees (as pictured above). Forward movement, while it can be acceptable with loosened buckles, is also noticeably limited due to the shell tongue and beefy liner. In other words, an aggressive skier would need to look no farther than the Delirium for their resort or slackcountry boot, but for most folks this would not be a go-to for ski touring. More, this boot could also be quite popular with individuals such as ski patrollers or race coaches who need a boot that walks ok or tours on occasion, yet isn’t a backcountry skiing shoe but rather something that will hold up to a big day of resort laps.

Or perhaps this ski boot could even support the delirium of a freeride comp?

In other words, no need to wonder how the Delirium is purposed. It is simply an alpine boot with a cuff latch and swappable touring sole. Nicely done.

Shop for Garmont ski boots here.

Comments

35 Responses to “Delirium Strikes — Garmont Beef Boot is the Red Bombshell”

  1. Tuck April 15th, 2011 9:44 am

    Sweet looking boot.

  2. Dano April 15th, 2011 10:55 am

    Lou, in the photo shot taken of the inside, is that light showing just below the locking mechanism ? I guess it would not mater if your feet get a little wet since a guy could sweat to death walking to far in them.

  3. Brian April 15th, 2011 12:45 pm

    I was excited until I realized they weight even more than the Factor.

  4. Lou April 15th, 2011 12:49 pm

    Dano, that’s just a reflection on some rivet heads. Brian, yeah, I think Garmont raised the bar, but they also raised the weight. In truth, if you need this type of boot, you’ve got to accept a least somewhat of a more weight = more performance ratio…

  5. AndyC April 15th, 2011 1:14 pm

    Dam, that boot is ugly! Not at all handsome in an intellectual way like my TLT5 Mountains; and that red! Can’t begin to compare to the aesthetics of my Zzero4 PUs! And an old man like me is LMAO thinking about matching those boots up with Backcountry Mag’s 2011 Editors Choice $FRNTCRJ at over 10 lbs for 188s + 2.5 lbs for FT12s, but my gosh why use Dynafits when you could use 4-lb Marker tours to produce 25 lbs of weight on the feet!

    Don’t get me wrong, I sure there are many 30-40 yr old lift-heads who slackcountry and occasionally backcountry and who could handle that weight with ease (even with a couple of pounds on skins, too). But when I picture myself, trying to break trail in 30 inches of new …

  6. Brian April 15th, 2011 1:29 pm

    I don’t know if calling the 4FRT CRJ a $FRNT CRJ was intentional or not, but that is quite hilarious.

  7. Charlie April 15th, 2011 3:27 pm

    Can you say more about what you mean by lateral-release break-in? There shouldn’t be anything that needs to change shape in the tech-fitting interface; it’s all metal-to-metal….

  8. Lou April 15th, 2011 3:42 pm

    Charlie, over the years I’ve noticed that some tech fittings (toe) seem to “stick” when you first try a lateral release. After a few releases on the bench, most of those loosen up and seem to start working. This apparently due to a very minimal scoring or wearing of the metal in the fitting by the super hard steel pin that inserts in the fitting. When the tech fittings in the toe work correctly, if you do a lateral release check on the bench, you should get a very smooth exit that actually allows the boot to return to center if necessary, when the boot goes a bit to the side but doesn’t totally release. All this is very easy to check when doing the bench release check that should be done on _any_ binding after it’s mounted and adjusted.

    Doing this with tech bindings is super important, as over the years I’ve run across some boots that “stuck” in the toe and had little if any lateral release.

    Lou

  9. AndyC April 15th, 2011 4:30 pm

    @Brian–it must have been a typo as those skis on sale at STP for $390!

  10. Omr April 15th, 2011 8:11 pm

    Boots are intellectual? Thanks for the reviews Lou, but some of your fans should ski more, think less.

  11. AndyC April 15th, 2011 9:21 pm

    @Omr: 80 bc days skiing since mid-November, 50 since getting my intellectual boots in mid-Jan, 60 miles of bc last week :-)

  12. RandoSwede April 16th, 2011 9:57 am

    The Resortification of backcountry gear continues.
    Yawn.

  13. XXX_er April 16th, 2011 10:12 am

    whom is making the liner is it made by palau , whatever they spec’ed I hope its better than the palau liners that have come in other garmonts ?

  14. Chad April 17th, 2011 11:11 am

    Any idea how high the Cuff is compared the Shaman? I have a pair of Shaman’s and love them but a walk function would be very helpful at work.

  15. Lou April 17th, 2011 4:16 pm

    I don’t have a Shaman here, but I’ll measure the Delirium cuff for you. From bottom of heel sole to top of rear spoiler, 32.5 cm. Highest part of front cuff, from bottom of shell sole, 30 cm. They appear to be plenty high…

  16. Chad April 17th, 2011 5:44 pm

    Thanks for looking! Delirium and the Shaman seem to be very close in cuff height. I’ve never really gotten used to smaller/lower cuffs found on most AT boots for working and resort skiing. This could be a very good boot for lift mechanics who require a soft sole for climbing ladders but the support a traditional Alpine boot provides. The Shaman is a great boot, but the walk function and rubber sole would be a welcome addition.

  17. Nick D April 17th, 2011 10:08 pm

    Not totally on topic, but I’m a neophyte Dynafitter (after 30+ years of telly). Here come’s the gaper question – is it better to close the jaws on the front binding when not in use or leave it open? Or doesn’t it matter a whit? I wouldn’t dare pose this question on TGR, but I know this a kinder, gentler forum…. :-)

  18. Lee Lau April 17th, 2011 10:29 pm

    Nick – it doesn’t matter

  19. trevor April 17th, 2011 10:32 pm

    I’m a DyNA skier, but these boots certainly aren’t overkill or just for resort skiers. I guess different regions have different touring culture. On the BC coast, avid ski tourers use stiff boots to drive heavy skis to crank big turns. I remember watching Johnny Foon (aka: steep skiing legend) trying on a pair of TItans in a shop, and remarking how they weren’t stiff enough for stomping. And he ain’t no slack-country skier!

  20. Nick D April 17th, 2011 10:54 pm

    Thanks Lee – I guessed that might be the case, because I recall both you and Sharon had your bindings open when I walked in with you on Saturday. But I wanted to be sure – hope you had a good day.

  21. Lou April 18th, 2011 6:00 am

    Nick, what Lee said.

  22. Bryan F April 18th, 2011 9:42 am

    What is the weight of just the shell like compared to the factors? I know I saved a TON of weight (and in the process made them fit better, feel warmer, and ski better) by switching to intuitions in my factors instead of the stock liners. Even heard reports that it brings their weight down to pretty close to that of the scarpa spirit 3. I wonder if that would be the case on these as well?

  23. Lou April 18th, 2011 10:05 am

    Bryan, one shell, 76.3 oz, 2160 gr

    BTW, just like you don’t buy a Chevy Silverado for the MPG, you don’t buy a boot such as Delirium for the weight… This is a boot that makes no compromise for downhill performance…

  24. Jonathan Shefftz April 19th, 2011 1:16 pm

    “Here come’s the gaper question – is it better to close the jaws on the front binding when not in use or leave it open? Or doesn’t it matter a whit?”
    – But during long-term summer storage (which should be blessedly brief based upon a narrowing definition of “summer”), would closing the jaws relieve pressure on the toe springs, just like backing off the release tension screws? (Or don’t we believe in the latter here either?)

  25. John Gloor April 19th, 2011 2:42 pm

    I am on Factors now, but they had to be significantly punched for big toe lump and the sixth toe. Any take on how the clear insert on the side of the boot will take punches? It always amazes me when manufacturers place fashion accessories right where most people will need to alter the boot. My old Denali XTs had a Scarpa logo pinned on at the sixth toe area, which split when punched.

    Lou, I am typing this from Valley View hospital while my wife is having her ACL repaired. I checked out the boot/binding interface a few days ago after the accident and there is some grittiness and resistance to a smooth release. This is the first place I heard about doing repeated boot releases to smooth out the system. Her knee popped when skiing, before any fall, so we are not sure of the cause of the injury. A photo just before the accident did show some backseat action though.

  26. Lou April 19th, 2011 3:14 pm

    John, sorry to hear about your wife. Release checks should be done with any binding, frequently. I thought that was axiomatic. But if she didn’t fall, it was probably just an unfortunate set of angles and forces, perhaps combined with accumulated small injuries or tears that one gets over the years. Sometimes ligaments can become very weak without you even knowing, then one day, pop.

    She was on Dynafits?

    As for punching of the Delirium fashion accessory, I hear you. But I’ll bet it’ll punch out fine. As far as I can tell it’s just clear PU.

  27. Chad Graham April 19th, 2011 4:17 pm

    John – After some research it looks like Garmont designed the clear areas to be punched. See end of video in link.

    http://www.bentgate.com/garmont-delirium-alpine-touring-ski-boots.html

  28. John Gloor April 19th, 2011 5:11 pm

    Lou, she was on ST’s, set a smidge below the minimum of 5 on the scale. Her boots release, but there is some grittiness to the feel of it. Definitely not the smoothness of an alpine binding with an AFD and hard plastic sole.

    Chad, thanks for the video. It looks like they thought of that issue.

  29. Lou April 19th, 2011 5:16 pm

    John, that sounds normal for tech bindings, but I’d have to look at them to give my best opinion. Again, sorry to hear about the injury.

  30. combiner April 21st, 2011 12:38 am

    So, if it is PU/Pebax mix, it’ll stiffen in below zero F temps (like -20C), right?

    Stiffening of PU boots (Dalbello Aerro A80) cost me 20 minutes and some nerves this winter. It is really disappointing i missed the sunrise just a bit that day – was out of schedule because of the boot struggle, climbed to a summit just a bit too late for good photos. Grrr.

  31. Lou April 21st, 2011 7:12 am

    This is a big, stiff, overlap boot. While the “handle” created by the extended tongue helps with entry, I’d venture a guess that when they’re cold, they’re not that easy to put on as opposed to any sort of tongue type shell.

  32. jake October 18th, 2011 10:00 am

    Lou-

    We have the Deliriums in shop and have noticed a rather inconvenient problem getting the toe fittings into the dynafits (both rads and FTs, but more so rads). Visually the rubber on the sole of the boot is much thicker than other Garmont boots (radiums, shoguns) and a bit thicker than other beef boots (Titans, Mobes). With a hand it is very difficult to get the Delirium into the toe jaw, and it totally chews up the plastic just below the fittings. With a foot in the boot to toe-in on a ski it is easier, but still considerably harder than in a Shogun (shogun on left foot, Delirium on Right). Did you have any issues, any wear on the plastic of the toe, anything like what I am mentioning? Hoping to avoid sending all problem boots back to Garmont.

    Jake

  33. Lou October 18th, 2011 10:08 am

    Jake, it is common to need to skive or shape the sole of some boots to be optimum for tech binding. Reason being that no sole shape or binding dimension standards exist for tech bindings. I don’t recall having to do such for our test Deliriums, but we’re so used to doing that sort of thing perhaps we left it out of the review. Lou

  34. jake October 18th, 2011 10:46 am

    Hmmm. That is interesting. I just got done putting Quadrants, Shoguns, Deliriums, Titans, and Mobes into a pair of FT 12s and was noticing the non-uniformity of the about of boot sole that makes contact with the lower portions of the toe wings adjacent to the springs. Some boots with less rubber (shoguns) make zero contact with the wings. The Mobes make a bit of contact at the bend in the metal leading up to the pins. The Quadrants and Titans have a bit more rubber making contact just below that metal bend. But the Deliriums rubber sole runs flush on the toe wings all the way down to the springs, maybe even a little past. A truly large disparity given the small differences between all the other boots. Plus it really does chew up the plastic above the fittings, and it is noticeably harder to release the toe. We are in the process of talking to Garmont to see what they say. But after our little test runs here we now have two pairs of Deliriums that will be hard to sell as “new” due to the gnarled plastic on the toe.

    As always Lou, thanks for being there to hear our concerns and lend your $.02

  35. Phil January 7th, 2013 5:14 pm

    Has anybody had any problems with the rubber “water seal” on the front of the shell being cut into by the sharp plastic edge on the other side?. It seems to happen when the boot is in tour mode.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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