Melvin (Mel) W. Dalebout

Induction Year: 
Ski Sport Innovator

Mel Dalebout (1928 - 2014)

Developing a comfortable, high-performance ski boot was the lifelong passion of Mel Dalebout. It was a passion that today still transcends thousands of devotees worldwide who will attest that his innovative DaleBoot is the holy grail of ski gear.

The holder of 14 patents, Dalebout revolutionized boot making by encasing customized, foam-fitted liners in shells, first made of magnesium and later, of plastic.  His invention became the standard for performance-enhancing boot making and was the cornerstone of the DaleBoot USA ski boot company he founded in 1969 in his hometown of Salt Lake City, and sold in 2007.

Dalebout’s other inventive contributions to skiing included removable boot soles, the first-ever canted soles, a stiff-top racing boot and a unique ski pole design and basket.  A graduate of the University of Utah, he was a mentor to many, set ski race courses, and won the first race he ever entered, the Snow Cup B and C Trials.  His skiing talents led him to be a second alternate for the 1952 U.S. Olympic Ski Team. A trained engineer, Dalebout designed a state-of-the-art home at the base of Mt. Olympus where he nurtured his deep love and devotion to his family.

The Mel Dalebout inventive genius left a big, indelible imprint on the world’s ski and snowboard slopes.