Editor’s Note: Scarpa has recalled the F1 EVO ski boots. According to the company, “It appears that given a rare combination of conditions and circumstances, the boot may unexpectedly switch from ski mode to walk mode, which increases the skier’s likelihood of falling.” Read the full statement here.
For those who aren’t familiar, touring is a hybrid between alpine and cross-country. Skiers skate up a mountain, lock in at the top, then scream (alpine) back down. And for these boundaries pushers, there’s no better brand than Scarpa.
The brand is no stranger to innovation. In past years, they’ve introduced the skiing populace to the first Gore-Tex boot, the first plastic telemark boot and, in 2007, the first dual-compatible telemark and alpine touring boot. So with the F1 Evo boot, the surprise wasn’t the company’s trailblazing design. It was how they accomplished it.
Simplicity was key. With only six parts, the F1 Evo’s “Tronic No Hand” lean lock system is uncomplicated, a game-changer. For the first time, skiers can easily switch from “walk” mode to “alpine” mode, without intricate finger-freezing finagling. No more taking off skis and walking. Each boot’s toe easily clicks to the front of the ski’s binding, not too dissimilar from click-in bike pedals. Once clicked in, the heel of the boot is still free, allowing to skiers to take advantage of “walk” mode and climb or skate like a cross-country skier would. When the wearer’s ready to go downhill, pins in the ski’s back binding push against the boot’s mechanism and lock it in. Step on the front binding and the whole boot slots easily out. This revolutionary lean lock system is patented and exclusive to Scarpa.
If you surveyed a group alpine skiers, most would say lightweight comes secondary to stiffness. With cross country skiers, the opposite is probably true. Scarpa’s new boot walks a happy medium. At 2 pounds, 7 ounces per boot, the F1 Evo is both lightweight and solid. Designed with Scarpa’s Carbon Core Technology, each boot has a carbon fiber frame running from top to bottom that lends enough stiffness to handle sharp grinding turns. Yet each is still flexible and lightweight, so they won’t be a burden to progressive skiers who are slugging uphill.
Inside the boot, intuition liners thermally mold to the wearer’s foot and feature flex zones, making them compatible with the F1 Evo’s excellent mobility and checking the box for comfort. Tightening is also made easy: The lower boot locks in using the Boa closure system’s single dial; the upper boot is tightened with a buckle and power strap.
Compared to other leading alpine touring titans — Dynafit, Dalbello Sports, Salomon, Scott, Black Diamond — Scarpa’s innovator is competitively priced at $700. So really, the only reason backcountry skiers should look elsewhere is if they’re allergic to the color blue.
Weight: 2 pounds 7 ounces per boot
Signature Design Feature Scarpa’s Tronic No Hand lean lock system
Buckles: Boa closure system’s single dial, buckle, strap
Interior lining: heat-moldable intuition Pro Flex EVO liner
Boot Frame: Scarpa’s Carbon Core technology