Remember the F1 Evo? Amazingly good boot in so many ways, but the Tronic lean lock (automatic locker) of the F1 Evo was flawed so they up and recalled every boot with a Tronic. Mature way to handle things in my opinion. Nice to see. Promise was to send the recall swap boots out this fall, sans Tronic, and they delivered. Ours came a few days ago and they look fantastic.
Tronic is a brilliant innovation. After the trigger plate was thickened as an “in line” change last winter, in my opinion it worked fine in a properly adjusted binding. But I’ll admit it’s easy to get it wrong, and if your boot misbehaves (coming unlocked accidentally and jamming into the binding) a dangerous situation could result. Nonetheless, while one might think Tronic is relegated to that amazing museum in Montebelluna, it’ll actually still be sold in Europe, just not “officially” in North America. As always we find that to be strange, but them is the vagaries of globalism. Despite the best intentions of worldwide business, reality is not always global, that is unless you have a credit card, computer, and an extra two days to wait for shipping.
In any case, one can imagine the boot minions of Montebelluna have been as busy as a roofing crew after a hurricane, taking all summer to make subtle improvements on the F1 boot, and mold enough copies to handle the Tronic recall. They probably made a few changes we’ll never hear about, but all to the good. Main things to know is compared to first-generation boots, this version of F1 is easier to get into (the first ones were a struggle), and all versions have a sole that’s probably about as good as you can get for a compromise between wear and grip. Most importantly in my view, all F1s have a basic and effective external lean lock bar. No fooling around with fancy hidden lean locks prone to icing and mysterious failure modes. I popped a few photos, just to whet everyone’s appetite for a boot that indeed makes a nice balance between lack of mass, uphill comfort, and downhill performance, Tronic or not.
Weights of our 2016-2017 F1 ski touring boots (NOT Evo Tronic, which is a few more grams)
Size 28 with liner: 46.4 ounces, 1314 grams.
Size 28 shell, NO liner: 37.3 ounces, 1056 grams (size 27 shell comes in at almost exactly 1 kilo, which is our general target for a “real” modern ski touring boot, combined of course with good walking mobility as these boots have).
Size 25 with liner: 38.2 ounces, 1084 grams.
Size 25 NO liner: 31.3 ounces, 888 grams.
According to Skialper magazine last year, F1 has a 99 mm last in size 27, which is within a few mm of nearly any brand boot model in this class.
F1 is innovative and thus a bit difficult to evaluate in terms of fit and how it will meet your needs. Especially true if you’re shopping online. Thus, while you’ll be able to get it from outfits such as backcountry.com, we’d recommend shopping for Scarpa F1 with our friends at Cripple Creek Backcountry here in the Wildsnow home town.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.