The name and color are the same. That is all. Tecnica is releasing a new Zero G
Guide “Tour” Pro for the 18-19 season and about the only thing it has in common with last year’s boot is its appellation. The 18-19 version is lighter, with a better range of touring cuff motion, stiffer plastic and a familiar but slightly different take on the ski/walk mechanism. Check WildSnow previous coverage here. Below is a field testing review with tech details where I felt appropriate.
At the beginning of this past winter season I was looking for a boot that I could skin up the resort and then spend the day skiing and feel like I was in an alpine set. As co-owner of Cripple Creek Backcountry I was able to compare quite a few boots and I narrowed my options to the Tecnica Zero G Guide Pro, Scarpa Freedom SL and Atomic Hawx XTD 130. I decided on the Zero G Guide Pro because the flex felt most like an alpine boot. Last year’s boot used a “bi-injected” shoe that made for a solid flex (I’d agree it’s a 130) but combined with a few other factors also made “version 1” a bit on the heavy side. In detail: 1540 grams could be said to be of reasonable weight for a four buckle touring boot, but if you were looking for an everyday backcountry shoe, the fast moving world of boot development is quickly making 1540 the uphill skiing equivalent of tons.
No more problems with weight. For version 2 of the Zero G (now called the “Tour Pro” instead of “Guide Pro”) it’s all Grilamid, less overall volume, no swap sole, and lighter buckles. These changes helped to drop the weight of the boot down 200+ grams to 1320 (my 26.5 testers, per boot). That’s about a pound per pair. You don’t always notice a few grams, but you notice when a full pound is gone.
I’ve been out on both versions quite a bit, and conclude the new boot is ever so slightly less stiff front to back, but is so responsive and stiff side to side that any less fore-aft beef simply contributes to a more progressive feel. I’d still rate it at 130, or perhaps 129?
The best improvement, however, is in range of cuff motion. The old Zero G came in at a limited 44 degrees. For “real” touring that is more of a hangup than weight. During my many days on version 1, the weight didn’t bother me as much as the poor range of touring cuff motion. This years boot comes in at 55 degrees. A noticeable improvement. At 55 degrees the Zero G version 2 feels the way a touring boot should in the skin track, rather than feeling like an alpine boot that you could take out for a tour.
The other major change is an external “strut” ski/walk mechanism that appears similar to what you see on numerous other brand’s touring boots. But with a twist. Tecnica is calling this their “Double Blocking System.” It releases and locks in two places rather than just a single connection point as is common with other brands. They advertise this as a performance and safety advantage. Lou and I joked that the Double Block could be a bit of over-engineering that’s more about appearance than function. However, I have to say that the stability when skiing is impressive so perhaps the Double Block is legit. That little bit of play you feel in ski mode of many touring boots is not noticeable.
So, Zero G version 2 “Tour Pro” is lighter and tours better, but I know all you Wildsnow readers only care about whether or not you can rip turns and stomp landings that’ll enhance your filming career. I have no idea. I do not ski that hard and have never made it into a TGR film. But what I will tell you is skiing last year’s vs. this year’s side by side the difference in downhill performance is very slight. In other words, kudos to Tecnica for being able to drop weight and so nicely improve the touring capabilities of the boot, without sacrificing any of the ski performance. I have had both boots out in powder, spring corn, and rock hard refreeze and can sincerely say the new boot rips just as well as its heavier “sophomoric” predecessor, and tours too.
(WildSnow guest blogger Randy Young is co-owner of Cripple Creek Backcountry, the “local” ski shop that Wildsnow partners with in various endeavors. It is a mystery why he’s the only person within 30 miles of his shop who ski tours one of the two pair of 4-buckle boots Cripple Creek stocked last winter. He swears he never rides ski lifts.)
A few factoids below to help with Tecnica shopping.
Please note the Tecnica Zero G ski touring boot for 2018-2019 will be retailed in five flavors:
Zero G Tour Pro is the lightest weight, with both cuff and scaffo in Grilamid, 130 flex.
Zero G Tour Scout (also in women’s), scaffo Grilamid, cuff PU, 115 flex, plus about 40 grams per boot over Pro.
Zerog G Tour (also in woment’s), cuff and scaffo PU, 110 flex, plus about 150 grams per boot over Pro.
Women’s versions will go down to size 22, but only due to the liner being short lasted. Sizes 22-23.5 all have the same BSL of 275 mm.
Beyond our regular guest bloggers who have their own profiles, some of our one-timers end up being categorized under this generic profile. Once they do a few posts, we build a category. In any case, we sure appreciate ALL the WildSnow guest bloggers!