Editors' Choice Snow 2014: SCARPA F1 Evo Alpine Touring Boot

Game-changing innovation in a ski touring boot.
F1 Evo Alpine Touring Boot
Price $699.00

Specs

Weight 4 lbs, 9 oz

 

***UPDATE: SCARPA has recalled the F1 EVO Ski Boots as of March 10, 2015 after receiving multiple reports of torn knee ligaments after failure of the boot to release from the binding. The Tronic system has been noted to unexpectedly switch between ski and walk mode, causing a high potential for injury. SCARPA has advised all owners of the F1 EVO to cease use immediately and contact them directly for a full refund. For more information, see SCARPA's website.***

Ever start cranking turns, only to discover you’d forgotten to lock your boot into ski mode? The F1 Evo eliminates that universal gaffe with an automatic, hands-free switch: Clicking the heel into the binding pushes up a metal tab that acts like a lever, triggering the ski lock. Step out of the binding to release the lever and return the boot to walk mode. “The system worked flawlessly—it never got jammed by ice or mud—and made transitions faster,” observed one tester. Sixty-two degrees of cuff articulation provide ample range in walk mode, and at just under 5 pounds per pair, they’re lighter than most touring boots. A Boa closure replaces traditional buckles for speedy adjustments, and a wide power strap cinches the cuff for a snug fit through the ankle and lower calf. For true, hands-free transitions, SCARPA recommends using one “tightness” for both ski and walk mode (a numbered gauge printed on the power strap guides skiers to their preferred setting), but most testers needed a looser fit for climbing and a tighter one for turning. “It’s supportive enough to let a good skier get down anything,” says one tester. But the Evo’s softness (its flex index is 95) makes it best suited for mellow powder fields; downhill chargers will likely prefer a more rigid boot. Some testers wished for a manual override, so they could lock the cuff when hiking with crampons. But for straight-up touring, the innovation is a game-changer. $699; 4 lbs. 9 oz. (25); scarpa.com