My Scarpa F1 Dancing Shoes — Review

Post by blogger | March 22, 2016      

Michael Kennedy

Dance tracks, courtesy Scarpa F1.

Dance tracks, courtesy Scarpa F1 ski touring boots.

When I reported on my first impressions of the new Scarpa F1 in January,I lamented the fact that this promising ski touring boot wouldn’t be available in North America until autumn of 2016. Scarpa North America promised a test pair later in the winter, but patience has never been my strength and I ordered a pair from a European etailer a few days after returning from the Scarpa demo we did out of Park City last winter. I was convinced back then, and subsequent “dancing” around the mountains of Colorado proved the case.

Scarpa F1 2016-2017 is a mature design with everything from 'carbon' injecting stiffening to various features allowing mode changes that last mere seconds.

Scarpa F1 2016-2017 is a mature design with everything from ‘carbon’ injecting stiffening to various features allowing mode changes that last mere seconds.

With plentiful snow and some free time at my disposal, I figured I’d truly be able to put the F1 through its paces. And I could always fall back on my trusty Maestrales, the go-to boot that had served me well for several winters.

My F1s have seen more than thirty days days on-snow so far. I’ve already gotten my money’s worth. The Scarpa last fits my foot very well, and I found shoe is comfortable out of the box — so comfortable that I didn’t bother to heat mold the Intuition liners until I’d put nearly a dozen days on them. They’ve maintained a good, consistent fit since molding. A minor annoyance: with its fixed tongue, the F1 is harder to put on and take off than the Maestrale. And make sure you don’t catch the edge of the external tongue under the main shell when you crank the boots closed. Doing so is frustrating and could damage the boot.

The range of motion for touring is superb (62 degrees for the F1 versus 39 degrees for the Maestrale) and encourages an efficient stride no matter what the skin track angle. I love the convenience of the Boa cable closure system for the lower foot and the Fast Buckle (hybrid Velcro and cam) around the ankle; once you get used to them you can switch from uphill to downhill in seconds.

Boa closure system began a number of years ago with a rough start, but is now refined and reliable.  This might actually be the biggest change in plastic boot design in about 40 years?

Boa closure system began a number of years ago with a rough start, but is now refined and reliable. This might actually be the biggest change in plastic boot design in about 40 years? Red arrow points to a thoughtful feature we’d like to see on all ski touring boots: a place to clip a runaway strap.

The external ski/walk mechanism is simple, reliable and quickly engaged. Forward lean is adjusted by flipping the “receiving” piece on the boot, a two-minute process; I opted for the more aggressive 22-degree position. Note that snow and ice occasionally gets packed into the notch in the latch, or around the bar it engages, preventing the system from locking into place (this only happened to me three or four times). A gentle tap to the outside of the latch usually displaced the offending material.

One does wonder why other brands and models of AT boots don't go back to this type of simple machinery. A little ice in there? You can see it and fix it.

One does wonder why other brands and models of AT boots don’t go back to this type of simple machinery. A little ice in there? You can see it and fix it.

As you’d expect with a slim profile like that of the F1, this boot’s liners are relatively thin. During one particularly frigid period in early February my feet felt colder in the F1s than they would have in the Maestrales, but in more seasonable temperatures (above 0 degrees F) I haven’t noticed a difference.

F1 liner is sourced via Intuition and beautifully made. Due to the low volume shell it ends up slightly thinner than some other boots and thus perhaps a bit colder.

F1 liner is sourced via Intuition and beautifully made. Due to the low volume shell it ends up slightly thinner than some other boots and thus perhaps a bit colder.

In our opinion all 'tongue' type liners should have lace anchors in case you need them. These do.

In our opinion all ‘tongue’ type liners should have lace anchors in case you need them. These do.

With the F1’s combination of comfort, touring ability, and light weight (1230 grams versus 1520 for the Maestrale, according to Scarpa) I’d be happy to have a pair kicking around for easy tours, hut trips, and fitness runs up the local ski areas. But how would these svelte boots handle steeper terrain and more challenging conditions? Surprisingly well, I found, to the dismay of my poor Maestrales, which have been getting a little lonely in the closet.

I wouldn’t recommend the F1 for hard-charging lift skiing or extreme descents. A freeride boot this is not. The F1 feels at home on groomers and easy bumps (think Snowmass, Colorado). And for the kind of skiing I usually do (3000-to-5000-foot days in the Colorado backcountry, mostly on moderate terrain) they are ideal. Light, supple, and comfy for the up. Stiff and supportive for the down. Bottomless fluff in the trees? No problem. Breakable crust with a side of ankle-deep wind pressed powder over avalanche debris? A bigger backcountry ski boot would power through it, but with a lighter touch the F1 worked just fine. Midwinter meadow skipping through surface hoar? Dancing. A steep, sunny bowl covered with mid-calf cream cheese over a firm base? Heaven no matter what’s on your feet.

Lo and behold, a removable footboard.  Beloved by boot fitters and other tuners of fit.

Lo and behold, a removable footboard. Beloved by boot fitters and other tuners of fit.

Cuff rivets are serviceable, but do not include a cant rivet.

Cuff rivets are serviceable, but do not include a cant rivet. This could be remedied with a mod, or simply add some dense foam to one side of the liner to effectuate a cuff cant.

F12 "Fast Buckle" adjust precisely so you can snap closed for the down and open for the up -- without fiddling.

F12 “Fast Buckle” adjust precisely so you can snap closed for the down and open for the up — without fiddling.

Oh the genius. A liner that actually extends above the shell, and a power strap that easily stays where it belongs on the tongue. Why is it so hard for other brands and models to get this right, sometimes?

Oh the genius. A liner that actually extends above the shell, and a power strap that easily stays where it belongs on the tongue. Why is it so hard for other brands and models to get this right, sometimes?

Weight, size 28 BSL 305 mm, 1312 grams per boot.

F1 (manual ski/walk) – is currently available in Europe and from international etailers.
Is not available in North America yet, but will be for next autumn/winter 16/17.

F1 TR (automatic ski/walk, had problems in original release, now apparently fixed) –
Is currently available in Europe and from international etailers.
No plan to release F1 TR in North America.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


85 Responses to “My Scarpa F1 Dancing Shoes — Review”

  1. neonorchid March 22nd, 2016 11:30 am

    Any idea how much more boot it is for the descent then a Fischer Travers Carbon – anyone?

  2. Lou Dawson 2 March 22nd, 2016 1:39 pm

    F1 is surprisingly supportive, probably because of the stiff area of carbon reinforced plastic they install as a “yoke” that resists bulging. Thing is, Travers Carbon might be pretty good as well. But we don’t have a comparison here at WildSnow. Frankly, if you can obtain either, get the one that fits best. Lou

  3. Devin March 22nd, 2016 2:33 pm

    How would the F1 compare to the newer Tlt6 Mtn? How did the sizing fit compared to a Maestrale Thanks!

  4. M Mayer March 22nd, 2016 2:42 pm

    Can you characterize the fit and/or shape of the last? Wide/Narrow? High/Low volume? Oriented to what shape of foot? Thanks

  5. Paul Lees March 22nd, 2016 3:37 pm

    Is there enough of a heel shelf to us a kingpin without the adapter?

  6. Lou Dawson 2 March 22nd, 2016 4:17 pm

    Mayer, I’d call the fit “medium” in terms of volume, compared to boots such as TLT 5/6, which I’d call low volume. I don’t have the equipment to evaluate what type of foot shape they’d be best for, but can say that they are very adept at snugging up around your foot due to the Boa system. Our test pair are out at this time so I can’t test in Kingpin. I will say that I’ve found one does have to be careful how boot heels fit in Kingpin. Easy to test, just put the boot in and do release checks, it’ll either work, or it won’t.

  7. Terry March 22nd, 2016 4:42 pm

    Hi Lou,
    Sorry that this is not the best way to communicate this with you. Please feel free to delete, of course. I was hoping to be able to put this comment at the bottom of your history page, “1943 Trooper Traverse Participant List – Roster”.

    Want to let you know that Sierra climbing pioneer, Glen Dawson, passed away in Pasadena, CA at the age of 103. He lived quite a life!

    Saw this news on:

  8. Lou Dawson 2 March 22nd, 2016 4:53 pm

    Hi Terry, thanks, I’ll move your comment to one of the Trooper Traverse posts. The pages don’t take comments but I’m pretty sure I’ve got a number of posts that do. ‘best, Lou

  9. Michael Kennedy March 22nd, 2016 5:02 pm

    Re: the F1 fit compared to Maestrale. I wear a size 29 in both boots. The F1 feels every so slightly shorter overall and narrower in the forefoot than the Maestrale. Could be that my Maestrale liners are packed out after four seasons.

    Again, my foot works with Scarpa boots (ski and mountain as well as rock shoes), and I’m not very particular or sensitive when it comes to fit. I’d imagine a good boot fitter could punch the shell and otherwise make the F1 work for most feet.

  10. Eric Steig March 22nd, 2016 8:54 pm

    This caught my attention:

    “A liner that actually extends above the shell, and a power strap that easily stays where it belongs on the tongue. Why is it so hard for other brands and models to get this right, sometimes?”

    Yes indeed. The TLT5 has this problem, as does the TLT6. It drives me nuts. I’ll go to the end of this season with my TLT5s, and then next year it’s F1.

  11. Jerky Schmilkus March 23rd, 2016 10:23 am

    How are the cuff bolts holding out? My old and recalled F1s loosened up quite a bit and no matter how hard I tried, I could not get them to tighten, either because of too much loctite installed at the factory, or, they were never designed to be tightened. That detail bugged the crap out of me.

  12. Michael Kennedy March 23rd, 2016 10:39 am

    Jerky, no problem so far. Homing in on 40 days in the F1s and heading to Canada this week.

  13. Majki March 24th, 2016 8:51 am

    Can You check if they work with any frame bindings if You have an opportunity? Many people look for univesal boot for both types of bindings.

  14. noah howell March 30th, 2016 4:27 pm

    I’ve been testing these boots most of the season and I really dig them. The newest version has space behind the bar where the walk/ski throw rests. This allows snow and ice to pass through and this decreases icing up and makes it easier to lock into ski mode.

  15. Mark O April 3rd, 2016 11:25 am

    Recently picked up a pair of F1 Manuals and noticed some resistance at the toe when ‘walking’ in my TLT Verticals. Clipped my Spirit 3’s back in and no issues. My buddy has a similar thing between his Aliens (plastic) and Speed Turns, both bought new. Anyone else noticing this? Thoughts?

  16. Lou Dawson 2 April 3rd, 2016 2:47 pm

    Mark, is the boot sole rubber rubbing on the binding or something like that? I have bindings and boots here an can evaluate if you can get me a little closer. Thanks, Lou

  17. Mark O April 3rd, 2016 5:00 pm

    There is kind of one spot on one boot on the most forward piece of rubber sole that is contacting the spring at a specific point, barely. But the resistance is universal throughout the stride and is present on both boots with both bindings (carpet tested too). Also, the resistance is much more noticeable when the toe is locked. Scratching my head on this one, but starting to wonder if it’s an old worn out toe pin/new boot socket interface that’s not lining up.
    Thanks for any tips, MarkO

  18. Lou Dawson 2 April 3rd, 2016 6:37 pm

    Welllllll, first is the standard A-B test. Stick the new boot in a new binding and see what happens. Meanwhile, I’ll check it out if I have the stuff here, which I think I do. Lou

  19. Mark O April 4th, 2016 11:07 am

    Went to my local shop, Allspeed in Portland, ME (staff is well educated and always eager to help). The F1 worked fine in the Rad 1.0, Rad 2.0, and kingpin, indicating it’s likely my old toe pins causing this issue. Looks like I’m finally switching over to the 4 hole pattern. Thanks for the advice, helpful as always.

  20. Lou Dawson 2 April 4th, 2016 11:25 am

    Yeah, the toe pins do wear out. They tend to keep a similar shape, examination with magnifying glass while comparing to new ones can be revealing. Lou

  21. Michael Kennedy April 4th, 2016 12:09 pm

    Majki, just back from a great trip to Sentry Lodge in BC. F1s still fantastic. I don’t have any frame bindings to test with the boot. Lou?

  22. Lou Dawson 2 April 4th, 2016 12:59 pm

    F1 doesn’t have a DIN/ISO toe shape, so I doubt it works correctly in a frame binding. Of course, it’s possible to often just jam a boot into a frame binding and have it stay in there reliably enough to ski without coming out, but whether you have any real safety release or return-to-center elasticity is another matter. Lou

  23. Skyler Holman April 7th, 2016 6:57 pm

    Loved my blue F1 TRs, til I had to send them back. Sad they won’t release new version in N.A.

  24. Spiros April 20th, 2016 12:37 am

    I am the happy owner of this revised tronic version with manual ski/walk mechanism.

    Both in Maestrale RS and this one in size 29. F1 a little more athletic fit, more snug at the toes, Maestrale more roomy especially at the toes

    The Boa closure is a very good feature, fast and apply equal pressure at the metatarsal of the foot, hope it lasts only

    My TLT 5 carbon in size 29 weigh 1260 without the extra tongue but with the dynafit upper strap replaced with a scarpa power strap . F1 as it came 1320 gr. both weighted in my digital kitchen scale

    for 60 gr more than the tlt 5 fit is much better the straps are spot on and faster even for quick transitions race style and more boot in downhill.
    The only part that the tlt 5 is better is in climbing and scrambling and playing all day at the resort with my little son, something like super apreski boots due to the forefoot flex.

    The best part of the F1 : after skiing in the hut everyone commented them as the best looking boots around, with that red blue colour. 🙂

  25. Willis August 10th, 2016 8:58 pm

    I ski my boots in walk mode most of the time and wonder if this is possible with the new F 1?

  26. Thomas Neuspiel October 25th, 2016 4:48 pm

    With regards to the F1 and it’s Boa closure; Has anyone had reliability problems with this more complex system? Is there a repair kit you carry for it in case of problems in the field? Words on anyone’s experience with it appreciated.


  27. Michelle November 30th, 2016 11:17 pm

    Any thoughts on F1 vs the Atomic Backlands Carbon?

  28. Lou Dawson 2 December 1st, 2016 6:59 am

    Thomas, thinking back on the most common failure mode of ski boots, that of broken buckles, I wouldn’t worry about the Boa having any more problems with reliability than the 50+ year old somewhat flawed design of ski boot ladder buckles. Boa probably has less problems, now that it’s reached a mature state of design.

    Michelle, the carbon yoke of the F1 gives it surprising rigidity, my take is it does less ankle bulge than the Backland. But with the shell tongue inserted, Backland skis about the same. Backland shell plastic is incredibly easy to custom punch. F1 is harder to put on, especially if you have limited ankle mobility.

    I like both boots — both are what I’d call “real modern ski touring boots.” If you’re trying to decide, my advice would be they’re a toss-up and to base your choice on initial shell fit.


  29. Jürgen December 1st, 2016 7:23 am

    Coming from TLT 5, I tried the Backland, the F1 as well as TLT7.
    Apart from all appreciated brief tech discussions here on WS, they´re different enough in feel so that your feet will leave no doubts which one to be your personal preference.
    I was hoping for a roomy forefoot in the TLT7 and Dynafit has delivered significantly more space as in TLT 6. Overall fit to me was a different story. Backland for me feels
    quite skinny and my foot gives significant feedback what´s going on around its liner.
    F1 finally was my choice and after 5000am I can say it delivers in every respect what it had made me hope for on the shopfloor. F1 is melting down my boot quiver from TLT5/Scarpa Maestrale RS to a single boot solution without feeling any sacrifice. Great ROM up and great support on the downs !

  30. Lou Dawson 2 December 1st, 2016 9:08 am

    F1 really is quite something. Glad you’re finding that to be true. That they can delay full world sales for a season and still get that kind of kudos is significant. Lou

  31. Thomas Neuspiel December 1st, 2016 9:30 am

    I went for the F1 because they felt so much more comfortable than anything else I put on (about 8 pairs of boots) Amazing range of motion and surprisingly rigid for their weight. Can’t wait to put them through their paces!

  32. Carlos Ferrer December 1st, 2016 12:54 pm

    Thanks for the article, they are superb! Are they compatible with any touring bindings?

  33. Maciej December 7th, 2016 2:34 am

    After 10 days on snow I love F1 Evo for the way they work and fit. The only problem that concerns me is sole durability. Over those 10 days there were maybe 20km of snowless approaches. Nothing extra just oridinary alpine marked paths.

    Soles are falling apart. Almost every block is detached from sole. Orange material is soft and feels delicate, it is very different from black material usually used for vibram soles. See yourself:

    Just for comparison check soles of my prevoius boots with >200days:

    Scarpa are you there?

  34. Aaron December 8th, 2016 10:34 am

    Looking for some advice on forward lean and stack height differential related to F1s.

    I just purchased F1s after trying the full spectrum of similar class boots (backland, tlt7, Arc etc) as these fit the best. However after a day skiing on them I realize the lowest forward lean lock (20 deg) is way to big for me (I come from old f3s with 15 deg iof forward lean). Painful and awkward.

    I am also on Verticals with 16mm of stack height.

    I need advice on my 2 options which I am considering doing together.

    Add 1/4 inch riser to my toes (6.35mm) which will bring the differential down to ~10mm.

    Modify the lower lean lock mechanism by cutting off the lower existing hole, reprofiling the side to mesh with the mechanical lock of the boot, drilling new hole closer to pin, building plastic filler block for top to fill void and remounting. Comparing to my F3s dropping the lean lock pin down one hole length looks like it will be a comparable lean.

    Any thoughts on the mod? Could also remove plastic on the boot lower and slide down to avoid drilling new hole but then I’d loose the lower mechanical/physical lock.

    Any thoughts on the effect of both changes? Too much in one go?

  35. Lou Dawson 2 December 8th, 2016 10:44 am

    My advice would be to first try the 6 mm toe riser as those Verticals have a bunch of ramp angle that’ll really help with. It’s so easy to install shims, rather than boot mods. But in terms of boot mods I’d look at two things first. Do everything you can with the liner to bring the shaft of your tibia rearward. Perhaps an extra layer on the tongue combined with work on the liner spoiler area to make it a few mm thinner. Along with that, try modding the boot board or footbed with tape layers so that your foot rests with your forefoot a few mm higher. That can have different effects for different people depending on how much dorsiflexion you have genetically, as well as your skeletal build, but it’s easy to experiment.

    Also, be sure that the lean lock is already set to the more relaxed forward cuff lean!

    And I agree that an actual mod to the lean lock might not be that tough.

  36. Aaron December 8th, 2016 11:03 am

    Thanks, I will try that progression focusing on reducing stack height first. I do notice that the removable footbed has a pronounced raised feel under the heel. Maybe I’ll try to remove some material and shim the toe area.

    Unfortunately the lean is on the lower setting. What I find interesting is the Evo version had 16-18-20 forward lean range while the new F1 only has 20 and 22.

    Scarpa has spares of the lower lock mechanism so a mod is low risk other than the 20$ ea they want for the pieces.

  37. See December 8th, 2016 2:42 pm

    Sure, there are plenty of ways to change the effective forward lean, but (in my opinion) the lack of easily and infinitely adjustable forward lean (like on my old Scarpa Matrix’s) is really annoying.

  38. Alex January 29th, 2017 4:51 pm

    Does this boot have different liners for half/whole sizes? Scarpa claims so on their website, but I thought most boots just have the same liner and might have a different footbed for half sizes. Thanks!

  39. Lou Dawson 2 January 29th, 2017 5:49 pm

    Hi Alex, I don’t see why we would doubt what Scarpa claims on that. And yes, there are a variety of ways that ski boots are configured to fit a given foot. Heat molded liners have quite a bit of range in terms of size, for example. Lou

  40. Mark W January 31st, 2017 11:13 am

    Jerky Schmilkus, the cuff bolts are likely VERY heavily doped with thread locker on the F-1. Scarpa does that on at least some of their other models like the T-2.

  41. AJ February 14th, 2017 3:40 pm

    I bought a pair of Scarpa F1 Women’s boots in size 24 after getting talked into a smaller size than my previous boots, Scarpa Divas (24.5) by a boot fitter. My feet are freezing in the F1s in pretty moderate conditions, while I’ve never had cold feet problems ever before (skiing 13 years). I wish I knew how much of the cold foot problem is attributable to the boots being too constricting (they fit very snugly, but after thermoforming were plenty comfortable to walk in, and the boot fitter was CONVINCED that 24 is the right size for me). On the other hand the coldness could be due to it being a lighter boot and thinner liner than I’ve ever had. I just can’t tell.

    I wonder if I had bought the 24.5 boot (full shell size up) and MAYBE an aftermarket thicker liner, like the Intuition Godiva (I like the overlap style liner better anyway), whether it might have been the perfect boot. I like the boot a lot, other than the coldness, by the way. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  42. Thomas Neuspiel February 14th, 2017 4:07 pm

    I have climbed and skied in my Scarpa F1s this season in everything from about 0 celcius down to about minus 30 celcius. The F1s are not quite as warm as my older beefier scarpas but honestly there’s not a big difference. I was a little chilly in them on the very cold days when standing still but my toes warmed quickly once I got moving. As I said I don’t see a really big difference from my old boots in terms of warmth but boy do I feel it in the weight. It sounds too me like maybe yours are fit too tight. The toe box is also really big in my F1s so lots of room to wiggle the little guys down there. I’d go back and take this up with your fitter. Best of luck

  43. Kristian February 16th, 2017 2:07 am

    Hi. Thank you for all inputs.

    I am considering lighter boots after cochise 130 pro since I now do more skitouring.
    I am for the moment considering maestrale rs and mtn lab but also the new f1.

    Do you consider that a good skier can drive a light 110mm ski effectivly with f1?
    Can you also enjoy carving on groomers with cornsnow and some small bumps with f1?

    How would you consider stifness compering maestrale rs?

    Thank you for answers

  44. Lou Dawson 2 February 16th, 2017 3:09 am

    Ha , there is indeed a trend for skiers who have been in “4 buckle” boots to want to try going lighter and with easier stride mode. You are an example (smile). I would say go ahead and try it. The feel will be different, but it will work. As for stiffness comparison the F1 is stiffer than you would assume but it’s not as stiff as Maestrale RS. Lou

  45. Kristian February 16th, 2017 4:32 am

    Thank you for input. Yes i am really the perfect example. Could be beneficial as a testdummy for bootmakers. 🙂 I like to go pretty fast.. , starting to go slower…
    Would you give it a 110 classic boot flex….? Dont dear to much under….
    Think lateral stiffness more important..

  46. denalijay February 20th, 2017 9:32 am

    I had to replace broken Dynafit Zzero 4 buckle boots the day before a 7 day hut tour to Gran Paradiso in Italy last April. My comments on stiffness and fit:

    Re: F1 vs Dynafit TLT stiffness: New F1 was available as were Dynafit TLT’s. I am 6’1″ and weigh 195 lbs. Boot-fitter in Chamonix recommended F1’s as providing significantly more support than TLT for someone my size due to carbon reinforcement. I found the lateral support and forward pressure going downhill to be surprisingly good and much more precise than the Zzeros. Power strap lever, BOA and forward lean lock gave simple adjustments and very firm downhill support.

    Re: fitting extra room in forefoot: Knowing there would be no “break-in” period, he put me in the boots, asked me to identify pressure points, padded those points on my feet, covered pads with sox, heated the shells, inserted the liners, and buckled me in for 30 minutes. In about an hour he created the space in needed in the forefoot. I hit the trail next morning and climbed 1200m, descended 750m and my feet felt better at the end of the day than in any boot I’ve ever worn. Spent entire week with no blisters or pressure points. Past boots have taken me 2 or 3 sittings to get the fit I need. Superb boots that climb and descend beautifully!

  47. Daniel February 20th, 2017 10:35 am

    which ZZero version are you comparing to? pebax, pebax with carbin stringers?

    which size zzero did you have, which size F1 are you in now?

  48. wirkola February 20th, 2017 10:51 am

    I have about 6 days of touring in these the last month. Took some break in after heatmolding to get comfortable on the up, but last couple tours have been really good. A bit cumbersome to get on. My feet slip in ok, but I need to fiddle a bit to get the tounge parts aligned. There´s also a hole on the tounge that needs to be aligned with a plug in the lower shell. I have high arches so it doesnt align automatically as probably intended. Once on tour they are low maintenance. Transition is super easy.
    As for the skiing I´m really impressed. I´ve been skiing with TLT5P and Mercury the last few seasons. TLT5s were great but took some balance to be able to ski properly in difficult snow. Paired with Dynafit Mustagh Ata. Would often feel jerky and I was constantly weary of overpowering them into collapse.
    The F1 feels really smooth on the up, can hardly feel any resistance. Feels equal to the TLT5 while skinning moderate strides. On the down I have yet to notice them. I just ski and they work really well. Never once felt any collapse of the lower shell. Really supportive and predictable in all situations so far. Softer, less powerful than my Mercuries, but more than enough boot if paired with a moderate ski. They are progressive, but I might feel some bounce in the rebound. They are way way more boot than the TLT5p, and I suspect that they ski superior to the rest of the TLTs and the Backland too. My speculations of course, based on trying them all in the shop before settling on the F1. The liner is terrific too.
    Btw I am 93 kg and pair the F1 with the BMT 94 in 186 cm.

  49. denalijay February 20th, 2017 11:20 am

    Zzeros were size 30, no carbon; F1’s are 29.5

  50. Lou 2 February 21st, 2017 6:54 am

    denalijay, how about sharing who the “best bootfitter in cham” is? Some of our readers I’m sure would like to know. Lou

  51. denalijay February 21st, 2017 8:53 am

    Sure Lou – the fellow who helped me was tall, brown/blond hair, easy going. I will try to get his name from Snell and post later.
    If any of you are in Chamonix and he is still there, you can find my guy by going to Snell and asking the boot fitting staff which one of them got a pineapple (and some beer) last April from a customer who was happy with his fit.

  52. Eddy March 17th, 2017 6:04 pm

    Lou, you mentioned the liners being thin. I’m planning on some cold weather trips (i.e. Alaska) and I was wondering if I’d be able to put some thicker aftermarket intuitions in them. Any idea if that would work or would it cramp down too much on space?

  53. Lou Dawson 2 March 18th, 2017 8:15 am

    Hi Eddy, usually a thicker liner does nothing to increase warmth as it just gets compressed into the existing space, and it can actually be colder due to the foam being compressed while heat molding or packing out in use. Sometimes, however, you can increase warmth a bit, given there is some unused space with a liner that’s “short lasted” to create, for example, a 27.5 boot with a 28 shell.

    It’s tricky to figure out if there is extra space overall, but pretty easy to figure out if the liner is shorter than the space inside the boot shell. Just compare visually while holding liner outside boot, and figure out some way of measuring the inside length of the shell, perhaps with a steel tape measure you bend down in there.

    Almost always, the only “real” way to get a warmer boot is to go up a size, or change boot models to something with more volume that is filled by foam. All liners are thin, so adding even one millimeter of foam can make a difference.

    Remember that boot fitting sometimes helps with warmth. A properly fitted boot usually doesn’t require buckling so tightly, thus allowing better blood circulation.

    FYI, for my Alaska boots in 2010 I went up a size, short lasted the liner, and glued foam around the toe of the liner where I knew there was plenty of extra space. I used an after market liner that didn’t fill the other space perfectly but was warm because the foam was pretty much not compressed. I made the boots feel better for skiing by taking up the extra volume with an additional boot board. They still didn’t ski very well, and combined with skis I ran too short I had a difficult time with the downhill skiing on difficult snow at altitude, though I got it done. If I had it to do over again I’d be a lot more careful with my boot choice and fit, perhaps going with a regular touring fit and depending on overboots for additional warmth.

    Don’t overlook socks. Be sure you are using wool, which insulates when damp rather than being non-insulating or even overly conductive as plastic (nylon etc.) socks are. The Darn Tough thin ski socks are it.


  54. KristianB March 20th, 2017 7:48 am

    Is it right that F1 is not compatible with vipec 12 newest model….?

  55. Lou Dawson 2 March 20th, 2017 8:32 am

    Kristian, it’s possible that’s true, the problem is that different size boots can behave differently, and the boot has to be tested with all the different spacer clips that attach to the toe lever. It’s not the best situation, way to deal with it is work with a ski shop that has both the binding and the boot, the issue can be determined in 5 or 10 minutes by someone who knows what they’re doing. Lou

  56. KristianB March 20th, 2017 11:20 am

    Ok. Any possibility that you could check it out since it is essential information
    related to this review? Think that F1 and Vipec is a popular setup.

  57. KristianB April 6th, 2017 11:22 pm

    Scarpa say that the f1 is compatible with vipec 12. Fritschi has not answerd my question.

  58. BrianJ April 7th, 2017 12:25 am

    I have had no issues with the vipec black and F1 boot (size 25), the binding has released as expected. The binding came with 3 different shaped toe piece clips, there is a video (linked below) showing the test that needs to be done to determine which clip is required. Having 3 clips covers a range of boot shapes and sizes, but as mentioned above you should try check the compatibility before buying just to make sure.

  59. Lou 2 April 7th, 2017 6:29 am

    Most boots will work with Vipec, and the test is easy. That’s really as far as we can get in a definite statement, as IMHO compatibility can vary with boot size as well, or an change if you’ve had any shell molding done in the toe area. Lou

  60. Christian November 22nd, 2017 10:48 pm

    Just got some F1s (“used”, but not skied yet, liners just baked), and the toes seem to have difficulty engaging/disengaging from my Speed Radicals. Upon inspection, the inner parts of the tech fittings seem to be offset to the inside, along with some more pronounced carving out of the plastic. It’s definitely not a clean push of the lever to get them disengaged. Should I contact Scarpa, or maybe give it a try grinding down some of the plastic? It’s not an issue in the same binding testing out different boots (one set with Dynafit Master Step and a set of Atomics with “traditional” fittings). They seem to engage/disengage ok with Ions. Thoughts? Have you seen this before? Couldn’t find anything in any forums. I can upload some pics to Flickr if needed.

    (Note that the surgeon general advises against responding to nerdy blog questions on an overfull stomach, so take your time 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!)

  61. emily December 12th, 2017 11:39 pm

    thinking about pairing these boots up with a voile ultravector and radical 2.0, 80% backcountry use, 20% inbounds. i’m light (130 lbs) and not a hard-charger. any input on if this boot will pair well with that setup? i havent mounted up my skis yet so could pair with a lighter binding, but that would involve selling my rad 2.0s and buying a new set….

  62. Lisa Palechuk January 17th, 2018 11:42 am

    Wondering if you can provide comparison between the womens F1 and the older gea (green one with silver flip away tongue). I have the older Gea, love it but find them a bit cold at times. I’ve actually gone to heated insoles for cold days! I also find that my toes go numb on one foot so often have to keep buckles quite loose to alleviate pressure on the foot. (I do have a narrow foot and experience numb toes in other foot wear as well). Have not tried on the F1 but thinking it might be a nice alternative. I don’t need a super stiff boot, something super comfy, with great range of motion for the long uptracks and something warm. Scarpa seems to fit my foot well so looking at options in the scarpa line up.

  63. Willis Richardson January 17th, 2018 12:53 pm

    I don’t know about the women’s version old or new but I have been skiing the green F 1 for the second year. I find it a terrific fit and very comfortable. I am a low angle skier and pick a 30 degree or less slope and farm it all day about 10 to 20 runs. The boots are light, comfortable and provide a great deal of support. Walk mode is brilliant. I never molded the line but use custom inner soles. The boa system is easy and no problems with it. I ski my boots in walk mode which I find more adaptable to backccountry skiing. I have an average width foot. My only dislike with the boot is the top strap which is secure to the boot on the side with two nipples, one on each side of the boot. The straps never line up with the nipples and you have to fight to make them stay in place. I find the boots to be warm without warmers or wool socks. If it really going to be cold, I sprinkle small amount of cayene pepper under my toes, and I mean small amount. Good Luck.

  64. Gelu January 31st, 2018 4:30 pm

    Is Scarpa F1 compatible with Atomic T Backland Tour+Brake binding ?

  65. Lou Dawson 2 January 31st, 2018 5:43 pm

    Don’t know why it would not be… Lou

  66. Gelu February 1st, 2018 1:08 am

    Thank you Lou ! Some retailers say , I quote, ”These bindings are NOT compatible with bellowed ski boots such as Scarpa F1/F3/Tx.”. I asked Scarpa and they said are compatible.

  67. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2018 7:47 am

    Gelu, Scarpa did us all a disservice by naming their newer touring boot an “F1” while the earlier bellowed models was also an “F1.” Very annoying, wasting our time while we attempt to communicate. On the other hand, both versions of the F1 are terrific boots for their intended purposes.

    In my opinion, no bellowed boot is entirely compatible with a classic tech binding. You can often get such combinations of binding and boot to function to some degree (as millions of skiers have indeed done over the years), but there will always be a compromise.

    For example, if you place a spacer under the boot sole, in the bellows area, that will prevent the boot from sagging down while skiing downhill, but introduces friction during a lateral (side) release. Or, don’t use a spacer and the boot sags, changing the position of the heel fitting in relation to the binding heel pins.

    So, let’s put it this way: You can often use a bellowed boot with a tech binding, but doing so may introduce “incompatibilities” that would thus mean the statement “incompatible” is accurate and honest.

    Clear as mud?

    Or look at it this way: The word “compatible” is a term of art, not a scientific engineering term based on established standards. To cut through that mud, one has to be specific about exactly which binding, type of use, how the rig will be set up, size and weight of skier, expectations of safety, and so on and so on.

    P.S., I’m a little concerned that you left your comment and somehow did not understand that the extensive review above, with images, is for the current F1 which does NOT have bellows?


  68. Lisa Palechuk February 1st, 2018 8:39 am

    Just purchased my daughter the Gea (newest version in light blue with silver tongue) and she loves it. Suffering from Raynauds we were concerned about warmth. Happy to report on first day of use (lift access to some great powder) she reported very warm and comfortable feet all day. She didn’t need any additional heaters in the boots either. The fit is great and they performed well on both groomers, chopped up chunky snow and of course wonderful in the powder. The walk mode is easy to use and makes any touring super comfortable.

  69. Willis Richardson February 1st, 2018 3:33 pm


    I use a very simply method for cold feet if your daughter gets them in the future. I sprinkle a few grains of finely ground hot red pepper under my toes. I works without resolving to boot heaters or heavier socks which usually don’t work anyway. I am saying this method without knowing if your daughter would have an allergy to the pepper.

  70. Lisa Palechuk February 1st, 2018 4:16 pm

    Willis, thanks we may just try that! She has heaters for her downhill boots and they work great. Will play around with the red pepper in the socks for touring boots on the colder days. No red pepper allergies to worry about!


  71. Tom Kalakay March 17th, 2018 11:37 am

    F1 Experts,

    I’ve been on my new F1’s for about a month now. I’m having trouble with the BOA clips coming loose from the boot. I haven’t lost one yet, but I’m sure it’s going to happen unless I can figure out a way to keep them from coming off the boot. Scarpa includes extras in the accessory kit. Maybe this has been discussed already, but I couldn’t find a thread. Ideas anyone?


  72. Deva Solomon November 18th, 2018 8:51 pm

    Hi all, seriously considering this boot. Am currently on La Sportiva Syborgs size 27.5 and salomon x-max 130 with zip fit liners also 27.5. I have a very low volume heel/ankle and some width at my sixth metatarsal. Am looking for better skiing performance than the syborgs (which are a 900 gram boot) but still as much uphill performance as I can muster. I’m a chunkier skier 200lbs or so. Think the F1 is the one for me??


  73. Willis November 19th, 2018 4:44 pm


    I would try to demo the boot. I love mine. The boot is just very comfortable as well as being performance oriented. As I said in an earlier post, I ski them in walk mode since I usually on ski backcountry and not much steep terrain.

  74. Nate Porter March 6th, 2019 6:28 pm

    Regarding modifying the forward lean on the F1- There are some good suggestions above. I want to add that different length lean lock levers can be purchased from Scarpa. They come in 3 sizes that cover the range of shell sizes available- 21.5-23, 23.5-29, and 29.5-31. I bought a size 29 boot, and found the 20 degree setting still too far forward. So I bought the levers for the 21.5-23 shell range. This, combined with the lever catch set to the more upright position ended up being too upright. With the shorter lever and catch set to the more forward position, the lean looks similar to the stock configuration of the 29 shell. In another thread about the F1 lean, someone mentioned drilling a new hole to reposition the catch pin. That, combined with a different size lever might yield lots of options for adjusting forward lean. Too bad that the stock leans of 20 and 22 degrees are so aggressive, and too bad the 3 levers are not more evenly split between shell sizes. The middle lever covers 6 shells, the smallest 2, and the largest 2. Maybe that is what it takes to make the leans consistent between all the shell sizes… I also agree with Lou that another good approach is to shim the binding toe. While this won’t change the boot lean itself, it will make the system feel more upright. Many people seem happier with less binding delta, so not a bad idea in any case.

  75. Aaron March 6th, 2019 7:34 pm

    I am one of the folks that modified my f1s by drilling and repositioning the pin. 3 yrs in and still working well. I also shimmed my toes (old verticals with lots of delta) which helped as well I don’t think it would have addressed it alone to my liking.

  76. Nate Porter March 6th, 2019 8:43 pm

    Aaron, I think you posted a link to some pics of your pin relocation- thanks for those. I may still try that. You may have commented on this earlier, but what do you think your fwd lean is after the mod? Also good to hear your feed back on shimming binding toe combined with reducing fwd lean.

  77. Arnie March 7th, 2019 3:10 am

    Personally, if your trying to reduce overal system “delta” and therefore the forward lean. I’d start with the easy stuff first!
    So things like grinding/sanding the boot board if there is one. Sand foot bed or adding light shim in the toe area of of the footbed. I have some 1mm self adhesive cork sheet(for railway modelling I think!) 1 or 2mm off the heel and a mm under the toe will produce “feelable” results and is almost risk free! Your certainly not going to trash your boot and it’s cheap.
    Shimming the toe (of a tech type binding) is also easy and reversable.
    That being said if you like a project…go for it

  78. AJ March 8th, 2019 1:31 pm

    I’ve been un-psyched on the forward lean on my F1’s too (on the less aggressive setting) and was excited to see some ideas here for helping with that—so thanks to everyone who has posted suggestions. Following on Nate’s idea above I just called Scarpa USA and they told me they were “out of the 21.5-23 sized lean lock levers” and wouldn’t expect more til Fall. (My boot is size 24.5.) I am going to try some of the other suggestions here and then maybe go with the boot modification, because I’m otherwise loving the boot. (I posted a while back about my F1s being too cold but I was able to return them and go a half size up—and yup it was just that they were too tight.)

  79. Aaron Trowbridge March 9th, 2019 8:24 am

    AJ, I didn’t see my link in this thread (I must have put it in another) to photos of my mod process. Sorry if this is redundant.

    At the time I did not know about different size heel throws as an option.

  80. Lou Dawson 2 March 9th, 2019 8:35 am

    Aaron, nice mod! Lou

  81. Nate Porter March 9th, 2019 10:38 am

    Aaron, thanks for reposting the link to you pics. I still think that is a slick mod., especially since the shorter levers are not available. FWIW, I am using the short levers with the lever catch set to the more forward position. This feels a little more upright than the stock configuration of long lever and catch set at more upright, so about 18 degrees lean I’m guessing. What do you think your lean is now?

  82. Aaron Trowbridge March 9th, 2019 11:39 am

    I set the angle while wearing one old f3 and the current f1. My old f3 is advertised as 16 deg and always felt good. I’d say I got close to that.

  83. Aaron Trowbridge March 9th, 2019 12:05 pm

    I’ll add that these are the best boots I’ve ever used. Comfortable, supportive, light, amazing range of motion. I wouldn’t want the next class lighter where tour mode is built into buckle changes. There are many egress conditions where I like to be have top undone while still in ski mode (skating, shuffling in micro undulating terrain etc).

  84. Nate Porter March 9th, 2019 2:29 pm

    Thanks Aaron. I agree it’s a great boot. Significantly lighter than my Maestrales, skis almost as well, better range of motion. Not quite warm enough for me on the coldest days at this stage of the game, but still warmer than other similar boots I’ve tried. I have very prominent, bony ankle bones, so had to punch, but not hard to do. The lighter boots with thinner liners are just not as cushy as something like a Pro Tour, but man are they fun to tour with.

  85. AJ March 9th, 2019 5:29 pm

    Thanks Aaron! I had seen a link to your mod someplace else while googling about this issue 🙂

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  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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