Comparo — Tecnica Zero G 17-18 and 18-19

Post by blogger | May 8, 2018      

Randy Young

Tecnica Zero G, version 1 to left, 2 to right.

Tecnica Zero G, version 1 to left, 2 to right. Oddly enough, the new version appears narrower in the toe box but is virtually the same in terms of fit, perhaps the plastic is thinner or something.

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.

Calipers verify 2018-2019 version is about a centimeter narrower, outside dimension.

Calipers verify 2018-2019 version is about a centimeter narrower, outside dimension.

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?

Check out the cuff flex range of motion on the new version, left.

Check out the cuff flex range of motion on the new version, left. This is the real deal as opposed to an alpine boot you can perhaps tour with.

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.

Tecnica boot sole lengths etc., click to enlarge.

Tecnica boot sole lengths etc., click to enlarge.



12 Responses to “Comparo — Tecnica Zero G 17-18 and 18-19”

  1. rod georgiu May 8th, 2018 1:27 pm

    How is the support when you get in the back seat?

    Like an Alpine boot?

    I find the Lange freetour lacking a bit in rear support

  2. Sam May 8th, 2018 2:38 pm

    Thank you for the review of this very tempting boot. Does that enormous 1cm difference in external width translate into a much narrower internal profile as well? In my experience 2-3mm can make a huge difference in the fit of a boot around my relatively wide feet…just wondering if this aspect will be a deal breaker for me.

  3. Lou 2 May 8th, 2018 5:55 pm

    Sam, the boot is easily punched for width. And no, it’s not as narrow as one would assume from comparing. Lou

  4. Craig Steury May 8th, 2018 11:51 pm

    Just wondering about your opinions of the Tecnica Zero G v 2 to right. vs the Atomic Hawx XTD 130, w.r.t the Atomic Hawx XTD 130? especially in terms of weight, flex, last, etc? I had similar motivations for a beefier boot (as well as being tired of trying to keep up with better skiers on alpine gear in my touring gear). So far so good, though I may need more toe room for a day’s touring …

  5. Lou Dawson 2 May 9th, 2018 9:05 am

    Pretty similar, I’d choose by doing an in-person shell fit and carpet test. Fit would trump everything. I’d guess the Atomic is slightly heavier, but I’d need both boots here side-by-side, in their 2018-2019 model, to get exact weight comparo, and they don’t seem to end up here concurrently, as they’re out for testing nearly all the time.


  6. Randy May 9th, 2018 11:02 am

    Hey Sam, I was very surprised to find that in next years boot which, as shown in the photos, measures to be narrower that the fit was actually easier even with my wide forefeet. Additionally, I’ve done plenty of punching on the current model for customers and with perforated pre-punch zones on both models of this boot they are super easy to work on if you were to need more room.

    Craig, The Hawx 130 is technically slightly heavier (1420) than next years Tour Pro and I think the Tour Pro would still feel stiffer than the Hawx, though I’d have to flex side by side in shop to give you a better idea. As for fit I did find the Hawx to feel narrow out of the box, but the Hawx has MemoryFit (fully heat moldable shell) so getting a custom fit out of the Hawx is “easy.” Ultimately Craig, if you can, I would recommend trying them on side by side at your local ski shop.

  7. Sam May 9th, 2018 11:14 am

    Thank you for chiming in Randy. When you say “the fit was actually easier even with my wide forefeet” do you mean the out-of-the-box fit or do you mean it was easier to customize by punching?

  8. Randy May 9th, 2018 11:42 am

    Hey Sam, I mean out of the box fit. But this is the demo pair so it was likely broken in a bit before I got to it. That said, still impressive that with a 99 last it’s comfortable for me to be in all day when usually I need a wider boot to find that comfort.

  9. Sam May 9th, 2018 11:43 am

    Thanks again, this is exactly the sort of feedback I am looking for!

  10. GB May 15th, 2018 9:21 am

    Thanks for the review. Are the angles of the new boot (zeppa, delta, lean, etc.) identical to the previous boot?

  11. Lou Dawson 2 May 15th, 2018 12:48 pm

    Hi GB, I’ve got both boots here, note that the cuff angle of the new model is adjustable, set at factory setting. The old model does not have adjustable cuff angle.

    Measuring them both in the same binding using an angle meter, forward cuff lean is virtually the same, bootboard (inside shell at bottom of foot, under liner) is the same. Cuff lean is a little tricky to measure as it’s dependent on the depth of the heel pocket as where exactly one places a straight edge, but both heel pockets appear similar and the angles measure very similar, to again where I’d call them virtually the same. If the boots felt different a small amount of liner shimming would take care of it, or adjustment of the cuff angle using the provided adjustment method. The tech fittings appear to be in the same relationship to the interior sole of the shell so the “delta” of the boots when in binding is the same. Beyond spending three hours doing minute measurements, I’d call the boots the same in terms of downhill skiing angles as well as the zeppa angle (boot board, inside shell under liner), though they’ll of course feel different due to how the liner fits your feet etc. Lou

  12. GB May 15th, 2018 2:48 pm

    Thanks for looking at that Lou! Would be interesting to hear from tecnica if they designed all the angles to match. I know atomic tries to keep all their angles identical, from race boot to touring. I’ll put an update here if I get any more info from tecnica.

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