Expert Review: Tecnica Zero G Tour Ski BootsPublished on 08/04/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
All photos courtesy of Andrew Bliss
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
The 2020 Tecnica Zero G Tour Ski Boots are terrific boots for backcountry skiing, especially the skin up. They are lightweight and flexible when in hike mode. These boots are made for intermediate and advanced skiers. I am someone who values the uphill experience more than the downhill performance in touring boots. These boots are great on the skin track but could be stiffer on the downhill.
About the boots I own
- Model: 2020 Tecnica Zero G Tour Ski Boots
- Size: 27.5
- Height: 5’9”
- Weight: 160 lbs
- Street shoe size: 10
- Experience: 25+ years of skiing
- When I bought these: November 2020
- Days tested: 15 days
- Skis: Black Crows Corvus Freebird
- Bindings: Salomon Shift
- Where I’ve used it: Colorado
- Terrain: Backcountry with fresh snow, crud, and heavy sunbaked snow.
How they perform
What I was looking for
I decided to purchase new touring boots when the pandemic began because I did not know how the resorts would operate for the season. I was looking for a lightweight boot that my feet would feel comfortable in. I am more concerned with comfort and ease going uphill, and this boot fits those needs.
Why I chose this gear
I typically spend 90 percent of my time going uphill while touring. This boot is very lightweight and soft when in touring mode. This helps me expend less energy moving uphill. I honestly did not consider another boot. Tecnica boots fit my feet well, so this is the first place I started.
What I love about it
- Accuracy of Claimed Fit: This boot fits as it should. I have had no heel issues and my foot does not slide back and forth while skinning up or skiing down. My foot is not cramped since the boot is a bit softer than a traditional resort-style boot.
- Weight: Extremely light, which is great for the uphill experience.
- Ease of use: I love the drawstring lace-up liner that this boot has. It makes it very easy to tighten or loosen while in the mountains. It is also an easy transition from tour mode to ski mode, and the buckles can lock in the open position while going uphill.
- Resort:I have not used them at the resort, but one certainly could. I think they would feel a little soft for the more aggressive skier at a resort.
- Backcountry: I have had no issues with this boot in the backcountry. It is made for touring and I find its lightweight nature to be very beneficial to my enjoyment of touring.
- Adjustability: Four buckles with a drawstring liner make this boot adjustable to my preferred comfort. I like to have a slightly looser feel and less pressure on my feet going uphill and really tighten the boot for more responsiveness and control skiing downhill.
- Walk mode: In walk mode, this boot feels like a regular snow boot. The comfort and flexibility makes a full day in the backcountry very enjoyable. It also lessens the chance of my feet being uncomfortable and wanting to take the boots off.
- Grip: This boot possesses an excellent, rugged rubber sole for walking around in the snow when adjusting my gear.
- Durability: No issues so far with the full-Vibram rubber sole; these have no wear on the sole.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness: Tecnica lists this boot as a 110 flex. I believe it skis a little softer than 110, but this may be because of the light construction of the boot. I’ve noticed the boot feels softer when in ski mode and while making turns on the way down.
- Comfort: Very comfortable. But for a skier with a very wide foot, I would not recommend. I have a slightly wider-than-normal foot and have not had intolerable discomfort. These are built for a standard-width foot. I get away with having a slightly wider foot since touring allows for the boot to be unbuckled a majority of the time.
- Flex: For my liking, these boots could be stiffer in ski mode. I am a more aggressive skier and prefer a stiffer boot while going downhill. It allows me to feel more in control and less tentative while making turns. However, they are very flexible in walk mode and feel softer than a resort boot on the way down.
- Hot spots: May feel firm in the underfoot. Spending a majority of my time in tour/walk mode, I would say this boot can feel firm under foot after hiking for an hour.
- Park:This boot may not be supportive enough to take the punishment that a terrain park can give out to equipment.
Favorite moment with this gear
Going on an easy tour with my family and not worrying about my own comfort was nice to experience. Also, touring on Vail pass after a big storm and not being as tired as I could have been. Since these boots are so lightweight, I was able to make multiple laps without tiring my legs out on the uphill.
Value for the money vs. other options
This is neither the least expensive nor the most expensive intermediate/advanced ski-boot option, but it does have great value. These are a great choice for backcountry explorers who don't need the stiffest, baddest boot around, but still want some of the best uphill capability with enough for any terrain on the way down. One could consider the Atomic Hawx Prime for less or the Dynafit Radical for more. But with the Zero G’s, I found a boot that did not break my budget and gave me a better uphill experience.
I like this boot for single days spent touring. Spending a majority of the time going uphill, I was looking for a lightweight boot that would allow me to feel less burn going up and be sturdy enough coming down. If I were more concerned with the downhill aspect and hard charging, I would recommend finding a stiffer boot.