Expert Review: Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro Ski BootsPublished on 08/23/2022 · 8 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2019.
All photos courtesy of Will Shaw
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2019.
The Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro is a powerful touring boot that’s capable of driving big skis and charging hard. Its wrap construction and 4-buckle design give it the feel of an alpine boot that’s surprisingly lightweight with one of the best walk modes in the freeride touring category. It’s a boot for dedicated backcountry skiers who want to get the most out of the downhill while staying efficient on the uphills.
About the gear
- Model: 2020 Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro
- Size: 28.5
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 180 lbs
- Street shoe size: 11.5
- Experience: 18 years of skiing
- When I bought these: October 2019
- Days tested: 15 days
- Skis: Voile Hyper Drifter
- Bindings: Atomic Backland
- Where I’ve used it: Backcountry skiing around the Colorado Front Range
- Terrain: Powder, Trees, Bowls
How they perform
What I was looking for
When I bought the Zero G, I was looking for the stiffest touring boot I could find that was light and efficient enough that I’d actually use it. With bindings like the Atomic Shift and Marker Duke PT now available, I also wanted something with an ISO 9523 sole so that I could use a more substantial binding on my one or two resort days per season.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the Zero G for its fit and performance-to-weight ratio. The Zero G was a great fit for me out of the box, and I did not have to do any work to it. I also like that it really does have a stiff flex, and with the power strap, it feels taller than most of my other touring bots.
I bought the Zero G to replace my Tecnica Cochise 130s. I had the Cochise 130 to ski at the resort when my family was in town and to use at demos, but I rarely toured in it because of its weight. I considered the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD, but I liked the fit of the Zero G and the stock liner better.
What I love about it
- Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness: Blizzard gives the Zero G Tour Pro a flex rating of 130. As subjective as that rating is, it feels like what I expect from a 130 flex boot. It has a nice flex for a touring boot, but it’s not quite as even and progressive as the best alpine boots.
- Accuracy of Claimed Fit: The Zero G fits true to size. I have worn size 28.5 in dozens of alpine touring boots, and these fit me perfectly. The Zero G has a 99mm last or width measurement at the forefoot, which normally feels a little narrow on me. But, Tecnica's anatomical shape has a little extra room where I need it and lets me use the narrower width.
- Comfort: The Tecnica Zero G has one of the best out-of-the-box fits I’ve ever found. Even working in a ski shop with access to all the latest boot fitting equipment, all I did was install my custom footbeds and haven’t even molded the liners. If the fit isn’t perfect, Tecnica’s Custom Adaptive Shape (C.A.S.) technology in the shell makes modification easy. Dimples on the shell around commonly punched areas help the plastic heat up faster, move more easily, and hold a punch better than a standard shell.
- Flex: The Zero G feels supportive and responsive, but it’s not quite as progressive as an alpine boot or even the Cochise 130. Tecnica uses Grilamid plastic for the lower and a carbon-infused cuff, which saves weight but doesn’t flex like an alpine boot. It’s more supportive and has a nicer flex than any other touring boot I’ve skied at its weight. I also like that when Tecnica boots flex, the ankle doesn’t bow out, so the boot always feels secure.
- Weight: The Zero G Pro weighs 1,374g per boot in size 27.5, which is very light for the freeride/touring boot category. However, even the Scarpa Maestrale is heavier at 1,440g per boot in its 26.5/27 size. One of the most comparable boots is the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD, which weighs just over 1,400g in size 26.5.
- Backcountry: The Zero G Pro is an awesome alpine touring boot. Its wrap design skis really well, but it still has a smooth walk mode and a reliable ski/walk mechanism. I was originally expecting just to use the boots on short powder days, but they surprisingly don’t slow me down much, and I’ve used them for some huge days with no issues or regrets.
- Adjustability: All four buckles have micro-adjustment, so it’s easy to find the right fit. I like the power strap with the cam hook attachment because it’s easy to cinch down or loosen without messing with a Velcro strap, and it’s nice not having to worry about it sticking to socks and baselayers or fraying the boot liner.
- Walk mode: I’ve never had an issue with the walk mode, and I like that it is an external mechanism that’s easy to troubleshoot. It uses a latch that swings down to grab a bar and has become standard on many alpine touring boots, but it uses an extra hook that grabs the bar, so there’s no way for it to open while skiing. What really sets the walk mode apart from boots like the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD is the “Double Blocking Mobility Cuff.” When the latch swings down, a second pin inserts through the back of the cuff to lock the boot in higher up. Holding the bot in place higher up stiffens it a little and evens out the flex.
- Durability: My boots have held up very well after a couple of seasons. I have a large quiver of boots, so the wear gets spread out a lot, but the Zero G is the boot I use when I’m skiing the hardest and asking the most of my gear. I have friends who have used the boot as their daily driver for seasons with no trouble as well.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Ease of use: The cable loops that Tecnica uses as buckles are a little harder to get buckled with gloves on than a standard buckle, but it’s not bad. I can usually buckle them in the parking lot and don’t have to touch them again besides opening the cuff for skinning. For me, it’s an acceptable tradeoff for the gram or two that it saves.
- Resort: The Zero G boot skis great at the resort, but it’s not built for it. I use it for the one or two days of resort skiing I do per season with my family, but anyone who spends much time in the resort will be much better off buying some affordable alpine boots and saving their $900 touring boots from that extra wear and tear.
- Park: Just as the Zero G is not a resort boot, it’s not a park boot. The Zero G Tour pro is made from lightweight materials that aren’t meant to take the abuse of park skiing. Thin Grilamid plastic is not intended to get bashed with ski edges, and landing in the back seat is notorious for breaking any type of walk mode.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite day skiing the Zero G Tour Pro was mid-December of the 2019-20 season. It was still thin with early-season conditions in Colorado, but we had just gotten a storm, and I had just mounted a pair of Voile Hyper Drifters with Atomic Backland bindings. I went to the north side of Flattop Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park, which is a hard zone to catch in good conditions because it gets a lot of wind. It was a rare day that I got it right.
I had time to get six laps in and leave powder 8s down the best drifts before the next party arrived. It’s a lot of fun being able to move so quickly with a big boot and ski. I usually just bring a smaller ski and lighter boot when I knew I’d be putting in a big day in powder, but this was the first time I felt like I had a proper powder setup that was an acceptable weight.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro sells for $899, which is expensive, even for a high-end touring boot. It may not be worth the extra cost for more casual skiers who aren’t always trying to move fast or who could use a less capable boot, but for the right skier, the Zero G boot can be a valuable tool. The 2023 Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD sells for $849, so the Zero G is priced comparably to similar options. Someone who does not need the 130 flex or is less concerned with weight could consider the Zero G Tour Scout or Zero G Tour Alpine from Tecnica, which cost $799 and $699, respectively. I get enough use out of my gear that spending a little more to get exactly what I’m looking for is worth it, and I’m glad I didn’t skimp on boots.
The Tecnica Zero G Pro is a boot for dedicated backcountry skiers who are skiing hard and don’t want to sacrifice downhill performance to have a lightweight boot. There are less expensive options available, but they all make sacrifices in either weight or performance. The Tecnica Zero G Pro is the boot I’ve found that lets me have it all.