Alpine Touring boots are lighter and more svelte in design than ever. The result is a growing collection of ski boots that challenge the status quo of what a ski boot feels like and is capable of doing. The latest boot to challenge the norm is the Scarpa F1. Following in the mold of the F1 Evo, the new F1 drops the Evo tag in the name and loses the auto-locking cuff mechanism in favor of a simple manual lock. Scarpa recalled the F1 Evo in North America based on some functionality issues related to the auto-locking mechanism.
Upon first inspection the new Scarpa F1 fits right into the line of light yet capable AT boots that are becoming the new norm. It has a distinct rando race look to it (maybe it’s just the Euro colors), but I suspect it will drive a decent amount of ski. The walk mode’s range of motion is excellent – it’s advertised as 62 degrees. And there are two forward lean positions – 20 and 22 degrees.
The BOA closure system simplifies the buckle program down to a single buckle and power strap. Aesthetically, the BOA takes a little getting used to, but functionally – in the garage anyway – it works great. As for the single buckle, it’s also untraditional. Scarpa calls it the FBC – Fast Buckle Closure and it’s pretty slick. Essentially, the FBC lets you switch between downhill and walk tensions with the flick of the buckle but without actually undoing the strap. It like the idea. It’s not connected to the release of the locked ski mode, but it loosens he cuff to make the most of the boot’s walk mode.
The actual walk/ski mode lock mechanism is super easy to operate and fully visible and serviceable from the outside of the boot. A thoughtful, though hopefully unnecessary, feature. The full boot (size 25.5) with liner weighs in at 2 lb 10 oz on our scale – that’s 42 oz or 1.19 kg. That puts it just few ounces heavier than the Dynafit TLT 7 (2 lb 8 oz/1.13 kg) but a few ounces lighter that the La Sportiva Spectre (2 lb 13 oz/1.275 kg).
The fit feels pretty nice right out of the box; it’s not super narrow, nor is it super wide – 102 mm according the specs. It fits my slightly wider than average foot pretty comfortably with no heat molding. Of course, I will thermofit the liner before skiing them. But it’s always nice to know they feel good right out of the box.
To top it all off, the F1 features an Intuition liner, arguable the nicest liner on the market. I look forward to putting the boots to the test on snow and see how they drive a few of my favorite skis. Stay tuned for when we get some snow.