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Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro Review

Whether a newcomer adjusting from the resort or a seasoned expert gunning for 100+ backcountry days a season, here is a top of the line shoe contender
Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro
Credit: Backcountry
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $900 List | $629.97 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Excellent downhill performance, lightweight, proven style
Cons:  Moderate insulation, hard to get in and out of
Manufacturer:   Tecnica
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 29, 2021
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 14
  • Uphill Performance - 20% 6.0
  • Weight - 20% 5.0
  • Downhill Performance - 35% 8.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 10% 8.0
  • Warmth - 10% 7.0
  • Ease of Use - 5% 7.0

Our Verdict

We tested long and hard, comparing to dozens of boots, and tried to find a weakness with this product. In the end, it is easy to call the Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro the best AT ski boot in our test. Others ski downhill a little better, others certainly go uphill better, and others have unique attributes that promise to refine into excellent offerings. However, for now, we can't recommend a better pair of ski boots for the center of the backcountry skiing bell curve. The weight is right, the downhill skiing is smooth and supportive, and the overall form factor is familiar and proven. We heartily recommend these boots for day-to-day backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. For rowdier missions, they will hang tight as well. They are light enough for 8000 vertical feet (and more, on the feet of the fit) of human-powered skiing and support well enough to back up pro skiers in photo-shoot style riding.

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Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Excellent downhill performance, lightweight, proven styleLight, free-pivot cuff, appropriate stiffness and flexBalanced up and down performance, wide/high volume fitExcellent downhill performance, durable, warm, reliable, familiarLight, high volume fit, proven buckles and closures
Cons Moderate insulation, hard to get in and out ofCold, finicky transitionsSki/walk mode prone to issues, recall to past versionsVery limited uphill and foot-travel performance, heavyHigh volume fit, compromised downhill performance
Bottom Line Whether a newcomer adjusting from the resort or a seasoned expert gunning for 100+ backcountry days a season, here is a top of the line shoe contenderBalanced, all-around ski touring boots that lean in the light-and-fast direction; these are optimized, probably, for what you like about the mountainsProven ski boots with modern updates and an overall performance profile that is optimized for the majority of bc riders; if you have high volume feet, even betterThese are lightly modified resort boots, built to optimize the downhill and be minimally functional on the way upRelatively inexpensive lightweight touring boots that have more than satisfactory performance and a relatively wide fit
Rating Categories Tecnica Zero G Tour... Scarpa F1 LT Scarpa Maestrale RS Lange XT3 120 Atomic Backland Carbon
Uphill Performance (20%)
6.0
8.0
4.0
1
9.0
Weight (20%)
5.0
9.0
5.0
2.0
8.0
Downhill Performance (35%)
8.0
5.0
7.0
10.0
2.0
Comfort and Fit (10%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Warmth (10%)
7.0
5.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Ease of Use (5%)
7.0
5.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
Specs Tecnica Zero G Tour... Scarpa F1 LT Scarpa Maestrale RS Lange XT3 120 Atomic Backland Carbon
Weight Size 26.5, pair 6 lbs 0 oz 4 lbs 7 oz 6 lbs 5 oz 7 lbs 11 oz 4 lbs 12 oz
Weight of One Boot Shell 1119 g 0809 g 1080 g 1398 g 0850 g
Weight of One Stock Liner, No Footbed 204 g 214 g 252 g 352 g 227 g
Weight of One Complete Boot, No Insole 1323 g 1023 g 1432 g 1750 g 1077 g
Range of Motion; Degrees 55 72 60 34 66
Binding Compatibility? Tech Only, or Tech and DIN AT standard, or Tech, DIN AT and DIN Alpine/WTR Tech and DIN AT Tech only Tech and DIN AT Tech, DIN AT, Grip Walk Tech only
Stated Flex Index 130 95 125 120 110
Stated Last width 99 mm 102 mm 101 mm 100 mm 98 mm
Alpine Wrap or Tongue Wrap Tongue Tongue Wrap Tongue
Shell Material Grilamid Grilamid, Carbon Core Carbon Grilamid Polyurethane Grilamid PA, carbon

Our Analysis and Test Results

After an initial effort at backcountry boots that kind of fell flat, Tecnica really stepped it up back in 2018-19 with the Zero G Tour Pro. At first glance, this boot "looks" just like other efforts from major boot manufacturers; take your typical resort-optimized, wrap-constructed, all-mountain ski boot and slap a walk mode and tech fittings in it. In recent years basically all ski boot manufacturers have made a stab at this product sub-category. The results have been varied. We have really enjoyed skiing these modified overlap boots, downhill. All, though, suffered on the uphill. Tecnica really stepped up the game and is offering a boot that will have very wide appeal. It strikes the ski-to-tour performance balance as well as anything on the market, at a weight that is virtually unbelievable. Overlap boots of just a couple years ago worked hard to get down to 7.5 pounds.

A pair of Zero G Tour Pro shoes is exactly six pounds (1323g per foot). The Tecnica award winner destroys convention with downhill performance that could be said to double that of boots of 5 years ago in this weight range. That Tecnica does this in a boot that "looks" normal (overlap construction, four buckles, power strap, external rear walk mode) is unheard of. It might sound shallow to comment on how the boot "looks". However, familiarity goes a long way toward a skier's comfort and performance. The Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro is familiar to life-long skiers. We like that because we know you will like it. Read on for our expanded thoughts on this significant piece of equipment.

We have now tested the Tour Pro in two different generations. The only change is in color. Performance and fit are unchanged. Our photos reflect the variety of testing. Understand that all we have found with either color of the boot applies to the other color.

Performance Comparison


Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro backcountry ski boots - backcountry skiing takes on many different flavors. here, skiing the...
Backcountry skiing takes on many different flavors. Here, skiing the Nugget Couloir in Grand Teton National Park. The Tecnica is up to the challenge, with capacity to spare.
Credit: Rosie De Lise

Uphill Performance


The bulk of your backcountry skiing day goes against gravity. To do so, efficiently, you need low weight and effortless ankle mobility. We assess weight independently (below) and comment here on ankle mobility. We assess both absolute range of motion and friction within that range of motion. We make (or used to makeā€¦) some generalizations about boot construction and uphill performance; "Overlap" (or "two-piece") ski boots go down better and uphill more poorly than "tongue" (or "three-piece") boots. Up until this product our generalizations were largely fair. Recent additions mix this all up. The Zero G is the best touring overlap boot we have ever used. It tours better than many tongue-style boots. The range of motion is more than most ankles and the friction is low enough to drive a stick shift wearing them.


These tour better than all but the most uphill-focused boots in our review. For the downhill performance, they tour amazingly well. This Tecnica has recalibrated our understanding of what sort of uphill to downhill balance is possible.

Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro backcountry ski boots - the cuff mobility of the tecnica is impressive. for high energy and...
The cuff mobility of the Tecnica is impressive. For high energy and low angle skinning, they'll stay right out of your way.
Credit: Rosie De Lise

Weight


Again, these boots would have been the lightest "performance" ski boots on the market just a few years ago. 1300 grams (one foot, shell, and liner together) is totally reasonable to lug around on the most severe of ski mountaineering endeavors. You can go lighter, of course. However, go any lighter and downhill performance takes a huge step down. On the other hand, you can go quite a bit heavier than the Tour Pro and not yet gain better downhill performance.


Around 1300 grams is the retinue of solidly "all around" backcountry ski boots. This is roughly the same as many proven and established boot models. It has long been a goal to get high performance from this amount of mass. With other boots at this weight (current and past), though, you get either finicky use or poorer downhill ski performance. Just because we go on and on about the performance to weight ratio of the Zero G Tour Pro, don't overlook the efficiency gains of going even lighter. Lighter boots also have less cuff/ankle interference on the way uphill.

Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro backcountry ski boots - long, powdery sessions of trail breaking are definitely easier in...
Long, powdery sessions of trail breaking are definitely easier in light and flexible boots. The Tecnica fits the bill and then locks down for high-speed downhill skiing.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Downhill Performance


We go backcountry skiing for the down. We all want something different from our downhill experience, though. If you ever want high speed or high stability on your downhill legs (or if your downhill skills are something less than "expert"), don't settle for performance less than what is offered by the Zero G Tour Pro. The performance is tuned to be just stiff enough to drive big skis, real fast. The lateral flex is solid and the forward flex is progressive and smooth. As compared to heavier boots, the rearward support of the Tecnica is certainly less. Ski centered and balanced and this shouldn't be an issue. Get sloppy and in the back seat and the Tecnica will lightly punish you for the indiscretion. Otherwise, they ski exceptionally well.


At this weight, no boots ski downhill better. Tack on a few ounces for certain models and you get real, noticeable, but small improvement in downhill performance. This bump in performance is real but not huge. Some might not notice it at all. And it comes at the cost of weight, cuff friction/range, and possibly some fiddle factor.

Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro backcountry ski boots - steamy boots coming off the feet of our lead test editor ifmga...
Steamy boots coming off the feet of our lead test editor IFMGA mountain guide Jed Porter. This day he guided Wyoming's classic "Apocalypse Couloir" in the old color of the Tecnica.
Credit: Rosie De Lise

Comfort and Fit


We have been able to get multiple feet into these boots, making direct comparisons of unaltered AT ski footwear. As compared to our entire spectrum of tested boots, we found that the Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro is exactly average in fit. It sits squarely in the middle. The liner is about average too. Others have foam that is softer (offering greater initial "shelf appeal" but compromised durability and fewer customizable fit options) while others are stiffer (all around better, after initial in-shop trial).


Fit is so subjective. For most, a comfortable fit requires the assistance of a professional and their modifications. Aside from the above rough generalizations, we hesitate to offer comparisons and suggestions. Try things on and know that excellent boot fitters can work near miracles. The lucky skier is one that can ski his or her boots "right out of the box".

Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro backcountry ski boots - the large external rear cuff lock lever works reliably. it is a bit...
The large external rear cuff lock lever works reliably. It is a bit more complicated than most, joining the cuff to lower shell in two different places. It works.
Credit: Rosie De Lise

Warmth


Backcountry skiing takes place in cold settings and environments; that so few other comments on the insulation of ski boots is peculiar. In our testing, we've found that there is a wide range of insulation value in ski boots. As boots get more and more specialized and lighter, insulation value changes even more. To accomplish all the great things enumerated above, Tecnica has slimmed down the plastic and the liner material of the Zero G Tour Pro. The result is lowered insulation value. These are among the less insulating boots in our test.


If you have chronically cold feet or ski in particularly cold climates, proceed cautiously. The Tecnica can be pressed into expedition or super cold use with careful fitting and intentional accessorizing. They will never be as warm as something thicker, though.

Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro backcountry ski boots - the tecnica zero g boots don't insulate quite as well as heavier...
The Tecnica Zero G boots don't insulate quite as well as heavier boots do. Keep moving to stay warm in sub zero temps.
Credit: Rosie De Lise

Ease of Use


In use, the Zero G Tour Pro uses a proven formula. The four buckles, power strap, and rear, external ski/walk mode are simple, familiar, and reliable. You have to make four moves at every transition, but this is the case for almost all average to high-performance AT ski boots. The ski/walk mode locks securely, even when moderately iced up. All overlap boots are tougher to get in and out of than tongue boots.


The Tecnica is reliable and familiar. Other comparable boots employ all sorts of innovative and experimental usability attributes. Tecnica somehow steered clear of gimmicky and "experimental" usability attributes. These top award winners use familiar buckles, have all the moving parts visible and clear, and are compatible with bindings and crampons in "normal" fashion. Sure, you can get used to the quirks of more "innovative" equipment, but why bother when this Tecnica is so good and reliable and familiar?

Value


There was a time not that many years ago when all top-of-the-line AT ski boots edged over $1000. We are thankful that that time is past. The Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro isn't inexpensive, but they are in line with trends that have brought the upper limit of AT ski boot prices down. The flip side of this equation is that budget ski boots are harder to find. You can't save hundreds of dollars by compromising a little on your ski boots. You're going to spend a pretty similar amount on basically any modern AT ski boots.

Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro backcountry ski boots - high, bright, steep ski mountaineering in grand teton national park...
High, bright, steep ski mountaineering in Grand Teton National Park. This is what we prep and shop and train and wait for! The Tecnica Zero G Tour in action.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Conclusion


We could have slapped on the award badge within hours of first unboxing the Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro. However, we didn't jump to that conclusion. As favorable as our first impressions were, we made sure to do our due diligence. We skied the steeps, the deeps, and the crappy. We got the boots on a handful of testers and collected diverse opinions. We even did some rock climbing in them. The end result is an authoritative and hearty five-star review of a product that quietly sneaks into the market and makes a big splash.

The Zero G Tour Pro nails the ski touring and ski mountaineering sweet spot (as well as perfectly fitting our lead tester's very average feet) so well that we had to really light a fire under the lead tester to get him in the other tested boots. The good news is that, in 2019, AT ski boots are so good that we don't really ever step down too far from the Zero G Tour Pro.

Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro backcountry ski boots - the new look of the tecnica zero g tour pro hasn't changed any of...
The new look of the Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro hasn't changed any of the construction, fit, or performance attributes. This is good.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Jediah Porter
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