Being a fan of the fit and performance of Tecnica’s alpine boots, I was excited to see the brand enter the alpine touring category with more “serious” backcountry boots when they launched the Zero G line in 2016. Since then, Tecnica has continued to refine the Zero G lineup, making each iteration lighter and more touring capable than the last while maintaining a high level of performance for the descent. The latest flagship model in the Zero G line is the Tour Pro, which now boasts a lighter, more touring-focused design than its predecessor, the Zero G Guide.
The Zero G Tour Pro is now in its second year of production and has won a number of awards since its release. The shell is composed of Grilamid, a material being utilized in more and more AT boots due to its relatively low weight and stiff nature, and the cuff is a co-injected carbon, which also saves weight while maintaining power and stiffness. This combination of materials results in an overall weight of just 1320 grams (in a 26.5) and a 130 flex. The shell also boasts Tecnica’s C.A.S. technology, giving it a more anatomically correct shape out of the box and makes customization by a trained boot fitter easier due to the dimpled shell structure in key areas.
In terms of design, the Tour Pro employs a typical two-piece overlap construction, four-buckle closure, and 35 mm power strap with a locking cam and hook to keep the cuff locked in during the descent. Another major departure from the original Zero G Guide is the move from an internal walk mode to a double-locking external system with self-adjusting latches on both the cuff and shell. The external walk mode makes it slightly easier to transition the boot between ski and walk mode, but it also poses the risk of the screws working loose or getting lost. Luckily, Tecnica anticipated this potential hiccup and threw in a couple of extra screws just in case they do happen to work loose.
Some other features I was pleased to see when going through the Tour Pro’s spec sheet was a Vibram sole, light yet durable magnesium buckles, and an ultralight liner with a waterproof, breathable membrane. Tecnica also added a tongue spoiler to help boost the stiffness and power of the boot. It also boasts Tecnica’s Quick Instep technology, which is essentially just a softer plastic at the arch to make the boot easier to get in and out of. This may seem like a small thing, and could easily be written off as a gimmick, but I’ve found it actually does make a noticeable difference—especially after really cold ski days when plastics can turn stiff and unmalleable.
Out of the box, I have to say I was impressed with the construction of these boots. They’re noticeably light—especially given their feature set—and it’s clear Tecnica’s engineers put a lot of thought into the design of the Tour Pro. For me, the fit out of the box was surprisingly comfortable, but I imagine I’ll need to take them in to get them further customized after I’ve been able to put a few more days in them. The liner is composed of a fairly stiff foam that’s relatively light and appears to offer a good amount of insulation for those colder days. Of course, only time will tell whether or not that impression holds true, but I can foresee myself swapping out the liners for a pair of Intuitions down the road.
I need to preface this section by saying we’ve had a very slow start to the ski season here in Utah, and our snowpack is currently plagued by a combination of basal facets and a buried layer of near surface facets in more sheltered areas. Not an ideal situation for testing AT boots in steep and more varied terrain, but I’ve skied the boot 2-3 days inbounds and 4-5 days in the backcountry. My few days of touring have consisted solely of low-angle wiggling and meadow skipping, given the current state of our snowpack. Please note: I will be updating this section as I’m able to put this boot through its paces in the full gamut of backcountry conditions—good and bad.
The few days I have been able to take this boot out, I’ve been impressed with just how well they do on the uphill. In terms of uphill efficiency, the Tour Pros are very comparable (if not slightly better) to others I’ve used in the four-buckle, 120+ flex class (Maestrale RS, HOJI Free, and S/Lab MTN). That is to say, for a more “freeride touring boot,” I’m able to get long efficient glides while skinning over long flats, and I really haven’t felt the need for any more cuff rotation than the claimed 55 degrees on the skintrack or during more precarious kick-turns. I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical of the Magnesium buckles when I first got the boots, but I really can’t complain about them so far. As far as the ski/walk mechanism goes, the double-locking latch can get snow in it, but it’s easily cleaned with a quick tap of a pole or scrape with a powder basket.
I will say that if you’re new to using tech bindings, the lack of Quick Step inserts might increase the “fiddle factor” for you when you’re stepping into tech bindings. However, the benefit of not having the Quick Step inserts is it allows for better compatibility with MNC bindings like the Warden or Shift if you’re planning to pair the boot with Multi-Norm Certified bindings.
Drawbacks and Shortcomings
Given its weight and flex index, it’s hard to dock the Tour Pro on its uphill or downhill performance—both of which have impressed me during my few days in them. Does it tour as well as an ultralight randonnee slipper? Definitely not. But given the boot’s full feature set and 130 flex, it tours really well and actually exceeded my expectations.
To me, the biggest unknown and potential shortcoming of this boot is its long-term durability, which, to be fair, could be said of any boot. The magnesium buckles are very lightweight, and I’m curious to see how well they hold up after a full season of constantly buckling and unbuckling them between laps. It was good to see Tecnica included extra screws for the external walk mode, but it’s clearly a potential issue that could put a damper on a ski tour. I already put the extra screws in my backcountry repair kit, but I really don’t want to be replacing tiny screws on my boot when I’m deep in the backcountry if I can help it.
I’m hesitant to give a final conclusion on this boot, given the limited days and conditions I’ve been able to ski with it, so I’ll be updating this later on in the ski season. Given the days I have in it so far, I’m confident in saying that the Zero G Tour Pro is a very capable, well-rounded alpine touring boot that comes about as close to finding the sweet spot between uphill efficiency and downhill performance as any AT boot I’ve used.
I probably won’t be passing rando racers on the skintrack with this boot, but I know it’ll drive my 108mm touring skis down big lines without worry. It won’t be replacing my alpine boot for inbounds days, but I’ve had a lot of fun skiing inbounds on them, and I’d feel good about travelling with just these boots if I was planning to split my ski trip between the resort and backcountry. In the end, the Tour Pro tours efficiently, skis very well for an AT boot, and appears to have the backbone to ski firm, challenging conditions with confidence. Basically, it does everything I demand from a pair of backcountry boots.