Powder Cloud Likes: Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro
Boot shopping is often an anti-climactic experience for me. Each season I’ll survey the wide array of colorful, cutting-edge touring boots at the local backcountry shop, hoping to find one that’s lightweight (sub 1,400 grams) and that matches the downhill performance of my resort boots. Ultimately, I leave disappointed, forced to choose between a heavy boot that skis well and a lighter boot that sacrifices downhill performance.
Last season, however, Tecnica delivered a boot that made my dream a reality. The Zero G Tour Pro, now in its second season, weighs in at 1,247 ounces (size 26.5), but it somehow manages to provide similar control and performance of a heavier resort boot. It’s awesome for skiers who enjoy long climbs in big terrain, and want to ski hard on the way down. With a 99-mm last, it also met my requirement for a lower volume fit. (If you have wider feet, consider Dynafit’s Hoji Pro Tour, which has a 103.5-mm last.)
I skied them over 30 days last season, and they exceeded my expectations. I actually considered buying another pair, fearing Tecnica might change them (they did not). The Tour Pro is elegant in its simplicity, with limited futzing required while touring and during transitions. The power strap has a simple aluminum hook, which is more effective and easier to use than Velcro. You pull a tab to tighten the strap and a piece of paracord to loosen. The buckles are a bit small, yet I can adjust and transition with gloves on. The walk mode has an exceptional range of motion for an overlap cuff. It performed well in ski mountaineering applications, and the rockered Vibram sole grips well while climbing.
The downhill performance is the best I’ve experienced in this weight category. The lateral rigidity and forward flex are as close to my alpine boots as I’ve found in a light touring boot, allowing me to ski more aggressively and drive a beefier ski with more confidence. The flex is stiff, yet I would rate it less than the 130 rating Tecnica gives it. I describe the flex as softer at first, then gradually stiffening. I’m fairly certain my foot sits almost flat in this boot, eliminating the sensation of wearing high heels, which I feel improves downhill performance. In short, if I’m skiing poorly in this boot, which happens all too often, it’s certainly not the boot’s fault.
This review on TGR provides a more detailed fit and performance analysis.
Regarding Powder Cloud Likes
We don’t take gear into the garage, dissect it, and provide in-depth gear reviews on Powder Cloud. (There are a plethora of detailed reviews already available on the web, and we don’t feel you need another one.) We simply want to share only the gear our team absolutely loves. Our criteria include that we have used it for an entire season, that we would purchase it without a pro deal, and we’d consider purchasing an additional one for fear the manufacturer might change it.