2022-2023 Tecnica Zero G Peak Carbon

[Editor’s Note: In the interest of getting you information sooner on some of the products we’re reviewing, we’re posting here some of our measured specs and manufacturer details, and will update in the future. Take a look, and let us know in the Comments Section below what questions you’d like us to answer.]

[First Look written by Drew Kelly]

Intro

As we discussed when it was announced at the beginning of 2022, Tecnica has finally made an entrance into the world of very lightweight touring boots, in the form of their new Zero G Peak series. 

~1000-gram boots that have at least some explicit focus on downhill performance certainly seem like a growing trend these days — companies like Atomic, Scarpa, La Sportiva, Dynafit, and Salomon now all have models that fit this fairly ambiguous genre. In the past, we’d subjectively say that this “lightweight touring” boot category included boots weighing around 1000 grams to about 1350 g (size 26.5). They were bookended by the even lighter true “skimo” category (often <900 g) and the heavier, stiffer, “freeride touring” category (typically 1300–1700 g). Recently, for a variety of reasons, it seems all those classifications’ distinctive traits have begun intermingling. 

Many folks have been using boots in the “lightweight touring” class as their primary or only touring boot because those boots tend to be a whole lot nicer on the uphill than heavier alternatives with more restricted ranges of motion. And easier uphill travel is a huge plus if you like to put in big days, get as many laps as possible, or just generally want to take some strain off the ascent (which, realistically, makes up 75%+ of a backcountry “skiing” day). And with advancements in lightweight boot tech, brands like Tecnica are claiming that boots like the Zero G Peak Carbon offer fewer downhill-performance compromises than previous boots in this class (and especially the even lighter skimo-specific category). There is still a significant uphill and downhill performance gap between the ~1000-g and ~1300+ g classes, but the compromises aren’t quite as dramatic as they used to be.

With the rise of fitness-oriented touring, particularly in avalanche-controlled resort settings, this class of boots is similarly appealing, offering efficient uphill performance for those who want to get in some low-impact exercise, while often still being stiff enough to carve casual turns back down groomed slopes.

These boots can also be ideal for what we’ve sometimes heard called “adventure touring” — essentially an off-trail winter walkabout: likely no gnarly descents, limited exposure to avalanche terrain, lots of vertical feet climbed and miles skinned, and probably no sending on big pow skis.  

So, what actually makes a boot like the Zero G Peak Carbon suited to all those types of skiing? Foremost are its low weight and the large range of motion provided by its cuff (stated at 75°). Other uphill-oriented features include its very breathable and thin liner, a trimmed-down buckle system designed to be lightweight on the uphill and efficient during transitions, lightweight carbon reinforcements throughout the lower shell and cuff, minimal heel and toe lugs, and low cuff height. But Tecnica says that downhill performance was still a priority with this boot, and the Zero G Peak Carbon adds some features not often seen in boots this light, such as a partial-overlap lower shell, carbon plate embedded in the sole for added torsional rigidity, and supposedly more easily punchable and grindable shell and liner.

All of this adds up to a boot that’s very interesting on paper, and one that seems to make it even harder to neatly place various ski boots into homogenous categories. Reviewer Paul Forward spent some time in the Zero G Peak Carbon late last spring and Blister Members can check out his Flash Review for his initial on-snow impressions. In the meantime, here’s some more info about this new line of boots, and the Zero G Peak Carbon in particular.