I was panicking the night before a sail-to-ski trip to Iceland.
Some OTHER lightweight boots (NOT these gems) that I finally got skis mounted up for and took for a test spin, inspired ZERO confidence on the easiest of terrain - no edge control of the skis, could not get them tight enough in the foot... And I discovered that my old clunker boots had broken somewhere in the last week and were no longer usable as my back-up plan!
I said a prayer to the universe and ordered these boots.
I knew they were a hot item going into the Fall 2019 season and that Tecnica put some serious effort into this one. I also knew the last measurements looked compatible with my medium-wide foot, and the flex sounded stiff enough.
They arrived the afternoon before I left. I got home to try them on and adjust my bindings with enough time for a 45 min half dark ski tour. After an initial panic, where I thought they were a half-to-a-full-size too big, I realized the footbeds were not yet inserted into the liners (FACE PALM). Ok, moving on! Get to the mountain!
As I finished this vague-semblance-of-a-ski-tour, with a lone street lamp illuminating my car in the parking lot, I breathed a sigh of relief. THEY'RE GONNA WORK.
And when we landed in Iceland to find their worst snow year on record, it gave me a chance to really put them through the paces. AND, keep in mind, I've done zero boot work on these aside from swapping in my old (super-old and incredibly-beat-up) custom footbeds. But I new the old broken boots would give me swamp foot blisters on day one, and be heavy AF, so brand new boots with a *chance* of blisters that would at least be ultra light sounded like a worthy risk.
Hours long hiking in ski boots over rocks and squishy moss, with the occasional dirt patch barely phased my feet inside these boots. And I was SO thankful to be hiking in these vs my old cement shoes. SO LIGHT - SO MUCH ANLE FLEX - SO MUCH GRIP - SO BREATHABLE! We DID eventually reach snow and get to tour, and some days would yield quicker access to snow than others, but all days required a mix of booting and skinning.
After some hunting, downhill glory was always found. On the first descent of the trip I was grinning ear-to-ear knowing these boots would not fail me, and I could EASILY rail some big fast corn turns.
Despite the lack of boot work, and after all that awkward rock-moss booting, and spring touring complete with ALL the weather from sunny days to thick-wet-windy-fog, I am incredibly pleased to report that I experienced ZERO blisters.
Zero blisters AND they are an incredibly fun, stable, ripping, confidence inspiring boot. YES.
I will throw in two minor points of consideration:
1. They are still a touch roomier than I was expecting, but the jury is out until I get some professional boot help. And that room may be incredibly useful for situations when the feet swell. I would be curious to try a half size down.
2. Like any light or ultralight touring boot, the plastic shell material tends to be on the soft side. They did take a minor beating from our daily rock hopping, but I tend to think that kind of abuse is not the norm. So 5 stars it is!
The ski set-up for reference:
Blizzard Zero G 108 Ski with G3 Ion Bindings (mounted back, -2cm from recommended) and Black Diamond GlideLite Mix skins
Adding these boots just took it to ELEVEN!!!