Posted on July 05 2016
The F1 Evo is back after a year off in North America and it is better than ever. We got to do some amazing ski mountaineering in them this spring and they did not disappoint, but first the elephant in the room, where did the boots go. The answer is that Scarpa had a highly proactive recall on the boots in 2015 after some problems with the Tronic walk mode. Apparently if you were skiing these boots with super light skis you could reverse the normal flex of the ski enough to widen the gap on your touring bindings and pop into ski mode. Scarpa North America demanded a recall and the boots were shipped back to Europe.
It is true that these boots have been and continue to circulate around the European market as a "refurbished" model. Up to 3 different walk modes were installed to "fix" the problem. Unfortunately, or fortunately if you are doing some extreme lightweight skiing in no fall zones, the American climate demands polished and real solutions to problems as a matter of safety and Scarpa needed to go back to the drawing board and implement an all new walk mode. They went away from the risky "hands free" tronic and back to the ever solid lever used in their Maestrale boots. But like the boot itself, the F1 Evo's is lighter and sleeker.
At only 1130grams this boot is still built to be high performance. I skied these boots in a variety of conditions both before and after the rework. I did everything from bumps to high speed turns and of course some good old fashion backcountry powder skiing.
This boot has a few other features worth mentioning also borrowed from the Alien race line. The BOA system obviously stands out and is a system that had great success in the original Alien’s. On the F1 Evo's BOA had to design a custom lace system because SCARPA asked for a little more to make sure this boot would ski well. On top of the BOA the mega thick power strap proves that Scarpa knows the secret that the lightest buckles are perhaps not buckles at all.
Of course I could spray about the modest couliors and gradual peaks I skied on a year recovering from ACL surgery, but we all know the most important feature of a boot is fit. This is something that Scarpa along with their partnership with Intuition never takes for granted. The boots are roomy even when I downsized to a 26.5 (A full size lower than I go in Dynafit's). They claim about 102 cm across the widest part of the boot, but their sculpted design makes it feel even wider. Best of all this is a fully heat moldable Intuition liner. In super lightweight boots in the past (like the La Sportiva Spitfires I still ski) the liner took so many short cuts towards weight savings that they are barely more than socks. They hardly last more than a season and when you moldable them adapt only a negligible amount to your feet. This liner, although light, molded to the point I could even see the imprint of my navicular bone above my instep.
Another thing you'll about the EVO is the Carbon Core in the scaffo (boot lower). The carbon is laid into the lower boot right around the sides of the heel and where the upper cuff pivots. This provides a much more solid base to the boot to so that, again, it skis well on the down.
For a more comprehensive review check out Wildsnow’s review of the boot.
Kim Miller, Scarpa NA Ceo, breaks it down best. Check out his video breakdown of the boot.