Scarpa took their ultra-light F1 LT Boots and added two buckles for those who want to get into a lightweight alpine touring boot but still want the versatility and precise fit of buckles. They’ve taken an amazing boot and made it even better for a wider audience of skiers. Scarpa continues to impress in every AT boot category and especially when it comes to comfort and lightweight. Bravo!
The Backcountry Skiing Canada Team.
Having reviewed the Scarpa F1 Boots in 2019 and the much lighter Scarpa F1 LT Boots in 2020 it only made sense that we’d want to get our hands on a pair of Scarpa’s new F1 GT Boots to put through the paces. The F1s have been in Scarpa’s lineup for almost two decades now and with each new version, they only get better and better. They’ve been the benchmark for lightweight touring boots over the years and the new F1 GT Boots integrate many of the features found on the lighter F1 LTs. These include a laterally stiff design with an impressive 72° range of motion, an Intuition liner, and an integrated Recco reflector. There are also a few new important features that we’ll go into in more detail below in the full review.
The F1 LT Boots managed to drop an impressive 540 grams over the previous version by improving construction with stronger and lighter materials—and yet somehow keeping all the features that make it such a great performing boot. The new F1 GT Boots don’t get any lighter but they do provide a more custom fit with the replacement of the forefoot BOA system with Scarpa’s Wave Lite Closure System that they use on other alpine touring boots in their lineup. This buckle system uses a Z-cable design for a more secure fit over the instep without adding any pressure points. While this is the most notable change on the new F1 GTs it is by no means the only change to these lightweight touring machines.
At 2,310g / 5lbs for size 27 pair, the new Scarpa F1 GTs are a little heavier than the LT’s—by about 300g. This is due mainly to the addition of the Wave Lite Closure over the forefoot and the replacement of the upper power strap buckle with a more standard ladder buckle. While Scarpa tried to stay true to the F1’s lightweight roots, at the end of the day metal buckles weigh more than a power strap and BOA system, even if they didn’t add in buckle retainers. With their added foothold and a more customizable fit comes added weight, albeit minimal. While the BOA system is revered by many and offers a precise fit, many people prefer the power and fit of a traditional buckle and Scarpa listened to this feedback.
While the F1 GT provides a stated 90 flex rating compared to the F1 LT’s 100, it has been said that because the GT has a traditional upper buckle and not simply a powerstrap with a buckle at the end of it, the GT provides a more beefy 100 flex rating. Adding to this, the GT’s slightly taller and more padded Intuition liner also helps provide more support over the F1 LT. The upper cuff on the F1 GT’s are made of Grilamid Fibre Glass LFT which gets paired with a buckle and velcro power strap for a flex that is robust yet progressive. The lower shell of the GT is a similar Grilamid Fibre Glass LFT and features a full-length Lambda Frame which increases the boot's torsional rigidity without excess weight. This also means that the GT’s shell is more customizable than the F1 LT’s without breaching Scarpa’s warranty.
Behind the integrated Overlap Shield Tech gaiter which provides great protection from snow and the elements, you’ll find a stock thermoformable Intuition liner that fits well, is warm and provides impressive support for such a thin and light liner.
In walk mode, the GT Boots have the same great 72-degree range of motion as found in the F1 LT and thanks to the friction-free ski/walk mechanism, crushing vertical on the up track is as easy as walking down the street. With a stated 90 flex index the GT should be a little softer than the LTs but thanks to the GT’s upper buckle and power strap along with the Grilamid Fiber Glass construction, the GTs feel every bit as stiff as the LTs when it comes to flex.
If you are looking for a lightweight touring boot that can crush vertical and still make you smile on the descent but think that the F1 LT might be a tad on the minimalist side of things then consider the F1 GT as it is a nice compromise between super lightweight and a superior foothold and downhill performance.
Shell/Cuff/Tongue: Grilamid® & Carbon Core / Grilamid® / Pebax®
Liner: Intuition® Pro Flex Evo
Outsole: Vibram® UFO Evo
Scarpa’s F1 Boots are a thing of beauty and therefore there was very little room for improvement over the LT version given how much performance they provided in such a lightweight package. When we reviewed the F1 LT Boots a few years ago there were not many complaints and those that we did find were pretty superficial. The only real item on my wish list for the LTs was to have a buckle over the forefoot rather than the BOA system. While I find the BOA system works well, I’d like to be able to have the ability to ratchet it up to 11 when needed. The new Wave Lite Closure System allows me to do this, and I find it helps seat my heel back into the pocket of the liner more effectively which provides a better fit overall. It’s nice to be able to adjust the forefoot buckle to a foot-numbing level when you need to maximize your foot's integration with the boot/ski to take on those more challenging lines. It’s also nice to have the upper buckle on the GT as well, although I did find that the LT’s power strap/buckle combo worked just as well.
Costing roughly $100 more than the LTs, the new GT Boots are more expensive but you do get a higher degree of versatility in your fit thanks to the new buckles as well as a slightly higher instep which is good news for those with excessive arches. Having skied on the LTs for the last two touring seasons I’m happy to see the new GT’s added buckles but given the weight bump of a few hundred grams, I’m not sure that I’d upgrade since I don’t find the improved foothold in the GT’s worth this weight penalty. Albeit minor, it is still more weight and I am trying to save every gram I can to try and keep up with my former fitness levels of a decade ago. Since this is bound to only get more challenging, I like the minimal weight of the LT Boots.
Testing the F1 GT side by side with the LT Boots (ie. one on each foot) provided the ultimate comparison test and although the boot’s weight difference is pretty indistinguishable it is there if you go looking for it. Thankfully the F1 GT Boots have the integrated Wave Lite Closure System and new top buckle to compensate for their slightly lower rated 90 flex rating, otherwise, I fear that the GTs would not be as ambitious on more technical ski descents. Luckily this is not the case and the F1 GTs hold their own when compared to the LTs.
If you are on the fence about whether to purchase the GTs or LTs just know that whatever you decide either choice is a good one. It comes down to a matter of preference, a slightly lighter LT with BOA or GT with buckles. I found the F1 GTs to be a solid lightweight boot that served me well crushing vertical and laying down powder lines.
Price: $1,108CAN / $799US
Weight: 2310g / 5lbs (size 27 pair)
Cuff Rotation: 72°
Closure: 1 Buckle + BOA® Fit System
Forward Lean: 9, 11, 13 degrees
Colour: Petrol / Orange
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