2016-2017 Tecnica Zero G Guide Pro

Downhill Performance

These days, there are a bunch of boots in the Zero G Pro’s weight class that climb well, and a few that ski pretty darn well (the Dynafit Vulcan and Salomon MTN Lab are the best examples, in my opinion). So how does the Zero G Guide Pro stack up?

Paul Forward reviews the Tecnica Zero G Guide Pro boot for Blister Gear Review.
Paul Forward in the Tecnica Zero G Guide Pro Boot, Porters Ski Area, NZ.

The short answer is that it skis as well or better than any boot in this weight class — with the caveat, as always, that how well a boot fits your particular foot is more important to skiing performance than small differences in flex profile.

Flex (plus More Comparisons)

Check out our First Look on the Zero G Guide Pro for my initial take on the stiffness of these boots. Overall, I still stand by what I wrote there.

In pure fore-aft stiffness, I think the Zero G Guide Pro is the stiffest 1500-1600 g boot I’ve used. It feels stiffer in this way than both the Vulcan and the MTN Lab. Notably, it has significantly more support in the “backseat” than the Vulcan.

Laterally, all of three boots mentioned are very good, and I don’t think there is a clear winner in this regard.

Regarding how progressive of a flex these boots have, all three boots mentioned are relatively lacking in this regard when compared to a good alpine boot. Having skied the MTN Lab and the Zero G back to back (temps ranging from 5-20° F at Alyeska Resort), it was hard to tell if the MTN Lab felt more progressive because of its slightly softer flex. But, overall, I’d say that the MTN lab is probably better in this regard. Of all the boots with tech fittings I’ve skied over the past few years, none of them has as smooth and progressive of a flex pattern as the Lange XT Freetour — but that comes with a 200-300 g weight penalty.

Zero G Guide Pro & Salomon MTN Lab Vs. a Dedicated Alpine Boot

So how do these very good AT boots compare to a dedicated alpine boot? How significant is the tradeoff in terms of downhill performance?

After skiing on the Salomon QST 106 back-to-back with the Zero G and the MTN Lab, I swapped over to the Nordic GPX for a few runs to establish a standard with a dedicated alpine boot. While all of the boots were plenty stiff for high-speed groomers, bumps, and airs on the hardback, the GPX was notably more progressive and smooth. In addition, the GPX offered significantly more damping in hard, bumpy conditions. The difference was most notable when I found myself in the backseat in the bumps. In the Nordica GPX, it was notably easier to pull myself forward and get back onto my skis.

Having said all this, and given that virtually no one wants to go tour in a four-buckle alpine boot with no walk mode, I’d say that any of the boots mentioned here ski more-than-well-enough to serve double duty for ski touring or inbounds skiing.

Binding Compatibility

The Zero G Pro Guide is the only 1500-1600 g touring boot that I know of that can be skied in almost every kind of alpine and touring binding on the market. With the included touring soles, they’ll work with tech bindings and some frame-style touring bindings.With the optional (sold separately, MSRP $64) “DIN Soles” they are compatible with ISO 9462 (standard alpine bindings), Grip Walk bindings (a newer norm, similar to WTR), and most frame style AT bindings. On their site, Tecnica claims that they are not WTR compatible even with the DIN soles but it’s unclear to me why that is. My understanding is that if a boot is compatible with 9462 bindings, they should also be compatible with WTR. We’re hoping to get an explanation from Tecnica regarding WTR binding compatibility.

With the optional “DIN” soles (sold separately, MSRP $64), they are compatible with ISO 9462 (standard alpine bindings); Grip Walk bindings (a newer norm, similar to WTR); and most frame-style AT bindings. On their website, Tecnica states that they are not WTR-compatible even with DIN soles. But we have been told that this is simply an error on the website, and any binding with a toe-height adjustment to accommodate DIN soles will work.

Bottom Line

Taking all of these many factors into account, the Zero G Guide Pro is the most versatile high-performance ski touring boot I’ve ever used. It’s truly remarkable that a sub-1600 gram boot can ski and tour this well, and is also compatible with just about any binding out there. If it fit my foot better, I could see using it as my only boot for a full season of lift-served skiing, heliski guiding, snow machine accessed skiing, and human powered touring. It would definitely be my choice for trips when I only wanted to bring one pair of boots to cover big days of touring and hammering laps under the chair lifts.

With the right bindings (MNC-compatible), I could also happily use the MTN Lab in the same way. But the slightly stiffer flex and greater binding compatibility of the Zero G Guide Pro gives it the edge — if — the fit is equally good for your foot.

10 comments on “2016-2017 Tecnica Zero G Guide Pro”

    • Hi Adam, I toured in these several days when the parking lot temp was as low as -18F and my toes got a little chilly but stayed comfortable all day. Fit will have an influence on warmth but, overall, I wouldn’t worry about staying warm in these.

  1. Hi Paul, any basis for comparison between the Zero G Guide Pro and the revised Dynafit Beast FT1 or the Scarpa Maestrale RS? I’m particularly interested in flex (quality & rating) & fit volume. Scarpa just released a redesign of the Maestrale putting it firmly in the 1500-1600g category w/ the boots you discuss in your article.
    I’ve tried the Solomon Mtn lab & Dynafit Vulcan, but both are complete nonstarters fitwise, & I’ve never skied a boot with a less progressive flex pattern than the “on-off” Vulcan.
    I had a brief opportunity to try on the Khion last season w/ my own Intuition liners, and the last was much closer to that of my sweet-fitting, but relatively soft Dynafit Titan ULs.

  2. Hi Paul, I am also interested it the comparison between the Zero G Guide Pro and the Scarpa Maestrale RS (including comments on the redesigned boot!).

    • Hi Matt and Travis, I haven’t skied the Maestrale RS in years and haven’t yet received a pair of the redesigned 17/18 boot. Per my recollection, the Zero G is significantly stiffer but I can’t say that with 100% confidence this far out. Dynafit has not sent us a Khion or Beast despite several requests. We’ll try our best to weigh in on the boots you’ve mentioned ASAP.

  3. Nice review Paul.

    I’m also interested why there haven’t been any reviews or comparisons of the Dynafit Beast/Khion Carbon. Folks I’ve talked to with experience with the Mtn Lab and Khion seem to gravitate toward the Dynafit boot. Both in terms of performance downhill and touring ability. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

  4. Paul, do you think that this boot (and for that matter Mnt lab) has enough to drive a Blackcrows corvus freebird mounted with Dynafit FT 2. My current setup is Factors 130, Dynafit FT, Kastle BMX 108 in 188 and looking to loose as close to 1 kilo per foot as possible without sacrificing downhill performance.

    • Hi Peter, I haven’t skied the Corvus Freebird (yet!) but I wouldn’t hesitate to ski anything on the setup you’re describing. The Zero G should feel as least as powerful as the Factors, likely stiffer (but fit will impact performance a lot). The BMX 108 is a damper, heavier ski and that does incur some benefit in certain snow conditions and I suspect that the change in skis will make bigger difference than the boots. That said, your Black Crows/Zero G setup sounds super fun to me!

  5. Hi, great review Paul. I just picked up this boot based on it. Did you notice however how high the stand height of the boot was? There seems to be substantial mass on the toe and heel lugs creating, what at least appears to be, quite a gap between the ski and the bottom of my foot. I was wondering if you felt this too while clicked in and skiing? Or could it be more of an illusionary issue based on the high arch between the toes and heel…

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