The Scarpa TX Pro NTN Telemark Boot Review
Scarpa Telemark Boots Need no Introduction
Scarpa telemark boots need no introduction, I’ve been a big fan for many years and have skied the Terminator 1 since 1996. It was my first plastic telemark boot and within days they transformed my skiing. Despite skiing three seasons with another brand, I’m now back on the Scarpas, skiing the TX Pro since 2015. I love these boots for their fit, precision and performance.
Making the Transition from 75mm to NTN?
Fortunately for us, the two boots have exactly the same shell shape and last which removes any concern that switching to the NTN system may cause foot problems. Rest assured if you currently ski a Scarpa T1, the NTN boot will fit you in exactly the same way.
The Scarpa TX Pro fits the NTN and TLT binding systems, in other words you can ski it both fixed and free heel! TLT fittings are compatibile with Dynafit, G3, and all ‘Tech’ bindings. Don’t expect alpine performance from this boot combined with a TLT binding however, but this set up is great if you’re skiing with the kids or having an easy day and want some light comfy boots. I know of ski instructors who’ll use this set up for teaching low level alpine lessons but they’ll change to alpine kit with stronger skiers.
Like all the manufacturers, Scarpa did experience some initial teething problems when they released NTN boots, namely the bellows on the Terminator X were too stiff for some skiers. Scarpa responded pro-actively to feedback however, recognising that the ground breaking system was bound to need certain tweaks, offering to replace the lowers substituting a softer flex. In subsequent years Scarpa has used a triple-injection molding process (Triple-injection foot/Bi-injection cuff) that basically allows the bellows to flex more effectively while maintaining the boot’s rigidity elsewhere.
In my opinion the flex pattern of the bellows on the Scarpa TX Pro is bang-on. The bellows feel comfortable in a range of stances, from short and tall where more of the foot is on the ski, to long and low. I feel that I can get plenty of rear foot pressure through the ball of the foot even in a longer stance. I also think the bellows flex smoothly throughout its range of movement.
Tx Pro is a Powerful Boot
The TX Pro is certainly a powerful boot, bear in mind that the bellows of a new boot are always stiff off the shelf. This was certainly the case with the Scarpa Tx Pro, I needed a couple of days skiing and flexing them around the apartment to break them in. Once broken in however, I really enjoyed the flex pattern. It’s also worth noting that the bellows flexed very ‘naturally’ in the shop (warm temperature therefore easier to flex!) compared to the other brands. Really cold temperatures can have a similar effect on new boots.
Effecitve Ski Walk Mode
I was really impressed with this feature, the TX Pro has a solid up and down clip allowing you to change modes easily even when wearing gloves. Best of all however, the range of movement in walk mode felt significantly better than the Crispi and Garmont. In ski mode I felt locked in! I’m also very happy touring in the walk mode, despite the boot being pretty high up the shin, it doesn’t feel heavy or cumbersome skinning up.
Intuition Speed Pro G Liner
According to Scarpa the ‘Intuition Speed Pro G liner offers no-sacrifice performance and comfort’. The liner is relatively low volume, giving the impression of being very close to the shell. Despite the performance oriented feel to the liner I’m really impressed with its comfort it gives plenty of cushioning. On a personal note, I struggle with cold feet and I rarely find these liners cold. I used to use a Palau (thermoflex type liner) on really cold days because I can’t flex my feet in a telemark stance when very cold. However, I haven’t needed a pair since moving over to the TX Pro.
Pivoting Tongue - Easy Access
The pivoting tongue is designed to make getting the boots on and off easier, which is definitely the case. It could be the shape of my foot but I find this system doesn’t close as snugly as the old style Terminators. I’ve heard of skiers having problems with the boots leaking due to a gap above the bellows left by the pivoting tongue, however I’ve not had this problem personally. My new Alpine boots on the other hand have a standard (non pivoting) tongue, and I really struggle to get them on and off. I now fully appreciate the pivoting tongue on the TX pros. It’s without a doubt one of the key features.
Four Buckle Clip System
The TX Pro boasts four solid clips, the second one being a ‘Q-Link Midstrap System’ (I’ve likened it to the old Raichle style in previous reviews) which helps hold the ankle in place by tightening diagonally around the ankle. According to Scarpa it ‘provides ultimate foot lock’ with an improved, thicker cable for maximum durability’, I’m not 100% sure about the durability nor operation but the foot hold is great. Personally I find the Q-Link Midstrap difficult to adjust, both tighten and loosen, especially when wearing gloves. I do however like the angle of the clip, helping to lock the ankle firmly in the boot rather than tightening laterally over the bridge of the foot like most other boots on the market. This is only a minor niggle for me, certainly not a deal breaker.
It’s worth noting that my Dad has snapped two of these clips (he skis 14 weeks a season and does more than three seasons in his boots!). Finding replacement clips was very hard, even through Scarpa. I only tighten my Q-Link Midstrap clips on the loosest two settings and haven’t had this problem, but be wary of tightening the Q-Link Midstrap clip too much. If you need more heel hold, look into padding out the liner around the achilles and use this clip more sparingly.
In general the clips on the TX Pro are strong, solid and have a great micro-adjustable function giving a good range of options for tightening.
Active Power Strap
The power strap is an easy way for ski boot manufacturers to cut costs, but Scarpa haven’t taken that option. I love the power strap on this boot, it’s thick, solid and holds the shell and liner together beautifully.
Overall the TX Pro is an awesome boot, it’s powerful, comfortable, comes in great colours and has the build quality and features you’d expect from Scarpa. It’s my pick of the NTN boots. The problems to look out for are the potential leak point around the pivoting tongue which can be overcome by putting wearing plastic bags over the liners, and the Q-Link Midstrap System which has its pros and cons. Personally the pros largely outweigh the minor niggles and I’m very happy with the performance, comfort and warmth of these boots.
Binding System: NTN, TLT Sizes: 22.5 - 30 Forward Lean: 18° – 22° Buckles: 4 + Active Power Strap Inner Boot: Intuition Speed Pro G Tele Sole: Vibram® Evo