I've always loved the lightweight compact feel of Garmont boots and the Phrophet NTN is no exception. The Phrophet NTN was designed by telemark guru Paul Parker, and his remit was to produce a powerful high end boot suited to resort downhill oriented skiing. Garmont have certainly achieved this with the Phrophet NTN.
I found the Prophet NTN a lot thinner in the forefoot and a lot thinner around the ankle, compared to the Scarpa for example. It felt shorter in length at 28.5 mondopoint compared to other brands and the overall volume is smaller / tighter than other products on test. The boot's flex also feels softer than the Scarpa TX NTN and Sarpa T1 75 mm, while the bellows feel quite stiff.
Although there are only three buckles on the Prophet the boot feels like a four clip boot, this could be due to the Power Wrap overlap construction which is designed to follow the foot’s anatomy closely and comfortably, and it has a “pre-punched” shell shape that closes securely around the foot allowing the ankle and bellows to flex freely. In other words once done up, the boot closes well around the foot. The clips themselves are really interesting, you have to push down on a button to actually release the clip which feels really solid once you've got your head round it. You can't undo the clips without pushing down on the button, which means the clips won't come undone and you can ski with them open but the clips will remained attached. To actually unclip them need to push down with your thumb and push up with your little finger. As someone who likes to loosen off when I ski - especially in the spring - this feature really appealed to me.
I thought the boots had a less substantial power strap compared to other brands but this didn't compromise the close fit on my foot. I do feel however, that the power strap is a really important feature in ensuring tongue stability around the shin and I'd like to see a much thicker strap on this boot.
The Garmont free-pivot touring mode is actually pretty difficult to use. Garmont claim the boot has a 25 degree lean angle however I found it hard to tell which mode I was actually in solely by flexing and feeling. I found a lot less fore and aft movement for ski touring in the walk mode in the Garmont compared to the Scarpa and Crispsi. The clip, which is positioned on the heel is also quite hard to get your finger under to adjust especially if you've got gloves on, it does however have a solid clip up into ski mode so I know I've actually activated the system.
The Prophet's G-Fit Liner has been specifically tuned for Garmont's new line of telemark boots. It's a thermo mouldable liner which seems to be standard these days, designed to adapt to the shape of your foot quickly following heating, rather than naturally over time. It is very thin, has much less volume than I'm used to and it's also much harder to the touch (i.e. more stiff). My first assumption was that they'd be less comfortable - like a Comformable injected foam liner or a race liner - but this wasn't actually the case. On the foot it feels like a close fitted expert boot and after an hour the boots still felt good on my foot, despite the last not being right for my foot shape.
The Prophets's Power Lap Construction and “pre-punched” shell shape are designed to close securely and comfortably around the foot, allowing the ankle and bellows to flex freely. What this means in effect is that the boot is very similar to an Alpine style boot in how the liner, tongue and shell fit together and close around the shin. The Power Lap construction certainly felt good once done up - however I found it tricky to actually do up the top two clips. As it happens I have calves that make women jealous, they're tiny and look great in stilettos - but I did have to force the shell around my shin with both hands just to clip it up, what should be a simple process felt clumsy.
If you're forking out on a brand new pair of NTN boots and you walk a lot on hard surfaces to get to your skiing, then the Prophet's replaceable second heel is bound to be an attractive feature. It saves the hassle of carrying rubber protectors and I'm a big fan of this system especially when you consider how much a pair of boots cost.
I Love the look of this boot, it's slim, compact and not bulky - but most importantly it's lightweight, at 3640 grams a pair (27.5 mondopoint) even EasyJet are happy! I also like the fitted feel, I feel like I'm right on the shell because of the slim liner but it's still comfortable. If you've got a relatively low volume or slim foot then trying these boots is a must.
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Name: Ben Langridge
No of years Telemarking: 20+
Current Ski: Scott The Ski and Scott Crus Air
Binding: Rottefella NTN Freeride
Boots: Scott Voodoo NTN
Occupation: Alpine and Telemark Ski Coach
Work Profile: 13 years teaching Alpine and Telemark Skiing in the French Alps.
Favourite Tele Terrain: Bumps and Off-Piste
Favourite off-piste itineraries: Mont Roup, Le Fornet's Vallonets, Danaides, La Foglietta Ste Foy
Sponsors: Scott Sports, Planks Clothing, X-Bionic
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