Scarpa telemark boots need no introduction, I've been a big fan for many years and have skied the Terminator 1 since 1996. At the timw of writing i was telemark skiing in the 75mm non NTN system and I was really keen to see and feel the difference between the NTN and the 75mm duck bill boot.
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.
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.
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!
According to Scarpa the 'Intuition Speed Pro G liner offers no-sacrifice performance and comfort'. The liner is certainly low volume feeling like an alpine race boot liner, this gives the impression of being very close to the shell. Despite the performance oriented feel to the liner I was also impressed with its comfort it gave me plenty of cushioning. On a personal note, I struggle with cold feet and I found these liners cold. I've got to say I find all liners alpine and tele cold!. I use a Thermoflex type liner (Pifar liner) which made a significant difference. Fab Jolly uses a similar type liner for the same problem - he's in Crispi's, so this isn't a Scarpa issue.
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. As a result I get a gap below the tongue just above the bellows which leaks! When they leak I get very cold feet, I'm amazed at how much snow I shake out of the shell at 5 O'clock, if I forget to remove the liners at night to dry out then I'm in serious trouble the next day! It has to be said that this is less of a problem in spring, but until March in Val d'Isere it can be pretty cold.
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). According to Scarpa it 'provides ultimate foot lock with an improved, thicker cable for maximum durability', the thicker cable is certainly durable and it offers a huge range of settings for tightening. Personally I find these clips easy to tighten but hard to loosen off when wearing gloves so I tend open the clip - this does lead to leaking! I also found the 1st clip (by the toes) twists when doing it up, which forces the pivoting tongue slightly out of position, not a problem for performance, but as mentioned above this contributes to the leaks! Otherwise the clips are strong, solid and have a great micro-adjustable function giving a great range of options for tightening.
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 only reservation I have is the leaking problem which can be overcome by putting wearing plastic bags over the liners, however this problem could be specific to my high arches, it certainly won't stop me buying a pair when I move over to NTN.
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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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