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Oct 03 2012

Review: Scarpa’s TX – a T2 for NTN

 

Scarpa’s Terminator-X – a T2 for NTN – TX for short.

Of the NTN compatible boots I’ve skied, Scarpa’s TX is most like their T2-Eco. It has enough cuff to drive a fat ski, but it is flexible enough that it yields a comfortable stride for stretches of dry trail or skinning the flats. Many of today’s rando boots give a larger range of motion in the cuff, but you won’t notice it much except on the flats, and only if you know better. In fact, for flexi cuff it is second only to Scarpa’s own F1 for walking comfort in a tele boot.

Much of that comfort comes from improving the clearance on the heel bar so the cuff slides up and down it with less friction. It is true, the back of the cuff can only go to dead vertical, but that yields at least 10 degrees of rearward flex relative to your ankle pivot, so it feels more generous. As with all ski boots, this rear motion is strongly influenced by how tight or loose you keep the buckles and power strap. In any case, while it could be improved, very few backcountry telemarkers will complain about the touring comfort of Scarpa’s TX.

They might complain about the lateral rigidity of the cuff for driving big skis and I would concur on firm snow. However, such fat skis violate the very premise of going as light as a TX for a boot and thus are not a fair use of the TX. For skis in the 105mm or lower range the TX is boot enough when paired with bridle enough.

TX doesn’t set any new records for cuff ROM, but it is noticeably better than most touring boots, alpine OR tele, and not that much different from the better AT boots. YMMV.

That’s one of the side benefits of Scarpa’s TX this season. You can go with the lighter yet still firm grip of Rottefella’s Freedom, tighten it up a bit with the Freeride, or go dyna-light with TTS. There is a good span of options from reasonable to radical.

The standard liner is a tongued Intuition™ Speed Pro liner with multiple densities and pre-molded to fit a fair number of foot shapes. Those who complain about their feet being too wide will appreciate the wider than average forefoot zone, measuring in at 102mm for a size 27 boot. Heat molding is definitely advised whether if feels comfortable or not, just to optimize the fit and reduce the opportunity for blisters.

In downhill mode the TX has a soft bellows which can deliver more sensitivity in blower snow as long as your binding allows it. With training heels engaged on the TX you can still feel solid at 40 mph on groomers, but the cuff is definitely not race caliber. Anything over 40 and odds are you will prefer a pair of Hurricanes.

Anything not to like? Truth be told I’m over the lime highlight but that’s about it.

Thankfully Scarpa hasn’t tinkered much with their buckle system including their classic in-step buckle that really holds your heel in the cornerstone of the boot sole. The top buckle now sports a tooth for touring and a reinforced frame of stiffer plastic supports the lower shell in critical zones around the bellows so that even with a soft flex, the boot won’t collapse and pinch your toes. When combined with an angled bellows you can edge with confidence, and flex your foot naturally to carve out a swooping tele turn. TX-Pro has almost the same bellows, with an extra buckle on the cuff for more power in the turns and a bit less mobility when walking.

If you want a beefy boot, TX is not it. The TX-Comp is the way to go there, but then you miss getting the tech-fittings for AT versatility. It isn’t really a feather weight boot, just the lightest NTN boot available and despite the lack of heft the TX delivers ample power for couloirs of corn or windbuff, while making the deep ones accessible.

Scarpa
TX
MSRP: $669
Weight/boot (mondo 27.0): 3 lbs. 9 oz. (1.63 kg)
Sizes available: 22.5 – 30 (mondo)
Foot width (sz 27): 102mm

Related Posts
Scarpa’s T2X/T2-Eco

© 2012
 

  • PQ

    So it seems that the only changes to the boot are cosmetic (colour, buckles), and perhaps a slight stiffening of the shell? No change to the bellows flex or anything else in the boot? I noticed the weight is the same (actually slightly heavier) than the previous version.

    I wonder if Scarpa will ever come out with a F1-NTN… That would be the first real improvement in tele-boot weight to counter the multi-decade slide to heavier and heavier boots…

  • Ian

    How does the fit compare with the T2-eco?

  • Dostie

    Darn similar. I just used the liners from my T2X for the TX. Is that the same fit? Well, the shell is, and I didn’t want/need to mold the liners that came with ‘em. So, yeah, about the same.

  • Nicholas Zielinski

    Not sure if this is the proper venue for such a question; Is the TX paired with the Freedom binding and G3 Tonics a suitable  set up for big guys (>200lbs)?  No hard charging.  Just enjoying the turn, taking in the view and occasionally skiing some steeper stuff.  Should a bigger boots be considered? I’ve only recently moved on from my T3, Targo, TM22 setup.

  • Dostie

    Considering what you’re used to, and the width of the Tonic (~100mm), the TX should be enough boot with the Freedom. Sounds like a good system and I know you’ll love the flex of the TX with the Freedom. Considering your weight a TX-Pro might be better, but more importantly, be sure to get the blue springs for the Freedom.