Jun 11 2013

Review: Scarpa’s TX-Pro


Scarpa’s TX-Pro — a T1 for NTN.

For the majority of skiers, a four buckle boot is de-riguer. Anything less simply doesn’t provide the leverage necessary for driving the fat skis of the new millenium with enough power, and/or it requires more finesse than is realistic for most of us. Thus, if you’re contemplating or convinced that you’re ready to switch to the NTN platform, Scarpa’s TX-Pro is a boot you need to try.

In simple terms the TX-Pro is the NTN version of the popular T1. Like the T1 it has enough power to drive most any ski you have in your quiver, and with the NTN sole, allows you a choice of four different bindings to exercise that control – Rottefella’s NTN Freedom, Freeride, or Burnt Mountain Design’s Spike, or the Dynafit inspired Telemark Tech System.

The TX-Pro sports the now familiar attributes of a triple-injected pebax shell, with a yoke of stiffer plastic around the foot and in the cuff, plus an ultra stiff frame around the bellows so it won’t collapse when you’re driving low in a tele turn or compressing after landing. Two buckles on the cuff plus a power strap couple all the power of your lower leg for superb edge hold at speed or on ice. For the TX-Pro, the instep buckle now uses metal teeth, for a more secure hold.

In terms of flex, the TX-Pro is a bit softer than the T1. Don’t interpret that too negatively since the overall flex of a NTN boot is determined by the combination of the boot flex and the stiffness of the springs in the binding. However, be aware that assumes you are using an NTN binding that clamps on to your boot at the second heel. For hybrid bindings like TTS and Spike where the tension in the cable system is tied to the heel, that softness will be more apparent. Not necessarily bad or wrong, but it definitely results in a faster compression of the bellows.

A solid 15° range of rear motion for your leg doesn’t set any records, but is comfortable enough for extended dry trail approaches.

When it comes to earning your turns, flip up the walk mode lever at the heel and loosen the cuff buckles and power strap. The result will be a solid 15 degrees of rear leg motion. There are certainly boots available with more, but most of those are rando boots with a locked heel for turning. If more range of motion in walk mode is important, consider Scarpa’s TX instead. With a slightly lower cuff it yields slightly more rear leg motion. If you want more cuff range of motion, you’ll have to do a bit of McGyvering in your own shop. In the meantime it can’t hurt to petition Scarpa to incorporate the walk mode mechanics of their Maestrale in their telemark boot line.

Weight wise the TX-Pro isn’t the lightest boot on the market, but at 8½ pounds per pair, they aren’t slippers either. They are lighter than the comparable T1, and if you combine ‘em with a TTS binding you’ll be competitive with most AT skiers using Dynafits. Combine that with an AT shaped toe and heel and you can also use these boots with most mountaineering crampons, unlike duckbilled tele boots.

The standard liner is a tongued Intuition ™ liner with multiple densities and pre-molded to fit a fair number of foot shapes. The last of the TX-Pro is 102mm at the metatarsals (for mondo size 27 boot), so they fit moderately wide feet out of the box. If your foot is narrow, or low-volume (low instep) you may need to fill a bit of space. The simplest solution is to swap the liner for an overlap version. Regardless, heat molding is definitely advised whether if feels comfortable or not, just to optimize the fit and reduce the opportunity for blisters.

Scarpa’s classic in-step buckle is largely responsible for the large range of feet they fit, holding your heel in the pocket for solid control for all but the extreme ends of foot shapes. With ultra low-volume feet, the buckle still won’t clamp tight enough, and for ultra high-volume feet, it won’t open up enough.

Women’s TX-Pro. Same guts, different last & color.

If you want a stiffer flexing NTN boot, consider the TX-Comp. Otherwise, if you’re thinking of making the switch to NTN Scarpa’s TX-Pro is a good place to start. It offers excellent control with a good walk mode and proven downhill peformance.

TX-Pro (mens)
MSRP: $699
Weight/boot (mondo 27): 3 lbs., 12 oz. (1715 g)
Sizes available: 24½ – 30

TX-Pro (womens)
MSRP: $699
Weight/boot (mondo 25): 3 lbs., 8 oz. (1590 g)
Sizes available: 22½ – 27

Note: The predecessor to the TX-Pro, the Terminator-X Pro is currently (June 2012) available directly from Scarpa with close-out pricing. The main differences are in the power strap and in-step buckle.

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Scarpa TX review
Scarpa T2X/T2 Eco review

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