Scarpa North America Blog

Sound Off: What SCARPA’s CEO Thinks of the New F1 Evo

Oct. 24th 2014

You might have heard of the F1 Evo by now—whether you’ve read about it in magazines, spotted it on social media, or caught a glimpse of its bright blue color out in the backcountry. But what you haven’t heard yet is SCARPA North America CEO Kim Miller’s opinion of the now famous boot with a hands-free, automatic walk/ski mode. Our fearless leader breaks down the latest in a long line of award-winning alpine touring boots: the revolutionary F1 Evo.

Q: What is SCARPA’s goal with the F1 Evo?

KIM MILLER: The mission of the F1 Evo is to fill a niche in the market that is pretty obvious to anyone paying attention to where the core of backcountry skiing is going. This boot strikes the perfect balance for an uphill-downhill kind of day in the backcountry. The F1 Evo is light and easy to use on the uphill, yet powerful enough to steer a fairly wide ski in a mix of conditions. From the beginning we asked ourselves, “How can we make this boot the best it can be, specific to the needs of skiers on the leading edge of the sport—to those pushing themselves in the mountains—and looking at gear in a really critical way?”

I think we ended up with the most agile and forward-thinking boot we’ve made in a long time because it is reaching an area of the market that few have gone. As the name implies, the F1 Evo is a pretty big step in the evolution of ski boots.

Q: What are the inspirations behind this boot?

KM: Much like the roles bike racing and auto racing play in their respective industries, Randonnee racing is really where everything starts for backcountry skiing. Going lighter and lighter and lighter continues to be a trend, and most weight-saving technologies are trickling down from the race end of the sport where people are pushing the limits to make the lightest boot possible.

The compromises in race boots are big though: durability, downhill performance, warmth, and general function of the boot. Rando race boots are really specialized and don’t serve the needs of a lot of people. And they’re super expensive. But using what we’ve learned from race boots, we knew we could take a high-performance backcountry boot, strip it down to remove all the extra stuff you didn’t need, and arrive at an incredibly happy medium that meets, if not exceeds, the demands of the core backcountry user at an affordable price. This boot can climb all day, while still being a powerful descender.

Q: What are the key new technologies make the F1 Evo revolutionary?

KM: I’d say the carbon core, which provides stiffness and better power transfer, the hands-free Tronic ski-walk mechanism, and the more responsive and fine-tunable closure system using a BOA system over the forefoot and a buckle-powerstrap hybrid around the leg. But to go a little deeper, I think it starts with the shape of the scafo (the lower half of the boot), which is critical to a boot’s fit and performance. The F1 Evo scafo is super close fitting, asymmetric like your foot, and uses a blend of carbon and pebax to be stiffer without adding weight. Then in the cuff, an I-beam-like construction has allowed us to reinforce the boot where it’s important for structural integrity and stiffness without excess material to weigh it down.

Q: What will the F1 Evo allow you to do in the mountains?

KM: Weight on your foot is the most expensive place to carry it in terms of energy use and output. By blending weight savings with downhill performance, this boot allows you to better regulate your use of energy. You’ll save more of it on the up, allowing you to use more of it on the down. The perfect example is Chris Davenport, who can use this boot to move incredibly quickly through the mountains, then drop right into a big descent with challenging skiing. Plus, because this boot fits so close to your foot, it opens up awesome opportunities. I’ve biked in this boot, climbed technical routes in this boot. It feels like a mountaineering boot. It fits my foot like a mountaineering boot. You’ll be able to go out and navigate difficult terrain, and then drop right in and ski it.

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