Friday, March 10, 2023

Scarpa F1 LT Alpine Ski Touring Boot Review

Article by Jeff Valliere

Scarpa F1 LT ($899)

Weight: 990g/2.2lbs per boot (Mondo size 27)

Sample size 28 1106g/2.4lbs

Sizes: 24-31

$899 - Available now


The Scarpa F1 LT is a performance oriented touring boot that is light enough for fast uphills, yet substantial enough to provide a high level of control and performance on the downhills. 

Featuring the BOA Fit System, adjustments for transitions between uphill mode and downhill mode are particularly quick and easy.  

At just 2.4lbs or 1106 grams per boot, they are less than half the weight of my alpine boots, which feels remarkably light to me, yet on the downhills, they feel as secure and sturdy as I would expect from a downhill boot.

You may be asking yourself, “why is RoadTrailRun now reviewing ski boots?” Good question indeed! 

The number of runners cross training in the winter with SkiMo (Ski Mountaineering) is steadily on the rise, from top running names like Kilian Jornet of course, to multiple time world SkiMo champion Remi Bonnett, Jim Walmsley, Rob Krar, Sage Canaday, the list goes on and on, to just about all of my local trail running buddies.  During the winter months, my Strava activity feed shows more SkiMo activities than any other activity. 

SkiMo is an amazing crossover sport where one can gain/maintain fitness, while simultaneously giving your legs/body a bit of a break from the impact of running.  Not to mention, it is really fun!


From the Scarpa product page for the F1 LT:  

Combining ultralight elements of our Alien race boots with a more versatile, backcountry-oriented design, the all-new F1 LT is our lightest weight alpine touring boot, optimized for high-mileage missions, ambitious traverses, and technical ski mountaineering descents.

  • Carbon Grilamid® LFT shell & cuff delivers incredible power to weight ratio

  • 3D Lambda Torsion Frame increases lateral stability and downhill performance

  • Speed Lock ski walk mechanism is strong, precise and easy to use

  • Boa® Fit System for a fast and secure fit

  • Waterproof gaiter system provides total snow protection

  • New Zeppa increases ramp angle by 3.5° “

Technical Specs:

Size Options: 24-31 (whole sizes)

Last: 100mm

Cuff: Carbon Grilamid LFT

Range of motion: 71 degrees

Binding Compatibility: TLT

Weight: 990g/2.2lbs

Outsole: Vibram UFO RS

Flex: 100

Ski/Walk Mode: Speed Lock LT

Optimized Touring Pivot: 1mm

Liner: Intuition Cross Fit Tour LT

Shell: Carbon Grilamid LFT

Forward Lean: 9/11/13/-2 degrees

Closure: 1 Buckle and BOA Fit System


Fit here was easy, I was able to try on a size 27 at Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder and it was clear that the 27 was way too small (Scarpa’s size chart shows that as a size US Men’s 9), so I requested a size 28 (showing as a US 10 on the chart, my normal size) and fit was perfect!  At first getting into the boots was a bit of a challenge, but I quickly realized that it is much easier when you flip the Speed Lock latch up into walk/uphill mode to give some flexibility.  After a few times on/off, it became a bit easier and while certainly not a quick slip on (not many secure ski boots are), it is a relatively painless operation.


The Intuition Cross Fit Tour LT liner is highly moldable and there are a lot of other fit mods that can be made if you work with a professional boot fitter, but bottom line, get measured and them try on if you can before buying just so that you have the proper size and as close as you can bebefore employing any additional boot fit mods.

There are areas of varying foam density to maximize comfort and control.

Within the liner, there is an insole as you would find in their running shoes that can easily be swapped out for custom footbeds.

There is extra reinforcement around the cuff of the liner that is a higher density and there is additionally a plastic piece that is secured by velcro in order to minimize pressure when really snugging the power straps and which adds a bit of comfort.  The plastic liner support can be repositioned up/down or side to side depending on preference, though I leave it in the centered position the way it came and is fine.

The BOA Fit System, which integrates amazingly well, makes it so easy to make quick and secure adjustments that provides an infinitely customizable dynamic fit.  I love that I can leave the BOA tension somewhat relaxed on uphills and then when I transition to the downhill, just a quick turn of the dial and my foot is locked in.  I find that on a ski outing, I either have it mostly loose (just rotated a few turns for skinning) or cranked down tight and never really have to mess with at any point in between.  From the Scarpa website, they describe the BOA fit system as follows: 

The patented Boa® Fit System consists of three integral parts: a micro-adjustable dial, super-strong lightweight laces, and low friction lace guides. Each unique configuration is engineered for effortless precision delivering a connected, fast, customized, and durable fit, and is backed by The Boa® Guarantee. The F1 LT system is an exclusive floating system located under the waterproof fabric cover that contracts downwards on the instep of the liner as the dial is tightened, precisely controlling volume and fit.

The velcro power strap and upper velcro strap (there are two straps here) are easy to quickly adjust and secure, locking the boot down incredibly well for positive control on the downhill, yet also comfortably and easily loosen for flexible and relaxed uphilling. The upper strap can also be removed for faster transitions.

The primary power strap has a lever, where you set the velcro to the optimal spot and then flip the lever to tighten. 

It takes a few times to determine exactly where you want the strap to line up so that a quick flip of the lever achieves the proper tension.  This is especially fast during transitions, just pull loose the top velcro strap, pop the lever for the 2nd velcro strap and pop the BOA dial to relieve the tension, or just reverse the process.

The Speed Lock LT mechanism is a very simple and easy to use lever that flips up to relieve the boot for forward flex of a max 72 degrees and flips back down to solidly lock the boot into place for downhilling.  

While the Speed Lock LT is easy to use, when releasing, I found I have to rock my shin gently back and forth just a little to find the spot where tension is relieved enough so that it will let go.  Conversely, I have to do the same when locking it back into place until I hear it positively snap into a locked position.

The boot is somewhat modular, at least some of the components that could potentially wear out or break are replaceable.


The Scarpa/Vibram sole is made with TOP85 compound that offers great durability and grip. 

The Vibram rubber is sticky and the outsole pattern is aggressive for times where you need to throw the skis on the pack and hike to the snow, up a ridgeline or for any other reason.  

While it is still a bit awkward hiking in a stiff soled boot, this outsole makes it much more reasonable and safer by having good traction, a concept that seems so obvious, yet novel to me after slip sliding across resort parking lots in my alpine boots.

The F1 LT also features what they call the “3D Lambda Frame”, as described by Scarpa: 

Similar to an i-beam, the 3D Lambda Frame adds raised ribs of Carbon Grilamid LFT in a specific pattern along both sides of the shell. This design significantly increases strength, durability and torsional rigidity with minimal added weight. The 3D Lambda Frame improves responsiveness and overall performance, allowing you to focus on the terrain, and not your boots.”

There is also a built-in gaiter to keep snow and moisture out.


Performance here is amazing, honestly MUCH better than I expected from such a lightweight boot.  Fit leans on the performance end of the spectrum, at least for me, which is great, as I plan to enter some low key local races at some point, but they also tour just fine too now that I have broken them in some more.  

When I loosen the straps and BOA, they feel very comfortable and relaxed for touring.  I find that they are plenty light enough for quick and efficient uphills, have a nice forward lean angle and with the BOA Fit System, Speed Lock LT and easy quick power straps are easy to adjust on the go.  

It is super fast to transition between uphill mode to downhill mode and then back again, while achieving just the right fit.  As I mentioned earlier, I was pleasantly surprised at how good downhill performance is for the F1 LT. I have been testing on a demo pair of La Sportiva Salto skis that are 95mm under foot (that are slightly on the heavy side due to the not super light binding and additional heavy slider plate that is found on demo skis), but they drive this ski easily and with confidence.  I honestly find that I am not sacrificing much of anything at all

, even when the going gets rough and especially when not just cruising easier terrain.


The F1 LT is the ideal boot for those who want the versatility for reasonably quick, lightweight uphilling, quick and precise transitions with the fast and precision fit BOA Fit system, quick power straps and easy, reliable and secure Speed Lock LT, yet with the power and control for confident downhilling in just about any condition.  The boots thus far are proving to be quite durable, and I like that many of the parts can be replaced easily, if need be.


La Sportiva Skorpius CR II (RTR Review) - The two boots are remarkably similar in form, function, purpose and are direct competitors.  The Scarpa F1 LT is lighter. In fact 100 grams lighter in my sample size 28 vs. the size 27 Skorpius.  The Scarpa is much easier to determine fit and runs true to size with the sizing chart, where La Sportiva is pretty tricky, with 28 shell size feeling way too big and 27 feeling slightly smaller than I prefer for touring/casual use, though is great for performance.  

The 28 Scarpa is relaxed enough for touring, though when snugged up in downhill mode, performs just as well.  Neither boot is easy to get into, but I found the Scarpa easier to get on/off, where the Skorpius was remarkably difficult at first and only got slightly easier with time.  Both are high quality boots and you couldn’t go wrong with either.

Jeff Valliere While reviewing ski gear and the sport of Skimo is somewhat new to Jeff with trail running (and cycling) his main focus, he has been skiing since the age of 4, be it classic XC, skate skiing, downhill skiing and was even a ski bum in Breckenridge, skiing up to 120 days per year. 

Scarpa F1 LT available now at Scarpa and at our partners


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Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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