The boot is redesigned for this year with new intuition liners and drops in weight from 1500 grams to 1340 (size 27). The shells are completely identical to my previous 2015 T4s, with the exception of new lighter buckles which decreases the weight of each shell with 20 grams.
The new liners drop approximately 150 gram per boot. To my surprise the liner is slightly lower (5-6mm) and softer than the previous T4 liners with a lower (approx. 20mm) and softer tongue . The new liners reminds me very much of the first generation red-brown T3 liners.
When testing them, they have better ROM (unbuckled shaft) at the cost of slightly less stability. The weight difference is noticeable, but don’t give much difference in speed on the flat or uphill - the softer liner and better ROM are of more importance.
To conclude, they tour and ski very much like the old red-brown T3s. I have a little bit of mixed feeling, I do like the lower weight and better ROM - but I do miss the height and stiffness of the old liners and liner tongue, although the difference is minor. Since most people use T4s for back-country skiing and not steep and hard conditions - I do, however, think that the changes are to the better for most people.
See pictures below comparing 2015 and 2017 T4s
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- Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
- Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
- Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
- Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
- Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
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Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger
I recently bought another pair of the out-going model on clearance.
Have been considering buying a new pair for myself- but I don't use them enough anymore to justify it- until they worn out!
I love this boot- A LOT.
Very happy they are still making it. Look forward to your perspective on whether the new model is actually an improvement!
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.
The new liners are very comfortable, an they have a very nice solid heel grip. The liner is softer with less forward and rear support. The result is a softer boot that reminds of the Excursion. Better for touring, but a slight disappointment on the downhill. For me the T4 have been the perfect do-it-all boot, unfortunatly i prefer the old stiffer liers due to their better support.
They also corrected what I feel is missing with leather boots, control. With leather boots the connection of your foot to the boot and the boot to the binding\ski is not rock solid. There is wiggle room that I think comes from where the leather upper meets the sole. This allows for a ski to be deflected by a bumpy snow surface even when weighted. It's almost like using a knife with a loose handle.
I had them out with vectors in powder and they felt like a perfect combination. The next day I had powder boards 112 waist and they handled the same powder easily but I wouldn't say a perfect combo. The bigger boards were not as responsive as they would have been with my T2s, but the trade off of a lighter more comfortable boot would make make them worthwhile for the easy terrain I was on.
I had them on some firm bumpy snow with the vectors and felt the low cuff didn't give enough leverage to carve a good turn. This might improve as I get used to them. I don't think they would have had any problem carving in those conditions with a narrower ski.
I would have no problem taking them to the resort to ski groomers, but I would take the T2s if I were skiing off piste on a powder day. I would also use the T2s if I were to commit to a long skin to get to unknown conditions. Spring corn snow they would be fine.
I haven't tried them on a longer K&G type tour to see how they compare to leather yet and it may have to wait until next year as I'm heading south for a few weeks.
They are still a perfect combo with Vectors and even better with Hyper vectors. As I spent more time skiing my 112 waist powder boards I find that they work well with them too and don't feel lack of responsiveness that I did at first. A bigger boot will make a ski more responsive, IME, but these didn't feel like they were lacking.
As far as carving I don't feel that they are lacking like I did at first, but when things get real hard and icy they won't be as good as a bigger boot. One of the things I like best about them compared to other plastic boots is the ability to roll my ankles I can feel that this gives me more precise edge control and somewhat makes up for the boots lack of "power."
I no longer feel that I would need to take my T2s anywhere in the BC. I may not take my widest ski but I think Hypervector of vector would get me safely down anything. I have handled hard steep and icy with low speed P turns that felt very secure with them.
Kick and glide is excellent, they are only a few ounces heavier than my Merril Ultras and are slightly lower in the cuff. They offer the same range of motion as the Ultras and I felt my old stance come back from my leather boot days. There was really no difference finding my center which is not something I can say about other plastic boots. I have also noticed that when I kick I transfer more weight to the ski through the cuff of the boot and it's not all on the ball of my foot.(in my case saving me from foot pain) Also during the glide faze I pressure the back of the cuff to lighten the tips for better glide. I do this on leather too but it's not as effective. Probably the best thing compared to leather boots is that the skis track without even thinking about it. I find that with leather boots I am always fighting to keep my skis on track.
For me this is the only plastic boot I need. I feel I can ski anywhere and any line that I could ski with a bigger boot. I may have to slow things down and make more turns than with a four buckle boot with an active binding but everything is still doable and fun.
I picked up a used pair of old T3's last season and would echo everything you've said. Perfectly capable BC boot for turning in pow and corn. I regularly ski mine on 5-10 mile tours seeking out turns.
Though the pair I got doesn't fit my feet well (1 shell size bigger than I prefer, liners are shot) I've had the most fun on that boot. I just wear thicker socks till I get the proper size . That feeling which comes from a perfect telemark turn...
I can think of some improvements as I really like/seem to need the third buckle over the instep as on a T2 or Maestrale, or any boot I walk around in, skis or not. I've heard others say the same about the T4. Maybe some newer tech which spreads out pressure more to these areas like boa or a buckle coupled with a cord as used on some Scarpa, Fischer and La Sportiva AT boots. I'm interested to see if Scarpa or any one else comes out with an updated boot in this class anytime soon...Though if it ain't broke don't fix it. The simplicity of the boot is what makes it work so well.
I hope that Scarpa keeps the T4 in their lineup for a long time to come. In the mean time I forked up $ for a new pair of T2's which I plan to mod (maybe replace top buckle and power strap w/ a 2 in 1 buckle/strap featured on AT boots).