Gear Review: Scarpa Maestrale RS Alpine Touring Boot
Official Website: Scarpa
Total Weight: 3lbs, 7oz
Summary: The Scarpa Maestrale RS is a superb, lightweight ski mountaineering boot that blends touring and freeride ingenuity. If the Scarpa Maestrale RS fits your foot, you won’t need another backcountry boot ever again. Highly Recommended.
If you’re looking for a boot that is designed for skiing, but also tours exceptionally well, then buy the Scarpa Maestrale RS. It has won multiple awards in ski tests and has a proven track record of being awesome.
Scarpa is an Italian based company that solely focuses on producing outstanding footwear. The haven’t branched out from shoes and boots and instead they have perfected their craft. Like all Scarpa products, the Scarpa Maestrale RS alpine touring boot is well designed and well made. It’s comfortable, tours great, and skis exceptionally.
I am 6’1″ and weight a 190 pounds. I have a size 28 Scarpa Maestrale RS with a 314mm sole length. Find Scarpa Sole Lengths here. I moved to this boot from a Dynafit Titan. I find that the Maestrale RS skis as well as the Titan and tours WAY better. There is a softer version of the Maestrale (non RS version) too. The Maestrale RS may compare best to the Dynafit Mercury boot and some compare it to the TLT6 – a boot that is designed for touring, and skis well, but isn’t alpine binding compatible.
My Scarpa Maestrale RS boots fit me straight out of the box and have continued to fit well 50+ days of hard use. The only change I made was to add a SuperFeet Footbed instead of the stock liner. I always find that a better footbed makes a world of difference.
The Scarpa Maestrale RS is an ideal boot for almost anything you want to do in the backcountry. I combine mine with a pair of Dynafit Radical ST bindings and usually my Dynastar Cham HM 107 skis. I’m super happy with this setup. I’ve also used the Maestrale RS boots in my Look XM bindings. Unlike the TLT6, they are alpine and tech binding compatible. This makes one of the more versatile alpine touring boots on the market.
TOURING With 37 degrees of cuff travel, the Scarpa Maestrale RS seems to have unrestricted range of motion that allows for a natural slide across the snow. The three piece shell and cuff are made from from Polymide, with a tongue made of Pebax. This means these boots are super lightweight, but also beefy and stiff enough for to drive a big ski.
A size 27 only weights 3lbs, 7oz or 1571 grams. Scarpa also features a Vibram Cayman sole that can take a beating on rock, scree, and spring junk.
One thing that takes a bit of getting used to with the Scarpa Maestrale is the boot tongue. It’s a unique design called Alpine Axial Tongue Closure. The asymmetric tongue swings open on hinges so it is open nearly to the toes. A thick liner keeps the snow out, but the real beauty is that it makes it a breeze to get your foot into the boot even in sub-zero temps.
One other sweet feature of the Maestrale RS and other Scarpa boots is the addition of an Intution Liner. The Maestrale RS features the Intuition Pro Flex RS boot. It features two pull loops for easy entry and a tongue in the front. Intuitions have a reputation as being warmer, more comfortable, and better performing than other stock liners. I have found this to be true.
SKIING With a easy flip Ski/Walk switch along the back of the boot, you can click into 16 or 20 degrees of forward lean. Tighten down the 3 buckles, crank the power strap, and cinch down the heel retention bail and you’re good to go. Officially, the Scarpa Maestrale RS flex index is 120. I find it both the fore/aft and lateral stiffness to be stiff enough for me. The boot features a progressive flex that powers any size ski through any type of snow.
OTHER The Scarpa Maestrale RS work flawlessly with my boot crampons. I rock a pair of Black Diamond Sabertooth crampons.
The Scarpa Maestrale RS is best for medium to low volume foot types. It has a last of 101 mm at the forefoot. Boots have to fit your foot. Go try on a pair and then come back here to buy a pair from Backcountry or REI. Scarpa breaks their boots on the half size. This means that 26.5 and 27 are the same shell and boot sole length. Usually the difference is the size of a liner, which may pack out. The female version of the Scarpa Maestrale RS is called the Gea RS.
I’ll be honest I do have one complaint about the Scarpa Maestrale RS – the ski/walk mode. This feature worked flawlessly for the majority of a season, until one day, it didn’t. Scarpa has had issues with the locking pin shearing off if the ski/walk mode is not fully engaged. Paying attention to this is of the utmost importance and is simple to do. It’s also an easy fix at any Scarpa dealer. This issue has been completely addressed and fixed in the new 2015 Maestrale RS model.
A smaller issue that is more annoying than functional, is that the buckles sometimes come undone when bootpacking or touring.
UPDATE: 03/03/15 – Since I wrote this original review, I have run into one more additional issue that should be addressed. The upper hinge on the boot has cracked twice. I’ve noticed it at in opportune times – while in Switzerland and while in GTNP. The boot still holds together, but this causes unnecessary stress on the other parts of the boot. I attribute the failure of this grey hinge piece to normal wear and tear. There is good news though. The boot can still be skied for a short period. Any decent outdoor shop can fix this riveted piece for about $5. They usually carry the piece because this failure is seen regularly.
The Scarpa Maestrale RS is a superb, lightweight ski mountaineering boot that blends touring and freeride ingenuity. If the Scarpa Maestrale RS fits your foot, you won’t need another backcountry boot ever again. Highly Recommended.
2013/2014 Official Specs For The Scarpa Maestrale RS Alpine Touring Boot
- Inner Boot: Intuition Pro Flex RS
- Shell | Cuff | Tongue: Polyamide I Polyamide I Pebax®
- Buckles: 4 + 45mm Power Strap RS
- Forward Lean: 16° & 20°
- Flex Index: 120
- Range of Motion: 37°
- Sole: Vibram® Cayman
- Weight: 1571g; 3lbs 7oz (1/2 pair size 27)
- Sizes: 24.5 – 32
- Binding System: AT, TLT
- Forefoot width: 101mm
- Product Code: 12044/501.1
- Learn about the 2015 Scarpa Maestrale RS here or here.
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