Scarpa Maestrale RS 2017 – 2016 Review by A Better Ski
The Scarpa Maestrale RS is a great boot for those looking for a low volume, no compromise, alpine touring boot. With 37 degrees of motion, weight just over 3 pounds per boot and 120 flex, this boot can do it all.
2016-17 Scarpa Maestrale RS
Days Skied: 50+
Conditions Skied: All
Binding Integration: Tech or Muli Norm Certified only
Fit: The Scarpa Maestrale is build around a 101mm last but feels lower in volume the some of its 98mm competitors, like the MTB Lab. My boot took significant work around the 5 metatarsal to make enough room for my foot, but of course this is specific to my foot shape. The boot was easy enough to work for my local boot guru and once he was finished, I’m able to spend long days in the boot.
Liner: Scarpa decided to add a high quality Intuition Pro Flex RS to this bot which is a huge selling point. This liner is heat moldable, and will help this boot fit like a glove out of the box saving you a couple hundred dollars in replacing a crappy liner. The provided laces help keep the liner tight to your foot and allow the liner to slide slightly inside the boot thus, preventing the dreaded blisters.
Performance (Ascending): The Scarpa Maestrale RS is more of a backcountry freeride boot then it is a lightweight ski mountaineers boot. At an impressive 1560g (3lbs 7oz) per boot, the Maestrale RS is lighter then many other beefy boots with walk mode out there. 37 degrees of motion is more then my tight muscles can flex and I have never felt that the range of motion has limited my stride length. I usually unstrap the power strap, and two top buckles before heading up the hill, which is a bit more work then a 2 buckle boot, but I’ve always liked the extra adjustment and stiffness that I get from a 4 buckle design. Scarpa also provided a Vibram sole, which is second to non when it comes to durability and traction.
Performance (Descending): At a claimed 120 flex, I don’t think this boot stands up to my resort boot choice, the Salomon X-Max 120, but it’s close enough. The Flex pattern is more progressive then a alpine boot and lacks a hard stop. The Scarpa Maestrale RS has no issues driving big skis in all sorts of conditions. In the past I’ve owned AT boots that I’ve wanted to strap down extra tight in order to gain more stiffness, not the Maestrale RS.
Putting It On/Taking It Off: The Scarpa Maestale has the dreaded 3 piece design, unbuckle everything completely, wrestle to move the buckles and straps out of the way to pull the tongue open, then try to get it back together without pinching yourself. Really, it’s not that bad once you have done it a handful of times and is completely worth it when you realize how easy it is to get your feet in and out of the boots. The tongue is a necessary addition to the boots stiffness that you’ll love when going downhill.
Durability: I have to mention that I have broken one cuff on my Scarpa Maestrale RS, during a normal transition on a VERY cold day, the plastic around the top buckle cracked. The boot was still usable and didn’t leave me stranded as a result, but made me question the material choice for the upper cuff that gets flexed so often. Scrapa’s customer service was excellent, and had me a new cuff within a week, no questions asked. Also, if you are someone who likes their gear looking new for a long time, consider that the decals on the Scarpa Maestrale RS will come off with any hard use. My boots have seen lots of days on rock/ice and lack most of the decals that they had when new have been removed, I wear my well worn boots with pride so I enjoy this.
Binding Integration: Due to the rockered touring soles (ISO 9523), you will need to have a tech style binding or a MNC (multi norm certified) binding like the Salomon Guardian.
There is a reason that Scarpa has not changed this design since 2014, it works. The Scarpa Maestrale RS is a great boot for a hard charging back country skier that doesn’t want to give up downhilll performance just because they want to go uphill.
Review by Chris