19 January, 2010

Scarpa Maestrale Boot - A First Look

The future of Ski Mountaineering, is moving faster, longer, and covering larger expanses of terrain.  When choosing an objective for your days off, trip of the year, or whatever you feel is right, why not add another few peaks or steep lines to your day.  Why ski one face, when you could enchain five?  Our goals and imaginations begin to exceed our gear, and ski companies are expected to fill the need and demand for the tools we require.  Meet the Scarpa Maestrale Boot.  Designed to be burly enough to handle new progressive and aggressive styles, but also to be light, and walk effectively.

The fit, which is different than the usual Scarpa last, is not overly narrow but much more snug than its predecessors.  The  boot does not have a larger shell last, with a larger liner, but a narrower last with a beautiful tongue style liner, which is not as large and cumbersome as  previous styles.  The liner itself, has a neoprene insert at the rear of the calf right above the Achilles tendon, allowing it to flex back and not limit your foots natural stride length.  Not only that, the walk mode has a larger range of motion, allowing a much larger stride length, much like the Scarpa F3.

The tongue of the boot is actually riveted onto the lower shell, almost exactly like a telemark boot.   It gives the boot a much stiffer feel, and is designed to have a good progressive flex.  Having this will allow the boot to drive a bigger ski, despite being a slightly lower boot, in comparison to all the other light and fast boots on the market.  The stiffer tongue does feel really supportive, and combined with a laterally enforced cuff, the boot feels very reactive and playful.  The overall boot is even made out of Pebax RNew plastic, and is a bio-based plastic, that has less of an environmental impact in production and after use.

The little things on this boot are help in a big way.  The Dynafit tech fittings on the toe, have the patented Dynafit quick step-in system, which make a big difference and are a pleasure to have on any boot.  The tech fittings, appear to also have the same rearward 5mm offset that gives the boot a more natural stride, and improved pivoting point.

This boot should be a great addition to the quiver of boots on the market specifically designed for light and fast efforts in the mountains.  It will also begin to shift the idea that we need to compromise weight and tourability for downhill performance.  All the more reason to shift into gear, train harder, and get out in the mountains and push your limits.


  1. When available? How much do these weigh? MSRP?

  2. They will be available, possibly at the end of the year, if not October 2010. I don't have an exact weight, or cost, as they have not yet been announced, although possibly announced at the OR show this week.