Backcountry skiers who tour in the mountains and ski on-and-off the resorts are always looking for the boot that can do it all. A boot that is lightweight for skinning up peaks, but has enough beef when the call of the day is lift served yo-yo laps.
Last winter I spent many days in Scott’s Celeste 2 women’s ski boot. For its performance, comfort and weight, (and perhaps because the old Garmont last seems to fit my feet the best) the boot became my favorite. It would have been perfect except for a glitchy walk mode switch. Even after I sent them back for repair, the boots would occasionally lock when uphilling.
Among other things, I am delighted to report that Scott improved the design on the Celeste III with an external lean lock, replete with additional extra hook in the lock mechanism. This type of lock clearly makes accidental switches from walk to ski, ski to walk mode nearly impossible.
(Tech Note from Lou: In our testing of Scott Cosmos 3 this winter, I was overall pleased with Scott’s extra little hook on the end of the external lean lock bar. While clever, given just the right cuff angle and conditions the hook can occasionally be an extra barrier to full seating of the lean lock bar. As with all external lean lock bars, solution is to visually inspect the hook and bar as you switch modes, if in doubt about engagement, tap with your ski pole grip and consider the possibility of ice in the slot that might require manual “intervention.”)
Another minor gripe I had with the Celeste 2 was the shell’s removable boot board (the spacer between liner and shell, at the sole) was plastic and broke in half. This was easily fixed with duct tape, but happily, Scott upgraded the boot board in the Celeste III. The revamped boot board is made with a resin impregnated mesh, co-molded with a denser plastic material at the heel. The resin impregnated mesh is fairly common as ski boot spacers and boot boards but having it co-molded with the denser plastic in the heel is a nice touch.
Boot boards are a favorite here at the WildSnow mod shop. They allow some customizations as well as slightly increasing warmth. In this case the boot board is nearly flat with no built-in arch. That’s an important feature for custom boot fitting, as adding material and custom shaping for the foot is easy when you start from neutral.
The Celeste III comes with Scott’s “Power Lite Liner.” I have big calves, a wide fore-foot and a normal heel. As Julia mentioned in her overview of new women’s boots for 2017/2018, Celeste is one of the widest backcountry boots. It fits my foot well and I especially like the aggressive built in L-pads. They keep my heel nicely anchored and with no blisters.
Perhaps the most ingenious feature is the locking lace mechanism. I like my inner boots loose for the uphill and tight for the downhill. Maybe I never learned how to tie my tennies properly when I was a kid, but a normal shoelace knot doesn’t work for me. It either loosens too much or if I do a double-knot, it is time consuming to undo for ascending the second lap.
Scott’s nifty locking mechanism works so well that if they were ever sold separately, I’d buy them by the dozen for my street shoes. They lock down tight and loosen up easily. It’s a flat plastic piece so it doesn’t add a gap under the tongue. You have to see it for yourself to fully understand how functions but believe me, it is exceptional.
Conclusion: Bear in mind this is a “first look” of the actual retail version, prior to our extensive testing (soon to occur?). Near as we can tell, the bugs have been worked out of the Celeste, what remains is to enjoy this basic but clearly effective offering from Scott.
Scott Celeste III
Flex index: 120
Last width: 103.5mm
Forward lean: 11.5° + free for walking
Cuff rotation: 60°
Weight: 1370g (one boot, size 25.5)
Sizes women’s: 23 – 27.5 (including half sizes)
Liner: thermo moldable, tongue style
Number of buckles: 4
Available: fall 2017
WildSnow Girl, Lisa Dawson, is the luckiest girl in the world. Also known as Mrs. WildSnow.com, she tests whatever gear she wants. She gives the WildSnow family of websites the feminine voice.