I predicted it a few years ago: The panting race to make beef boots for “free riders” would make way for a raft of lightweight choices that still performed. It’s happening. One such offering I like much for this season is the Scarpa Maestrale. (My Italian spelling isn’t that good, so luckily they print the name of these shoes on the side of the cuff.)
These guys are in the same weight class as the Dynafit “Green Machine,” only they throw in a few sweet features such as a side opening hinged tongue that allows for the tongue to be attached to the boot for better downhill performance yet still open for ease of exit and entry. Also: a cuff alignment rivet, external walk/ski mechanism that’s easy to repair or mod, user reversible fasteners on all buckles. Not sure I like the colors, reminds me of a bowl of Halloween candy corn. But I do grab a handful of candy corn when available, so there.
Scarpa “bump” in the shell last under the foot arch is reduced in size and now similar to the slight built-in arch of other brands–great news for folks who’s feet have trouble with that! Toe box appears to be smaller than previous Scarpa offerings such as the Spirit series. Less room in the toe may be a trend as boot makers try to reduce weight by reducing volume of plastic used in construction. This could be a tradeoff as more room in the toe area can make a boot warmer, and easier to fit for folks with Igor feet. So, Igor, try before you buy.
This pair is going up to Louie in the PNW for his winter adventures. I might just have to acquire another pair for my quiver here in WildSnow HQ. Meanwhile, Lee did an excellent review of Scarpa Maestrale last winter and we’ll get another review from Louie once he’s hacked them up for a while in the wet and scrappy.
(Note, Gea is the women’s version, same features.)
Weight per boot with liner, size 28 (BSL 314) 1590 grams, 56 ounces. MSRP is $599.00, meaning this boot could be a game change in terms of not only what you can get for less weight but also for less money.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.