Scarpa Maestrale Backcountry Skiing Boots – A Quick Unboxing

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

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.)

Scarpa Maestrale backcountry skiing boot.

Scarpa Maestrale backcountry skiing boot.

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 Maestrale tongue

Scarpa Maestrale tongue

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.

Comments

65 Responses to “Scarpa Maestrale Backcountry Skiing Boots – A Quick Unboxing”

  1. Brent August 24th, 2010 2:18 pm

    Thanks a lot for the continued coverage of this year’s boot options. Between these guys, the BD Prime, and the TLT5, its gonna be tough yet fun to pick this year’s acquisition. It will all come down to fit I’m sure.

  2. maadjurguer August 24th, 2010 6:26 pm

    Lou….I’ve been a happy Spirit 4 user for the past 3 seasons thanks to your great reviews and am now in the market for a new boot. The Spirit 4 won the bake off with me over just about every other brand out there based on fit alone, stiffness second. Since I have spatula feet with high arches…..they fit me best. Where do these rank in terms of burl/stiffness and progressive flex?

    FWIW….I demo’d a pair of the BD Primes at this last seasons “Big LePowski” and was very impressed with the forward movement and comfort on the skin…..the forward movement being the downside during the down….it seemed like they had no progressive flex and went from loose to stiff with no progressive flex…but I have to say…I adjusted fine within 2 or 3 runs and they are now in the front running, even above my loved Spirit 4′s…

    Any comparison if available would be greatly appreciated for us high arch-spatula feet folks out there…..I know….we’re freaks

  3. Bar Barrique August 24th, 2010 10:09 pm

    “not sure I like the colors”, this is coming from a guy touring a pair of “day glow” green boots. :lol: :lol: :lol:
    Okay; I have to bite the “bullet”, close my eyes to boot color, and, graphics just like everybody else.

    Cheers;

    Bar

  4. Lou August 25th, 2010 7:10 am

    Point taken!

    But pumpkin orange has to make you wonder.Of course, Italians have a much better sense of style then a guy living in western slope Colorado, so perhaps I should just shut my mouth and man up to the “Great Pumpkins” the same way I do to the “Green Machines.” (Thanks goes to Perlmutter for both names.)

  5. Robert Lee Tomasson August 26th, 2010 1:08 am

    Hi Lou,
    I see that Scarpa has also brought out some other boots along with the Maestrale
    the mens Pegasus
    http://www.sport-conrad.com/index.asp?disp=artikel&art_nr=74609410
    and womens Skadi
    http://www.sport-conrad.com/index.asp?disp=artikel&art_nr=74609405.

    they look very similar to the Maestale and Gea,
    I cannot find any info in these boots,
    Any idea on how they compare to the Maestral and Gea?

    your site is totally brilliant !

    reagds from Iceland

  6. Lou August 26th, 2010 6:31 am

    Robert, Scarpa might be playing the name game. I’m checking on it. If anyone has the word, let us know.

  7. robert lee tomasson August 26th, 2010 6:52 am

    thanks Lou

    sport -conrad is offering both Maestrale and Pegasus at different prices ( same with gea and skadi) so i take it that there is some difference between the two.

    I am looking a a new setup, retuning to AT after a long brake,
    currently leaning toward K2 backup , dynafit and maestrale,

    we dont get much powder in Icleand and im mainly looking at late winter/ spring touring

  8. Jonathan Shefftz August 26th, 2010 8:07 am

    Scarpa has always more more AT models in Europe: last season’s website lists the Tempest, Flash, Laser (yes, still!), Vanity, Velvet. Previous seasons included the Vector, CB-One, Venus, Cyber, and a bunch of others. Typically these are just relatively minor tweaks of the models available in the U.S., using slightly different plastics and liners. Some are Dynacrippled models, like the Avant and Spirit (sans numerical designations) that made it to the U.S.
    P.S. Wow, “powder” didn’t work — maybe the quiz thinks we never have that in New England? Or does it somehow know that my widest Dynafit setup is the Manaslu, so I’m therefore skiing *in* powder as opposed to planing on top of it?

  9. Lou August 26th, 2010 10:51 am

    Jonathan, you are working me! Pretty soon the quiz answer will be the whole dictionary!

    As for the boots, Pegasus and Skadi are PU (polyurethane) versions of Maestrale and Gaea — just got that from Scarpa. So they’re the same last and features, just different plastic that costs less than Pebax and perhaps makes the boot weigh a bit more or be slightly stiffer…

  10. Lou August 26th, 2010 10:52 am

    Robert, I’d say your plan for an AT setup is great!

  11. Robert lee August 26th, 2010 2:03 pm

    thansk Lou,
    a little bet stiffer might not be such a bad thing.
    I am 87 kg

  12. Robert lee August 26th, 2010 2:03 pm

    thansk Lou,
    a little bit stiffer might not be such a bad thing.
    I am 87 kg

  13. Bar Barrique August 27th, 2010 10:21 pm

    Funny thing; I was thinking along the lines of: boot colors are getting worse, then I remembered a Lowa AT boot from years gone by that was a bright pink color. Oh well; “if the shoe fits, wear it” :biggrin:

    Bar

  14. robert lee tomasson September 7th, 2010 5:36 am

    Hi Lou,
    one quick question,
    AT gear availability is limited in Iceland so i have to order online,
    Do you know if Scarpa stick to the same shell sizing principles with Maestrale is 27.5/28 same size shell
    I ski a 27.5 alpine boot ( perfomance fit) it gives me around 1cm shell space.
    I managed to try on a Spirit 3 shell size 28.5/29 this gave me about 2.5cm shell space, i felt i was swimming in them.
    my foot measures 280 mm ( barefoot , heel at wall – toe)
    thinking about the 28 maestrale

    regards

    Robert

  15. Lou September 7th, 2010 1:22 pm

    Hi Robert, it is probably very close if not the same.

  16. Jacques Deyoe October 9th, 2010 1:45 pm

    Hello,

    I have been searching through your boot fitting posts and love the measurments you are getting for metatarsal width. I have a ridiculous forefoot and need the widest boot I can get in that area. You didn’t have any measurements for Garmont and I have had trouble finding anything concrete on the manufacturer’s website. Can you point me to the widest touring/freeride boot you have found? Any info you have would be great!

    Thanks

  17. Lou October 9th, 2010 2:43 pm

    Jacques, Black Diamond and Scarpa are what you want to be looking at. ‘best, Lou

  18. Dave Hirsch October 11th, 2010 1:26 pm

    I’m looking at getting into backcountry skiing, by which I mean day hikes in the vicinity of Bellingham, WA (near Mt. Baker). In my early 20s I telemarked on resort slopes a fair bit, but that was a long time ago (I’m 41) and have only done tele a couple of times since my gear was stolen around 1995. I’m interested in getting gear to use about 70% in the backcountry, and 30% on resort slopes (but not hardcore). I think I’m set on the K2 Wayback, with Voile CRB bindings. Now I’m thinking about boots and looking for guidance. Let me rant a bit so you’ll see where I’m coming from.

    In my youth, I skiied rear-entry alpine boots on the resort slopes, and loved them. When I started telemarking, I skiied leather boots on resort slopes, and loved them. Sadly, both were stolen along with all my other gear when I was in my mid-20s. I couldn’t afford to replace both sets of gear, so I decided to replace only my alpine gear. By then, of course, nobody made rear-entry boots, and so I got the most comfortable alpine boots I could find, which I hated then, and continue to hate, because they…well, hurt. I curse all the folks who were only mediocre skiiers and yet thought they needed racing performance. Those folks drove my well-loved, super-comfortable rear-entry boots off the market because they lacked sufficient performance.

    So, with that context, I’m looking for light boots that will be great for day hikes, not expeditions, and will keep me warm and comfortable. I am very glad to sacrifice performance for comfort. I’ll probably never be the guy who is a hardcore telemarking backcountry skiier, so I don’t need boots for that guy. Any suggestions? I was looking at the Scarpa Maestrale – very lightweight; seems like the kind of thing that might be a good fit for me. Or perhaps leather boots like the Alicos?

    I suspect that most of the readers here don’t share my priorities, but perhaps you’ve met a boot that I would like? Thanks.

  19. Lou October 11th, 2010 1:33 pm

    Dave, your first step will be to pay a bit more attention to which boots are tele boots and which are AT boots. I have to admit it’s easy to get confused as they all look pretty similar these days. Maestrale is an AT boot. As for skis, if you’re 30% telemarking at resort, I’d highly recommend going for something with more beef than the Wayback, perhaps the Backlash.

    Lou

  20. Chester Tartsnatcher October 12th, 2010 9:37 am

    Do you know if Scarpa have any plans to release slightly stiffer tongues for the Maestrale?

  21. Lou October 12th, 2010 10:15 am

    Chester, I’ll ask… answer is no.

  22. Tom Hart October 13th, 2010 6:34 am

    A friend gave me a pair of Scarpa Denali boots in brand new condition that are about 8 years old. Liners have not even been cooked. Boots are blue with four buckles.
    Do you think these are stiff enough to power Armada ARV’S in mostly backcounty conditions with some resort skiing.
    Tom

  23. Lou October 13th, 2010 6:48 am

    Tom, that’ll depend on your style. They worked for a lot of people back in the day, so it would be worth a shot. Lou

  24. Chester Tartsnatcher October 13th, 2010 11:52 am

    Well drat-ola. It would be very nice if they could be stiffened just a bit a la ye auld flexons…

  25. Griff October 15th, 2010 6:57 am

    Chester,

    I’m looking very closely at this boot too… wishing that it could be a bit stiffer. One thought I’m having is that changing the liners might help. Lee alluded to this in his review. Perhaps the Intuition Pro Tour with it’s swappable tongue might offer a bit more stiffness… and a lace up liner. Or going to a Power Wrap might add some stiffness. Not sure how it would affect tour mode but it seems that the Maestrale might be more adaptable to the Power Wrap given its 40º flex.

    The rubber hits the road today. Hopefully, my local shop will have them in and I can try them on. I’ll report back.

  26. Lou October 15th, 2010 9:24 am

    Griff, you can most certainly stiffen them a bit with a stiffer liner. Power Wrap or otherwise.

  27. Griff October 15th, 2010 9:33 am

    I plan to call Byrce up at SVST and get his input. Maybe he can give us some details. I’ll report back.

  28. Griff October 15th, 2010 10:35 am

    Just spoke with Bryce at SVST, the US distributor for Intuition.

    His feeling was that you wouldn’t see much of a difference with the Pro Tour liner. Because the he doesn’t supply Scarpa with stock liner that comes with the Maestrale (that comes directly through Intuition in Vancouver), he wasn’t sure if the stiffer tongue in the Pro Tour softer, as stiff, or stiffer than the stock one.

    As for adding a Power Wrap liner, his comments were like Lou’s. He said that this is pretty common in other touring boots and thought it would work as well in the Maestrale. Given that the Maestrale is rated at Flex Index 100, I asked him to GUESS on what a Power Wrap might bring that number up to. He said maybe 110-115. Of course, all the flex rating stuff is complete voodoo, particularly manufacturer-to-manufacturer… but at least it is some form of educated guess and a bit of a comparo. He also noted that if you mostly do 10 miles a day hut-to-hut, you may wish to stay with a tongue liner for enhanced touring. But if you mostly do laps in your local backcountry powder stash, the wraps might be the better way to go.

    Disclaimer: YMMV. ;-)

    Off to try on boots!

  29. Jonathan Shefftz October 25th, 2010 7:42 am

    Any feedback specifically on the new Scarpa “Active Power Strap”? I’m thinking that such a stretchy (neoprene?) velcro strap might be a nice after-market add-on for other boots as an alternative to the big elastic bands and metal cam buckle of the Booster Strap I’ve been using?

  30. Lou October 25th, 2010 7:47 am

    Jonathan, I’ve not used it enough to be sure, but it appears the main reason for it is to lighten things up a bit as opposed to bigger straps with metal parts.

  31. Griff October 25th, 2010 9:02 am

    I picked up a pair of these boots last weekend. It’s just starting to snow around here in Carbondale so I hope to get some on-snow time on them soon. Some initial observations in no particular order:
    – My foot is 9.5, D+ width, average arch, high instep. I went with the 27.5 shells. The Maestrales fit my foot perfectly.
    – Light… very… nice!
    – Entry and exit is a dream. For something that looks gimmicky, the hinged tongue closure is uncomplicated and effective. Although every time I open or close it, I can’t help slowing down and making a “mechanical, vacuum-packed” sound effect. ;-)
    – Surprisingly stiff. Not as stiff as my brickwall frontside boots but pretty respectable. Stiff enough? Hard to tell. The plan is to ski them as is and go from there. If need be, I’m going to try to cram my Intuition Power Wraps from my frontside boots into them to see if that makes a significant difference. Frankly, I went with the Maestrale over the Skookum because I felt that I could build up the stiffness of the boot with Power Wraps, if need be, while still getting the advantages (hinge, lightness) of the Maestrale.
    – The stock Intuition liners moulded beautifully. (Kudos to Josh at Bristlecone, Basalt). I have had them on several times around the house and so far, so good. One thing to watch out for when moulding is that the tongues have “flaps” on either side that, if not properly placed and flattened during moulding, could create hotspots if they are folded over or rolled up. I went with my footbeds and the the neoprene toecap for moulding. Plenty of toe wiggle room.
    – The liners have lace loops and you are supplied with laces if you want to go that way.
    – Jonathan, that strap works really well. Not too stretchy. Snugs the cuff nicely. How the neoprene will “relax” over time remains to be seen. I’m sure it saves a bit of weight too, as Lou pointed out.
    – For those of you with Dynafit bindings, this is the only non-Dynafit boot I’m aware of with licensed Dynafit “step-in” toe fittings. A little thing but nice.

    I’m watching it sleet outside right now… starting to jones.

  32. Lou October 25th, 2010 9:03 am

    Griff, yeah, this storm is looking pretty good! Heading out to the binding mounting bench!

  33. Chester Tartsnatcher October 29th, 2010 9:47 am

    A mangled wad of k00ks got out to ski some momentary pow around the Crustal sidecountry in ye auld PNW Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010.

    I can’t believe how comfy the Maestrales are and how well they worked driving the big planques (200 cm DPS Lotae). As a devout flexonologist with years of supplication at the Alter of The Raichle Flexon, it’s hard to admidiot my transgressions. But I think that the Maestrales may very well supplant the flexons completely, in bounds as well as lift served.

    I do agree with Francescos observation that a slightly stiffer tongue might be attractive from the point of view of trying to ski on harder snow.

    Then again, what am I thinking? Who wants hard snow? I’ve done my time slamming bamboo drilled into ice that the grass underneath can be seen and I’m over it. La Futur est la Neige Sauvage!

    That looked like a really fun test. I would like to go skiing and drinking with people that wear gloves on their feet.

    I do agree regarding the TLT5. Although I only pervishly fondled it at Martin’s Pro Guiding in North Bend, it just didn’t seem to have the beef and spine of the Maestrale. The TLT5 had a very clever walk lock, possibly too clever for Mr. FumbleFingers here. Plus the price is scary. Martin eased it out of my mitts before I could slather it with any bodily juices.

    I did not get to try on the Virus (my tootsies are far more diminutive than Scotsmans…) and I had the nagging feeling that maybe I jumped too early, but it sounds like the Maestrale may be a better fit for my Pictish pied a canard. BTW I skied last weekend in a liner that had not been toasted and formed, just the Intuition that came in the box.

    Anyway, props to Scarpa on a boot that works really well for me. I’ll bet that many Flexonologists that had thought about getting a Dynafiddle compatible boot will be very satisfied with this design.

  34. Ed October 29th, 2010 12:23 pm

    Oct 29, 2010
    Lou a while back you did a review of these boots – they’re nice and light and the fit for me is great. BUT – the “hinges” for the tongue which open sideways are located on the inside of the boots.
    However in looking at a pair – I wonder about the trip-ability factor/ scuffability factor and just plain old will it sustain bashing factor – of the hinge(s) esp the upper one. This is just a plastic hinge which I suppose prevents hacking the other boot too much (I am not a finesse skier!). But the things do seem to stick out as the wide point of the inside of the boot although it doesn’t look like it from the pictures in marketing info I’ve seen. But I really wonder about this hingey-bit thing being robust enough for -35 deg C on the Wapta icefields up here. It gives me pause enough I’d hesitate to buy the boots?
    Any comments or can you pass this on to the distributor?
    Maybe is a metal hinge in the works?

  35. Lou October 29th, 2010 12:50 pm

    Ed, the hinges never struck me as being vulnerable. They are super easy to repair and the boot could actually be used if one or both were broken, so I don’t see them as much of a breakage risk problem, as perhaps one would would consider a weak walk-ski mechanism to be.

    That being said, some of this would depend on your skiing style. Just look at your boots. If you are old school and tend to carve your boots away on the insides you might indeed consider those hinges as a detriment. But if your boots tend to just get a few scuffs now and then, totally not an issue.

    And if you do carve away the insides of your boots, you might look at your foot/leg alignment or go over and visit newschoolers.com and learn a wider stance (grin).

    Lou

  36. Griff October 29th, 2010 1:04 pm

    Just looked at mine. I can see where you might have an issue if you tend to stomp the inside of your boots badly. But, as Lou said, it looks easy to replace. It also doesn’t look like it would be hard to make a metal loop to replace it.

    It doesn’t look like one or two edge cuts would take a hinge out. If it does, I want your edge sharpening secrets!

  37. michael October 30th, 2010 6:35 pm

    Lou,
    Could you post something on boot availabilty in large sizes? I have a son who is part sasquatch ( my side of the family) and 30.5 boots are now too small. Is anyone catering to the small but growing population of BC sasquatches?

    MB

  38. Lou October 31st, 2010 4:36 pm

    Michael, it is all over the map. Best bet would be simply to call various customer service numbers.

    I know that Jordan, who was with us on Denali, has large feet and is still able to use Scarpa and Black Diamond.

    Work with a boot fitter.

  39. Robert Lee November 21st, 2010 2:33 pm

    just received a nice package from Sport-Conrad Germany,
    Maestrale and K2 Backups for me and Gea and Sheback for the lady of the house, both sets mounted with Dynafit ST,

    now i just need some snow

  40. Lou November 21st, 2010 2:47 pm

    Robert, very nice!

  41. Chuck December 6th, 2010 6:00 pm

    Lou,
    I’m curious to know if you would ever trade in your “green machines” for the “great pumpkins”? I demoed the Maestrales and am considering replacing my 3 year old Zzeros. Are the green machines still your go to AT boot?

  42. Lou December 6th, 2010 6:06 pm

    Chuck, I’m still in Green Machines, mostly because it takes me DAYS to get a boot fitting correctly so I don’t tend to swap boots like I do jackets and sunglasses. Louie is in Maestrales, and yes I’ll get some working eventually as they are beautiful boots and appear to have less of the “bump” under the instep that gives me fitting challenges with Scarpa. I’m also messing around with some Garmonts. So many boots. So little time. It’s a hard life.

  43. Lee Lau December 14th, 2010 1:42 pm

    FYI – the hinges on the Maestrales seem to be holding up fine on most users. Some of the bolts on earlier runs of the Maestrale tongues are backing out so may need some extra loctite. Not a disaster if you notice it early enough

  44. gringo February 2nd, 2011 1:18 pm

    I’d love to hear any longer-ish term reports on the durability of the upper tounge hinge. I scrape my insteps a bit and would be stoked to hear how these are holding up.

    thanks!

  45. gringo February 2nd, 2011 1:34 pm

    Also…has anyone skied the Scarpa Pegasus? They have the same ‘build’ as the Maestrale but different color and 600 g heavier ( ! ) …I was not able to tell much, if any stiffness difference in the shop, and am left wondering what one gets in return for that extra pound.

  46. Griff February 2nd, 2011 6:27 pm

    I’ve been in them over a dozen times so far this season and the hinges are fine. But I don’t scape my insteps much. Looking forward, I think these hinges will last a long time.

  47. robert Tomasson February 6th, 2011 3:01 pm

    finally got to set the new set up,

    was really nice, Maestrale a perfect match to the k2 backups (174), cant see any need for a stiffer boot,

    my wife was also very happy with the shes back and geas.

    might have to have my right boot punched a bit , a bit of pressure in the toe area,

    any experience yet on punching the maestrale pebax ?

  48. Lou February 6th, 2011 6:30 pm

    Robert, punching Maestrale shouldn’t be a problem so long as the boot fitter doesn’t get too agro and mess up the tech fitting alignment. But, you sure you can’s solve the problem by working on the liner?

  49. Geoff February 6th, 2011 10:19 pm

    I had my Maestrales punched for a sixth toe on both boots and punched to increase the length in front of the big toe on one boot. All of the punches worked fine. (They were done by Lou’s Skiing Performance Centre in Calgary.)

  50. Haavard March 3rd, 2011 3:57 am

    Assymetric dynafit inserts on maestrale?

    After mounting my first dynafit toepiece by paperjig, I put the maestrale in binding and the heel was 2.5 mm off the centerline. Help!!! Tried to thigthen the screws in a different order, but it came out the same. Tried the other boot (left) and it was perfectly centered. Got the same result several times. Hurray, i don’t suck at mounting afterall.

    Difficult to tell wether one boot is perfect and one boot is 2.5 mm off or wether they are both a hair more than 1mm assymetrical, since my mounting migth be a bit off as well. Any advice or experience with this?

    I could of course make a Left and Rigth ski and mount the other by adjusting it sligthly if it need to with the boot in the binding after drilling the centerhole only , but then I migth get in trouble when using the other skis or other boots on this ski. Is 2.5 mm an acceptable amount of assymetry/misalignment?

  51. Lou March 3rd, 2011 9:22 am

    1. To evaluate simply place both boots in same ski/binding, and note difference in boots by looking at where heel fitting of boot falls on binding pins..
    2. If more than a small amount of difference in boots (e.g., 1.5 mm), return boots on warranty.
    3. Relax, they’re tech bindings, they take more skill and intelligence to use than other types.

    In terms of mounting, if your boots have, say, 1 mm difference between them, it’ll be nearly unnoticeable except on the workbench. And if you take the time to average the difference between the two skis/bindings, you’ll end up with 1/2 mm difference. Even with 2 mm difference in boots, if you average the missalignment between the two bindings you’d probably be okay, but I’d tend to want the boots to be better than that and I’d send them back. Thing is, in the factory they have some good solid ways of making the fittings in the boot to align very precisely, so there is no reason to accept more misalignment than a small amount.

  52. martin March 7th, 2011 2:57 pm

    I’m glad I saw this post. I too thought I sucked at ski mounting–really sucked since I used Dynadukes. Like Haavard, one of my Maestrales is off by 2.5mm. The right boot is perfectly centered. The left is far enough to the right that the right rear post clips the boot sole on the way in. With the Dynadukes I’ve found it impossible to compensate for the misalignment. So will this 2.5mm offset make my left binding more likely to pre-release?

    How much is an acceptable about of misalignment in a tech binding?

    BTW Haavard–what size are your boots. Mine are 28.

  53. Lou March 7th, 2011 4:10 pm

    In my opinion, almost no mis-alignment is where a boot should be… on the outside of the envelope, perhaps 2 mm max which can sometimes be averaged between the bindings for 1 mm each. And yes, after a certain point the mis-alignment is going to increase probability of pre-release or at the least make it difficult to stomp your heel into the heel unit, especially for smaller folks. In most of my mounts, any mis-aligment of the boot fittings is nearly imperceptible.

    Remember before contacting the boot company to check both boots in the SAME BINDING, that way you’ll know for sure what the difference is between the boots.

    Any boot maker could mess this up, it has to do with the jig they use to route in the heel unit and attach it, which could get worn or thrown off. The toe fitting molding is very precise as it’s built into the mold.

  54. Haavard March 8th, 2011 5:32 am

    My boots are 25.0. I have now sent email with pictures to the store who is supposed to contact Scarpa and see if this is a warranty issue. I have made more measurements and the difference is more like 3+ than 2.5mm.

    I don’t think the issue is in the heel inserts as those seem very well placed compared to the the mold line in the boot.

    I really look forward to skiing in these boots, as they fit so much better than my one size to big and generally to roomy tornados. And with the weight saving of 1.8 kg compared to my FR+/Tornado setup I’ll be flying uphill as well 8)

    Might take a while though…

  55. Lou March 8th, 2011 7:39 am

    “See if this is a warranty issue?” If the boot fittings are 3 mm off the boots should be replaced and I don’t think Scarpa will have any problem with that. Amazing your “store” would even mention any doubt. Gad, I’m so tired of such retailers. They should have immediately swapped the boots once they had them and could check the mis-alignment themselves. Sorry to hear you are having to go through a lengthy process.

  56. Kenny Wilson June 13th, 2011 4:31 am

    While they lasted, these were fantastic boots. Amazing walking and skinning comfort and so light. However, mine, and those of several other people I know fell apart.

    In my own case, bolts on the cuff hinges came undone and were lost on the mountain. Buckle bolts also came undone but were discovered just in time.

    All of this on the third day of use.

    There was even a guy we met on the mountain whose bolts came undone.

    The retailers/Scarpa have refunded so no quibble about after sales.

    Consensus is that the shell may just be too flexible when no tension is on the anchor points. Rivets might sort the issues but I’m not into aftermarket adjustments to make something do its job.

    So, to those who have these boots caution is advised. Great bits of lightweight kit that ski well above theri weight they might be but loss of anchor points in the middle of nowhere or while skiing a steep could get pretty serious.

    Mine now replaced with a pair of Quadrants. Sorry, I’ll need to type that louder to make it heard above the colours in my QUADRANTS!

    Man they’re bright.

  57. Lou June 13th, 2011 5:03 am

    Maestrale had a problem with the screw fasteners holding parts on the boot. coming undone That problem is now solved (provided you don’t end up with a pair of legacy boots that haven’t been re-fitted with the correct thread locker and fasteners), and actually next year they’re cutting bait and going back to riveting everything. The problem was caused by a defective batch of thread locker at the factory in Italy (I have sympathy, but it’s surprising that was not prevented with quality control procedures).

    In the end, this was just a glitch in the arc of an otherwise revolutionary boot that combined amazing cuff movement, weight, downhill performance and price.

    As for “consensus” about shell being “too flexible.” Consensus is a pretty strong word. I’ve not seen any consensus of that sort.

    It saddens me that this amazing boot got glitched. Consolation is that thousands of skiers are charging in the Maestrale and have been doing so all winter. The boot is just too good to give up on when the only problem could be taken care of with some thread locker.

    BTW, my theory with the Maestrale, and what Louie did with his, was use 5-minute epoxy as thread locker on all the screw rivets. This can be reversed by warming with a soldering iron or lighter, and locks the thread to the point of 100% reliability.

    I’m bummed they’re going back to regular rivets as doing mods and repairs on Scarpas has been a joy since they started using the threaded fasteners. But after the hassle of this winter, it is understandable that those guys want to move on to other things rather than worrying about thread locker.

  58. Griff June 13th, 2011 5:54 pm

    After reading the “loose screws” comments here, I looked at mine after putting roughly 25 days on them this year. All the screws were a tiny bit loose, some more than others but nothing was barely hanging on or missing. Maybe I’ll try some Loc-tite next season but I don’t see this as anything seriously wrong with the boot. Once you know, you know enough to check the tightness every now and then.

    As for stiffness… OK, they are NOT my beloved 12 year old Salomon Course plug racing shells (now on their 2nd set of Intuition Power Wrap liners). Not even close. But the Maestrales perform beautifully. Frankly, in the beginning, I did tend to over crank the Maestrales a bit on the downhill. But once I found the sweet spot, I’ve really enjoyed the slightly softer flex. Granted, I’m not trying to pound the crap out of them either. I’m 58 and those days are mostly behind me. Heck, getting UP the hill is the REAL triumph! The sweet, swooping slide downhill is something I want to savor!

  59. Lou June 13th, 2011 5:59 pm

    Griff, Scarpa just sent me a really nice service kit for the Maestrale and related boots. Has replacement fasteners, beefier tongue hinges (which sometime break), better thread locker, stuff like that. If you’re getting the boots ready for next season, consider getting the whole kit.

  60. Griff June 13th, 2011 6:09 pm

    Very cool! How do I score one of these kits? Local dealer like Bristlecone? Or do you have a web link? Thanks!

  61. Lou June 13th, 2011 6:50 pm

    Either dealer or Scarpa customer service, 303-998-2899

  62. Griff June 14th, 2011 7:42 am

    Perfect. Thanks, Lou!

  63. Griff June 14th, 2011 2:48 pm

    Called down to Scarpa CS in Boulder and they acknowledged that they have a few parts like you outlined, Lou but they don’t have a kit yet. They indicated around the end of August it might be available and to check back then. I also put in my vote for a user swappable tongue that is stiffer. They indicated that has been requested a lot. We’ll see…

    BTW, the number for CS is 303-998-2895. The other number is a fax number.

  64. Lou June 14th, 2011 3:34 pm

    I get things as previews, that are usually available in the fall… that’s probably what happened. Sorry about that.

  65. Griff June 14th, 2011 4:08 pm

    It’s all good. Thanks for the info!

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