Reviewing ski boots isn’t the easiest task in the world. That is unless you just slap the shoe on your foot, ski it for an hour, then regurgitate the press release you got blasted with the week before. We don’t mind press releases around here, but when we review boots we try to enjoy more than a quickie. Problem is, how do you form an opinion of a boot if it’s not fitted? More, what if you need cuff alignment like ol’ twisted leg Lou? Some boots can be retrofitted with a cuff alignment (canting) rivet. Turns out the Masterlite is in that class, so to begin the review process, here is how I installed an alignment rivet so I could actually ski in the things like a normal human.
The existing rivet is drilled out. Trick is to use plenty of spray water to keep it cool, and drill slowly. Important to center the drill bit, so I start with a small one and step up through several sizes. When done correctly, the rivet easily pops out while you're drilling.
Scarpa cant cuff-pivot screw rivets work well for retrofitting, so that's what we started with. This version is part aluminum, quite light, so we're not messing up this fine lightweight boot.
Rivet head popped off, revealing exterior hole that'll need enlargement, but is almost good.
Careful measurement revealed which level of step bit would boor a hole of sufficient size for the exterior part of the cant pivot. This doesn't have to be perfect, just close and tight, not loose.
Step bit at the ready. These things are a blessing as they drill neat round holes in just about any thin material.
Exterior portion of cant rivet installed, looking from inside boot cuff.
Interior rivet has to be heated and seated so it won't rotate. I hold it with a bolt, as pictured, and heat briefly with torch or heat gun. Easy to blow this by making it too hot, in which case the rivet will melt right through the boot before you can react. So be careful.
Installed. Next, rig some footbeds and mold liners. Oh, and perhaps blow out the shell toe-box so my feet stay warm.