Scarpa Gea Women’s AT Boots — More Good News

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Just a quick encore. Earlier this year, Sharon Bader did a thorough Scarpa Gea review. I join her in applauding this boot. Scarpa Gea is sweeter than Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte.

Backcountry skiing boots, Scarpa Gea

Smiling in my Gea backcountry ski boots on a sunny Colorado morning.

The female specific, 4 buckle Gea is light, stiff and plenty of a ski touring boot for me. I’d gotten used to average AT boots that as Lou says “are not much different than what we were using 25 years ago,” so using this “modern” boot with radical cuff articulation is a pleasant surprise and I believe even speeded my climbing pace. The Alpine Axial closure provides an easy in/out system, noticeable volume adjustment, and strong support downhill. The wiregate tour lock buckle clasp works to keep the buckles in place for rapid uphill and downhill transitions as you ski. One of the features I like best is the power strap. With the elasticized band, I quickly crank the cuff tight, slap the buckles, and become downhill ready for a dreamy run.

• Wide range of cuff motion for tourability (as in, really wide range).
• Magnesium buckles (they are indeed light, but other brands use these as well).
• Asymmetrical tongue for power transmission (Berg heil, feel my power).
• Vibram Mistral Sole (tested in everything from road mud to dance floors: passed).
• Quick step fittings and placement indicators (end the techofiddle).
• Inner Boot: Intuition Pro Flex G WMN (these are the real deal).
• Shell/ Cuff/ Tongue: Pebax Renew (made from new plants instead of old plants).
• Buckles: 4 + Active Power Strap (these elasticized power straps really are superior).
• Forward Lean: 18 degrees – 22 degrees (nothing new here, and we’d rather see one option at 18).

Our esteemed panel of editors here at WildSnow.com are always harassing us reviewers to find at least one thing that’s not perfect about our gear. Okay, we’ll go that way as well. A couple ladies we’ve spoken with and I have had a bit of trouble with the rowdy heel pocket of the Gea causing heel blisters. My boot fitter worked on that, and it turned out the aggressive canting of my footbeds was pushing one side of my heel bone up into the pocket. He ground down my ‘beds a bit and the problem appears to be solved. As always, lesson in this is that tender feet rubbing against boot inners for hours on end may require a bit of tweaking for blister-free performance, so have faith and work with a boot fitter. Lacing the inner boot tight helps too. Yes, the inners have laces, something we’ve covered before here on WildSnow in terms of blister prevention.

What else? I too have had the lean-lock mechanism freeze up a few times, but a bit of tapping with a ski pole grip while moving the cuff usually makes it work. I’ve had other boots that were prone to this as well, so no specific complaint. Solution is to spray some silicone in there once in a while, and have a pant cuff that drops down over that area to protect it from snow thawing while you’re doing your scorching uphill pace. That said, I do find that my pant cuff flips the lean-lock switch sometimes — annoying but not a deal breaker.

In summary, easily one of the best female specific AT boots ever made. I’ve got other boots I’m testing, but the days seem to keep piling on to my Geas. Rock on Scarpa!

Shop for it girls, Scarpa Gea.

Comments

7 Responses to “Scarpa Gea Women’s AT Boots — More Good News”

  1. Frame May 16th, 2011 5:35 am

    There aren’t enough photo’s of people dancing in ski boots on the interweb, Lisa I hope you aren’t holding out on us, if photo’s of your boot sole testing exist?

  2. amy May 16th, 2011 8:17 pm

    I love these boots. A huge improvement for me, I upgraded from the Scarpa Magic. I really noticed on the downhill. I must havea Scarpa foot. No molding necessary. They felt great out of the box and no blisters.

    I love how all my guy friends pick up my boots and can’t believe how light they are.

    I don’t have really any complaints. I wish they would put the wiregate lock on the bottom buckles. I get ice in there and they no longer are in the groove, then I have to scrap it out to lock it down.

    I highly recommend this boot if your foot likes Scarpa.

    I love how few comments when you post women reviews. Keep the women reviews coming – how about a women pack review. As a petite women I can’t seem to find a pack I like.

  3. Lou May 17th, 2011 4:43 am

    Amy, if the woman was asking for ski partners we’d probably get quite a few more comments (grin). Lou

  4. nah May 18th, 2011 1:28 am

    “turned out the aggressive canting of my footbeds was pushing one side of my heel bone up into the pocket. He ground down my ‘beds a bit and the problem appears to be solved.”

    I’d love to know: a) the methodology used to determine this, and b) how they knew how and how much to “grind” down a footbed to solve a heel blister problem.

  5. Lou May 18th, 2011 4:07 am

    Nah, that’s why they get paid the big bucks.

  6. Marta May 18th, 2011 10:52 am

    I have been skiing this boot all spring in New England and love it. Fits me out of the box amazing well, light, walks great, skins great. Use original Verdicts and Mantras with Vertical ST’s and this is enough boot. Performance is the same or a slight improvement over my Megarides. I put lock tight on all the buckles and screws and still blew the canting screw out of my right boot. Scarpa was quick to send a new one but since I have blown the the canting screw out of many boots both tele and AT over the years, including the Megaride, I don’t think this is unusual. Durability might be an issue on the sole as there is some wear already after 20 days on the them that include a fair bit of scrambling on rock and hiking. The White Scarpa logo has almost completely worn off already. I usually ski men’s boots but just could not stomach more orange and since the Gea is only an 1/8 of an inch shorter then the Meastrale I went for the groovy green. I have no regrets.

  7. vanessa March 3rd, 2012 10:07 am

    Love the boot but have seen several walk/ski mode issues in my shop including a friend whose left boot will not lock into the more upright ski mode at all…I suspect dirt/rocks in the mechanism, but still kind of a bummer. I’ve only had slight icing issues and just beat the boot with my pole till it locked. Flex is great and I’m stoked to not have to replace the stock liner with intuitions:) I’m now using these as my all around go to boot and will pick up the stiffer version next year. Beats the hell out of my lasers (though they are 1 oz lighter:) ).

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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