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.
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!