Scarpa Rush Backcountry Skiing Boots – Long Term Report

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

It’s safe to say my summer missions spent searching for that 200 foot patch of Colorado slush snow are a done deal. Visions of waist deep untracked powder have faded almost completely as I find my bike shorts covered in mud instead of my trusty Scarpa Rush boots exhibiting signs of snow starvation. My Landcruiser has transitioned from transporting hunks of P-Tex to greasy bike gear, battered helmets, and countless worn out tires.

Sadly I have not found that Aspen cougar to fund my summer ski trip to Chile and Lou’s fiscal budget is locked in to supply his daily intake of Beluga caviar and imported Austrian beer. The ski stuff is packed away till winter. Maybe I can make it a year round ski year next year…

Scarpa’s 3-buckle boot offering, the Rush, in California-ticket-me-for-speeding-yellow had become a trusty boot for my escapades this past winter. I had fifty-plus days in them from chasing caffeine fueled groms whilst teaching skiing at the resorts (in & out of walk-mode) to making thousands of up and down vert in the White River National Forest.

The Scarpa Rush offered me a lightweight, moderately stiff, comfortable, and dependable boot day after day this season. Lee previously reviewed them and broke down the tech side here on Wildsnow.com, but this is our first “long term” report. Thus, I’ll skip the technical details and focus on what I loved about the boots, and what I didn’t.

Best place to ensure your boots stay fresh for next winter is right between the bratwurst and elk meat. According to Sir Dawson.

Best place to ensure your boots stay fresh for next winter is right between the bratwurst and elk meat. According to Sir Dawson.

Fit
Scarpa backcountry ski boots come with thermo liners made by Intuition. These are good liners, but for some reason It takes me two tries to get any thermo liner totally right. I wanted a performance fit, so we cranked down the shell buckles while molding to reduce volume.

I don’t necessarily have an Asian small volume flat foot similar to Lee’s but a narrow larger foot (30.0) (far from the golden gear tester size (27.5)). Having no arch whatsoever I found I had to pull out all stops possible, in order to snug up to where I felt confident getting a fit good enough for charging.

Uphill/Tour Mode
When the time came to tour or simply dial things way down (for the kiddies) the walk/tour mode activated, buckles set to their loosest, the feeling was sublime. Spending a majority of time running around after kids whilst having the ski train behind me fall apart in the occasional adolescent yard-sale I got to treasure my ability to sprint uphill in a hurry. If I could get to that wreck quicker without melting through my uniform, in gallons of sweat, I considered it a win. My heel stayed planted within the boot and lightweight nirvana took over. As Lee likes to say you can finally reach “samadhi” after touring with the Rush’s. I’d include grommet chasing in that equation.

Tread wear was minimal surrounding the tech binding interface and the flip away hinge worked flawlessly. It was easy to remove the Scarpa supplied Intuition liner all season long.

Tread wear was minimal surrounding the tech binding interface and the flip away hinge worked flawlessly. It was easy to remove the Scarpa supplied Intuition liner all season long.

Downhill
I used these boots on everything from Black Diamond Megawatt’s to La Sportiva Hi-5′s to my 189 Praxis alpine mounted powder skis all the way down to my 140 K2′s for teaching “Never Ever’s.” Overpowering them would be an understatement on a few occasions. Sometimes I felt like I could have pressed my knees to my toes in wet, bumpy, or crusty snow. But the Rush backcountry skiing boots still functioned, and once the snow was more on the normal side they excelled.

Issues
No buckle issues with the Rush. I did notice wear on the liner from buckle fasteners. As well as a slight squeak developed in the tour bar (above the anodized linkage).

Abrasion was present in the fold of the liner.  Similiar to Louie I tried to duct tape solution with limited results.

Abrasion was present in the fold of the liner. I tried the duct tape solution with limited results.

Summary
Influence is powerful when your wearing a name tag; something I noticed more and more as this winter progressed. When the season began, just a few of us instructors were using AT boots. By the end of the season, what was once a sea of 4-buckle Powerstrap wearing gurus of glisse had slowly transitioned over to lightweight setups. Noticeably I wasn’t the only California-yellow booted guy showing up at 7:30AM.

Yes, the Rush is not built for the resort hard charging skier who favors challenging terrain. They’re for the lightweight geared backcountry skier who seeks blower pow while exhibiting superior technique. Nonetheless, for the price, available stiffness, light weight, and incredible ankle motion the Rush backcountry skiing boot can’t be beat as a crossover.

Pick up the Rush at Backcountry.com expect the price to drop in coming months.

Comments

22 Responses to “Scarpa Rush Backcountry Skiing Boots – Long Term Report”

  1. Ralph August 2nd, 2012 6:56 am

    I’ve dealt with the occasional hinge squeak on my boots, including my current Garmont Shoguns, originally with molybdenum disulfide powder, and now, more effectively, teflon spray.
    I spray the teflon into a small cup, and let the solvent evaporate, and then apply with a Q-tip. This seems to work for a while.

  2. Ralph August 2nd, 2012 6:56 am

    I’ve dealt with the occasional hinge squeak on my boots, including my current Garmont Shoguns, originally with molybdenum disulfide powder, and now, more effectively, teflon spray.
    I spray the teflon into a small cup, and let the solvent evaporate, and then apply with a Q-tip. This seems to work for a while.

  3. Pierce Oz August 2nd, 2012 7:43 am

    Mmmmm, Boulder Sausage and elk meat. Maybe we need some elk recipes on a post soon to help get us through these late summer doldrums. Bow season is only a few weeks away!

  4. Joe August 2nd, 2012 8:05 am

    @ralph I’m a big fan of White Lithium. Works great and sticks to the area in need of lubricant without the drip.

    @pierce funny you mention the elk recipies they are in the works!

  5. Lou Dawson August 2nd, 2012 2:25 pm

    I’d imagine G3 binding lube is an excellent solution for that as well.

  6. Mark W August 2nd, 2012 5:37 pm

    Another great option from Scarpa. Might have to demo some myself this fall.

  7. Kevin August 2nd, 2012 10:01 pm

    Having your buckles tight for a performance fit sounds counter intuitive to me. Leave the buckles loose and the foam will expand more. Then you will have a thicker liner to work with.

  8. Lou Dawson August 2nd, 2012 11:09 pm

    Kevin, the idea is to have thinner liner, so it’s not so soft and is more responsive due to the foot not pressing against a thick cushion of foam. Enhancing this by tightening the buckles during the mold isn’t always the best thing, but that’s what was done in this case and apparently Joe likes the result. Lou

  9. Toby October 5th, 2012 2:32 am

    These are my first skiing boots that fits 100 % perfectly. Heck, I even didn’t bake the liners. I only added custom food beds and they were good to go. I’m absolutely happy with them. No pain, no hot spots, no blisters, no cold feet, no rush to take them off on parking lot, not even after a long day. My Scarpa Aliens and Dynafit Zzeus haven’t seen much snow after I got the Rush.

    My studies showed that only other boot in this sub 3000g category is new Garmont Orbit. (and older ZZero 3s) I doubt that actual weight of Cosmos is less than 3000g pair in size 27-28. Correct me if I’m wrong. Going lighter requires step to more race oriented boot like F1, TLT5, Aliens, new LaSportivas etc. So if you prefer more beef, more progressive flex, more durability (and less budget) than those ultra-light boots: go Rush.

    Now if Scarpa could make similar boot with shorter Tech soles only and maybe with F1-Aline type of upper buckle. That could be new winner for me.

    Some of this year’s new offers are appealing, but I won’t change the winning team. Long live Rush

  10. Catrine April 7th, 2013 11:46 am

    Hi, I have just bought the women version of the scarpa rush, the scarpa blink. Am happy with the boot, however it is getting very humid/wet inside, causing cold feet. I have not so far experienced with my other skiing boots from scarpa. Anyone has any experience with this, are there any other liners that would fit the shell and might be better? Thanks a lot

  11. Catrine April 7th, 2013 11:49 am

    Hi, I have just bought the women version of the scarpa rush, the scarpa blink. Am happy with the boot, however it is getting very humid/wet inside, causing cold feet.The liners have not been baked yet. I have not so far experienced with my other skiing boots from scarpa. Anyone has any experience with this, are there any other liners that would fit the shell and might be better? Thanks a lot

  12. Lou Dawson April 7th, 2013 12:26 pm

    Catrine, they all do that. If they’re properly fit sometimes you’ll get a bit more venting since you may not have to buckle them so tight, but the difference is minimal. Non breathing liners have been a problem for 30 years, good example of how truly archaic most ski boot design still is.

    Key tricks:
    1. Dry at home with a boot dryer.
    2. Use boot and foot powder.
    3. If necessary change socks once during the day.
    4. If you have severe problem seek medical treatment for excessive sweating.
    5. If the boots are properly fit your feet will usually stay warmer.

    Lou

  13. Catrine April 27th, 2013 1:34 am

    Thanks a lot for your reply, LouI I guess an extra pair of socks to bring along is the solution then. I was actually just a bit surprised since I have not had this problem with my scarpa t2 telemark boots.

  14. Kyle February 11th, 2014 11:26 am

    I just got these boots a few days ago. Felt great in the store, but after using them in the field skinning and a small bit of skiing, they hurt a lot!

    Not sure what is going on. They definitely feel tighter than at the store. I haven’t hear molded them yet, hopefully that will help. Shell seems to be the right size. I’m wondering if its the stock insole,
    As I had a ton of pain in my arch. Typically I can’t wear a shoe with much support in the arch as it causes pain. I was also getting pain at the sides of my feet.

    I noticed that thy say don’t use an insole with intuitions liner, however most people seem to. Being a snowboarder and relearning to ski, maybe my feet are protesting!

  15. Lou Dawson February 11th, 2014 11:47 am

    Kyle, some Scarpa boots have quite a bit of built-in arch at in the shell. Take the liner out and check buy looking and also standing in the shells without liners to see how the bottoms of your feet interface with the shell. But mostly, you won’t know about fit until you mold the liners, as well as perhaps getting a custom footbed that’s interfaced with the shell by a professional boot fitter. Buying ski boots isn’t like buying shoes. You can’t just grab them off the store shelf and go skiing, and expect them to work.

  16. Kyle February 11th, 2014 12:15 pm

    Thanks Lou.

    I’m not really complaining, I am just new(born again) to skiing an I am nervous about the fit. I walked in them at the store( I was boot fitted) for about 45 minutes without issue. I will go back and heat mold them, then go from there. I have read a lot of articles from this site and it’s helped a lot.

    Shell fit seemed good, he checked all that out at the shop. I guess I was hoping that they would just work ( ; I suppose my worry is that the shell is too narrow. The fitter didn’t seem to think so. When putting your foot in a shell, how do you gauge proper width throughout the foot? All the articles I have read seem to only address the 1 to 2 finger rule.

  17. Lou Dawson February 11th, 2014 12:23 pm

    Kyle, with 99% of the feet out there, if the shell is sized correctly there is enough width, provided the liner is molded and the shell perhaps lightly punched out for width. Boot fitter probably looked at (or measured) your feet, concluded they were somewhat average in width, and went from there. You simply can not know if boots are too narrow by skiing them without molded liners…

    Boot fitters exist for a reason. You can learn quite a bit from the web, and some skiers become incredibly good at fitting their own feet, after years of experience with dozens of boots. If you’re new to the game, you really need to work with a pro on this first go. Sounds like you’re doing that, stick with it.

    I’m rather curious that the boot fitter would let you out of the shop without molding the liners.

    Lou

  18. Daniel February 11th, 2014 12:53 pm

    If you figure out the arch bump might be the probem, first thing to do is get partially rid of it. any thin, dense material, ideally thin layers, added under forefoot and heel (basically everywhere except the bump that goes across teh middle of the boot) can create a more even and flat platform for the liner to sit on. This is the way I made some Scarpa F1s work for me. It takes away quite some space though…

  19. Kyle February 11th, 2014 2:50 pm

    Hey,

    Thanks again for your responses.

    I was told that I should use them a bit, find out if there any issues, then go ahead and heat mold to get rid of any tight spots, or if any areas will need extra padding during the heat mold process to create space. Perhaps because they seemed to fit well in shop, he figured best to leave well enough alone. Or perhaps, I need a slightly more experienced boot fitter. I did get them a reputable store though.

    Ill certainly report back here when I get this done. I’m using these with voile vectors. I scored them for under 400 cdn brand new ( :

  20. Lou Dawson February 11th, 2014 2:59 pm

    Fair enough, it sounds like by going out skiing without molded liners you started over-thinking the width issue. Also, molding usually makes a pretty drastic change in fit, so “trying” the boots without molding is a waste of time, in my opinion. Boot fitter opinions will vary (grin)? Lou

  21. Kyle February 11th, 2014 8:12 pm

    Yeah I should have insisted they get molded, that way if they need further shaping, I don’t need to go back twice. It’s ok though, it’s a bit of a learning experience for me right now.

    Keep up the nice work with this blog, I check it every day even though I’m mostly a snowboarder ( ;

  22. Kyle February 18th, 2014 4:49 pm

    Just a little follow up. I had them molded, and put a super feet insert in. Seems to feel better, but I am still dealing with some pain on the outside of my foot. Perhaps the next step is to punch the boot out. I will find out soon, I’m going to try a boot fitter in the whistler area since its a bit closer. They are an improvement, but my foot just feels sore and tired while touring.

    The arch pain seems to be gone mostly however, not sire if its the superfeet or the mold,and my foot is more comfortable on the down then before.

    Strangely I can unbuckle both boots when touring, and I only get heel lift in my right, which causes a blister.

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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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