Scarpa Maestrale RS — Gear Tidbit

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Maestrale RS is essentially the same boot as former Maestrale. With nicer detailing.

Maestrale RS is essentially the same design as former Maestrale with nicer detailing and stiffer plastic. It includes the excellent walk mode flex that the original is known for. It deliversn impressive uphill performance for a backcountry skiing boot that feels this beefy.

Every winter I set up a few test rigs for resort and sidecountry. I like the craftsmanship of the Scarpa Maestrale so that’ll be one of the boot choices. Our previous looks and reviews have covered the RS. Following are a few photos of what caught my recent attention.

In my view, weight is one of the main critera with this category of boots, as at least in my case they will still be used for human powered uphill. This pair of size 28 (BSL 314) weigh 55.7 ounces (1600 gr) per boot. Shell weight is 47.3 oz (1340 gr). Considering the original Maestrale weighs in on our scale at 1590 gr., that’s impressive for the RS, since it indeed has noticable beef compared to the older Maestrale. Added stiffness is the result of stiffer plastic, a beefy toungue, and an engineered liner. In my case the added beef isn’t necessary, but since it doesn’t add weight I look forward to working with it.

Check out the attention given to the tech fitting in the toe. First, the "Quick Step In" fitting by Dyanfit.

Check out the attention given to the tech fitting in the toe of this impressive ski mountaineering and sidecountry boot. The 'Quick Step In' fitting by Dyanfit assures you're getting the best fittings available -- ones that release as they should and have the correct metalurgy for this critical interface. Added value is the nearly invisible craft detail of continuing the step notch down through the sole rubber, as indicated in photo. Downside of the 'Quick Step' fitting is it allows even less room for sole rubber, so the type of sole material used is crucial. Scarpa's choice appears to be a rubber that's grippy but not too prone to shredding. Note this lack of sole rubber thickness is an inherent weakness of the present tech binding system -- another reason we need an upgrade to this decades old interface. Also note the indicator dot above the fitting to help you line up your boots for the step-in. The marketing slogan for this system is 'Step in Blind' so it always makes me laugh when visual indicators are used. In reality, getting in and out of tech bindings is something that can always use some help -- both the Quick Step In and visual aids.

Another view of the fine craftsmanship on these backcountry skiing boots.

Another view of the fine craftsmanship on these backcountry skiing boots, toe area detail.

Cuff alignment is provided, and the opposite cuff fastener is also removable.

Cuff alignment is provided, and the opposite cuff fastener is also removable. Those features are important. Many people need cuff alignment, and with both pivot fasteners being removable the entire cuff can be taken off the boot for easy modifications. We love this feature.

The large and closely spaced buckles of the lower pair appear a bit redundant.

The large and closely spaced buckles of the lower pair appear a bit redundant. For many skiers, one would suffice. But two look good on the tram and cranking them both down does provide that extra bit of beef.

Lean lock bar is beautiful. Totally accessible and easily repaired or modified.

Lean lock bar is beautiful. Totally accessible and easily repaired or modified by virtue of threaded fasteners. It is costly and fiddly during manufacturing to use small threaded fasteners such as these (as opposed to rivets), so kudos to Scarpa for continuing to do so.

Per a high quality boot with downhill features, the spoiler is height adjustable and easily removed.

Per a high quality boot with downhill features, the spoiler is height adjustable and easily removed.

Other boot makers claim they can't place the middle buckle and strap directly over the instep.

Other boot makers claim they can't place the middle buckle and strap directly over the instep, due to the 'sensitivity of the foot in that area.' Scarpa goes ahead and does so, and it works. In fact, this is our favorite buckle configuration and one of the big reasons we get good performance out of most Scarpa ski boots. Along those lines, one of the big problems with fitting Scarpas over the years has been the exaggerated arch bump in the footboard area of the shell (felt like standing on a baseball). We're delighted to say that in this iteration of Scarpa lasting, the infamous 'Scarpa bump' is nearly gone.

Maestrale liner is sourced from Intuition, specifically for backcountry skiing.

Maestrale liner is sourced from Intuition, but obviously specially made to Scarpa specs. I'll say I'm as impressed by the liners as I am by the boot shell. They're quite obviously so much more than a floppy sock of ensolite foam. The cuff area is quite dense, as is the tongue, while the lower foot area appears to be a perfect compromise between density and comfort. Only concern is this liner has the pesky thin layer of soft interior foam we suspect is intended only to make the boot feel better during shop floor try-ons. In our view, this little layer of foam makes the boot seem to loosen up in fit after a few hours of real-world use. We'd rather it wasn't there. Solution is to be sure and mold without a sock, use only a thin nylon stocking.

Intuition includes this velcro removable tongue feature on some liners. In the past

Intuition includes this velcro removable tongue feature on some liners. In the past it created a bump that sometimes messed with boot fitting success; new version uses a thinner velcro, no bump. Nicely done.

In all, Maestrale RS is an impressive offering from Scarpa. I look forward to their place of honor in this winter’s backcountry skiing boot quiver!

Maestrale RS will be available for shopping soon, check for them here at backcountry.com, or at REI. Note that the original Maestrale, while slightly less stiff, could be a real buy and even weighs a few grams less. Personally, I’d be happy with either boot.

Comments

138 Responses to “Scarpa Maestrale RS — Gear Tidbit”

  1. Dan September 18th, 2012 9:59 pm

    Lou, has the Scarpa “arch bump” been reduced in the “regular” Maestrale too…as in the RS? Thanks for the updated review…very helpful.

  2. Lou Dawson September 19th, 2012 6:20 am

    Dan, yes. It was much worse in boots such as Laser and Matrix. Not sure where that ever came from. I tried to look at the family feet when I was in Montebelluna but they just laughed. I’m thinking they had high arches (grin). But yeah, the newer Scarpa lasts still do not have flat footboard (most AT boots do not), but they work for most people in terms of the shape under the foot.

  3. Jason September 24th, 2012 8:43 am

    Good write up. Thanks.

  4. Phil October 12th, 2012 5:40 pm

    Trying to remove the cuff from some Scarpas.
    The inner cuff bolt was easy, but it seems like the cant bolt may be peened? It turns for the canting but then comes to a stop. I’m a bit worried about using more force as I may ‘strip’ the plastic inside the boot that traps the square nut there. Any suggestions?

  5. Lou Dawson October 12th, 2012 7:25 pm

    Phile, yeah, they’re peened. The way I get them out is rig up a big throated clamp that squeezes the inside and outside together, then I screw the screw out despite the peen. I’ve also drilled them out from the outside, with plenty of water spray to keep heat from wrecking plastic. Scarpa customer service has replacement cant rivets, when using those I get it where I want then use JB-weld to lock the threads. It’s tricky. Lou

  6. Daniel Landry October 15th, 2012 11:52 am

    Did they fix the screws becoming loose problem from the original Maestrale?

  7. Ron S October 20th, 2012 1:29 pm

    Hi Lou, I’ve done my best to compare, literature and the store, the RS to the mango. In the store, up and down stairs, head scratching, swaping liners, and more head scratching, I notice the RS has more resistance due to the tongue of the boot and liner. I skied the mango for 15 days touring and skiing in the rockies. I loved the tour but not so much cranking down the boot. I am 180# and ski coombacks. Two questions: In your opinion does the RS have less tour ability than the mango? Which of the two would you take up Mt. Baker in late April? Thanks.

  8. john October 20th, 2012 2:32 pm

    Daniel I have the second year orange Maestrales and they have aluminum rivets on the tongue and around the walk mode. Pretty easy to drill them out and replace with T-nuts and screws if you need to replace a tongue hinge or something else. Doesn’t help you much on the new RS but there ya go.

  9. Lee Lau October 20th, 2012 9:41 pm

    Ron

    I don’t find the Maestrale RS to be any less tourable than the Maestrale. I’ve skied both on-snow. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that.

  10. Lou Dawson October 21st, 2012 7:10 pm

    Agreeing with Lee, I’m not understanding why the RS would be any less tourable…

  11. Ron S October 23rd, 2012 2:17 pm

    Thanks Lee and Lou, I appreciate your comments and amazing prompt response!! I like the concept of the RS and know the maestrale last fits me well. I want to ensure that after a day of touring with some skiing (time split 90% touring and 10% skiing) that I wouldn’t curse the RS boot and wish I purchased the mango. There is nothing like trying them for a few days and as such I greatly value Lee’s comments and opinion on the RS.

    Currently there is a snow warning for SW Alberta, the ski hills are sending out snowfall updates, and there is snow plastered on the highway webcams. Giddy up. Again thanks for your input. This is an amazing site!

  12. Lou Dawson October 23rd, 2012 4:58 pm

    Thanks Ron for the kudos, Lee certainly deserves them for his extensive reviews. You’ll be happy with RS… I’ve got a pair here I’ve been fitting. Unfortunatly I’m between sizes, but not to worry, I used my larger size and will end up with a very warm boot for those December and January work/ski days up at WildSnow Field HQ! I’ll then switch to the lighter lower profile type of boot. Yeah, I run a boot quiver. Because I can. (grin). Lou

  13. Dave zulinke October 23rd, 2012 11:47 pm

    Lou,

    Love the reviews. does the new rs has adjustable forward cant and is there on foot ramping in the boot (which I hate) ? I have a pair of BD quadrants from last year and when I’m on flat terrain I always feet like I’m standing on an incline and Aldo can’t stand tall in them. My old garmonts fit both of my needs but alas blew up. Suggestions?

  14. Lou Dawson October 24th, 2012 8:31 am

    Hi Dave, RS has two cuff forward lean positions in the lean lock, but is not readily adjustable. All ski boots have ramp angle, some more than others. Ramp angle is pretty easy to tune. The relationship betwen ramp angle and cuff lean need to be perfect for how much ankle flex you have, as well as your style of skiing. Sometimes you can ski a boot out of the box and all is good. If not, get above fixed by a boot fitter. Lou

  15. Rob October 24th, 2012 12:27 pm

    I just bought these. How many times can you remold the Intuition liners before there’s any structural damage or anything like that?

  16. Lou Dawson October 24th, 2012 1:10 pm

    Rob, there is no firm answer as it depends on how long and how hot they get heated during molding. Rule of thumb is 3, but I’ve gone up to 6… Some folks say certain liners can be molded as much as you want, but I’ve never belived that. Lou

  17. Rob October 24th, 2012 1:44 pm

    Thanks for your answer. I usually wear my boots unmolded for the first couple of days skiing/touring and then have them molded when I know where the trouble areas are.

    I wanted to mold these first and then after first couple of days remold them properly, but I guess, I’ll just lose one mold this way. The only reason I want to mold them now, is probably the fact that I won’t be able to use them for at least another month (I’m in Europe) and they’re just sitting here in my room looking fabulous and I want to do something with them. :)

  18. david October 25th, 2012 2:22 pm

    which boot do u think is better: the maestrale RS or the dynafit mercury?
    is the dynafit better to walk in and is the maestrale the better downhill performer as you might guess?

  19. Lou Dawson October 25th, 2012 2:26 pm

    Come on David, that’s like asking what’s better, the apple from this tree, or the one over there? (grin).

    If you’re in a dilemma you might need to ski them, or at least carpet test. And don’t forget that the best boot is the one with the best shell fit!!!

    The two boots have lasts that are quite different, so get a shell fit done and let that be your guide.

    Lou

  20. David October 26th, 2012 1:54 am

    so what ur saying is that the one is just as good in skiing+walking performance as the other? i dont want to start a dynafit scarpa discussion. im just curious about ur opinion on the COMPARISON of the boots, not the particular features.

  21. Lou Dawson October 26th, 2012 5:09 am

    Yep. The definition of “good” depends on your needs, fit, type of feet, etc. For example, if a boot doesn’t fit you and hurts your feet while you walk, how can that be “good?”

    If you and I were standing here talking after a day of skiing together, and I could do a full foot evaluation, I could probably tell you my opinion of which boot would be better for you and thus “good.” But obviously that’s not the situation, and just because a boot is good for you or me doesn’t make one boot better than the other for everyone on the planet.

    In terms of direct comparison, we have a number of reviews now covering both boots.

    I also don’t mind sharing some impressions as I would in reviews: I do prefer the “one motion” buckle and lean lock of the Dynafit, but I like the downhill skiing flex of the Scarp better. The Dynafits fit me better and are lighter so since fit is important and weight is a one of my important personal criteria, those cause me to use the Dynafit more often. But that’s just me. Louie seems to prefer the Vulcan overall. Since I don’t run just one boot, I’m liking the Meastrale and a pair of TLT 5, as my main go-to shoes, though I find the TLT 5 to be easier to fit due to the shape of the Maestrale zeppa which doesn’t fit my foot that well. I also run a variety of other boots for the purposes of reviews and to see if I might like something better for my personal boot. I’ve always fit Garmonts well, so I’m looking forward to Cosmos, and I like having a pair of Tecnica kicking around that I play with when I want something that feels like a conventional alpine boot., though for long walks I’d rather have a more flexible walk mode. Oh, and the new La Sportivas are a few hundred yards from the door this morning (grin). And on and on.

  22. Lee Lau October 26th, 2012 2:40 pm

    Jezz david – you want us to ski for you while you’re at it. YES THEY”RE BOTH AS GOOD AS EACH OTHER. IS THAT ANSWER GOOD ENOUGH??

  23. dillon October 26th, 2012 2:46 pm

    Lee’s mad.

  24. See October 26th, 2012 7:07 pm

    Dave Z., you might want to tell Aldo to do a little grinding on those Quadrants to increase cuff mobility as described here

    http://www.tetonat.com/2011/12/14/maximizing-walk-mode-rom-of-the-black-diamond-quadrant/

    RIP Steve Romeo

  25. Mike October 29th, 2012 11:08 pm

    Lou, I’m looking for some advice. I recently purchased the mango maestrale as my first touring boot. I’m new to bc skiing and will be using them inbounds likely as much as out of bounds. I’m worried that I may have made the wrong decision by not getting the maestrale RS instead. I know I’ll love the mango and the fit is perfect for me, but will I be regretting not having the extra stiffness at the resorts? Or is the mango all I need? I’m 170lbs and a non-aggressive casual skier. I’ll be pairing them with BD aspects for now and possibly something a little beefier later on. It’s an easy exchange at the store now, I just don’t want to be kicking myself later
    Thanks

    Mike

    Mike

  26. Lou Dawson October 30th, 2012 7:35 am

    Mike, I think you’ll be fine. Concentrate on boot fitting as well as be careful how your ergonomic angles compare with your alpine setup. Newbies who get their first BC setup are often surprised by having more or less forward lean and boot ramp than their alpine setup, and have trouble dealing with it. Lou

  27. Andy October 31st, 2012 1:00 pm

    I got a pair of RS’s this season and have the hardest time reflexing the tongue (alpine axial tongue). It seems that the design is a bit flawed, it is not any easier than a traditional tongue design. The other issue is the heal retention strap is way too long, there is no possible way any foot would require the first 50% of the strap. This isn’t a big deal but the tongue issue is making me considering returning them. Any insights anyone…

  28. Lee Lau October 31st, 2012 4:36 pm

    Andy

    What do you mean “reflexing”. I’ve held the Maestrale and Maestrale RS tongue and used both boots. The Maestreale tongue is way softer than the RS tongue. I’m not sure how having a stiffer tongue is a “flawed design”. Can you elaborate?

  29. Andy October 31st, 2012 4:53 pm

    Sorry I guess I mean the shell “tongue” piece, the part that rotates to the side as opposed to straight like every other ski boot made. What I’ve found is that getting this moving part of the shell to fully open requires getting by the plastic upper wrapping of the shell. I have to use a ton of force (and risk fingers) to get it open. I’ve watched videos of the maestrale where this seems to open right up. I am not completely closed to the idea that user error could be part of this but it sure takes alot of force and sounds like it isn’t good for the boot to open it. Hope this helps.

    *** if you look at the first picture at the top of this post you can see the black piece fully opened and the upper buckle which is the conflict.

  30. Lou Dawson October 31st, 2012 5:10 pm

    Andy, yes, it’s just something you have to get used to and figure out your own sequence. If it’s any consolation, I pinched by finger the first time I fooled around with them. Lou

  31. Andy October 31st, 2012 5:53 pm

    Thanks Lou, A video of your personal tactic could be informative and entertaining. I’m sure as this boot rises in popularity there will be others with this issue too.

    One other question has anyone noticed a difference in the volume inside the Maestrale vs. the RS? I felt that the maestrale was a bit narrower… thanks all.

  32. Lee Lau October 31st, 2012 7:09 pm

    Andy

    I got what you mean. I put the boot into walk mode and put the rear shell way back then pull the clamshell tongue up and over gently. Ie not forcing anything. I do the same for the RS and Maestrale which btw use the same tongue.

    The last is the same in both boots fyi per Scarpa

  33. stevenjo October 31st, 2012 8:31 pm

    Ditto Lou and Lee on getting the tongue open. It’s a little extra time but makes everything easier.

  34. Ron S November 10th, 2012 11:18 pm

    Hi Lou, Today was the first day with the Maestrale RS. A great boot. That said there was a failure. Early this morning we braved -18 deg. C (0 deg F) in hopes to make some turns in Chicakdee Valley, in Kootenay National Park. It was too bony and so we turned back. While walking/running back across the highway the tongue on the left boot broke along the crease of the bottom bellow. Not to be deterred by temperature or conditions we ventured back towards Sunshine Village (check their facebook page – epic conditions for start of season) and toured up to Twin Cairns (about 12 km or 7.5 miles return). I used the boot without the tongue and had virtually no problems in tour mode, but would have preferred if it was there while skiing. The break was clean and I suspect the tongue broke due to cold. The guys at Lou’s in Calgary are talking to Scarpa. I’ll update you as I learn more.

    Regards, Ron

    PS. You and Lee were correct, there is no difference in tour mode.

  35. Lee Lau November 10th, 2012 11:36 pm

    That sucks Ron. The good news is Scarpa’s CS is good and you should be getting a new tongue ASAP. Of course ideally you don’t want to be using that CS too often.

  36. Lou Dawson November 11th, 2012 5:37 am

    Wow, that certainly concerns me. Those kind of plastic defects are hard to spot… I’m sure the customer service will be good, and let’s hope this was an isolated incident of some bad plastic in a mold. Lou

  37. Marty November 22nd, 2012 11:45 am

    Hi Lee and Lou. I look at getting my first BC set up. I patroll at Big Sky and will be using it mostly on mountain. I like the idea of vibrant soles for some of the rocky hicking we have there. I ski hard and my question is if the RS will be an addiquit boot, and Marker Duke an addiquit binding for hard skiing.

  38. Garth November 22nd, 2012 12:30 pm

    I’m not sure if this is the greatest spot to ask this question, but here we go. I’ve been looking at these boots, as well as Garmont Radiums, but would like to use them in alpine bindings as well. Can adjustments be made to use them in DIN bindings? Thanks!

  39. Lou Dawson November 22nd, 2012 2:43 pm

    Garth, I do know resort workers who use AT boots in alpine bindings, but doing so is not recommended due to problems with friction from the sole, as well as binding toe height matching sole/rocker. A better way is to just run a frame binding such as Marker Duke, which is designed to safely accept AT boots. Lou

  40. Lee Lau November 22nd, 2012 5:14 pm

    Marty – the boots will work

    Garth – its not such a great idea and if you do blow your knees don’t come ranting here. If you’re going to try set your DINS low and use a binding that can adjust the toe vertically. Good luck.

  41. Garth November 22nd, 2012 6:31 pm

    Thank you guys for your quick response, especially on Thanksgiving! Like Marty, I’m patrolling this year, and want to save my feet, but have some good performance. Maybe I just need to find a good deal on some frame bindings instead.

  42. Lee Lau November 22nd, 2012 6:37 pm

    Garth

    No problem. I’m Canuck so no turkey for me. Just pow.

    To be clear my response is mostly CYA. Quite a few people who work in their boots a lot stick boots with vibram soles in alpine bindings for the same reason you mentioned. But as far as safety for release all I can say is that you’re on your own there.

  43. Garth November 22nd, 2012 9:17 pm

    Thanks, Lee. Is the difference more driven by sole height or the length of the toe? I think I might go for AT boots, and try to find a decent deals on AT bindings during the season. I have some experience adjusting bindings, so that’s not too much of a limitation. Thanks again.

    Garth

  44. Lee Lau November 22nd, 2012 9:49 pm

    Garth – I think its because the surface of the boot contacting the AFD isn’t smooth so the release characteristics change

  45. Matt November 24th, 2012 6:46 am

    Thx for the info…I tried on the orange and the RS version yesterday (along with The One, which didn’t fit so well) and am having a hard time choosing. The only thing I didn’t like much about the RS was the powerstrap wanting to slip off the top of the front of the boot. Wonderful fit, great walk mode (I’m sure you needed that confirmation…)

    My inclination is to stick with the orange, as I’m 140lb 5′ 8″ finesse skier, on a soft flex version of Praxis BC’s (170) and a pair of Waybacks (167). I try to not buy into the hype on stiffness too much, but it nags at me, esp. since these will see time on the front side of the resort…

  46. Lou Dawson November 24th, 2012 7:52 am

    Matt, at your height and weight I’d definitely try the orange. You are good to try and not get too hyped up about the stiffness hype, it’s pure BS for a lot of people, often depends entirely on how big a ski you’re running as well as your style of skiing. On the other hand, if you’re doing much resort skiing, stiffness in a boot has the simple effect of taking over for support when your feet get tired and worked from lots of downhill vert.

    I have lots of boots that feel great when I do an average backcountry day, which for us is around 3,000 vert but can be up to 6,000. If I take those same boots to the resort and ski three or four complete runs, 12,000 vert, they don’t feel so good after a while…

    Lou

    Lou

  47. Mex November 28th, 2012 9:59 pm

    hey guys, looking at purchasing the rs or the radium. I’m 210 and will be using them on skis up to 116 mm waist. Wondering about my weight and thinking stiffer might be better. I do lean on my boots quite a bit. Think the rs can handle my heft? Im somewhat concerned about those two little rivets holding the tongue on.

  48. Lee Lau November 28th, 2012 10:32 pm

    Mex – unless you’re a hack it should be fine. Those rivets were beefed up

  49. Lou Dawson November 29th, 2012 5:40 am

    What Lee said. The rivet/hinges on the Maestrale tongue are fine if the boot is used correctly, and are indeed upgraded since the original Maestrale model (now ancient history). You do have to learn a small sequence of events to get the tongue open without forcing it. It’s easy to figure out, just involving holding the upper cuff flaps open in the correct way. But when you’re new to the boot it’s tempting to just pry on things if you’re in a hurry. Lou

  50. Dan Jenkin December 1st, 2012 10:37 am

    Anybody have any experience punching out the RS’s? I’m in Vancouver and have been blessed with a high arch/wide foot. Upsizing the RS’s seems to give me the volume, but the guys at Destination aren’t to keen on punching the polyamide for width. Any advice?

  51. Lee Lau December 1st, 2012 11:25 am

    Dan – you can punch it but understandably techs are reluctant since its a pretty thin plastic which has to be punched gently. I know Whistler Snowcovers will do it. I don’t know offhand of Vancouver area ski shops that will. I’ll ask around

  52. Lou Dawson December 1st, 2012 11:39 am

    Any experienced boot fitter should be able to handle it. Be careful, however, as they need to apply a few tricks such as pre-heating the punch mandrel, using an infrared thermometer, stuff like that. (Same tricks for Pebax or Grilamid, really) It’s also recommended that the boot be left on the machinery overnight if possible. Lou

  53. Daniel Landry December 2nd, 2012 1:20 pm

    Can anybody provide clear and precise instruction on how to adjust the forward lean setting on the Maestrale RS?

  54. Lou Dawson December 3rd, 2012 11:21 am

    Daniel, perhaps I’m totally off the back but I wasn’t aware the Maestrale had user adjustable forward lean other than the two positions of the lean lock (which I dislike), or changing fitting options such as the spoiler. I do have a pair of RS here and have played around with them quite a bit. Lou

  55. Daniel Landry December 3rd, 2012 11:35 am

    Lou,
    Here is a copy of the boots “specs” found on Scarpa’s website:
    •Inner Boot: Intuition Pro Flex RS
    •Shell | Cuff | Tongue: Polyamide I Polyamide I Pebax®
    •Buckles: 4 + 50mm Power Strap RS
    •Forward Lean: 16° & 20°
    •Flex Index: 120
    •Range of Motion: 37°
    •Sole: Vibram® Cayman
    •Weight: 1571g; 3lbs 7oz (1/2 pair size 27)
    •Sizes: 24.5 – 32
    •Binding System: AT, TLT
    •Forefoot width: 101mm
    According to the website the boots have 16° & 20° forward lean adjustment.
    Maybe someone from Scarpa can enlighten us??

  56. Lou Dawson December 3rd, 2012 11:43 am

    Daniel, it’s just two positions that the lean lock provides. No mystery…. it’s created by the lean lock bar having two holes. For us, one of the worst things in boot design since concrete liners, as if you click into the wrong hole when you’re tired and sore, you’re in for a world of hurt. We weld the unused hole shut, and a lot of other people do as well. Lou

  57. Daniel Landry December 3rd, 2012 11:50 am

    Thanks Lou,
    If I understand well, once I push (drive) the boots forward, I have 2 settings where the boot will lock?? I will try this tonight (I am at the office).

    Thanks again!

  58. Lou Dawson December 3rd, 2012 12:10 pm

    Dan, sometimes it’s not so obvious on a carpet test. What I do to demonstrate is do it with the boots off. Start with cuff at rear of flex as during walking, engage lock, move cuff forward till it clicks in. Make a Sharpie dot somewhere to indicate cuff position. Now, without letting cuff go backwards disengage lean lock and continue to flex forward a hair, then reengage lean lock. Keep flexing forward till you click into second position.

    How this is done consistently in the field is anyone’s guess. One technique is to flex the boot forward in walk mode like a maniac, then flick the lean lock and bring cuff back till you feel it click into the more extreme position. Most people I know achieve it by accident much easier than with purpose (grin).

  59. Daniel Landry December 3rd, 2012 12:22 pm

    Wow!
    How come no explanation of this complex thecnique is in the owner’s manual or on Scarpa’s website. How are we supposed to learn this?

    Again, thank’s for all the help!

  60. Lou Dawson December 3rd, 2012 3:16 pm

    Answer: WildSnow.com

  61. Daniel Landry December 4th, 2012 6:34 am

    Hi Lou,
    I tried the setting last night and it worked. I probably would never have found this without help. I would have probably end up sking with a different setting for each boot.

    Thanks again.

  62. Lou Dawson December 4th, 2012 7:13 am

    Daniel, it’s indeed an example of poor industrial design in an otherwise beautiful piece of equipment. Your difficulty with it as a consumer is proof. To be fair to Scarpa, there is no perfect boot out there, that just happens to be the flaw (at least in my opinion) in theirs. I’ve been nagging them about it for years, but someone in Italy must really like having that two-setting system in the lean lock bar, because it just never goes away. Frankly, I have not seen a skier in years who needed that much forward cuff lean. But they probably exist, somewhere, perhaps in a one-piece florescent green suit, skiing bumps in boots with Jet Stick spoilers on the back.

  63. Mex December 4th, 2012 11:00 pm

    Thanks for the help guys.
    Bought the RS but wearing them around the house I notice some play in the locked ski mode. It almost feels like the hole in the ski/walk mode bar is too big for the pin. I can hear some clicking when flexing them forward and backward (I’m not putting all my weight forward and backward, but similar to weight as if I was skiing). Friends of mine have mentioned a similar experience when they were shopping around for boots. Didn’t notice this play when I tried on the radium. Thinking of heading back to the shop to switch up the boots.

  64. Ron S December 4th, 2012 11:18 pm

    Hi Mex, I have had the RS out a few times touring in the Rockies. The clicking sound your hear in the house may be the instep strap riding up on the bellow. You can hear the same sharp click flexing in ski mode or walking in tour mode. The sound goes away by tightening or loosening the instep strap. My two cents.

    Cheers,

  65. Mex December 5th, 2012 10:05 pm

    Hey Ron, Thanks for your input. It’s not the instep strap. I can actually see and feel the movement of the ski/walk mode when it is locked when flexing forward and backward. Tried on some Mobes, Radiums and Mercury’s and didn’t get this experience. Tried on a another pair of the RS as well the orange Maestrales and felt the play. Maybe this is just a thing these boots do.

  66. Steve December 10th, 2012 8:48 pm

    Clean break 3/4 of the way through the tongue bellow today. First day on them, too…right out of the box. It was cold, but not that cold…15 degrees F.

  67. Phil December 10th, 2012 10:18 pm

    I’m curious about the tongue bellows break. A friend had that happen last season on both of his newish TX-Pro Scarpas. The upper groove. It seemed very strange to me. Flexing forward, it is in compression, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Perhaps if you have the cuff unlocked and force leaning back a long way, that would ‘reverse flex’ the tongue bellows? It would also mean you aren’t getting a nice walking motion…

    Is that a really unusual failure, or has Lou and others seen it before?

  68. Ron S December 10th, 2012 10:25 pm

    Hi Steve, Both of my tongues were cracked so Scarpa sent replacement tongues to the store where I purchased. Lou of Lou’s Performance in Calgary was talking to Scarpa about the problem immediately. Like Lee mentioned Scarpa has good customer service and so combined with Lou’s service I had no problems. When I spoke to Lou he mentioned that Scarpa may be aware of the issue since Scarpa experienced problems with early runs (demos) of the boots. I have had the boots out a few times since the repair and have not experienced any problems. The new tongues appear to be made of the same material. There is a very slight difference in shape and the new tongues have a small space between the tongue and the recess in the boot at the front of the tongue.

    Cheers,

  69. Jason December 18th, 2012 11:57 am

    Ok Ok, 100 underfoot ski, 210lb, 6’3″ guy needs new boots. Snowmobiles in to most starting spots for bc skiing in far NorCal. 1 to 8 hour tours generally…

    OG Maestral or RS?

    Just what do you all think would be better?

    OG or RS?

  70. Lee Lau December 18th, 2012 5:51 pm

    RS

  71. Andy December 19th, 2012 3:49 pm

    After a few weeks on these I have a few insights. I have a narrow foot which historically meant that Scarpa was not the best choice but these are feeling pretty good. The “heel retention” strap on the 28.5′s seems way too big though. Even without a foot in the boot you need to ratchet it down to the last few inches inorder to get it to even touch the boot. I am emailing to ask them for a shorter strap but I do find this irritating (does not affect performance). The two notches in the “walk-mode” bar is lame but tolerable. Other wise they seem great for walking and inbounds.

  72. Lee Lau December 19th, 2012 4:08 pm

    Andy

    I found the Scarpa liner to be so thinned out that I’d go pretty far into the ratchet on the heel strap. With a stock Intuition liner (which has more padding) there was more padding there. When using the Scarpa liner (which is basically a custom Scarpa foam thickness Intuition liner), I taped some foam padding to the shell to take up some space so I wouldn’t have to ratchet the heel strap so much.

    so yeah – you weren’t the only one

  73. Charlie December 20th, 2012 11:11 am

    A question on sizing. I currently use a size 27 Mobe that provides a perfect fit after some adjustments including a extra foam on the tongue. I want to purchase a lighter boot, e.g. Maestrale or Maestrale RS. How do the sizing compare (width, last, heel retention, etc). thanks, cmr

  74. Charlie December 20th, 2012 11:12 am

    Lou and others – A question on sizing. I currently use a size 27 Mobe that provides a perfect fit after some adjustments including a extra foam on the tongue. I want to purchase a lighter boot, e.g. Maestrale or Maestrale RS. How do the sizing compare (width, last, heel retention, etc). thanks, charlie

  75. stevenjo December 20th, 2012 11:26 am

    Charlie,
    My understanding is that both Maestrales have a narrower and lower volume fit than the Spirits and (I think) Mobe. Definitely try before you buy.

  76. Charlie December 20th, 2012 1:48 pm

    Hi
    Thanks. I will try before purchasing. Narrow and lower volume is better anyway. The Mobe’s are great for work, since I am in my boots all day. Now, I have to decide whether to get the orange boots or the stiffer Maestrales. FYI, these boots are mostly for touring with some lift access (e.g., Europe).

  77. Kris December 29th, 2012 10:21 pm

    Hi Wildsnow,

    Happy New Year!

    I just had my Maestrale RS’ out on the resort for some piste/slackcountry over the holidays and I’m impressed by their fit, warmth and walk-mode, but I’m concerned about their downhill performance. They are billed as a stiff ‘quiver killing’ boot, so I expected to be able to charge hard through chop. The RS’ ski great when I’m forward in the boot, but as soon as I get thrown in the back seat, it feels like there’s nothing back there and I struggle to get back in position.

    I experimented the two forward lean positions and the issue is definitely better in the 20 deg position, but is far too flexed for me.

    I looked at the adjustable rear spoiler and at it’s maximum height it’s ~2cm lower than my previous boots. Could the low spoiler/rear shell be the issue? Or are the boots flexing rearwards?

    I appreciate your insight and thoughts.

    Cheers.

    Kris

    Rocker2-122/maker baron

  78. Lou Dawson December 29th, 2012 11:05 pm

    First step is to make sure they have all the same exact angles as other boots you like. After that, adjust your ski style, they’re not alpine boots they’re touring boots.

  79. Kris December 30th, 2012 12:18 am

    Hmm, I guess I could change the way I ski, but I’d prefer to tweak the boots if it were possible. Maybe I am asking too much from a lightweight touring boot.

    Had a look at the angles, they’re roughly the same, although my eyeball protractor could be letting me down. Even adjusting for a few degrees, the rear of the shell is still much lower. I’ll talk to my boot fitter here in Calgary and see if there’s a possible fix, unless you know of a way to boost the height of the rear spoiler.

    If it can’t be done, I’ll have to sell them and get something burlier. No point in going up if the down is no fun.

    Cheers

  80. Chris kowalczyk January 3rd, 2013 11:33 am

    Hi,
    does anyone have advice on using RS right out of the box with marker dukes for a fairly large amount of resort and eastern tree skiing. I like my Dynafits in soft conditions, but seem to release the heel often in harder bumppier eastern conditions. I am planning to keep my dynafit bindings on K2 Hardsides for softer and western days, and mount Marker dukes to a pair of Head Monsters for Eastern harder days. Any help would be appreciated.

  81. Jason January 3rd, 2013 11:37 am

    Just got the RS last night. Can’t wait to get them on the snow. Man the white is ugly.

  82. Lou Dawson January 3rd, 2013 2:56 pm

    Chris, am not sure what you’d need to know about using the boot in a Duke. Once the binding is mounted and adjusted, you just step in and go…

  83. Jan January 4th, 2013 2:12 pm

    Been a lurker for awhile and finally (potentially) have something worthwhile to add. I have been getting stuck in walk mode and have had to take the boot off to thaw the mechanism to get it back into ski mode. I have, as well, noticed play develop when locked in ski mode. With the liner out I can rattle the back cuff when locked. I spoke to scarpa today and they are sending me new lock mechanisms. Apparently new ones have been designed and they will have them in stock in a few weeks. I am not sure what has been changed but I hope it will solve these issues. Love the boot otherwise. I switched from Radiums to these and I much prefer all aspects of the boot.

    Jan

  84. Lou Dawson January 4th, 2013 5:30 pm

    Jan, good info, thanks for changing from lurker to commenter! As for the walk/ski mech, I wouldn’t worry at all about a bit of play, but yes it needs to function correctly in terms of locking or unlocking. We’ve seen many problems with this over the years, with a variety of boot models/brands. It’s usually caused by the mechanism being sensitive to ice formation, but sometimes it just needs to be more robust.

    Any engineer will tell you that when you have that small a mechanism, with movement multiplied by a long lever arm (the cuff), it’s difficult to eliminate play. But again, a small amount of play will be unnoticeable while you’re actually skiing unless you’re Lindsey Vonn.

  85. Jay January 14th, 2013 11:39 am

    I’ve also had Jan’s problem with the cuff being stuck in walk mode. While this isn’t too hard to deal with, it leads to a much bigger issue.

    This weekend, I ended up skiing in walk mode (due to the frozen lean-lock) and managed to get the cuff stuck on top of the boot lower. Leaning too far forward brings the rear of the cuff over the “heel cup” of the lower shell where it sticks (at what feels like a 45 degree forward lean). The only solution seems to be to remove the cuff and then re-install.

    Has anyone else had this happen? After the third occurrence I was getting more than a little frustrated!

  86. John January 14th, 2013 11:58 am

    Re: Play in the cuff. I had this happen after a season of using the boots in bounds and out of bounds. For myself much of the play was happening in the outer cant rivet. Scarpa mailed me two new cant rivets and screws. It turns out the cant rivet in my boot was aluminum so had worn down around the outside. The parts Scarpa mailed me were all steel and fixed the problem. It could be worth noting if the play is due to the walk mode, or is coming from the ankle.

  87. John January 14th, 2013 12:02 pm

    Also this was on a set of second year Maestrales. Orange with riveted buckles and hinges rather than screw fasteners.

  88. Lee Lau January 14th, 2013 5:37 pm

    Jay – I didn’t have that happen but I heard about two other times that happened – ie the white part of the boot protruding above the black part of the boot. According to Scarpa that is a warranty issue and they will replace the boots no questions asked. There is supposed to be a stop in the walk mode bar to stop that from happening.

    I had that happen to me on the Scarpa Rush on a prototype boot fyi – there the lower plastic cuff was so low (to shave weight) that you could force the upper cuff too far forward so it would protrude above the lower cuff. You know what I mean I hope – ie that when you tried to go back into walk mode the upper cuff wouldn’t lean back. I solved that with the ghetto fix of putting enough gorilla tape on the lower cuff so that the upper cuff wouldn’t slide up and over the lower cuff. Not something I’d suggest as permanent but good enough so that I could use the boot for a couple of weeks.

  89. Honza Horak January 20th, 2013 12:26 pm

    Lee, Lou,
    thank you for deep reviewing. Appreciate anytime before shopping..

    I am 165lb, average BC skier. Want to buy Meastrales, have been doing carpet test, red everything. Seeking BC touring all-in-one boot (freeride on 117 width pow skis, as well as 92 touring ones, easy mountaineering etc.). Have no possibility to ski them both as a test.

    ..still not convinced if Mango or RS. Could you please advise? (highly appreciate)

  90. Lou Dawson January 20th, 2013 4:12 pm

    Honza, just go for the RS and quit taxing your brain (grin). Lou

  91. Honza January 20th, 2013 4:14 pm

    Táhne you..

  92. Jason January 22nd, 2013 8:42 am

    I am 215lb, 6’3″ or so… The RS are plenty stiff. They tour really nicely. @Honza, I think either will do you really well, but if I was lighter, I’d get the Mango ones. IMHO.

  93. Honza January 23rd, 2013 4:34 pm

    @Jason, thank you for the comment. Just received RS, tomorrow to be tested in Austrian Alps:-)

  94. pizza January 24th, 2013 5:30 pm

    Long time lurker – time to get involved.

    I am having issues…

    Started out on Plum Guides and Scarpa Pegasuses size 29, DIN of 8. No issues, put about ~14 days on this setup. Very solid.

    Decided to move up one boot size and traded up to the Scarpa Maestrale RS’s at the same time (a 30). I have been pre-releasing since.

    I upped the DIN to 10. Didn’t help.
    Shaved the boot around the inserts and took a little of the sole off underneath them. There was an obvious impression on the boot sole where it was contacting the binding arms. The shaving did not help.
    I had the setup rechecked by a shop (The Backcountry). Everything looked correct to them. They straightened out one of the toe-pieces which was ever so slightly off angle, but I can’t imagine this made a difference. They are still pre-releasing.

    The toe is releasing. I have had them release while skating and while making turns. I have been able to twist one of the boots out of one of the bindings while stationary on carpet, repeatedly.

    The Backcountry has been giving good support, but can’t come up with a reason/solution for the pre-releases. I am tired of playing test pilot – it is killing my confidence.

    Why is this happening? Any suggestions? Questions?

    The Backcountry has a new pair of Maestrale RS’s in 30 they can trade me for, or should I switch back to the Pegasuses in a 30? Has anyone had positive experiences with Plums and Maestrale RS’s? How about with the regular Maestrales? I have fat feet so the Scarpas fit the best.

    Thanks!

  95. Lou Dawson January 25th, 2013 6:33 am

    Pizza, this type of stuff begs for logic. Just think it through. It’s either the boots or the bindings and you can replicate the behavior while on carpet, correct? So, first, try some other boots in a low risk carpet test. If you use a third pair of boots and you don’t have the problem, then it’s the boots. If you do, then it’s probably the bindings. Just because Plum looks different doesn’t mean they’re any stronger or better, they’re just well made bindings and could possibly be defective like any other product. Ditto for the boots. Once you figure out which product is causing the problem, return on warranty or otherwise replace. No real need to spend hours figuring out the engineering. Leave that up to the companies who made the defective product.

    By the way, I don’t know if we can all ever do it, but we need to stop calling tech binding release values “DIN.” All tech bindings at this point are totally uncertified and are calibrated at the whim of the manufacturer. They may sort of match “DIN” values of alpine bindings, or sometimes may match fairly close, but it’s not “DIN” it’s Release Value “RV,” a term of art myself and a few other people tend to use…

    Lou

  96. pizza January 25th, 2013 3:00 pm

    Release Value has a nice ring to it. :)

    Since I had the toe straightened (post boot change) I can no longer twist out on carpet. It was about 1 MM off centered at the heel pins. They still come off easy while skiing.

    I am going to assume the bindings are functional since I had no issues with the Pegasuses. I am going to try a new pair of RS’s and see how it goes. If they do fail I will still be hesitant to blame the bindings. It very well could be a RS model specific issue. The following step would most likely be going back to the Pegasus in a 30.

    Over on TGR three users chimed in with experience on the Plum/RS combo. 2 reported no issues. 1 reported pre-releases which ended when he switched to verticals. All three were in the 27-28 range. None required modification to the toe area for clearance.

    Thank you for your input Lou.

  97. Honza January 27th, 2013 12:30 pm

    Anyone has a recommendation on which crampons for Maestrales?

    Grivel AirTech: New Matic or just New classic?
    http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/crampons/27-air_tech?binding=3
    http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/crampons/27-air_tech?binding=1

    I think the semi-automatic doesn’t fit much on heel, straps would be probably more flexible..

  98. Jason January 28th, 2013 10:28 am

    These work well for my setup – Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons

  99. DM January 28th, 2013 2:37 pm

    @Kris who was having trouble with aft support, I was able to alleviate a similar issue on my old Titans by using some spoilers off a pair of nordica race boots, the kind that velcros to the back of the liner. I found it helped quite a bit to fill the space that develops behind the calf when pressuring the tongues of a softer boot.

    I just finished my first 2 days on my RSs and found similar issues. I’ll try the spoilers again and see if they help.

  100. Kris January 29th, 2013 11:37 pm

    @DM, thanks I adjusted the height of my spoiler by drilling a hole lower than the factory one, which made some difference, but I could use some more support (no, not the Manzier…).

    Please let me know if that works and maybe I’ll try the same.

    Cheers!

  101. Tim February 15th, 2013 3:51 pm

    Has anyone ever heard of a way to change out the lean lock bar to something with different holes in it (i.e. for a different cuff lean setting)? I’ve got big calves that tend to push me into a forward lean and I find that even the more upright setting of the boot is too far forward (the forward setting is basically unskiable!).

  102. Lou Dawson February 15th, 2013 4:48 pm

    Tim, I’ve welded the original holes shut and bored new ones. Making a new bar would be possible. Lou

  103. Miles February 19th, 2013 1:24 am

    I’ve been really enjoying my RS, both for a bit of on piste and backcountry pow. But I’ve noticed that in ski mode there’s a bit of wiggle, approximately 3mm back and forth – seems like the pin is a bit too small for the hole in the lean lock bar. Is this a common experience? I guess it wouldn’t be too hard to put in some sort of spacer for a tighter fit… any tips on that?

  104. Mark February 20th, 2013 12:17 am

    Lou,
    I have been using Spirit 3s, but a tech fitting is damaged which requires skiing in tour mode. I know the spirit 3s were soft, but they did have the forward lean stops which I did not notice on the Maestrale or RS. With that in mind would you still suggest the Maestrale over the RS as a good replacement for the Spirit 3s? Thanks.

  105. Lou Dawson February 20th, 2013 6:49 am

    Miles, in my opinion that play in the lean lock has virtually no effect on how the boots ski downhill. It is not aesthetically pleasing, and bothers the folks who would prefer concrete and steel casts on their feet instead of ski boots (grin).

    Mark, the RS will be quite a bit stiffer than the Spirit 3 and usually doesn’t need the stops. even if they are there. Lot’s of people grind out such stops for smoother boot flex. Dynafit will even be selling a model with stops that can be removed/replaced, or moved to a different position.

    What other choices are you looking at? The Maestrale mango version would probably be closer to your Spirit 3, and actually weighs slightly less than RS. And Dynafit has lots of options.

    Lou

  106. Andrew February 22nd, 2013 12:26 am

    Hey just reading through this thread and found some odd information being relayed. As far as special procedured to stretch/punch Pebax. I suppose you can come up with loads of extra steps but in reality.. standard amount of heat on the shell however you choose to get it there. I would usually use a heat gun and go ahead and punch them. The Scarpa Maestrale, Dynafit One PX, Vulcan, Radium and all other Pebax boots will shape very nicely. You do need to however be careful to be conservative with your punches as the work will be permanent and not at all interested in falling back with more heating as it will with a polyurethane boot.,

    Intuition liners.. Sure intuition feels ok about saying you can mold them multiple times. The reality that I get to notice first hand constantly is that the every new mold will create a thinner liner. If you need space perhaps a remold will help but be weary of creating a loose boot. If your shells are fit very snug then a remolded intuition will work allright but the liners do not “puff up” upon reheating as many folks often think. The boot will feel roomier after a second cook.. even if you don’t do up your buckles on the mold.

    Ok, that’s my offering. Now a question if anyone can help. The Scarpa Maestraele cuffs. Do you guys mind feeling if you have play around the cuff rivet? Likely the side where you have your alignment adjust. A few of us here are noticing this on the last couple pairs we bought. Hole is ovalizing with walking wear. Check it out if you have managed to ski them a bunch. I’m curious if it’s just the few of us that have these boots wearing out so fast. I cant imagine that’s the case. Cheers
    What would be the general feeling would you folks feel about this being wear and tear or warranty? It’s certainly use not abuse. What do you guys expect for lifespan on your touring bott. You would think more than 50 days before the cuff wears out. Bushings would be great! Dynafit is onto that from what I understand.

  107. Lou Dawson February 22nd, 2013 5:22 am

    Andrew, one of my pet peeves is the cuff rivets on most AT boots being archaic technology that’s not changed in 40 years. Long ago, someone should have figured out a cuff rivet that acted a a bushing to prevent excessive wear, instead of steel or aluminum eating into soft plastic.

    Sadly, I don’t see how this could be considered a warranty issue. It’s what is when you buy the boot. It’s how it’s made, not a defect. It’s poor design and engineering, but not a defect.

    Thankfully, Dynafit is actually addressing this issue next year with an attempt to use Delrin bushings over various configurations in some of their boots.

    Lou

  108. mason February 24th, 2013 5:45 pm

    I’m considering welding shut the lean lock bar holes and drilling a new hole between. The lower end of the lean lock bar is attached to the boot with an alan head bolt. The depth of the alan fitting is REALLY shallow, like less than a millimeter. Any suggestions before I strip it? A special wrench?

  109. Lou Dawson February 24th, 2013 5:55 pm

    Mason, I’d simply remove the pin anchoring the bar to the boot. It appears the hex bolt is backed by a nut that could be hard to get back in there.

    Welding a hole shut and thus just having one is nice, (I personally hate having two) but I’m wondering, do you really need a hole between the two? That’s a pretty fine adjustment that could be easily created by adding a bit of something to the boot behind your calf, or to the bootboard under your heel, or both. Welding then drilling like that might result in a very weak and brittle area between the two welded-shut holes.

    Just thinking outloud. Really too bad Scarpa doesn’t sell a one-hole or no-hole lock bar. Now that would be so cool. Or do they?

    ‘best, Lou

  110. John February 25th, 2013 9:01 am

    Hey Andrew I was having the same issue with the play in the ankle and was able to get it fixed on warranty. However the warranty solution was to replace the aluminum cant rivet with a steel one. The aluminum had worn down a ton through not that much use.

  111. mason February 25th, 2013 9:03 pm

    Thanks for the advice, I don’t know anything about welding, and how far apart are the holes anyway? I’ll call Scarpa and see if they have any bars without holes available. I do need a thin heel lift, maybe that plus a rear shim would make it possible to use the upright position. I hate both positions, the difference between the 2 seems more extreme than on my Skookums.

  112. Chris March 1st, 2013 10:05 pm

    I’m looking forward to taking my brand new pair of RS’s out for the first time tomorrow, and I was trying to lace up the liners this evening. The lace tabs don’t make a lot of sense to me. Do you 1) even bother to use laces and if so, 2) have a recommended method (maybe even with a photo?).
    Thanks!

  113. jeremy March 31st, 2013 12:51 am

    Trying to find me some new boots, I am over thinking it and am suffering from massive information overload as well. I have had a string of boots that didn’t like me. Scarpa Spirit 3 and now the BD Quadrants and want to make certain I don’t blow it again on both the financial front and fun-o-meter. I recently got some Volkl Nanataq’s mounted with my Dynafit’s and am loving them, HOWEVER the Quads are too wide in the toe box and it’s even more noticeable on the larger new skis. The Quadrants at way to wide for me, I have that much figured out. The heel doesn’t lift I just get a significant amount of lateral movement inside the boot in the toe box, no bueno. So I have spent a million hours on this website and thought the Mercury’s would be my dream rides. Turns out they too are probably on the wide side, I wore my wife’s One’s around for a few hours last night.

    So the two boots that fit me best on the carpet were Dynafit Tlt5 Performance in 25.5, though I think the 25′s would be better but they don’t have that size, the other favorites were the Maestrale RS boots in 24.5. I think the RS last is said to be 101mm and the Perf’s 98. That being said the RS felt slightly more snug in the toe box despite the claimed 3mm difference. For me narrow in a good way, from my arch forward (uncooked). The flex felt a little smoother that the Perf and softer perhaps more progressive flexing which I like. Without the tongue in the Perfs the flex was much closer to the same. The 4 buckles on the RS is at least one or two too many. That being said they felt great in the shop, albeit much heavier though a bit less $ as well. I am wary of Scarpa from the bad experience I had with the Spirit 3′s, they were a little twisted from the factory and never worked for me. The cuff alignment was off and the boot soles needed a ton of grinding by a great boot fitter, long story.

    I was not expecting to like the Performance boots but I did, they are/were wicked light, wicked stiff and had a great tall arch and narrow heel pocket (also in a good way). The shell fit between the two is about the same but the Perf is about 10 or so mm shorter which would require a rear binding remount. I have had a bit of frost-nip on my toes so I am a little worried about them being a little cold and too stiff for my 150 ish lb frame. I almost think I would wear them without the tongue more often than not.

    On paper they are two massively different boots, on the feet they both had pro’s and con’s and both felt great, neither were heated. Any insight and or deep thoughts are sincerely appreciated. Pretty please. HELP.

  114. jeremy March 31st, 2013 12:54 am

    PS I have been told the TLT6 Performance for next year will have a wider toe box which will make it too wide for this kid. So it’s either the RS or this years Performance.

  115. Lou Dawson March 31st, 2013 6:36 am

    Jeremy, the tales you’re being told about TLT6 probably originated here:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/9044/dynafit-new-beast-cho-oyu-2013-2014/

    And yes, it will be a few mm wider in several spots.

    Not sure that’s a big deal, as the liner will be correspondingly thicker and will mold. The idea is indeed to make the boot fit more people without shell punching, as well as make it warmer.

    As for your troubles with boot fit, it sounds like you might need to go beyond self help. For example, if less volume is the issue, it is sometimes very effective to downsize the shell, and punch out for length. For example, I frequently use a smaller shell so I get a tighter heel area, then punch out the toe. But yes, first thing is always to get the best shell fit you can and go from there.

    I’d add that really any model boot can be fit to nearly anyone’s foot, but sometimes doing so can be very time consuming. For example, I’ve got some test boots here that I really wanted to use, but they simply were not that compatible with my foot shape. I’ve spent all winter fiddling around with them and they now fit. That’s my job so I didn’t mind. But the time and effort I took go beyond what you’d be able to do with most boot fitters. Thus, yes, evaluating shell fit is key — then do some customizing with the help of a boot fitter.

    Lou

  116. Jason March 31st, 2013 10:39 am

    I just have to update my experiences so far. These boots have been great! They push a 100mm wide ski no problem, are responsive in changing snow conditions, hike amazing and for what they are, are really light! They work super well on the snowmobile also with the overfoot buckles located away from the inside. My only complaint would be, single buckle over foot, what’s the one nearest the toes really for? I feel no change even when it’s cranked!

    GREAT BOOT.

  117. jeremy March 31st, 2013 10:40 am

    Lou,

    I hear you and agree that almost any boot can eventually be made to fit always anyone’s foot. Your feedback is much appreciated. That being said I don’t have the time or expertise that you do to make that happen. So my goal is start with something that is pretty darn close to my needs right out of the box and make smaller tweaks from there. My much tweaked and softened in bounds Nordica 130 WC Doberman is a good example, I went with since it has a 95mm performance last in my shell size, it took some work but it’s perfect for resort skiing.. however I couldn’t ski it backcountry, way too tight, too cold etc So…

    - Am I wrong in feeling that the 101 of the RS felt more narrow in the tow box than the Perf or is this really due to liner thickness, I assume the RS’s intuition will pack out more since it’s much thicker, though it’s likely to be dryer and warmer than the Perf?

    - Is the RS considered low volume? Or similar in volume and last to the Perf, the numbers number seem to illustrate they are quite different but the carpet test did not?

    - Is the Perf too cold for someone that has has a bit of frost-nip on the toes? Some say they get wet but still remain warm.

    - Is the flex really that stiff? It could be too much. I don’t mind a stiffer boot mated with a softer flexing ski but don’t want the cast feel, but a little over 1,000g wow.

    - The RS seems to be fairly competitive with the Mercury, perhaps a shade softer and a few mm narrower, would you say this is true or false?

    Ideally I would like the RS softer feel flex, snug toe box, intuition liners and warmth with the Perf weight, simplicity, removal tongue, heel cup and arches.

    Advice from and master(s).

  118. jeremy March 31st, 2013 10:43 am

    Jason, That’s helpful, locally if I mention snowmobile I get some nasty comments aimed at me, however, I do sled and do access BC skiing via a sled.

    How is the boot flex?
    How is the warmth?
    How is the volume?

    Gracias.

  119. Lou Dawson April 1st, 2013 6:06 am

    I personally like the Maestrale flex, very smooth compared to the lighter weight boots I usually ski such as TLT-5 and Spitfire. Warmth is fine, depends on fit of course. Volume is average, larger toe box than some boots, which I like. Biggest news is the “bump” under the arch is pretty much gone now. Took about 20 years for that to happen, but it’s done and we rejoice. The larger buckles are cosmetic, but they do look nice. Lou

  120. Carl Arnatt April 4th, 2013 7:45 am

    I spent 75 days of bliss on my Maestrale RS ‘s however the screw on one of my rear tech fittings sheared off inside of the boot. I had to send them back to scarpa and they are on their way back to me right now. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced the same thing. Granted I did ski pretty hard at the area on my dynafit bindings, but the screw shearing gives me a little concern in the back of my head for long term durability. Other than this the boots are magnificent. Stiff and comfy with a fantastic walk/touring mode. Two thumbs up !

  121. Gary May 11th, 2013 8:14 pm

    I have tue Scarpa Skookum work intuition power wraps. I use them 70% resort/side country and 30% backcountry. Most backcountry is spring peaks. I do like the Skookum. Just wondering if the Mastrale RS is significantly better for skiing and or walking to justify the expense?

  122. Lee Lau May 11th, 2013 10:11 pm

    Gary

    The Maestrale RS is significantly better than the Skookum

  123. tc May 12th, 2013 10:52 am

    The first couple of seasons of the Maestrale/Gea/Rush/Blink saw many problems with the cuff lock failing (holding less and less and finally not locking at all). I didn’t see that flagged or discussed much here, but it was a very common warranty problem at big distributors (so I’m told by MEC in Canada as well as personally knowing 4 different people who repaired/replaced boots for the same reason).

    Has that been sorted out with the newer boots of that lineage? They are definitely one of the best-in-class boots but I hesitate to go that way until I know that won’t be a problem…

  124. Lou Dawson May 12th, 2013 11:14 am

    TC, as far as I know it’s not a common issue with current boots. I can’t remember any problems with our test boots, hence it probably wasn’t mentioned in the reviews. In terms of mention in the comments, people who have it happen are of course welcome to report on it. Lou

  125. tc May 12th, 2013 11:35 am

    Well, ok. I’ll ‘make a report’ since I brought it up!
    [Note that this is for older Maestrale-type boots (10/11). It may not relate at all to the current generation. I brought it up because of my interest in the new boots]

    My comments are based on my wife’s boots and the 3 friends who had the same problem, and discussions with the MEC ski techs and warranty department. All the boots in question were from the first 2 years of production (2 Maestrales, 1 Gea, 1 Blink). All had the same problem where either the pin or the hole in the release bar wore so that it would no longer hold when the boot was flexed (so resulting in a free flexing cuff). This was a gradual process that over a season became worse and eventually resulted in full failure.

    One hypothesis floated by a ski tech who had seen the problem numerous times was that canting the boot could result in the pin not inserting consistently. If not fully engaged, the pin could pop out resulting in gradual wear. Eventually – the components would wear so much that the lock wouldn’t hold at all.

    Therefore, the problem (and required design fix) may be associated with the canting and not only the cuff lock. A cant/lock issue could also mean that some people may not have a problem and others would.

    Anyway – no solid conclusions here. Just an observation of a frustrating failure based on a number of cases as well as industry confirmation of many warranties for the same problem. MEC response was, as always, superb.

  126. GuiGui May 13th, 2013 3:46 pm

    Hi there,

    After 1 season of use (50+ days, inbounds and outbounds), the top hinge of the tongue on both boots broke. This is not surprising as they kind of stand out of the boot.
    I got replacement parts (and allen screws) from Scarpa in a couple of days through a shop, but when I tried to unscrew the (what looks like allen screws), I found out that they are actually riveted !!
    Am I seeing things wrongly or did scarpa try to make us feel like it is an easy-fix boot when it’s not ?

    Apart from that I love the boots !

    Guillaume

  127. Lou Dawson May 13th, 2013 4:20 pm

    Gui, yeah, you have to drill out the rivets…

  128. Gui May 13th, 2013 11:47 pm

    Thanks for the prompt reply Lou, I just went through all the comments on Bob’s review and saw your post there. Drilling, then ! (it doesn’t affect the performance as far as I can tell)

  129. Rodney May 27th, 2013 2:51 am

    My wife is starting to have the same problem with her Scarpa Blinks’s as tc on one of her boots. We have since had the canting tightened and this has meant that the boot does lock – although there is significantly more play on this boot than the other. We purchase the boots in the 2011/12 Season. I suspect that we will need to replace the locking mechanism in the forthcoming season.

    My wife found her Blink’s to be the most comfortable boots she has ever owned and would buy them again despite the issue (which was quite alarming the first time when stuck on a mountain not able to lock your boots).

  130. Tom August 27th, 2013 8:53 pm

    Looks like the 28 and 27.5 have the same shell size. Anyone know what makes up the difference between the boots? Is the liner just a different size or is there an additional foot board on the bottom of the boot to take up volume? Thanks!!

  131. Lou Dawson August 27th, 2013 9:18 pm

    Tom, it’s just the liner, 27.5 is shorter liner. A boot fitter can usually make either liner fit, but it’s best to match to your foot. Lou

  132. Jason August 28th, 2013 12:36 pm

    @Tom, like Lou said. I found also that the boot was a bit on the small size compared to my “shoe” size. Get to a good shop and try some on. Great boots for a little more aggressive touring.

  133. Lou Dawson August 28th, 2013 1:53 pm

    If you’re new to fitting ski boots, remember that the off the shelf “shop fit” should be a bit tight, before the liner is molded. If it feels great off-the-shelf it’s possibly too big. Though it depends on how well your foot matches the “phantom last” that the liner is molded to in the factory. Lou

  134. Tom August 28th, 2013 5:47 pm

    Thanks for the info guys. I did order a pair of 28′s. I measure a 28.5 so I went down a shell size for Scarpa. Doing a shell fit I have aprox. 15mm behind my heal (measured with wood dowel) Wearing a ultra light ski sock I have snug fit so I think I have the right size. They did feel rather comfy after some time on. I did put on a lightweight smartwool sock and they were pretty tight so I think I’m good. Don’t think I need the 27.5 liner.

    Now I just need to decide on the Radical ST or FT. After reading Lou’s post I think the ST will get the job done as the carbon plate on the FT does not really do much.

    Also Lou, any favorite skins? I have an old pair of backcountry access and they have no glide. Would like to glide a little more.

    thanks again for all the info. I’m in the midwest so I have to figure this out without any shop help.

    tom

  135. Jay January 14th, 2014 7:48 am

    i have an old pair of scarpa tournado’s. looking to purchase a new pair or boots. primarily an on-resort skier who spends a few days in the backcountry when on vacation out west. are the maestral’s the most comparable boots to my old tournado’s? by the way, i have super hight arches and think that the forefoot adjustable strap may have been the reason for the great fit.
    j

  136. Alin March 19th, 2014 9:36 pm

    Hi Lou,

    Would baking the standard liners be enough to fit your 27.5 foot inside the 28 boot?
    I am 27.5 measured. I have used size 9 (27) in my previous Lange alpine boots (a bit tight). It is hard to find half sizes on this boot and I really want to get a pair by the end of this season.
    Should I size up and get a 28, as you did?

    Thanks!
    Alin

  137. zippy the pinhead March 21st, 2014 7:14 am

    Alin,
    With most (all?) Scarpa ski boot models, the shell size breaks between the full-size and the half-size, so 27.5 and 28.0 would be the same size shell with a slightly different liner (the claimed difference being the fit around the toes).

    Most other boot companies (like Lange) break the shell size between the half- and full-sizes, so a 27.0 and 27.5 would be the same shell size, with the difference being in the fit of the liner.

    In my experience, the difference in the liner size is negligible. I’ve had a number of Scarpa ski boots over the past 20+ years, with both the full- and half-size liners for my shell size. I couldn’t detect any difference in the sizes of the liners.

    Of course, your mileage may vary.

    Happy trails….

    -Zippy

  138. Alin March 21st, 2014 7:55 am

    Thank you Zippy! 28 sounds good then.

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