Scarpa has fired an explosive salvo in the freeride touring boot wars with their new Freedom model. I fitted a pair last night and am skiing them today with a flock of media hacks planning on invading some obscure ski resort in Utah. Thing is, Scarpa doesn’t have to do a whole lot of brain washing regarding these shoes, they’re truly cool. Some factoids and photos:
- Low Volume.
- Shell sole construction = insulated PU boot board > carbon core technology co-injected.
- Swappable soles. Boot will be sold with tour sole that has tech fittings.
- Inserts reinforced with steel plates.
- In touring mode, only connection between lower and upper boot is boot cuff rivets on side. Lean lock bar has been removed to allow 27 degrees of movement freedom (20 degrees forward 7 back). They’re calling this feature “free motion.” Not exactly a new earth shattering idea, but definitely competitive with other brands that offer similar freedom of cuff movement. (Hint hint this will be almost 100% something that is transferred across the line).
- The boot is Pebax. Thickness ranges 3 to 6 mm throughout boot.
- Lateral lean angle of last is 2 degrees to “enable preload of the boot from the base up.” (This is on the medial side). We assume this means the cuff is “pre canted.” For those who don’t need any canting or want more, a cuff alignment rivet is indeed included.
- Zipped buckle on lower closures (no rivet below the buckle allows easier entry into boot as this boot is a true overlap).
- Flat boot board (inside of shell under your foot) solves numerous fit problems.
- Weight is 1799 g (63 oz), one boot size 27.
- Excellent MSRP: $769 for Pebax and $599 for PU.
Official story: Well known professional skier Chris Davenport met Scarpa at OR last winter and spoke with them about what he was interested in. Then while in Alaska in April, skiing with some “product skiers,” they discussed their ideas. He then flew directly to Italy, iPad PowerPoint in hand, and presented Scarpa with his ideas. Upon hearing his spiel they handed him a prototype which was exactly everything he wanted — sort of like Cinderella perfectly fitting that shoe. The rest is now history, and we have what looks to be something exceptional.
Brief Boot Review:
A one day demo was provided by Scarpa NA at Snowbird Resort. The conditions were hard pack under bluebird skies with a temperature of 20F warming up to 45F in the afternoon. I was paired with Kastle’s BMX 108 in a 188 length. The group I skied with was a hard charging bunch from 8am till early afternoon led by Chris Davenport. For the morning I was in the Pebax Freedom with Intuition liners. I noticed my immediate need to buckle the forefoot of the boot to the max whilst attempting to do the same on the upper boot. The power transfer was immediate and the lack of weight in the boots were apparent as the skis underfoot were no lightweight. At lunch I swapped into the PU version of the boot and immediately noticed a roomier toe box. I believe this was due to the nature of the Intuition liners further molding to my foot although other testers noted similar feelings. The PU boot similar to the Pebax forced me to buckle my forefoot to their max. For the days conditions the PU boot seemed to stay stiff throughout the afternoon as the Pebax gradually got softer throughout the morning. When I looked around at fellow testers I believe these boots will be for market segment of hard charging individuals who skis equally as pressing at the resort and in the slackcountry.
Note:I did not tour or hike in either version of the boot throughout the day.