Just when the snow started flying in the PNW this fall, a pair of Scarpa’s new Freedom boots showed up at my door. With pow season around the corner, burly backcountry boots are the ticket for the kind of riding I like to do. (Note: Freedom comes in two models. SL is the significantly lighter weight version with Pebax and carbon construction, regular Freedom does not have a thermo liner and is molded from PU plastic instead of Pebax. They rate SL as a 120 flex and regular Freedom at 110, we suspect they’re both virtually the same stiffness, depending on how the liner fits you and the boot is buckled.)
I’ve wrung out the Freedom on a few recent trips. They are an interesting boot — definitely a strong evolution on the beefier side of the AT boot spectrum. Scarpa has taken a stiff overlap boot and attempted to make it walk as well as possible at reasonable weight (claimed at 63 ounces per single of size 27, so 4 pounds per boot, verified weight coming as soon as scale is working.). Verdict: they work. This in comparison to many of the stiffer AT boots out there that attempt to use tongue (cabrio) type shell construction and make it stiffer — with varying degrees of success in both how such boots walk and how they ski.
It’s known within the industry that Scarpa Freedom has knocked it out of the park in terms of sales. As far as I can tell by skiing the boot as well as examining it, I’m not surprised. In coming weeks I’ll give this boot more of a test and eventually a real review. Meanwhile, if you’re shopping and have a line on your list for “new stiffer AT boot,” perhaps you can fill that line.
Louie Dawson earned his Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design from Western Washington University in 2014. When he’s not skiing Mount Baker or somewhere equally as snowy, he’s thinking about new products to make ski mountaineering more fun and safe.