Scott Cosmos 3 Ski Touring Boot – Review #1

Post by blogger | April 5, 2017      

Also see Cosmos 3 Review #2

Scott’s evolution of the Cosmos ski touring boot, beginning with their acquisition of the Garmont molds and designs around five years ago, has been interesting to watch. It’s also been gratifying to experience as a tester — as Cosmos has matured into a beautiful tongue style ski touring boot. They fit a variety of feet due to a moderately wide last, have as good a flex as can be expected from a three piece shell, reasonable weight, and plenty of beef.

Cosmos 3, I like the black-white design with red accents.

Cosmos 3, I like the black-white design with red accents. Scaffo is Grilamid, cuff is carbon infused Grilamid. Note the power strap, the pass-through buckle made of thin wire is actually a spring that provides some give and enhances progressive flex, ingenious.

Cosmos has what we call a "tongue shell" construction, meaning the boot opens by hinging a third shell section forward out of the way.

Cosmos has what we call a “tongue shell” construction, meaning the boot opens by hinging a third shell section forward out of the way. We also call this type of shell a “3 piece” or “cabrio.” The other type of shell is the “overlap” which is made with two pieces, the lower of which has flaps that close the boot. Cabrio is easier to get on and off, easier to make, and has a different feel than an overlap. Cabrio boots can conceivably be made stiffer than an overlap by using the tongue as a stiffener, but doing so can result in compromised touring performance. The two types of boots are an eternal dilemma, especially if you’re comparing an overlap vs Cabrio without any weight advantage of one over the other. In that case, fit would probably rule, though the often sweet downhill flex of an overlap boot can be a tempter. The two types of boots can end up fitting quite a bit different.

Cosmos cuff is carbon infused plastic with obvious struts to stiffen the flex.

Cosmos cuff is carbon infused plastic with obvious struts to stiffen the flex. When I battened down the hatches I found them to be quite stiff, probably around what people would call a 125 flex.

Liner has good height above shell. Cabrio tongue has good height as well, as does the rear. We'd like to see the sides slightly higher.

Liner has good height above shell. Cabrio tongue has good height as well, as does the rear. We’d like to see the sides a few millimeters taller at the cost of a few grams.

Check out the beefy mount for the lower lean lock anchor.

Check out the beefy mount for the lower lean lock anchor. Across the industry, beefing up this area is proving to be a good way of making boots feel stiffer without a huge weight penalty.

Many external lean locks have just a slot that engages a horizontal pin.

Many external lean locks have just a slot that engages a horizontal pin. Such have proven to be ok, but why not a little insurance against the lean lock getting banged and disengaged while you’re skiing the Instagram Couloir? Cosmos boasts this little hook to keep your good side up, for touring mode it disengages when you pull the string.

Cuff articulation rearward, not a skimo race boot but good enough.

Cuff articulation rearward, not a skimo race boot but good enough. Liner combined with Cabrio do somewhat reduce real-life articulation. As with any boot, if you’re concerned about exact feel during touring, a carpet test is mandatory. Larger skiers can easily overcome various sorts of flex resistance, while smaller skiers can be much more sensitive to things like how the liner articulates.

Liner has a flex zone, but it's not very pronounced.

Liner has a flex zone, but it’s not very pronounced.

I like liner laces. Optional here of course, but they're not an afterthought, they work.

I like liner laces. Optional here of course, but they’re not an afterthought, they work.

Best ski boot liner lace cord lock I've ever used.

Best ski boot liner lace cord lock I’ve ever used.

Back to the shell, spoiler is ergonomic, shaped for your leg.

Back to the shell, spoiler is ergonomic, shaped for your leg.

As soon as they try to make the tongue stiff enough to help with downhill skiing, it gets too stiff for touring.

As soon as they try to make the tongue stiff enough to help with downhill skiing, you notice it reducing your stride while touring. I experimented by cutting out the small living hinge area to ease the flex a bit. Helps, but doesn’t seal over the lower shell opening as well. Solutions for this exist, such as variations of a two-piece tongue. I’d like to see that sort of thing on the Cosmos (it’s had this type of tongue since version 1).

Dynafit certified 1st generation tech fittings. Our favorite at the front, but we'd like to see the heel fitting through bolted to the shell.

Dynafit certified 1st generation tech fittings. Our favorite at the front, but we’d like to see the heel fitting through bolted to the shell.

Yes Virginia, 4 buckles. The toe buckle just seems so 2003.

Yes Virginia, 4 buckles. The toe buckle just seems so 2003 and really doesn’t do much except compress the tongue down uncomfortably on top of my foot. I’d probably remove it if these were my daily driver ski touring boot.

Though I prefer a ski touring boot more on the side of the one-kilo class, I enjoy climbing into a beef boot now and then. Riding the Cosmos was no exception to that. If you’re looking for something that continues the Garmont legacy, only in modern materials with what appears to be flawless execution and the desirable external lean lock, look no farther. Note that the external lean lock is a big change. Due to concerns about the lean lock in previous Cosmos models, I’d recommend holding out for Cosmos 3 if you’re shopping this model of Scott ski boots. It’ll be available fall of 2017. If you’re looking to get a Cosmos sooner, the 2 is available here (it’s said all the bugs have been worked out).

Total weight, size 27.5, 1478 grams.
Shell weight, 1180 grams.
Lean lock, external with safety catch.
Shell type:
BSL for 27.5, 306
Last width, according to Ski Alper magazine the Cosmos 2 (27 shell) measures 102 mm at the widest part of the toe box.

We have numerous posts covering Cosmos ski touring boots.

Scott Cosmos boot shell break sizes.

Scott Cosmos boot shell break sizes. Click to enlarge.


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26 Responses to “Scott Cosmos 3 Ski Touring Boot – Review #1”

  1. Pablo April 5th, 2017 10:19 am

    Nice review Lou! (as usual)

    I have been a long time thinkink about that kind of “tongue cuts” to improve skinning cuff motion.

    I was thinking about doing something similar to my Atomic Backland Carbon’s “Hard tongues” in order to keep them on always and not be taking thm off and on all time.

    My guess is if doing this kind of surgery will affect a lot or not much on downhill mode.
    In my humble opinión, flex index on boots like baklands depends on how hard are the cuff and shell of boot and no so mucho on how hard is the tonge.

    Did you note a great variation of flex resistance after cutting the tonge? Did the cosmos downhill noticeably worst than before the surgery??

    As always, thanks you very much for this great place!

  2. Daniel April 5th, 2017 1:27 pm

    Lou, can you briefly compare fit, stiffness and cuff lean/cant (sideways) to the good old Zzero4c?

  3. Lou Dawson 2 April 5th, 2017 3:05 pm

    Daniel, it’s overall a more highly evolved boot, with the feel of Grilamid instead of Pebax. Pebax is more “bouncy” in my opinion. I have some old Zzeros here but without the original liner, so I have no way of comparing fit. The Cosmos is stiffer, due to the beefy carbon infused cuff and external lean lock. Lou

  4. Matus April 6th, 2017 2:45 am

    The toe buckle just seems so 2003 – haha. But frankly, I found out that this is so true after converting from orange first gen maestrale to maestrale RS and now to F1. I do not miss any of those 4 real buckles.

  5. Lou Dawson 2 April 6th, 2017 5:25 am

    Matus, yeah, it’s funny how “normal” changes over time with outward appearance of clothing and gear. 4 buckle boots look “normal” in a lot of situations, but in certain groups of ski tourers they can look odd and out of place. And once you’ve learned how to work a 1-kilo boot for your style of ski touring, it can feel downright weird to be trudging around in a 4-buckle. Though I’d again add that if a “big” boot is what you need and what works for you, by all means it’s appropriate and I have no intention of getting up on some kind of high horse and saying otherwise.

    What’s interesting is that the overlap design, which has been around for about a half a century now, is still viable, but clearly the closure systems are subject to change. Fun to watch. Lou

  6. Pete Anzalone April 8th, 2017 3:24 pm

    Great review Lou. When can I give them a test drive?

  7. Bruno Schull December 4th, 2017 8:11 am

    I’m resurrecting this thread to start a general discussion about crampon compatability with the new Scott Cosmos III and the Dynafit shark nose.

    I have last year’s Scott Cosmos II boots. They fit great. In fact, they are basically the only boot out there that fits my big, wide, flat feet, that ALSO comes in a big enough size (31.5). The only other boot I know is the Scarpa Maestrale, but they are not quite as wide and high volume as the Scott.

    Which brings me to crampons. With the new heel lever design on the Cosmos III, it’s difficult or impossible to use a real crampon with a heel bail that snaps into place at the rear. Scott positioned the aluminum lever far down. That’s frustrating, because, as I said, this is one of the only boots, or the only boot, that fits my feet.

    The Dynafit shark nose is also a problem, even though I can’t use those boots anyway. The whole shark nose thing–is there really an incremental gain with stride efficiency or weight, or is it just a way for them to differentiate themselves? I think the latter. And the problem is that you can’t use a regular technical crampon with a metal toe bail That too bad, because crampons with plastic baskets are fine for snow, but they just don’t come close to crampons with a metal bail for any kind of technical climbing. So, if you want to use your Dynafit boots to ski and climb ice or mixed, you are out of luck. There’s a reason all the skiers/climbers in Cham have been zooming around in older Dynafit boots for years–they really were skiing and climbing boots.

    Sure there are other options out there that will fit a real crampon heel and/or toe bail…BUT NONE OF THEM COME IN SIZES BIGGER THAN 29.5/30.5

    Sorry to shout. I understand the economic realities of producing boots and molds in a wide range of sizes. But, basically, folks with big feet have been maneuvered out of the market if they want touring boots that also fit technical crampons.

    The only option now that Scott has changed the heel lever on the Cosmos is the Maestrale, but pretty much the last thing I want to do is start scraping around on granite and ice with that cable lower closure. It looks like it’s a failure waiting to happen.

    Anyway, it’s frustrating that boot manufacturers don’t/won’t take into consideration regular crampon fit, and that they don’t make all their boots in a full range of sizes.

    OK, rant over.


  8. Lou2 December 4th, 2017 8:15 am

    Good rant more soon. Lou

  9. Paddy December 4th, 2017 7:15 pm

    Bruno, no need to go with plastic “basket style” crampon toes. You just get the sharknose metal replacement bail from Dynafit. Might even be a more bomber crampon attachment.

  10. Drake December 5th, 2017 9:33 am

    Bruno, Petzl used to make sidelock darts that used both a toe and heel bail with a sidelock, looks like that might solve to problem for you with the heel bail.

  11. Christian Jentsch December 28th, 2017 3:34 am

    A note on crampon compatibility:

    I was quite disappointed when I found out, that crampons do not fit well to the Comsos 3.

    I tried my Grivel Air Tech New Matic crampon to the boot and found out that the back lever of the crampon hardly snaps as it collides with the lever fixation of the walking mechanism of the Cosmos 3 which is too far down (just as described in the posts above). The lever just snaps, but by touching it softly it instantly snaps off again. This seems rather dangerous for serious climbing.

    Also the Petzl Sarken II (with lever-lock) seems not to fit well (but I did not fiddle around with all possible settings of the crampon with this one).

    After some research I found out that the Black Diamond Serac Pro has a slightly shorter back-lever than other crampons. So I decided to give it a try in the shop. Indeed it fitted much better (but not perfectly). The crampon-lever still collides with the lever fixation of the Cosmos 3, but it clearly snaps, and (in contrast to my grivel crampon) a certain amount of force and moving distance is necessary to open it again. In combination with a tightly closed strap around the boot this seems enough safe to me.

    So it might be worth to give a try to the Black Diamond crampon for the Cosmos 3. The wide front toe bail for ski boots is sold separately. The Serac Clip version would work too, but I prefered the Pro version for a ski boot.

    That said, it is a pity that crampon compatibility is so bad with the Comsos 3. I would have prefered to use my Grivel crampon instead of buying an extra one just for this one boot.

  12. Ben January 9th, 2018 6:38 pm

    I bought the Cosmos IIIs a few months ago. I just got back from a backcountry hut trip in BC, and skied and toured with these for a week straight. After three days of touring, two of the upper buckles’ spring mechanisms fatigued and snapped, leaving the buckles flopping off the side. The same thing happened to one of the top buckles on the other boot the following day. It’s fine when the buckles are in place for touring or skiing with the keepers, but it’s a bit annoying to have them flopping around with no spring retention. From what I have gathered from Scott, they’ll send me some new ones, but I was just curious if Lou or Pete have experienced this and if there are any strategies for preventing it. Since it happened so quickly, I’m guessing it will happen again once I get the replacements. Conditions weren’t particularly cold, and I ski hard, but I am relatively light (5’8, 145). I also loosened the buckles as much as possible when touring, but kept them in the keepers leading up to the malfunction.

  13. Lou Dawson 2 January 9th, 2018 7:02 pm

    Sounds like a defect, hopefully the replacements won’t fail. Have not had the problem here, and I can’t think of any real way to mitigate possibility. Lou

  14. JP January 18th, 2018 7:37 am

    Is the Cosmos 3 in size 25.5 exactly the same as the woman’s Celeste 3? I tend to be in the lower male sizes and upper woman sizes overlap (~25) and wondering if I can go with the women’s 25.5.


  15. Ellen Hollinshead January 22nd, 2018 2:59 pm

    I just got an email back Scott on the differences between the Cosmos and Celeste. The Celeste shell is shorter and the flex is a little softer.

    But bummed to read these comments on crampons not working. It seems whenever I buy a new boot I have to spend another $150 on a decent liner or crampons….

  16. Simon Kelly January 27th, 2018 2:34 pm

    Following the thread. Just got these. Similar to others here, I have ‘special’ feet with a high arch. Plus I wear orthoses. Will report back on how I get on.

  17. Zoran March 3rd, 2018 10:58 am

    Is Cosmos III ISO certified?

    My resort Salomon bindings are Warden MNC and Boot Compatibility is alpine (ISO 5355), touring (ISO 9523), and WTR.

    Thank you for your comments and input.

  18. Simon Kelly April 21st, 2018 1:35 pm

    Reporting back now that I’ve used the boots.

    Overall, convinced that they’re the best fit for my wide high arched feet. They were comfortable to skin and ski in. Felt nice and stiff too compared to the Maestrales I had previously.

    There are, however, a number of things that aren’t great:
    – They feel rather fragile and not robust at all. Time will tell but I doubt that they will last me many years.
    – They are a little fussy to put on and take some time to get everything aligned to ensure that they don’t rub where they shouldn’t (tongue etc)
    – My Petzl Irvis crampons don’t fit securely at all so will need to find an alternative (not easy based on feedback from others here any elsewhere)

    As I said, I think that they are the best option for my feet. Fit is always the number one priority for me despite any downsides.

    Hope that helps

  19. Simon Kelly July 19th, 2018 7:26 am

    A quick update on crampon compatibility.

    I’ve bought some Grivel Skimatic crampons. They seem to fit well. Not used yet in the field. Will report back – but won’t be for a number of months!

    Does anyone else spend the summer increasingly thinking about skiing? Just found the Totally Deep podcast which is quenching my ski thirst well – just need to avoid any premature over stoking!


  20. Zoran July 19th, 2018 7:38 am

    Perhaps it’s weird to watch ski videos and outside is 35C but I can’t help it. I started planing my Powder Highway trip in February! 🙂

  21. Mark Beattie November 14th, 2018 7:41 am

    Simon, these sound like a good option for my 44-44.5 EU (10.5 EEE US) high arch high volume feet. I’ve got a pair of Scarpa F1’s on hand but the mid is a bit tight; where my foot really gets wide is toward the middle and upper, I’d say my toe box is “average width”. Anyhow, I’m guessing sizing a 28 shell in Scott should give a good middle of the road fit. The Scarpas are a 29 shell which I think this is too long given my flipper feet. If anyone else can think of other boots to try, much appreciated.

  22. Zoran November 14th, 2018 8:53 am

    Mark, I can only think about Salomon S/LAB MTNs.
    I love my Cosmos and will not replace them but if I decide to experiment I would try Salomon …

    You can “cook” shell in their specialized ovens in local store and boots look so good:

    Hopefully other manufacturers will go with mold-able shells design. Not sure Dynafit will experiment with this. Dynafit and Scarpa have a great marketing platform and many of my friends buying their boots.

    When we tour and stop, I see my friends often (while I take pictures) first thing they do is to unbuckle boots, then discuss how one day will punch shell etc However, all my friends look pretty in those Scarpa and Dynafit boots and I admire them! 🙂

  23. Doug December 25th, 2018 9:17 pm

    I just tried on a pair of cosmos III. I love lace up liners but I found when I tightened the laces that the locking mechanism for the laces stood straight out (did not lay flat) and it also was wedged between the tongue and the hard plastic part that goes over the tongue making a gap. Seemed a bit odd. Has anybody else noticed this? Maybe I had things goofed up. I like my laces tight on my liners.

  24. Ryan December 31st, 2018 2:48 pm

    Hey Lou,

    I have sourced a pair of NOS original Garmont Celestes (Cosmos) for my wife. Currently she is skiing an old frame binding, but I would luv to get her in a pin-tech binding. I am well aware of the issues the original tech fittings had with getting a smooth release in Dynafit bindings from following you blog. I am capable of making the proper mods to the fittings so that issue isn’t present, but wondering if it would even be necessary if I mount her up a pair of Fritschi Vipecs. I’m guessing the manner of release on the Vipecs is such that the motion of release is at the toe and is contacting different parts of the pin and socket as it cycles through the release motion. Sort of taking the sticky sockets out of the equation.

    I guess I am looking for any thoughts or insights on this.

    Additionally, her weight and style of skiing puts her below a RV (DIN) of 5. She skis at a 4. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a pin-tech binding below 5. Although testing out both a Vipec and Dynafit with the screws dialed out what looks like a tick beyond a 5 and then testing the release at the local shop, it gives consistent results indicative of a DIN of 4. Again, wanted to hear from you, your thoughts on this…

    Thanks for any input and SORRY to have posted this under the COSMOS III heading, but the other Cosmos threads had been closed.


  25. Rob Walker May 15th, 2019 2:49 pm

    I had these for one season – I have a picky foot that loved this boot.
    The flimsy buckle wires gradually lost their angle and the buckles would pop out, then pop off the boots. I started noticing this problem on Mount Columbia in the Columbia Icefield – not good!

    I had to return the boots. Too bad, because other than the flimsy buckle wires (and the red retaining wires were almost laughable), it was a great boot.

    I notice next year’s Superguide has a much more robust buckle design — I might give that a shot.

  26. Mark Beattie May 15th, 2019 3:10 pm

    I ordered a pair of these Scott Cosmos III’s but returned them. I’m nominally a 27.5cm EEEE width foot (high instep, high arch); I ordered the Scott Cosmos III’s in 28.5 MP and my foot was swimming, so, one probably needs to size down or go fairly exact/tight to your true MP foot size.

    Compared to what I ended up skiing this season (28.0 Scarpa F1’s, teal/orange) the Cosmos III felt much beefier/stiffer; but I wanted increased ankle flexion and walkability, which the F1’s have had in spades. I tried on the La Sportiva Spectre 2.0’s, and they fit like many LS boots, a bit narrow at the mid-to-forefoot. I may try and see if I can find a pair of Scarpa Freedom SL’s, not sure what else will fit well / hike well / _and_ ski stiffer than the F1s.

    I really do like the Intuition liners; I don’t use any sort of laces with them as the F1’s buckle system is similar to the newer Maestrale’s which is fairly single sided, but my feet were rarely cold this season.

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