SCARPA Maestrale RS 2 — Review

Post by blogger | November 17, 2017      
Maestrale RS, our tester boots last winter were pre-retail, we're not sure photos of them are accurate so we'll use this shot from SCARPA.

Maestrale RS, our tester boots last winter were pre-retail, we’re not sure photos of them are accurate so we’ll use this shot from SCARPA, and do more photography when we have retail version boots.

Last winter SCARPA introduced upgrades for their ever popular Maestrale ski touring boots. I’ve been skiing in Maestrales for years now, and was excited to try the upgraded version. (Note, for clarity we’ll call this boot the RS “2” though according to SCARPA it’s still simply called the Maestrale RS.)

I first tested the boots during a day of cat skiing at winter 2017 Outdoor Retailer. In my first look review, you can read thoughts on that brief test, as well as technical info on the boots. We went into quite a bit of detail about the changes from the Maestrale 1. There’s also lots of good discussion in the comments of that post.

The new Maestrale RS is definitely an evolution of the 1.0 version (as opposed to being an entirely different boot). The basic structure and functionality is similar; however, almost every part of the boot is changed or updated.

A major upgrade is the walk mode mechanism. SCARPA took the simple external lever used on the F1 and Alien series of boots, beefed it up, and installed it on the Maestrale boots. This allows the boot to have WAAYY more range of motion in tour mode. Another notable change is the material of the upper cuff. SCARPA uses a fiber reinforced plastic that significantly increases stiffness. The buckle setup on the toe of the boot is reworked, the two forefoot buckles being replaced with a single large buckle that uses a metal cable to spread the load. The old hinge-to-the-side tongue opening is gone as well, with the hinges replaced with rivets. The new tongue functions similarly once the boot is on, but the rivets make it a bit tricker to get on.

The liner of the boot is reworked. SCARPA changed the location of some of the stitching, ostensibly for more comfort. They got rid of the removable velcro-attached tongue, a welcome change, as the velcro caused fitting issues for me.

After testing the Maestrale during the OR show last year, I was impressed. A little later I got a pre-production pair to test up here in the PNW. I used the boots during the last part of the winter and quite a bit in the spring.

After a few months of skiing the boots, I can say that the RS 2 is certainly a bit stiffer than the former RS. It’s a small increase, but I definitely felt it and appreciated the added support in a few hairy moments of going fast in bad snow. More, due to the added stiffness I found myself much more comfortable with this boots as ski resort footwear.

In contrast to subtle downhill performance changes, the improvement in the walking mode isn’t hard to notice. The first time I flipped the RS 2 into walk mode, it was obvious that they would be fantastic for striding. It’s said by SCARPA that the new pivot increases the degree of rotation from 37 to 60 degrees. The old Maestrale series (as do most other AT boots) had a walk mode that pivoted with quite a bit of friction. The new pivot latch pivots completely out of the way — less friction than the old style.

Walk mode in summary: The rear walk mode flex of the Maestrale is essentially as good as it can get. My ankle flexibility limits me more than the boot. The forward walk mode flex is a bit stiffer than a super light “hike optimized” AT boot, but still impressive.

The boots are slightly lighter than the old Maestrale RS’s. Our pre-retail boots weighed in at 1324 grams for just the shell, and 1624 for the liner, shell, and my footbed. I suspect most of this can be attributed to the removal of one buckle. Nonetheless, it’s a feat that the techs of Montebelluna managed to lighten things up a bit while retaining or improving functionality.

I did have a problem with the walk mode lever in my pre-retail boots. Once in awhile they didn’t easily lock, usually because of snow in the mechanism. SCARPA assures us this will be mitigated on the retail boot version. Once we test we’ll revisit here and edit, but we felt we had to mention until we’re sure this got fixed.

I prefer the toe buckles of the 1st generation Maestrale to the new cable-pulley buckle on the RS 2. That is the only change that I think may have been a bit of a step back.

In terms of overall buckle configuration, for myself the furthest front buckle on the old Maestrale was mostly useless. I’m glad SCARPA got over the “4 buckle” hangup, and eliminated what has been called the “vestigial.” The single buckle that replaces the two is supposed to spread the load out and mimic having two buckles. However, I don’t think it feels any different than having only one buckle on my old Maestrale (I removed the front one). It is more complicated, and might be a bit heavier. The biggest drawback is that the buckle doesn’t stay clipped to the cable when it’s not tightened. I like to loosen my lower buckles when I’m skinning, and the head of the RS 2 buckle always ended up twisted around and getting caught on things. If SCARPA would just add a small catch on the buckle (as is provided on the top buckle of the boot) to hold the wire, this wouldn’t be an issue. (There may be some mitigation of this with production model.)

Conclusion: The SCARPA Maestrale has been an incredible boot since their inception, so I can’t really say the RS 2 is a massive improvement. However, they are an excellent evolution. Stiffer, lighter, and a better walk mode? In the end, I found myself taking the RS 2 on a few trips where I would have normally used a lighter, more uphill oriented boot. More, they tended to be on my feet at the resort. All proof that this rework, works.

Shop for SCARPA ski boots here.


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89 Responses to “SCARPA Maestrale RS 2 — Review”

  1. Travis November 17th, 2017 11:57 am

    I was super excited about these, but when I tried them on they felt huge in the forefoot (size 25.5). I was coming from a 1st gen La Sportiva Spectre (25.5) that never felt big enough, even after punching, so I was surprised that the RS felt too big. I ended up buying Salomon Mtn Labs (25.5), after a heat mold they feel great. Sadly I have yet to ski them even with all the snow up here in WA.

  2. Lou Dawson 2 November 17th, 2017 12:04 pm

    Fit is everything, whatever it takes… glad to hear you landed in something that works!

  3. John November 17th, 2017 12:37 pm

    Does it still have a wide last, compared to Maestrales? Lower volume?

  4. John November 17th, 2017 12:38 pm

    older versions

  5. Carl November 17th, 2017 2:49 pm

    I tried these on recently and found them much higher volume than either the mt lab, zero g guide pro or hawx xtd

  6. Lou Dawson 2 November 17th, 2017 3:18 pm

    Good to know, especially for folks with high volume feet! Lou

  7. See November 17th, 2017 8:46 pm

    Sounds like you would have to have some seriously big feet to need to punch near the carbon parts, but I do wonder about the seam between the black and white plastic. Any thoughts on whether a navicular punch would be a problem? Could heating the shell too close to the seam wreck the boot? I think these (or the softer version) are my next boots, but I’m curious about the properties of the lft carbon reinforced grilamid and how it bonds with the non-reinforced parts.

  8. XXX_er November 17th, 2017 9:52 pm

    I know they don’t fit me but there are people out there who have owned Maestrale and Maestrale RS version 1 who would probably be interested in this boot so how they fit in comparison is a big thing to share with the class

  9. Gregg Oliveri November 17th, 2017 11:16 pm

    I wore them for the first day today on a powder day in the North Cascades. Temps were -2-4 C. all day. The walk to ski mechanism got stuck with snow a couple of times and required some slams with my fist to get them to grab. Under certain conditions the mechnism will clog with snow and need some “English” to get them to bite. As a former owner of the first gen orange Maestrale I was impressed with how responsive they were. As the owner of some big feet (30.5) I certainly noticed the lighter weight. As to the volume, a pair of shim footbeds had them fitting perfectly. A great sking and skinning perfomance boot.

  10. Lou Dawson 2 November 18th, 2017 8:09 am

    One thing to remember about external lean locks is in some situations they’re no more resistant to clogging and icing than the internal mechanisms that have been so much trouble over the years. The difference is you can see exactly what’s going on with the external, and easily clean any clogging. Trick is you can have a small amount of ice that keeps the lock bar from fully engaging, but it’ll still appear to be engaged. Scott seems to do the best job of mitigating that with their tiny hook in the lean bar slot, but even that system requires attention in icing situations. Lou

  11. Dabe November 18th, 2017 11:06 am

    shout out to dynafit ultralock and old sportiva spitfire on the no icing front

  12. Bill Hoblitzell November 18th, 2017 7:10 pm

    @ Travis, Scarpa has had the practice in the past of breaking their shells one half size off how most other brands to it (i.e. the 25.5/26.0 is one shell size in Scarpa, vs other brands would have the 25.0/25.5 be the same shell). You can check this out by looking at boot sole length. At any rate, if you were in the 25.5 in one of those other brands and it was tight, might not be surprising that the 25.5 in the Scarpa was cavernous, you might need to check out the next shell down to compare apples to apples.

  13. Ranger November 19th, 2017 1:32 pm

    Not one mention of flex character when skiing. Not a boot review.

  14. Louie 3 November 19th, 2017 8:09 pm

    According to scarpa the fit on the new Maestrales is the same as the old. It certainly felt the same to me. I did the same mod to the liner (taping a layer of foam above the toes) and they fit great with a heat mold. I’ve got pretty easy feet to fit though.

    As for the flex characteristics, the main thing is they are stiff, both laterally and in forward flex. The flex felt fairly progressive, especially compared to many other touring boots, it’s still not an alpine boot though, and doesn’t feel quite as good. I’m honestly not the best judge of the minutia of flex characteristics. Most boots that are stiff enough feel pretty good to me. They ski well, but boots are pretty personal. I’d recommend trying them on for a more detailed feel.

  15. SkiB November 20th, 2017 1:22 am

    The 1324 gram shell seems heavy(ish) when compared to some recent competitors. Have you skied the Ultra Hawx 120 or 130 XTD? It seems those boots may ski a little more progressive in the forward flex department while retaining a sub 1200 gram shell with either boot.

  16. Kristian1 November 20th, 2017 1:26 am

    Somekind of flex comparison/characteristics is much valued in a boot review.
    The problem is that few people has any possibilty to try a boot other then shop flexing prior to buying. I would love to have the possibility to test boot befor buying but since thats not usually possible i want to get a picture of the flex in reviews.

  17. Mark W November 20th, 2017 8:34 am

    As far as the Scarpa line goes, the Maestrale RS should be nearly as stiff as even the Freedom series.

  18. Jeff L November 20th, 2017 3:58 pm

    I saw they have some kind of mesh “ventilation” above the ankle. I am interested in whether this makes them significant ly colder. I don’t usually have a problem with my feet getting too warm, I worry about being too cold though.

  19. Tom M. November 20th, 2017 7:40 pm

    Hi Lou,
    Another boot review? There is hardly any snow in Colorado and many other states.
    I believe it is time for Wild snow to start addressing the issue of climate change and the threats to our public lands in a serious manner.
    We skiers and boarders no longer have the luxury of ignoring what is happening to our public lands or to the climate issue. We do not have the luxury to hide in some hut high in the mountains. We can not sit still while our lands are being taken away, leased and sold off to the highest bidder.. We are all seeing winter come later and spring arrive earlier, with diminishing snowpack and less water as a result. It is time for everyone of us to get involved. Being a bystander means you are a part of the problem.
    This is the major issue facing all of us. The latest gear or clothing for the season will be a moot point if the powder does not arrive. The snow magazines and web sites have a responsibility to become totally involved in environmental issues. It is the platform where we can all come together and let our voice be heard. After all, what will Wild Snow do when there is no more snow.The gloves are off. It is time to start fighting before it is all too late. The ball is in your court.

  20. trollanski November 20th, 2017 9:57 pm

    See, you know what they say about big hands….Big medial malleoli….I have to punch every pair boots I get around this spot to still have some CUSH, or else I am right up against the SHELL, and life is HELL.
    But seriously, the rep didn’t know, I haven’t heard back from him, and we are going to have to start punching this stuff soon….Since no one answered your question…Does anyone know if and at what temp we should be at? And how will that effect the seam area?

  21. etto November 21st, 2017 7:19 am

    I’ve been really looking forward to this boot as I’ve been very happy with my gen1 Maestrale RS. But wen I start looking at what is available in the market it becomes complicated…

    You’ve reviewed the Hawx Ultra XTD 130, that is about the same weight. How do they compare? Particularly for skinning, as that is where I spend most of my time (and before anyone tells me to get a lighter boot, I have one 🙂 )

  22. Lou Dawson 2 November 21st, 2017 8:35 am

    Hi Tom, before scolding us, please use our search function to search for the subject you think we are not covering and discussing. We do cover global warming quite often, usually in news roundups as well as specific blog posts. In fact, I work my rear end off doing as much relevant climate news coverage as my fragile human cuerpo can handle (smile). Am happy to discuss your issue about our content focus, but let’s do it on one of our climate posts:

    Thanks, Lou

  23. Lou Dawson 2 November 21st, 2017 9:29 am

    Etto, another boot that’s very worth looking at is the Sportiva Synchro. I skied them last winter and was impressed, I’ve got a pair of the retail version here and am working on more coverage. My blogging pace is a bit slow recently due to a big mod project that I’ll be covering soon, as well as recent tragic events affecting our family. Getting back up to pace but of course have been re-evaluating everything… Lou

  24. Michael November 21st, 2017 7:30 pm

    FWIW I just upgraded to this years version and I found the fit on the new Maestrale RS the same as the previous version.

    I tried the Atomic Hawk XTD 130 or whatever it’s called in the same shell size (28) as the Scarpa and it was more voluminous. I’d probably size down a shell size in the Atomic, although I didn’t swap out liners or anything, just tried it on quickly.

    In the limited carpet testing I found them similar in flex/stiffness. The biggest difference I noticed is that Maestrale has more sole rocker and was more comfortable walking around in. I doubt it would make much of a difference for skinning.

  25. SkiB November 22nd, 2017 1:27 am

    Michael, If I’m not mistaken Scarpa runs their shells on the half size (or so I’ve read here in blogosphere) meaning you would have been wearing the 27.5 shell for the Scarpa. Atomic, i believe, runs on the whole size. So your size 28.0 would have been the 28.0 shell size. I’m guessing that’s why they felt “voluminous”.
    Lou, any feelings towards the flex of the new Maestrale RS compared to the Hawx XTD 130? I’m leaning more towards the 120 for a more progressive alpine feel going down. Most the weight difference seems to be in the liners and since I’m an Intuition Pro tour guy, I’d be swapping em out anyhow.

  26. Matus November 22nd, 2017 3:33 am

    SkiB there are no real half sizes in Scarpa ski boots.

  27. SkiB November 22nd, 2017 3:37 am

    My mistake. I thought Scarpa split the sizes on the half size. (25.5/26) (26.5/27), (27.5/28) same shell for each parentheses.

  28. Dave November 22nd, 2017 8:13 am

    Nice review. Same bsl?

  29. Michael November 22nd, 2017 9:54 am

    It was a 27.5/28 Scarpa shell and a 28 Atomic shell, so I presume they’re equivalent. The Atomic was very roomy in the 28. I’d be a 27 shell in the Atomic. I’m a 27.5/28 in the Scarpa with a great fit for touring. Good performance but comfortable enough to be in all day.

    The quick carpet test was by no means scientific but they seemed comparable in the shop. I’m also not super in tune to minute differences in flex characteristics, so take that with a grain of salt.

  30. Louis Dawson November 22nd, 2017 6:29 pm

    Another note: I’ve only skied the pre-production version. According to Scarpa, the flex is a bit different on the production boots. I’ll be testing the production boots in a few weeks, and I’ll update the review with some more details regarding the flex.

  31. Pablo November 23rd, 2017 5:33 am

    Atomic Hawx XTD Shell is designed to be in addition of a more alpine style liner, thicker than usual touring liners.
    If you try the lower flex versions (100-120) that comes with alpine type liners, the fit is way tigther.
    The 130 flex versión comes with a thinner touring light type liner, that’s why you feel it so roomier.

    If you go for 130 flex version, you probably need one less size than if you go for 100-120 flex versions.

  32. Paul November 26th, 2017 6:20 pm

    Anyone have any Intel on whether Scarpa will be offering these and/or the Maestrale in 33 any time soon?
    They offered 33 for two seasons in the old models, which was mana from heaven for those of us with seriously large feet.
    Anyone know of a shop that might have a pair of 33s in the old styles? Should have stocked up…..

  33. Rob December 3rd, 2017 11:50 am

    I’ve switched to these from the first gen Maestrale RS. I’ve only skied them twice so far. One resort skiing day and one day out touring. They feel pretty much the same as the old RS. My only complaint so far is the hinge omission. I know it was a part that a lot of people had problems with, so I understand why they got rid of the hinged tongue, but because of the riveted tongue, the new Maestrales are a pain to put on/take off, not to mention what a nightmare it is to try to put the liner back in after you took it out to dry it. I can’t imagine pulling this boot off the feet of someone that had an accident and has a broken ankle/tibia or a knee injury. I’d probably opt for a chainsaw and let them destroy my 500+ eur boot.

  34. stevenjo December 18th, 2017 2:20 pm

    I’ve only got two days on my RS 2 but thought I’d share first impression so far. Caveat, my last few boots were the 1st gen. mango maestrales, then 1st gen Dynafit TLT5 Pro, Scarpa Freedom 120. I only put a few days on the Freedoms then ditched them for the RS 2. I offer a few comparisons below but feel free to ask about others.

    Overall great boot and won’t hesitate to recommend it if the fit works for you.

    Loss of 4th buckle makes sense to me because it was one more thing to fiddle with, and of course no complaints on weight savings. Not sure if this is a change from the previous RS, but the ‘split’ tongue across the foot bridge/ankle seems to improve forward walking mobility. I’ve never been too excited about ever more rear articulation for walk mode, but freeing up the forward movement is def. nice on the uphill. Not sure if this feature was on the last RS but is certainly an improvement over the 1st gen. mango maestrales.

    Fit overall seems fairly similar to my org. pair, so I’ll call that a plus for continuing users. Despite what others said above, the forefoot doesn’t feel feel higher volume to me. I still struggle with the narrow-ish last and my 6th toe. I just barely made it work after aggressively padding that part of the foot for liner molding. I recall that was also the case with my first pair. I may still opt for some minor shell punching.

    Like someone else mentioned, I begrudge the loss of the hinging tongue. I thought that was pretty slick, and made entry/exit quite a bit easier. The new, fixed, tongue is decided less friendly for getting your foot in. As I mentioned the top half of the tongue can be flexed forward more easily when unbuckled, and I imagine is intended to help entry/exit, but I’m also nervous about its longevity. Perhaps Louie can post a photo of this so people know what I’m talking about. Another aspect of this is that getting liners in and out of shells is a pain. I know some people look down on taking liners in and out but winter camping sometime necessitates that, unless you want Grilamid in your sleeping bag.

    To Louie’s point above, I don’t find that lower buckle much of a problem but would certainly take a top clip to keep the cable in position, as he suggests. I have found that the cable seems to always end up underneath the tongue once I get my foot in. Annoying but 1st world problems for sure.

    Final complaint, and this isn’t really that fair, is that coming from my Dynafit TLT5s, its a big difference having the pin cups further in front of your toes. Obviously these are very different boots but I was struck by how different that felt after being on the TLT5s for a number of years.


  35. Rob January 1st, 2018 11:54 am

    Scarpa has been known for having better customer service than many other brands, but it looks like this is changing. Half of the top buckle on my Maestrale RS2 has broken and got lost (thank god for Voile straps) and while I understand that these things happen when you’re dealing with the winter elements, I don’t understand why I need to pay for the replacement buckle for my brand new boots that cost me €569. I don’t know if it’s just the policy of the Chamonix shops where I tried to get one (none of the shops hold any replacement parts by the way, they need to be ordered), but they told me it’s Scarpa policy.

    So yeah, just a bit of warning. If your 15 day old, almost 700 dollars worth ski boots by Scarpa might break, you will have to pay for the replacement part. Might be time to change brands after being a Scarpa user for the last decade.

  36. See January 1st, 2018 6:56 pm

    I’d be peeved too if that happened to me (and it could, because I’m seriously considering those boots). But long ago when I was a bike mechanic, we would sometimes get customers looking for warranty work for broken stuff that looked like it had been subjected to “other than normal use.” These were called jra’s, for “just riding along (when the front wheel exploded, or some such).” I’m not saying that your boot isn’t defective, just that it would help to have a few more details if this “anecdotal evidence” thing is going to be of any value. Of course, it might be good business to fix a customer’s new $700 boots regardless. I remember when my local shop replaced a broken binding on my new skis for free (I gave them a 12 pack). I drove out of the garage with the skis on my roof rack. I was a loyal customer until they went out of business. Happy New Year, All.

  37. zippy the pinhead January 1st, 2018 7:42 pm

    It sounds like it was the shop that charged you for the part.

    It also seems that you are in France, but here in the U.S. I have had great luck getting replacement parts for my Scarpa boots directly from Scarpa USA in Boulder, CO.

    I’ve had buckles break, cuff pivots mysteriously disappear, ankle cables fray and snap…. All of those parts were replaced gratis. After a short telephone conversation with someone in the office, the parts would show up in my P.O. box a couple of days later.

    During my last trip to NZ I contacted the national Scarpa distributor when my ankle buckle broke. Even though they did not sell my particular boot in the country, and did not have the exact part I needed, they sent me a few different buckles that looked close. (They had requested I send a photo of the non-broken part on the other boot). I’d been ready to pay for the part, but they sent the package gratis. Being friendly and courteous on the phone seemed to go a long way.

    Naturally, your mileage may vary.

    Happy trails….


  38. MNS January 4th, 2018 10:52 am

    Looking to move from a pair of 5 yr old Maestrale’s to either new 2018 Maestrale or the 2018 RS (and can’t try them on side-by-side…thanks to smaller feet and no-one having both in my size).

    I understand the basic differences in materials, that the RS will have a stiffer forward flex…but what about any differences in lateral support/stiffness???

    How would the 3 boots above compare on that front?

    I don’t need a super stiff boot (I’m only 140lbs and not super aggressive, but ski everything)…however, the old Maestrale is way too soft in every respect for the front side, and I’d like to have 1 boot to do it all.

    Thanks for all the great info!!!

  39. etto January 4th, 2018 12:50 pm

    MNS, you want the new RS. I weigh about as much as you, and I’ve been skiing the old RS for years. Love the boot, except for the friction and low ROM in walk mode. That’s the major improvement in the new version. I see no reason to get the orange, the RS will be generally stiffer in all “directions”.

  40. JCoates January 4th, 2018 1:32 pm

    @ Rob, MNS, The new RS’s are plenty stiff for touring but I already had a failure on mine after only about a month on them. I snapped the BOA cable while flexing forward for a turn on a gentle groomer while skiing with my young daughter at the resort (See, I swear I really was “just skiing along”). I was able to finish the day skiing since it was all gentle piste skiing, but it would be blister time if it had happened on a multi-day tour. Tried taking it to a ski shop (not a Scarpa store) where I got lectured that “these boots are not made to be skied at the resort”–which is an really idiotic presumption from a shop owner that I grumbled about for several hours. Honestly, if they aren’t tough enough to be skied under controlled conditions on blue/green groomers, then why would they be tough enough to ski in a ski race or in the backcountry where gear failure has more consequences? Anyway, I digress…

    So I have a warranty email and phone call out to Scarpa NA now but I haven’t heard back from them as it looks like they might be closed until the 5th for the holidays/warehouse restock. I think they are a great brand and will do the right thing so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. Sounds like the Boa cable breakage is a known issue with a lot of the first production snowboard boots so Scarpa can probably fix by making the cable stronger in the future–of course that would bump up the weight a little but makes sense to me. I would also like to see a slightly shorter locking bar as the current bar, while in the locked position, prevents you from wearing step in crampons and it’s nice to lock in your boots sometimes on longer, steeper climbs.

  41. JCoates January 4th, 2018 2:08 pm

    Ooh, should clarify that this is the Alien RSs

  42. MNS January 5th, 2018 9:20 pm

    Well OK…in THAT case, I’ll hold off on the Alien RS…

    So how about those Maestrales…?

  43. Paddy McIlvoy January 6th, 2018 11:54 am

    Can’t say for sure long term, but the now cables on my old Alien’s held up great for four years, as have the Boa’s on my friends F1’s, and on multiple pairs of my wading boots (a great use of the tech). So far so good on my Alien RS’s. I wonder if you just got a bad one?

  44. Kevin Woolley January 6th, 2018 3:20 pm

    I also have the Alien 0.0 (plastic cuff) for 3 years, skied probably 30 days have had no boa issues at all, but have replaced the dyneema cords on both boots twice, that cord is a weak link.

  45. Rob January 19th, 2018 10:10 am

    Re: Broken buckle

    It took more than a week but Scarpa replaced my buckle free of charge. The Chamonix shop lied about charging for replacement parts being Scarpa policy, when it was actually the shop’s policy. Of course, I refused to pay them and told them I would be contacting Scarpa directly to ask them about this. Had to wait a bit to get the buckle, but that wasn’t an issue since I could mount another buckle from one of my other boots. So yeah, Scarpa warranty still good in my book and my opinion about Chamon€y $tores hasn’t changed either. Never buy anything in Chamonix, they will rip you off.

  46. Lou Dawson 2 January 19th, 2018 11:10 am

    I got some French fries there once, cleaned out my wallet. But it’s a fun place to visit. Lou

  47. Steve February 12th, 2018 10:31 pm

    Has anyone had any problems with Scarpa’s liner straps? I have twice broken the rear liner straps on my Freedom RS boots in less than a year. They appear to be very similar to the liner straps on the Maestrale RS as well as other recent Scarpa AT models. The stitching appears to be minimal in this area. I had a pair of Garmont Radiums for 8 years and I never had a problem with those straps.

  48. Tim Case February 17th, 2018 6:02 am

    Does anyone know if the liners from the original Maestrale RS can work in these bad boys?

  49. Lou Dawson 2 February 17th, 2018 10:44 am

    Tim, I don’t see why they would not… pretty much any ski touring liner can be used in any ski touring boot, in my experience. Lou

  50. Tim Case February 17th, 2018 12:09 pm

    Thank you sir!

  51. Mark W April 26th, 2018 3:33 pm

    The original Maestrale RS has a pretty aggressive forward learn. Has anyone drilled another lean lock hole in the metal bar that locks the cuff, or are there other alternatives that may facilitate this?

  52. VT skier November 2nd, 2018 1:33 pm

    I bought a pair of the “new” Maestrale RS in April 2018.
    Noticed in your picture the boot now is identified on the boot cuff as the “Maestrale RS2”.
    Did I get a pre-production boot, as my boot cuff only says Maestrale RS?

    Just wondered if my boots are the same boot as this year, or what changes were made..

  53. Collin November 18th, 2018 9:50 pm

    I just bought a pair of lightly used RS2 boots as an “upgrade” for my 2013 Maestrale RS boots. The good: definitely a stiffer boot with a really nice progressive flex compared to the original RS which I have never really felt all that comfortable letting rip. The walk range of motion is also insane, although I never really had any complaints with the original. The bad: the new tongue drives me nuts. It seems like I am constantly pulling back pieces here and pieces there and flipping around buckles until finally the thing is tucked away properly. I am also rather concerned about the longevity of the top half of the tongue which tapers to a rather thin area of plastic.

    Has anyone used these on cold days during an overnight tour and had to get into them in the morning? The new rivets allow some motion, but obviously not like the hinged tongue which made getting into the boots awesome regardless of how cold they got. I am also concerned about potentially breaking the new tongue at the rivets.

    Anyway, they ski great, but in my opinion they should have kept the hinges.

  54. Steve Samolewicz December 19th, 2018 7:30 pm

    I’ve been skiing on the Maestrale for years. Just got the new ones and skied at Grand Targhee. When in ski mode they would drop into walk mode quite often. Would happen when I was skiing aggressively. Not an ice or snow issue clogging up the mechanism. Very disconcerting. Any thoughts or similar problems being reported?

  55. Tyler January 7th, 2019 5:41 pm

    I cracked the shell of my non-RS boot this weekend. It cracked by the rivets holding on the tongue. Anyone else having this issue?

  56. Rob January 10th, 2019 5:13 am

    Hey Tyler, yes this second generation of Maestrale RS (and apparently the normal Maestrales as well) have been known to crack. There’s been several cases and Scarpa knows about it. I wish they would do a recall, but it is what it is. Mine cracked last April and basically ruined the end of my season since I had to ski next two months on rentals (can’t afford to buy a 570 eur boot twice in one season). They were bought at the beginning of season and skied approximately 70 days when the shell cracked. I’m not a super heavy charger or anything like that. I was hoping to get a replacement immediately, but I waited 7 months and after 7 months they got me my boots back (yes, not even a replacement), they only replaced the bottom part of the shell. The cuff, the buckles and everything else is from my old boot. I happened to be in the store when my “new” boots arrived so I talked to European Scarpa rep. He told me the new version of the boot (current 18/19 season) has a bit thicker grilamid on that part because of this issue. I asked him if they expect me to now ski one old 70-days used boot on right leg and a brand new reinforced, therefore surely a few grams heavier boot on my left leg, and he said “yes, you shouldn’t notice a difference”.

    I wasn’t happy with this resolution, but hey, at least I ski a lot that I managed to get 70 days in one season. If they cracked in my 2nd year, there wouldn’t even be a warranty repair. I feel bad for all the people that will crack theirs in 2nd, 3rd years or later.

    I will post a link to the photos in a separate reply if anyone is interested how the Maestrale shell cracks. I don’t know if we are allowed to post links. Lou? I can also send the photos to you if you want to publish them. I think many readers would find it interesting.

    That being said, I am not trying to shit on Scarpa, I love the boots and I know many other brands would handle the same issue even worse.

  57. Rob January 10th, 2019 5:16 am

    Here’s a few phone snapped photos of my cracked Maestrale RS2 immediately after it happened. I hope this doesn’t go into spam because of the link, but I don’t know how else to post pictures.

  58. Lou Dawson 2 January 10th, 2019 6:09 am

    Hi Rob, the photo links are ok. We don’t provide image posting due to the cost of server space, as well as the time it takes to moderate image postings. Lou

  59. Tim January 12th, 2019 11:40 am

    Rob, I had the same problem as you with cracked toe but on the standard Maestrale 2 and not the RS. I had just two weeks on the boots when I first niticed a small crack and within a day it was a large split.
    I know of two other people who also experienced this failure. Scarpa exchanged my shells via the local agent but it was considerable hassle and very disappointing to be without boots for a month. Although I love the boots I have gone back to my old Maestrale 1 boots until Scarpa sort this defect.
    When the cross ankle strap is tightened it pulls the tongue back from the toe and there is load from the rivets that causes stress and a possible failure. I would guess it is more common when people have more slender ankles.

  60. Rob January 12th, 2019 3:08 pm

    Tim, I have heard from other people that have had this happened to their RS2’s as well. Like I said, apparently they have reinforced the shell in that spot in this year’s model which looks exactly the same. At least you got a replacement. I got half of one boot replacement. After seven months waiting and calling. I’m just waiting for this same thing to happen on the right boot now.

    I missed my old riveted Maestrale RS. Skied those for 4 seasons without any issues except occasional icing of the walk lock mechanism.

  61. TLC January 12th, 2019 3:12 pm

    I’ve found Scarpa’s customer service to be essentially non-existent, hard to reach, snotty when reached, loss of memory, etc. Very annoying…makes a guy consider the Hoji for the next purchase…

  62. VT skier January 12th, 2019 4:10 pm

    I just called SCARPA USA Friday, to get a replacement buckle for a NTN tele boot. The Rep I spoke to was very helpful, and my new buckle is in the mail, on the way to me in Vermont.

    Back to the Maestrale RS. I bought a pair at the end of last season, that have the Maestrale “RS” logo on the cuff. But not the Maestrale RS2 logo.
    Is there any way to tell if my boots have the earlier scafo that cracks ?

  63. Rob January 12th, 2019 4:40 pm

    By “riveted” above, I meant “hinged, of course. I miss my old Maestrale RS. I think it was a better made boot.

  64. Robert Lee Tomasson January 21st, 2019 8:28 am

    @ Rob, Mine went this weekend, not as bad as yours but crack starting in same place, left boot as well. purchased des 2017 only had 20 days out of them
    had 7 years without any problems on the orginal Maestrale

    regards from Iceland

  65. Darren January 23rd, 2019 9:13 am

    +1 on the crack; mine just cracked. Left boot, exactly the same place as the others. 2017/18 model RS2, approx 50 days…

  66. Robert Lee Tomasson January 24th, 2019 4:39 am

    Top service from @SportConrad

    I have received my replacement shells in Iceland only 3 day after placing my original complaint to them regarding cracked boots ,,

    My future orders will go to Sport Conrad

    regards from Iceland , we finally have snow after a late show of winter

  67. Darren January 24th, 2019 5:28 am

    Robert, did they replace the whole shell, left and right foot? Or only the lower shell moulding for the cracked side??

  68. Robert Lee Tomasson January 24th, 2019 5:34 am

    @Darren. Right and Left, Complete shell ( wo Liners )

  69. Rob January 25th, 2019 3:03 am

    Nice to see such good warranty service by a shop. I live 20 minutes from Scarpa EU headquarters in Sallanches so mine got replaced directly by them and I only received one lower shell that cracked.

  70. Darren February 22nd, 2019 9:44 pm

    I am still waiting for my boots to be returned from Scarpa. I’d be bummed if they only replace the left scafo! Will report back…

  71. Darren March 15th, 2019 5:39 am

    Just got my boots back via the UK agent. BOTH lower shells changed AND one of my buckles, which wasn’t working properly, but they must have noticed and changed it. So kudos to Scarpa!

  72. Lou Dawson 2 March 15th, 2019 7:32 am

    Thanks for the report Darren. From what I have seen and heard, quite a few of a certain previous production run of Scarpa boots might be prone to this cracking issue. Scarpa is doing a good job of dealing with it, and it’s no doubt costly for them. In the end, this is another example of how we need a longer development cycle and more testing of mission-critical gear that our lives depend on, not to mention our fun! What’ll be interesting is, say, a ski boot company starts releasing new models every six months, will the rest of the industry follow, or refuse to become embroiled in the shenanigans? Or what if a company was so innovative, and made such good, radical products they could release a new model every 4 years, with 999 reliability for the consumer. Could they stay in business? (In theory, said company would make boots that would last longer than two seasons…)

  73. slcpunk March 27th, 2019 4:49 pm

    Few questions on the new maestrales…as a fan of the old ones.

    Tongue, getting in/out and removing liners. If you put it into tour mode and push the rear of the boot back does it make it easier, or is it still a pain? I do that with my current Maestrale’s to avoid breaking the hinge, so it would be natural.

    Lower cable flop. Would something as simple as a loose zip tie or even a loop of thin cord through the buckle and cable keep it in place?

    Those are 2 big negatives, just curious if people still are annoyed by the “cons”. Was looking at the pics in the “first look” review and was thinking maybe there were some work-arounds.

  74. stevenjo March 27th, 2019 5:20 pm

    Re; getting liners in/out. It does help to have the boot in tour mode, but yes it’s a PIA from my perspective. I find that if you pinch the liners heel, almost collapse it, and shove forward pretty hard, it goes in a little easier but I have still plenty of finger nails bend backwards to prove otherwise. I’ve taken to more or less leaving the liners in after day tours (with a fan over the top) but grudgingly take them during multi-day/overnight trips.

    Re: cable, I’m not sure I understand your question completely, but I haven’t had too much of an issue with it. I keep my lower buckle just snug enough to hold the cable because the last is a tight on my 6th toe but it hasn’t been much of a problem. Occasionally the cable gets caught under the tongue but I think that occurs when putting the boot on, not touring with a loose buckle.

    All and all, if the RS2 fits your foot – and SCARPA confidently addresses the cracking issue – I don’t think these annoyances should deter you.

    Hope that helps,

  75. slcpunk March 28th, 2019 6:56 am

    Thanks – that’s helpful. Taking my liners out of the shells after every tour is pretty much mandatory for me…blessed with sweaty feet…it has to be really cold for my boots to stay dry during a tour.

  76. Crazy Horse March 28th, 2019 6:09 pm

    Took a full season of looking to finally find a pair of original Mastrale RS’s with little wear and an uncooked liner. $175.00. The hinged tongue makes it the only AT boot ever made that I can get into without buying it 2 full sizes too large.

    I wouldn’t trade my new used pair for two pairs of the 2019 RS2 version or 10 pairs of Hoj speed nose boots!

  77. Rob April 8th, 2019 2:27 pm

    I’m the one who posted about my boot cracking last April and then waiting 7 months to get only a bottom half of one boot replaced despite asking Scarpa rep why not change both because surely the other one would eventually break too.

    Anyway, skip to today, my other boot finally cracked at exactly the same spot. This time I took them back and said I don’t want a replacement boot. I guess after 15 years or so of using nothing but Scarpa boots I am finally done with the brand.

    Too bad they did not want to do a recall like they did with the F1’s. I bet they lost a lot of customers because of this Scarpa Maestrale RS2 model.

  78. Lou Dawson 2 April 8th, 2019 2:33 pm

    Sorry to hear that Rob, as you know from reading, I’m pretty fed up too with all this breaking gear. It’s a super difficult issue. The companies need to do better quality control, but the scorching pace of product development gets in the way of that. Problem is, switching brands doesn’t make you immune. Though I’m sympathetic to that. In my case, the paint is peeling off the roof of my $50,000 Silverado Duramax, I’ve vowed to never buy another Chevrolet again, and I’m pretty sure I’ll stick with that. If the paint on the Dodge peels too, then perhaps I’ll just buy a rickshaw. Lou

  79. Rob April 8th, 2019 2:50 pm

    Lou, I know switching brands might not make me immune. Things we use and abuse break and I get that. But when it comes to something that affects so many users in the same way, I think it’s time to admit it’s a faulty and potentially dangerous product and it should be addressed accordingly (which they have done in the past for another model).

    Most of all, I am inclined to switch brands because of poor customer service I received directly from Scarpa EU in Sallanches France. Waiting more than half a year to get half of one boot replaced even though the other boot was from the same batch, same year, same use and abuse in same conditions…obviously it was just a matter of time when that one would break too.

    Btw, how is Dynafit’s customer service? I am tempted to buy next year’s Hojis, now that they dropped the shark nose.

  80. Lou Dawson 2 April 8th, 2019 4:07 pm

    Folks have told me Dynafit’s service has been pretty good, at least in North America. No idea about France. One thing to think about, if a company has a breaking product one year, they’re probably incentivized to not have it happen the next year! In my opinion a lot of this stuff should have official product recalls, I don’t understand why it does not, CPSC in the U.S. is incredibly powerful. Lou

  81. Tim Case April 9th, 2019 8:00 am

    I’ve found that I’m pretty reluctant to switch boot brands when all is generally well with my current setups, but I’d probably be more inclined if I was having major problems…my experience with Scarpa NA and annecdotal experience from friends/colleagues, is that generally their customer service is fairly poor and wildly inconsistent, but they fit my feet well so there ya go…

    My buddy recently had a 2019 Rossignol ski delaminate and within a week of submitting his claim directly to Rossy he had a brand new pair of skis…

  82. JCoates April 9th, 2019 7:36 pm

    I’m just in disbelief that any of the boot companies can get away with one of these breakages. When someone is investing close to $1000 on a product that has to get you home in one piece, it seems unbelievable that this many first season breakages can occur. In particular, the Alien RS from Scarpa. I had my boa cable break on the first couple of weeks I had the boot. Sent it back and got a new pair, but then the pin holding the locking lever came out on a tour while I was packing the boots on my skis for the bushwhack out. I gave up on getting a new pin (Scarpa said wait for the new pin since the original was too short, but when I emailed back in the spring I never heard back). When you spend $800 on a boot, but the shop tells you what screws to buy at the hardware store to fix your boot, there is a problem. I just had my second Boa cable failure and I’m done. The Alien RS has a beautiful shell that should work, but it’s like they went to all that trouble to make a perfect ski mountaineering boot frame but then screw it up by phoning in the simple things like adding a beefy Boa cable (or better yet a buckle) and a pin that won’t fall out if you look at it wrong. It’s like buying a $100,000 Porsche only to have the steering wheel come off in your hands. I probably got less than 10 long tours on those damn things because they broke on me every time I went out. I just can’t recommend Scarpa anymore.

  83. Greg June 3rd, 2019 6:57 am

    I also just had my scarpa RS II boot crack this weekend, left foot, like those here, in the same place, about 40 days total on them, sending them back to scarpa. I also have issues with the buckles rattling (springs are broken), and the powert straps de-lamminating.

    These shoes were great to ski in, but what rubbish durability, especially for the price I paid!

  84. Lou Dawson 2 June 3rd, 2019 10:32 am

    Sorry to hear that, be sure to get both boots replaced. I was told they did fix the cracking problem, but you have to be sure you’ve got boots with the fix. The impression I got is the only way to be sure is to send the boots in. Meanwhile, I know people who have had cracked boots at huts, and melted a small pinhole at the end of the crack to stop it from spreading. Got them through the trip no problem. Lou

  85. Cody June 3rd, 2019 11:31 am

    JCoates I do not mean to be an apologist for Scarpa, but for the BOA problem…it’s a BOA problem, not a Scarpa problem. Like gore-tex or vibram, BOA has a preset “toolbox” of things you can use and going outside of that is usually not allowed when you want to use their system. Yeah they carry a lifetime warranty. But that doesn’t help when your above a few thousand feet of skiing with a busted boot…

    And you’re definitely not the first person to blow up their BOA on their Aliens. I was so bummed to see that the new Atomic Backland is going to BOA 🙁

  86. Greg June 4th, 2019 12:49 am

    Yeah, I will, I thought about drilling a hole at the end of the crack in a hut we were in this weekend (they had a drill)… But figured it might void the warranty. In the end the crack did not propagate too far so all was ok.

    I will ask them to replace both shells! Thanks Lou

  87. Greg June 7th, 2019 11:30 am

    So, got a return from Scarpa: They don’t take my boots in warranty, despite them still being in warranty, what a bunch of w*****s! Apparently my shoes would be ‘too worn out’ (they have approx 40 days on them), 160 USD to replace the left shell only!

  88. swissiphic June 7th, 2019 11:56 am

    @greg: If info you posted is accurate, why not try phoning scarpa and insisting on speaking directly to a supervisor/decision maker higher up the food chain? This approach has worked out to my satisfaction in personal warranty issues that were insufficiently addressed by first step measures. imo.

  89. swissiphic June 7th, 2019 11:57 am

    *edit; general statement with other manufacturers/don’t have specific history of dealing with Scrapa.

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