Ready For a Second Honeymoon? Get Your Sweetie some Scarpa Star Lite Ski Boots

Post by blogger | March 29, 2007      

Scarpa Starlite backcountry skiing boots

Scarpa Star Lite looks to be one of the best women’s boots out there, and would hold its own for any gender. Click image to enlarge.

My wife Lisa likes her Scarpa Magic backcountry skiing boots and they’ve served her for years. But the honeymoon was over for those shoes long ago. Time for an upgrade:

Lisa: “This year finds me feeling strong and on top of my game. Recently I’ve had my best ever fitness uphilling and subsequent runs down Aspen Mountain. My turns were effortless and my trusty old Black Diamond Miras felt nimble under my feet. Perfect corn, blue bird mornings and excellent partners had a lot to do with my glisse bliss. But the defining factor could be my new Star Lite boots.

Because I was afraid of cold feet, I allowed my old Scarpa Magics to get packed out and loose. Yes, there was room for thick socks and they were comfortable, but performance-wise they were sloppy. For the Star Lites, my boot valet molded a snug fitting liner. I was apprehensive at first, but after climbing 9,000 vertical this week my new boots left no blisters and my feet always felt comfortable. Plus, I feel like I am really controlling my skis on the descent. Scarpa’s Star Lites are taking my skiing to another level, just in time for another glorious spring season in our majestic Colorado backcountry.”

Back to Lou’s take: Honestly, I’m stunned at the advancement in randonnee boot technology these shoes represent. Scarpa has kept the power up and the weight reasonable (though slightly heavier than Lisa’s Magics) by using dual density plastics in the shell, and by mounting the lower buckle on a support tab that mimics that of the Scarpa Spirit 3 and 4. More, the Dynafit pivot point is farther back toward the ball of the foot, resulting in a small but noticeable improvement in stride ergonomics (when using Dynees, of course).

Backcountry skiing boot fitting session.
Everyone needs their own personal boot fitter and toenail valet. These guys actually bring their liner oven and tools to your house and fit your boots in your kitchen. They’re booked solid for the next fifteen years so we won’t be giving out any phone numbers.

The “magic” of the Star Lite, however, is in the liner. Scarpa has teamed up with liner maker, Intuition, to craft the ultimate heat mold inner boot. After working with these inners I can testify that, first, they mold like putty to every nuance of your feet. Second, they appear to mold “true” to your foot volume instead of ending up too roomy as many other liners seem to do.

We molded the Intuition liners with bare feet as always, and I dare say we could probably have molded with thin socks after seeing how snug they ended up. The only compromise I could see with the Intuition/Scarpa liner provided with the Star Lite is that it’s quite dense. That’s great for the downhill but possibly not as comfortable for long days of slogging. That said, correct fit can compensate for most (if not all) such comfort issues. Also, the Intuition/Scarpa liner will be available in different densities, so one could always swap for a bit more cushy version if necessary.

(Note, this new liner has the upside of allowing dozens of heat moldings before it fails, but Scarpa is recommending not using an oven but rather a blower/heater system. This may obviate homebrew liner baking unless you want to buy the Scarpa heater. We’ll be evaluating this diligently over coming months since molding our own liners is essential to the WildSnow ethos.)

In terms of shell fit, the Star Lite does appear to favor those individuals with two X chromosomes as it makes allowance for more lower leg volume. I felt the boot could have a bit more width to work with in the toe box — but that’s a common problem with Euro boots and one we’ve learned to deal with by any number of tweaks (in this case, we molded with fairly wide toe spacers and got the room we needed.)

What else? The Star Lite color combo might appear over-designed and let’s just say our opinion is “neutral” about that. Reflective white does keep your feet from roasting during hot spring climbs, so that is an upside.

As for cons, our main concern is a weight increase of about three ounces (per boot) over Lisa’s Magics. I thought the Star Lite dual density shell would have had more reductive effect, but these boots do lean toward downhill performance so they need enough plastic for that kind of beef. Hence the added ounces. We’ll compensate with a few weight reduction mods, but any mass increase whatsoever is always a concern. Less is more when you’re pumping out the kind of vertical Lisa does.

If you’re shopping for a terrific choice in a woman’s performance AT boot check out the Star Lite — especially if you’re a husband looking to instigate that second honeymoon (lest he gets upgraded along with the boots?).

Get a great deal on Scarpa Star Lite AT boot here.


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5 Responses to “Ready For a Second Honeymoon? Get Your Sweetie some Scarpa Star Lite Ski Boots”

  1. Lenka K. March 29th, 2007 2:06 pm

    Hi Lou,

    glad to see the guys at Scarpa waking up to the fact that the women’s line could use some revamping too — what with about seven (or maybe eight?) years since the Magics came out.

    One question: how does the toebox volume compare to the old Magics? The Magics’ toebox is definitely too high for my foot (=zero control in tough terrain) and snugger forefoot fit is definitely something I’ll be looking for in my next boot. Also, will Scarpa be making a women’s version of the Spirit 4 (which I’d definitely prefer to the three-buckle version).l

    Thanks a lot,

    Lenka K.

  2. Lou March 30th, 2007 6:45 am

    Hi Lenka,

    The boot toeboxes are similar, though the Star Lite seems to have some extra width compared to the Magic. Indeed, to give her enough toe width we had to put Lisa in a Magic that’s a full shell size above the Star Lite — and also have the Magics punched out — so that indicates a difference in shape.

    As for toebox height, as Scarpa mentions below, the Star Lite and Diva (their 4 buckle women’s models) will be sold with an integrated but removable volume spacer. That’s nice and will indeed be useful, but adding a volume spacer is of course trivial for a boot fitter, and in the case of the Scarpa last, with its excessively high arch, it’s easy to add a forefoot spacer that fills up toebox volume without raising your heel and possibly compromising the heel pocket as a full-length spacer does

    Here is the info Scarpa gave me :

    The Diva is the women’s version of the Spirit 4 — four buckle.

    Both the Star Lite and the Diva both have a modified cuff to accommodate a women’s calf… this modification is why there is no forward lean angle adjustment mechanism like on the men’s version – not enough real estate for the mechanism – though there is still two cuff lean lock settings.

    Both Star Lite and Diva will have a volume reducing spacer that comes standard in the boots (injection molded with an integrating male/female interface to ensure no movement); this will be removable for those ladies that have especially high volume feet or high arches.).

  3. todd broadhead April 25th, 2007 8:00 am

    i was wondering if the starlite and the diva are new boote for 2008? my girlfriend has a 5.5 foot size and she is having a difficult time finding a proper fit.we can’t seem to find any info other then yours on these boots. also wondering if scarpa boots run small or large?

  4. Jill February 24th, 2009 7:17 pm

    Hey, just wondering how to adjust the cuff lean lock settings on the Star Lite. I feel like a fool but I can’t figure it out….

  5. valerie December 14th, 2009 5:16 pm

    Hi, our local ski shop here in Crested Butte is not cartying any of the scarpa womens AT boots this year and I am stumped and bummed cause I want to try some out! How am I going to tell if they fit? I have emailed scarpa and asked them where is the closest place to CB where I might demo the Diva and the Starlite.

    I am a recovering telemark skier. I have always been a scarpa gal and have always prefered the fit to all the other boots, Scarpa fits me great, my forefoot is wider than my narrow heel, I have a mid to low volume foot, and a well defined arch. My last new pair of telemark boots were the blue T2, circa 2006? If I take a chance and order a pair of the Diva or Starlite AT boots can I expect a similar fit to that T2? I know that is a tough question to answer but what the hey. I am a 6.5-7 and want a comfortable fit, not too tight. Any suggestions on size? Would trying on one of the new tele boots for sizing provide me with any kind of comparision? The local store is carrying the full line of womens tele boots.

    Also, one more question about the lowest buckle on the Starlite, I got a really bad bone spur on the top of both my feet, way back in the dark ages from my first pair of plastic tele boots, the first plastic scarpas, the green ones. Eventually they added the second buckle and that resolved the pain of the one buckle because they span that high spot on my foot. That single buckle on the Starlite looks like it sits right where that old bone spur is. Has anyone complained about this? I would like the Starlite to work for me cause I am mostly intersted in mid angle touring, more up and around than down, nothing high speed. Nothing too steep up or down. I read that the Diva has such an aggressive forward lean, even in hike mode, that you can’t stand up straight in them. ? Have you heard this? Am I correct in assuming that the Starlite has less forward lean?

    Any suggestions, ideas, comments, etc are greatly appreciated! I don’t know what to do !

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