2018-2019 Scarpa Maestrale RS

Sam Shaheen reviews the 2017 Scarpa Maestrale RS for Blister Gear Review.

17/18 Scarpa Maestrale RS

Boot: Scarpa Maestrale RS – 18/19

Stated Flex: 125

Available Sizes: 24.5 – 32 (half sizes)

Stated Last (size 26.5): 101 mm

Stated Range of Motion: 60°

Stated Forward Lean: 16° (adjustable ± 2°)

Size Tested: 25.0

Stated Boot Sole Length: 288 mm

Blister’s Measured Weight (25.0):

  • Shells, no Liners: 1066 & 1070 g
  • Liners, no Footbeds or Laces: 224.5 & 222 g
  • Shells + Liners = 1290.5 & 1292 g
  • Stock Insoles: 25.5 & 24.5 g

Buckles:

  • Upper: Traditional aluminum buckle
  • Ankle: Plastic ratchet strap w/ aluminum buckle
  • Lower: “Z” Wire w/ aluminum buckle

Powerstrap: 45 mm Velcro

Shell Material:

  • Cuff: Grilamid
  • Shoe / Clog: Grilamid reinforced with long carbon fibers
  • Tongue: Pebax

Soles: Non-replaceable, rockered Vibram rubber

Binding Compatibility:

  • All pin-style / “tech” bindings
  • “MNC” bindings (e.g., Salomon Warden; Marker Duke / Griffon ID, etc.)

Tech Fittings Dynafit-certified “Quick Step-In” inserts

MSRP: $795

Days Tested:

  • Pre-Production Boot: ~35
  • Production Boot: ~35
  • Total: ~70

Skis / Bindings:

  • Salomon QST 106 & Atomic Bent Chetler 120 / Salomon / Atomic Shift MNC
  • Scott Scrapper 115 & Blizzard Spur / Fritschi Tecton 12
  • Salomon MTN Explore 95 / Marker Alpinist & ATK Raider 2.0
  • G3 SENDr 112 / G3 Ion
  • Scott RockAir / Dynafit Radical ST
  • RMU CRM / Dynafit Radical FT

Test Locations: Jasper National Park, Alberta; Hokkaido, Japan; North Lake Tahoe, CA; Front Range, Elk Range, & Ten Mile Range, CO; Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT; Mount Rainier National Park, WA; Grand Teton NP, WY

[Editor’s Note: Our reviews was conducted on the 17/18 Maestrale RS, which returns unchanged for 18/19]

Intro

The 17/18 season saw a number of new ~130-flex touring boots enter the market. Many of the major boot manufacturers now offer a boot in this category, and most of those manufacturers that don’t already make a boot in this class will be releasing one for the 18/19 season. Few of the boots released this year were as high-profile as the new and completely redesigned Maestrale family of boots from Scarpa, which return unchanged for 18/19.

Scarpa claims that the Maestrale RS is the most popular touring boot in the world, and I’ve been skiing in the original Maestrale RS since 2012. So, I was very eager to check out the new version. The old Maestrale RS had its fair share of issues, and this redesign seemed to address all of the major problems, while also coming in stiffer and lighter than the original.

Now that I’ve put around 70 total days in the new version, I can confidently say that this iteration is a giant leap forward in just about every way. The new Maestrale RS is stiffer, significantly lighter, flexes more progressively, has an increased range of motion of 60°, and is more serviceable than the previous version.

Fit

As always, we’ll start this section with a PSA: Getting a boot that fits properly is the most important thing you can do for your skiing, and you should always go to a good boot fitter. But here is my take on the fit of the Maestrale RS.

(For reference, my foot is medium volume overall, but with a rather narrow heel and forefoot, and a very high arch and instep.)

The new Maestrale RS retains the stated 101 mm last of the original design, but that’s about where the fit similarities end. The volume in the forefoot of the new boot is definitely less than the original — I have a slightly more precise / tighter fit in the instep than the old version. I usually wear a 98 mm last alpine boot, and the new Maestrale feels like a 100-101 mm last in the forefoot, unlike the very roomy previous version, which felt a bit wider.

The toe box of the new boot feels pretty similar to the original version, despite feeling slightly narrower in the forefoot. It’s proved roomy enough to be comfortable while I (intentionally or unintentionally) spent some some pretty long days in the backcountry.

The biggest issue I’ve had with the fit of the Maestrale RS is with its heel pocket. In relation to the old version, the new heel pocket is much wider and less anatomically shaped. In the old boot, I could wear it out of the box after just baking the liners and be fine. In the new boot, I got a large amount of heel lift resulting in blisters on the way up, and poor performance on the way down. Strategically-placed L pads have helped this, but I still wish (for my foot, at least) that there was a more anatomical shape around the Achilles. The L pads can take up space, but they don’t change the shape of the shell.

All this is to say that the new Maestrale RS is one of the wider and roomier touring boots in the ~130-flex category, which is definitely something to consider if you have big ol’ club feet.

Weight + Comparisons

For reference, below are a few of our measured weights for some other notable boots (keep in mind the size differences). Our measured weights show the size of boot, then the weight of each boot + the weight of each liner, then the total weight for shells + liners, listed in grams:

Scarpa Maestrale RS (24.5 / 25.0): 1066 & 1070 + 224.5 & 222 = 1290.5 & 1292 g
Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro (26.5): 1099 & 1100 + 210 & 211 = 1309 & 1311 g
Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 (26.5): 1124 & 1128 + 271 & 276 (lighter pre-production liner) = 1395 & 1404 g
Head Kore 1 (26.5): 1132 & 1136 + 392 & 393 = 1524 & 1527 g
Salomon S/Lab MTN (26.5): 1257 & 1246 + 288 & 303 = 1545 & 1549 g
Fischer Ranger Free 130 (26.5): 1204 & 1204 + 348 & 351 = 1552 & 1555 g
Lange XT Free 130 LV (27.5): 1472 & 1473 + 376 & 376 = 1848 &1849 g

Features

The new Maestrale RS looks completely different from the old version, and different from most other touring boots on the market.

The only features that really remain from the old boot are the Intuition liners and the ratchet-style heel retention strap, which are the two best features on the original boot. Well done, Scarpa.

The new boot also features a well-thought-out upper buckle, a solid power strap, an interesting-looking Z cable buckle on the lower shell, adjustable forward lean, ski/walk mode with 60° ROM, and Vibram rubber soles.

Liners

The new Intuition liners share the same characteristics of pretty much all Intuitions; they’re made of a firm, closed-cell, heat-moldable foam that packs out a decent amount over time, but is more responsive and retains heat better than most stock liners we’ve tested. The liners feature the standard achilles flex bellows for touring, as well as loops for laces.

Power Strap and Upper Buckle

The new power strap is great. It feels well-built, and I can crank on it super hard if need be. And this is made easier by the fact that the plastic of the cuff is pretty pliable so it can easily conform to my lower leg. The power strap is also married to an adjustable spoiler so you can really dial the fit in for your leg.

The upper buckle is a big improvement over the old version (which was a standard alpine buckle). Now it looks like what many other touring boots have. The first notch has concavities in two directions to hold the buckle bale more securely while going up (when the buckle is usually undone). The notches are also covered by a spring-loaded aluminum bar to keep the bale engaged while walking. The buckle piece is paired with a wire bale and an easy-to-grab (and delightfully neon green) lever.

Sam Shaheen reviews the 2017 Scarpa Maestrale RS for Blister Gear Review.

Scarpa Maestrale RS Power Strap & Top Buckle

Heel Retention Buckle

Coming back unchanged from the previous Maestrale RS, and for good reason, is the heel retention buckle. This buckle is very well designed. It effectively pulls your heel and ankle back into the heel pocket and provides a tight and precise fit that is easy to adjust. The ratchet system allows for fine tuning of the tightness with much more precision than standard buckles seen on other boots. It definitely takes a little while to get used to this style of buckle if you’re not used to cabrio boots, but the Scarpa design is solid and only suffers from minimal icing while remaining durable and easy to adjust.

Z-Cable Buckle

One of the unique features on this boot is the Z-cable buckle on the forefoot. This system routes a cable back and forth across the instep and forefoot of the shell. The notches of the buckle interface directly with the cable to hold the forefoot. This single buckle serves the purpose of the two lower buckles seen in most standard alpine boots. The buckle is located on top of the shell while the cable is on the lateral side of the foot, which helps to keep the buckle from getting damaged while scrambling.

This cable buckle is clearly designed to save weight without compromising performance. While I tend to believe that to be impossible, in the case of the cable buckle, I think Scarpa has done a great job. The buckle works quite well and offers great control over the forefoot of the boot. Granted, I have such a high instep that I hardly use this buckle, but when I need every bit of performance out of the boot, I’ll crank it down happily and without issue.

Walk Mode

Borrowed from the Scarpa Alien, the walk mode on the new Maestrale RS brings a serious functional change to the boot.

First, the range of motion (ROM) is increased from 37° to 60°. While stated ROM’s can vary significantly when it comes to actual, usable ROM in the field, I’ve found the new Maestrale RS to provide a seriously large ROM while touring in the boot. In fact, the boot’s ROM is larger than my physical ability to flex my ankle. This pays off on long, flat approaches as I can actually keep up with my TLT-wearing touring partners.

Sam Shaheen reviews the 2017 Scarpa Maestrale RS for Blister Gear Review.

Sam Shaheen in the Scarpa Maestrale RS.

The actual mechanism of the ski / walk mode is burly. A large aluminum bar flips up (walk) and down (ski) to stabilize the entire cuff of the boot. In ski mode, a small notch in this lever fits into a steel bar in the shell to lock it into ski mode. This notch / bar interface is probably the most finicky part of the boot. The notch and bar fit very tightly, and the notch is quite small (1-2 mm across). As a result, it ices up very easily. Typically, giving the metal lever several swift whacks with a pole grip is enough to take care of the icing, which makes this more of an annoyance than a big issue.

Sam Shaheen reviews the 2017 Scarpa Maestrale RS for Blister Gear Review.

Scarpa Maestrale RS Walk Mode

The walk mechanism also dictates the forward lean. According to Scarpa, the forward lean is adjustable from 14-18° (with a standard forward lean of 16°), but the boot’s forward lean feels substantially less than that. Compared to my primary alpine boot, the Dalbello Lupo SP, which has a stated forward lean of 9°, the new Maestrale RS has a very similarly upright feel. Even after I adjusted the forward lean on the Maestrale RS all the way forward, it still doesn’t feel like it makes it to that stated ~18 degrees. My best guess for the actual forward lean is about 10-14°, but we’re in fairly subjective territory here.

Another difference between the new Maestrale RS and many of the touring boots out today is that putting the Maestrale RS into walk mode greatly softens both the rear and forward flex of the boot. In many other touring boots, the forward flex remains relatively unchanged when going from ski to walk mode. But the Maestrale RS turns into a limp noodle in both directions in walk mode. The only downside to this is that, if the ski mode somehow broke, you would have a nearly impossible time skiing downhill. But it makes touring far easier and you will never ever forget to put your boots in ski mode for the downhill. (Not that you’ve ever forgotten that before, right?)

Vibram Soles

The soles on the new Maestrale RS, like the previous version of the boot, are made by Vibram. Different from the previous version, however, is the thickness of the sole. The new version has a very thin sole to save weight. Functionally, this is not a problem. The boots still walk and grip fine for a ski boot. However, I have experienced some durability issues with the thinner sole. After about 35 days in my first shell (more on that later) and a similar number of days in the new shell, they both showed significant signs of wear on the soles from rock scrambling. This wear didn’t pose any functional risks, but it did raise long-term durability concerns, especially if you frequently find yourself walking on rocks and on trails in your boots like I do.

Sam Shaheen reviews the Scarpa Maestrale RS for Blister Gear Review.

Sam Shaheen in the Scarpa Maestrale RS.

Flex — Stiffness

Ok, the million dollar question: Is the new Maestrale RS a true “125” flex boot? My Cliff Notes answer is: Eh, pretty much.

The boot flexes much stiffer and progressively compared to the original, which flexed pretty soft until it hit a sudden a wall. Compared to true 130-flex alpine boots, the new Maestrale RS is definitely softer (but remember, the Maestrale is much lighter than those alpine boots).

With my standard downhill buckle setup (powerstrap relatively loose, top buckle at notch 4, ankle buckle cranked down, and Z buckle undone), the new Maestrale RS feels like an alpine 110-120 flex. The first inch or so is pretty soft, and it gets evenly and progressively stiffer as you flex deeper. With this buckle setup (which keeps the upper buckles fairly loose and cranks on the the heel buckle), the boot flexes smooth and progressive, if a little soft given its stated flex rating.

Sam Shaheen reviews the 2017 Scarpa Maestrale RS for Blister Gear Review.

Sam Shaheen in the Scarpa Maestrale RS.

However, if you do crank the power strap down, you can get near to that 130 flex that everyone seems to want so badly. The trade off, though, is that the flex pattern becomes a lot less progressive, as most of the stiffness hits immediately as you flex. Cranking the power strap couples the tongue tightly to the rear cuff, so you lose the suspension of the tongue and replace it with the stiffness of the spoiler and lower shell. With the power strap looser, you get a smoother transition from the suspension of the soft tongue to the stiffer lower shell and spoiler.

Bottom line on the flex: if you really need a super-stiff forward flex, the Maestrale RS is going to be a bit harsh (and still not quite as stiff as a true 130-flex boot). However, by playing with the buckling, you can dial in a beautifully progressive flex in the 110-120 range, which is plenty for a lot of skiers in most situations.

Flex — Quality

With the aforementioned looser buckle setup, I get pretty excellent downhill performance from this boot. The ride is plush (for a touring boot) and it feels quite precise and responsive.

Much of the suspension of an alpine boot comes from sheer mass, and that mass is absent on a boot this light; it definitely gets knocked around more than boots that weigh twice as much. However, in the realm of touring boots, I’d say that the flex of the Maestrale RS feels incredibly progressive, though not the stiffest in the category.

Compared to the old version, every aspect of skiing is better in the new Maestrale RS (minus the less anatomical heel pocket, but that should be more of a fit issue for many people). The flex is stiffer and more progressive, and the lateral stiffness is vastly improved. These traits make the new boot feel quite responsive and precise, especially when making high-speed and high-angle turns on firm and variable snow.

When paired with a stiff and powerful ski like the G3 SENDr 112, the Maestrale RS can get a bit overpowered. With a ski this stiff that likes to be driven hard and skied fast, this boot lacks the lateral stiffness to get all of the performance from the ski, especially in icy / variable conditions. But on less demanding skis, the Maestrale RS performs very well.

Sam Shaheen reviews the Scarpa Maestrale RS for Blister Gear Review.

Sam Shaheen in the Scarpa Maestrale RS.

Skiing in the Maestrale RS definitely made the G3 Ion and Dynafit Radical bindings feel like the weak links in my ski setups. In the past, it was a toss up between the old Maestrale RS and the more minimal tech bindings. With the new Maestrale RS, those inelastic, tall standover bindings are certainly hindering downhill performance more than my boots.

When paired with stronger bindings like the Fritschi Tecton 12 or Salomon / Atomic Shift, the Maestrale RS can match the power transfer of those bindings much better than the previous version of the boot, and it feels like a very good combination. At the same time, the Maestrale RS is quite light and has plenty of ROM, so it doesn’t feel like overkill when paired with minimal, ~300 gram bindings like the Marker Alpinist or ATK Raider 2.0.

Ease of Use

One of the primary complaints I have about the new Maestrale RS is how difficult it is to put the boot on and take it off. Because Scarpa did away with the hinge system on the tongue of the old boot (which all in all is positive, since those hinges broke constantly), the boot is much more difficult to get on and off.

Sam Shaheen reviews the 2017 Scarpa Maestrale RS for Blister Gear Review.

Sam Shaheen in the Scarpa Maestrale RS.

I have worn just about every Cabrio-style boot on the market, and several overlap boots as well. Putting on the Maestrale RS is shockingly difficult compared to any other boot I’ve ever worn.

(Caveat: Remember that I have a huge instep which makes putting on any ski boot quite difficult for me.)

Not only is it hard for me to get the boot on and off, I’ve also found it to be very difficult to get the liners in and out, too. Every time I put this boot on, it’s a battle. And the day I tear off the pull strap on the tongue of the liner will likely be the last time I get them on my feet.

If you have a normal instep, then you may be fine with this boot. If you have a high instep like me, have fun.

Durability

After putting about 30 days in the pre-production Maestrale RS, my shells developed large cracks emanating from one of the rivets that secures the tongue to the shell. I was told that this was one of four instances of this that Scarpa had seen while they were testing the new boot last season. Scarpa addressed this cracking issue by making a slight change to the mold, adding some plastic to the suspect area, and improving the interface between the tongue and the shell. I’ve now spent over 30 days in the updated production-version of the Maestrale RS, and have had no issues with it cracking. Check out my update at the bottom of this review for more on this.

Besides the issue with the pre-production shell and the aforementioned sole wear, the only other durability concern I have is with the liners. After about 35 days, my liners in the pre-production boot were visibly wearing at high friction points in the shells. Luckily, Scarpa also addressed this in the production version (more on this below).

Who’s It For?

The new Maestrale RS is for the backcountry skier who values weight savings, walkability, and downhill performance — especially such skiers that have a wider foot and heel. It’s a huge upgrade to the old Maestrale RS, and is a real competitor with other ~130 flex touring boots on the market — though it is on the softer end of that spectrum.

Bottom Line

Scarpa has improved every aspect of the “world’s most popular” touring boot. The new version of the Maestrale RS is stiffer than the old version, has a great progressive flex, skis downhill great, and walks uphill far better, too.

Not only that, but Scarpa managed to shave around 150 grams off the old boot. That makes the new version a serious competitor in the realm of high-performance touring boots, especially if you have a higher volume foot or a wide heel and aren’t looking for the absolute stiffest boot in the category.

Long-Term Update

I now have about 70 days in the new Maestrale RS. About 35 of these days were spent in the pre-production version last season, and the other 35 have been in the production version this season. I’ll give a quick update here on the changes to the shell in the production version, as well as a few notes on the boot’s performance after extended testing.

As I noted in the durability section, there are two major changes from the pre-production boot I skied last season and the production version I’ve been in this year. First, plastic was added to the shell around the shell / tongue interface to address the cracking issue I experienced in the pre-production boot. Second, the ski / walk mode lever was also made a bit thicker for durability.

After putting about 35 days in the production version of the Maestrale RS (about 10 of which were spent skiing hard inbounds), I haven’t had any cracking or other durability issues with the new shells. Similar to the pre-production pair, I have noticed that the thin Vibram soles wear faster than the thicker soles on the previous version of the Maestrale RS. But other than that, the new Maestrale RS has been holding up well with no other issues.

The production version also came with abrasion-resistant stickers to cover the sharp spots inside the shell, which has helped significantly with the liner durability concerns I had in the pre-production boot.

When it comes to uphill and downhill performance, I still stand by everything I wrote in my original review. I think this is an excellent touring boot, especially if you value downhill precision and uphill walkability over absolute stiffness. One thing that has stood out more to me after getting increased time in the boot is the excellent rearward support of the Maestrale RS. I’d say the Maestrale RS feels very close to most alpine boots I’ve used in terms of rearward support, and I find this to be important when in skiing variable snow in consequential terrain as I don’t want to end up backseat and unable to get back to a centered or forward stance.

Because of all of the qualities described above, the Maestrale RS is still my go-to touring boot, and one I’d recommend to a lot of skiers.

75 Comments

  1. justin wilcox June 2, 2017 Reply

    Do you think the larger volume in the heel of the new boot is a change in the shell or liner (or both)?

    • Sam Shaheen June 2, 2017 Reply

      Hey Justin, seems like a change in the shell, as the shell was completely redesigned while the liner stayed relatively unchanged.

  2. Ben June 2, 2017 Reply

    How mich stiffer is the Freedom RS 130 compared to this, in your opinion?

    • Sam Shaheen June 2, 2017 Reply

      Hey Ben,

      Although I haven’t skied the Freedom RS, we do have a review coming on it soon. I really don’t think you can compare these two boots however as the Freedom RS is substantially heavier and definitely a 50/50 touring/alpine boot while the Maestrale RS is a super light dedicated touring boot. I can only imagine that the Freedom RS skis far more like an alpine boot while the Maestrale is definitely a lightweight, high performance, touring boot. Apples to oranges.

      Stay tuned for the Freedom RS review though as I’m sure that will get your question answered.

  3. amedeo June 2, 2017 Reply

    this is what i call a serious review…in depth, objective, giving actual insight instead of the usual PR marketing bullshit.

    thank you for what you do guys

  4. philipp June 3, 2017 Reply

    Great review! Is the new Maestrale RS comparable to the Salomon MTN lab / mountain? After spending two seasons struggling with TLT 6p’s I am up for a more substantial AT boot. thank you!

    • Sam Shaheen June 4, 2017 Reply

      Hey Philipp, the Maestrale RS is definitely in the same category as the MTN Lab. Although I haven’t been on snow in the MTN lab, the biggest difference between the two seem to be the fit. I recommend going to a good boot fitter and seeing which one works best on your foot.

  5. Mark Urwin September 28, 2017 Reply

    Hey Sam, great review! Have you or any of the team spent any time on the new Dalbello Lupo setups ? Love Cabrio design for its heel retention and looking for some in depth reviews on the new Lupos like you’ve written above for the RS. Hopefully ya’s get to try em this season.
    Cheers
    Mark

    • Sam Shaheen September 28, 2017 Reply

      Hey Mark, we are definitely dying to get in some of the new Lupo line. We should be getting some boots this season so stay tuned!

  6. austin September 29, 2017 Reply

    Quick fit question. You say the last and toe box are similar to the old Maestrale, but the forefoot has less room. Can you elaborate on that a little? I punch every boot I ski now for sixth toe, but no boot fits quite as well as my maestrales with that punch. My older maestrales were probably the first boot I felt like I could size down with that big ol toe box. Any comment on length?

    • Sam Shaheen September 29, 2017 Reply

      Hey Austin, for me, the new shell feels much more snug over the instep. However, I am not a boot fitter. Your best bet is 100% to go to the best boot fitter you can find and try it on. I didn’t have any issues with the sixth toe and the length feels similar to the old version. Good luck!

  7. ABP October 3, 2017 Reply

    As an early adopter, I have some comments having now having put in several days in the boot in our glorious super-early season Montana conditions (its actually been fat and rock free in several ranges for the past 2+ weeks!).

    The reviewer must have a very strange foot, I have had no trouble getting in and out of it. In fact, I would say it’s substantially easier to get on and off than the MTN Lab, F1, Freedom RS or tlt6 (all of which I have owned). I have an extremely average foot, no weird protrusions, medium arch, and I took them out of the box and used them without molding with no pain or hotspots. The heel pocket feels much like the F1 and MTN Lab, built for the average foot. Velcro powerstraps are stupid, I swapped them for a booster on mine after the first day.

    The touring range is truly impressive, there is no restriction to speak of in walk mode compared to my MTN Labs, which noticeably restrict rear articulation. The Maestrale skis like you would hope, stiff, progressive and precise. The MTN Lab still skis a little better, I don’t know how to describe it other than it feels “juicier” than the new Maestrale. However, I tend towards long distance days and big vert, which means that I often opt for a lighter F1-style boot only to feel undergunned on descents based on my size (6′, 200lbs). I think that the Maestrale RS effectively solves this problem for me, with the F1 on one foot and the new Maestrale on the other, there is hardly a difference in articulation, and only ~200g difference in weight per side. Paired with a light, powerful setup like the Zero G 95 and Dynafit Speed Superlite 2.0, I think they’ll end up on my feet on long days much more often than my MTN Labs ever did.

    My only real quibble is with the buckles. The Maestrale is noticeably more fiddly than the Lab, whose buckles I always appreciated for it’s simplicity and resistance to icing. While the Maestrale lower buckle beautifully distributes pressure throughout the forefoot, in touring mode you are left to either keep it on the cable, which leaves it sticking straight up, or take the cable off of the buckle so it can lie flat, which leaves the grooves to fill up with ice and makes it difficult to rebuckle at top transitions. Also, the ankle strap buckle seems like it’s in danger of getting mangled when postholing through snowy talus. Guess we’ll see. Overall, the articulation and performance have already won me over, 1430 grams in a 26.5 is incredibly light for how capable this boot is.

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen October 3, 2017 Reply

      Hey ABP, thanks for your comments and know that all of us who aren’t in Montana right now are very jealous.

      As far as ease of on/off in the boot, note that I tested a prototype version and one of the areas that Scarpa was adjusting for production was the tongue/shell interface (which is a huge factor in the on/off ease). We are hoping to get into a production version in the next few weeks and see what these changes look like. But yes, I do have a weird foot with a very high instep and arch, so boots are generally hard for me to put on.

      Isn’t that range of motion in tour mode impressive? Such a huge improvement in the category of stiff touring boots. I’ve shared your worry about shearing off the ankle buckle in talus for almost 7 years now and it still hasn’t happened on any of my Maestrale’s… so far so good!

    • I’m just here to say thanks for the very good feedback, ABP.

  8. Kevin October 18, 2017 Reply

    Sam, as a fellow narrow-heeled skier I’m wondering if you could expand more on the adjusted heel pocket of the Maestrale’s. I have found I have a good fit in Dalbello alpine boots and am wondering if you could comment on:

    1. Do either of the Maestrale’s (older 14/15 or new 16/17) have a heel pocket that you think is close in to a Dalbello boot? (Heel retention, shape, volume?)

    2. In comparison between the 14/15 Maestrale’s and the 16/17’s you found you had more room and had to use L-pads to adjust the fit. Did this fully remedy your heel movement? Was the fit as good as in the previous version?

    3. If all other boot-fitting issues are taken out of the equation, in your opinion, would you say the trade-off of increased ROM, lighter weight, updated walk mode etc. of the new boot made up for the change in fit of the heel compared to the 14/15 boot? Do you prefer one over the other?

    P.S. Thanks for the great reviews. Your team definitely set the standard for ‘Comprehensive’. Keep up the great work.
    Cheers
    Kevin

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen October 25, 2017 Reply

      Hey Kevin, thanks for the feedback! To address your questions:

      1) I also fit Dalbello boots very well but I would say that neither version of the heel pocket on the Maestrale RS is all that similar to a Krypton or Lupo 98mm lasted boot. But that’s not a bad thing. I want a little more room in my touring boots because I do so many long days in them.

      2) The L pads did help a lot, they fully alleviated any downhill issues I had and eliminated 80% of my uphill troubles. Granted, I did not go to a bootfitter, I did it myself (do as I say, not as I do). I’m sure a skilled bootfitter could do a much better job. Understand though that you’re always going to get a more precise fit when you have to create room in a boot rather than take it up.

      3) No question whatsoever, the new version is a huge improvement. It skis so much better. It walks so much better. It is way less finicky. The new Maestrale RS is an amazing boot, just make sure it fits your foot.

      Hope that answers your questions!

  9. Mike November 26, 2017 Reply

    I am new to AT. I plan to take some tours/classes with professional guides to learn backcountry skills. I am interested in a set up that I can use on powder days in resort (50%) + backcountry days (50%). In resort I will typically use my Nordica Steadfast/Marker/Lange alpine set up except for powder days. I plan to demo some set ups but right now have my sites set on Fritschi Tectonics + Rossi Soul 7 HD + Scarpa Maestrale RSs.

    First, what do you think of this idea and set up? Second, I am seeing the 2016/2017 Maestrale’s on sale for $450ish vs the 2017/18 versions for $795. Is this review talking about differences between those two years?

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen November 27, 2017 Reply

      Hi Mike,

      The new Maestrale RS is definitely a good option as a touring boot with solid downhill performance. If you’re a very aggressive skier, you’ll probably want a stiffer boot for resort powder days. There are heavier, more downhill oriented boots in the 50/50 resort/BC category that you could take a look at if you’re worried about overpowering the RS’s in the resort.

      Unfortunately, I haven’t skied the Soul 7 HD so I can’t comment on that part of your setup. But I can say that, as long as the Maestrale RS’s fit your foot, it is a great choice for a touring boot.

      Best,
      Sam

  10. Paul Crowder November 27, 2017 Reply

    I have just transitioned from the old style Maestrale RS to this year’s production model because my old boots were a performance fit that destroyed a bunch of toenails after my feet swelled on a multi-day backcountry trip last spring and so i needed a slightly larger (longer) boot to avoid a repeat of that experience this year. After about 4 days out with the new model, both in-bounds and in the (as-yet thin) back country in Colorado, Here are my thoughts on the new Maestrale RS:

    1. Overall, I love the new Maestrale RS … it’s as good a performer as the old model, and it fits my foot pretty well “out of the box” (the shop asked me to get a few days in on them before i come back in for thermal fitting). As for the old model, i can also put a rigid crampon on it, because it has heel and toe welts which accept my crampons’ heel lever and toe bale, and this means that i can front point up steep terrain and can also climb, after a fashion, on terrain which includes a mixture of snow, rock and ice. This is a really important feature for the kind of high adventure that my Maestrales take me into.
    2. I agree with the reviewer’s point of view on the difficulty of getting into and out of the new Maestrale, particularly compared to this much easier experience with the old model. I feel like i’m engaging in hand-to-hand combat every time i put the new Maestrales on or take them off. And never mind the struggle of trying to get the liners into or out of the shells; i plan to just leave the liners in the shells … except that i will have to make my peace with the struggle the next time i’m overnight in a tent or a hut, because i need to have the liners out of the shells for warming of them when i’m out overnight.
    3. I’m a little suspicious of the new model’s “zee” cable/buckle system over the forefoot. This design seems like an opportunity for single point of failure, and 50% of the time i manage to trap the cable under the shell overlap when i put the boot on, which results in a buckling “do-over” and makes me feel like a Gumby. But i suppose that the new design, with just one buckle, is less prone to getting torn off when i’m clambering uphill through snow covered boulders. And i am getting a solid fit over the top of my forefoot when i crank the zee buckle down, which is really important for performance in terrain in which i must not fall, so i can’t complain about the performance of the buckle at this point.
    4. I think that the uphill/downhill locking mechanism is a bit jingus. The old design was integral in the shell, which i will always think is more durable and less prone to difficulties with icing, and the flip up/flip down lever in the new design looks like something that i can definitely snap off in a boulder field when i’m clambering around in “walk” mode. Time will tell … .
    5. I’m not a fan of going thin on the Vibram sole just to save weight, because i do a fair amount of walking around on bare, wind swept ridges and climbing up through lower angle rock bands to get to the lines that make my heart go pitty-pat, and i can beat a thin sole up pretty quickly. I’ll check out resoling alternatives if/when my (ab)use of the new model brings me to that point.

    Overall, i’m pretty happy with the new Maestrale RS thus far, and I get excited just thinking about being out in them again (next weekend)!

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen November 27, 2017 Reply

      Thanks for your excellent comments, Paul! Maybe I’ll run into you this year in the Colorado BC.

    • Mike November 28, 2017 Reply

      So if You had the choice

      2016/2017 Maestrale for $495
      2017/2018 Maestrale for $795

      which would you choose?

      • Sam Shaheen Author
        Sam Shaheen November 28, 2017 Reply

        I would choose the 17/18 Maestrale RS but the 16/17 boot is still very good. The decision needs to come down to your budget and the amount of skiing performance (both up and down) that you need from your boots.

        The new boot skis down better and walks up far better than the old boot. Is that performance increase worth $300? For me, yes. But you’ll have to evaluate that for yourself. Sorry I couldn’t be more help!

      • Paul Crowder November 28, 2017 Reply

        I’m 100% in favor of a chance to do a side-by-side comparison of product fit and features, with all of the alternatives in my hands (and on my feet) at the same time in the same shop. I didn’t have the alternative to evaluate or buy last year’s model in a larger size when i bought my new boots in a shop a few weeks ago. I also make it a priority to let fit and features, rather than price, dictate my choice of gear. Having been savaged by ill-fitting discounted gear early in my outdoor career, and after nearly dying in an attempted descent of a prominent feature in RMNP because i was skiing on ancient ski mountaineering gear, I’ve long since decided that the price of gear is never my primary criterion for selection from the alternatives, as a good piece of gear will pay for itself the first time that I really need it, and poorly performing/fitting inexpensive gear will suck every time out. That said, there needs to be a good reason, compared to the alternatives, for me to pay a premium price for a piece of gear. And by the way, supporting my local retail shop is ALWAYS a good reason for paying a retail price ;-)

  11. Wieser December 1, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for the great review(s). I wonder about the differences between the Maestrale RS and the updated Maestrale. Would the Maestrale be softer and less downhill/ performance oriented? In terms of weight, they’re almost identical. Thanks again !

    • admin December 1, 2017 Reply

      Hey Wieser,

      Yep, the non RS version of the boot should just be a bit softer and less aggressive. It doesn’t have the fiber reinforced heel to stiffen the shell so it will just flex a bit softer. Many people probably don’t need all the of stiffness of the RS and would be more comfortable in the non RS boot anyway.

      • Wieser December 1, 2017 Reply

        Great, thanks for the update!

  12. JP December 3, 2017 Reply

    Hi Sam,

    Just got the new RS. Is there a canting adjustment? I see a hex head bolt on the outside ankle area of the shell but not clear if this is for canting and the Scarpa info site has nothing about adjusting cant. Thanks.

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen December 6, 2017 Reply

      Hey JP, I don’t think there is a canting adjustment, the hex bolts are just there for easier service.

  13. Blister Member
    Ryan December 4, 2017 Reply

    Where would you put this boot in comparison to the atomic Hawx Ultra xtd boots, granted there has been much debate between the blister crew on which liner and shell combo perform better uphill and downhill. But at first though I would think this strikes the compromise between the xtd 130 uphill ability and matches the xtd 120 with production liner in downhill? Thoughts?

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen December 6, 2017 Reply

      Hey Ryan, I wish I could be more help, but I haven’t skied either of the Atomic Hawx boots you’re talking about. The biggest difference I see though is the construction. Two piece overlap boots (like the atomic boots) just ski different than 3 piece cabrio style boots (like the Maestrale RS). I hope to get a turn in the Hawx Ultra XTD 130 this season though…

      • Blister Member
        Ryan December 17, 2017 Reply

        Sam thank you for the feedback! I ended up purchasing the boots and absolutely love them, I was wondering if you had any problems with the boot wall mechanism coming open when skiing down hill, this past weekend it happened to me twice on two separate days, and it wasn’t even when I got kicked back seat, not sure if I was trying to drive the ski to hard and it popped out of the pin, was wondering if you hand any similar Experiences before I see if I should contact scarpa to see if I need a replaced walk mode.

        • Sam Shaheen Author
          Sam Shaheen December 18, 2017 Reply

          Hey Ryan, the walk mode is definitely a bit prone to icing. I got into the habit of whacking it a couple times with my pole at transitions and didn’t have any issues. If you continue having issues, I would contact Scarpa directly. Glad to hear you otherwise like the boots!

  14. nicola December 22, 2017 Reply

    Hi Sam, thanks a lot for your review!
    Can you compare it with the Dynafit TLT and with an old Scarpa Skookum (my actual boot). The Skookum are havy but in downhill I find them good. I would like to change them with a lighter boot, but I’m afraid of finding boots that are too soft..
    Thanks a lot
    Nicola

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen December 24, 2017 Reply

      Hey Nicola, though I’ve not skied the Skookum, I can say that the Maestrale RS is a much stiffer and better skiing boot than the TLT line of boots. If you demand the absolute stiffest boot for your backcountry skiing, there are better options than the Maestrale RS, but for aggressive all the way to more casual BC skiers, the RS is a great boot. I doubt you’ll find it too soft.

  15. Tom Caprarella December 24, 2017 Reply

    My shells cracked today in the same way you described. I guess that makes the 5th case of this happening. It was my tenth day on them. My shop was great and gave me brand new boots but I’m worried about it happening again. Otherwise I really love this boot.

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen December 26, 2017 Reply

      Hey Tom, interesting to hear. I just got a production pair last week and I’ll be putting them through their paces as well. Do you have issues putting them on and off? I think that is the source of the cracking…

      • Tom Caprarella December 26, 2017 Reply

        Umm not too bad. Ive been taking them on and off by putting them into ski mode and pulling the tongues forward and inward. I hope this isn’t adding to the issue but I can’t imagine it is (right?). annoying part is kind of reassembling everything in the right place. The boot cracked skiing abasin on Sunday. There were chopped up pow conditions and it was getting pretty bumped up but still soft. Just made a turn and heard it crack.

        • Sam Shaheen Author
          Sam Shaheen December 26, 2017 Reply

          Interesting, I think mine was a slowly progressing crack so it sounds like it could be a different issue entirely. I put mine on in the same way (it’s the only way I can).

          I’ll have to keep an eye on my pair. I’ll be sure to report back if I run into any shell issues. Thanks for your feedback, Tom!

    • Mark Witcher December 29, 2017 Reply

      I have had two boots crack in the exact same spot, skiing Steamboat.

      • Tom Caprarella December 29, 2017 Reply

        Mark – now I’m definitely worried. Did you end up staying with the meastrale or did you try something else. I’m thinking about switching to the Vulcan now..

        • Mark Witcher December 29, 2017 Reply

          There giving me a third boot,if it cracks I think I’ll switch to the freedom rs until they figure it out.

  16. Mark Witcher December 29, 2017 Reply

    Skied the new rs about 14 days before a crack developed just in front of the toe buckle. Scarpa said that was the first case of cracking they had seen . They sent me a new boot and 10 days later another crack in the exact same spot. That shell is going to Italy, they sent another new boot. Hopefully the third time is the charm. Do the Scarpa people in the U.S. not know about the 4 other boots that have cracked, I’m obviously concerned.

  17. WB December 30, 2017 Reply

    Really good review and super useful comment thread. Was considering swapping out my 2013 RSs for the 2.0s but am definitely going to stay away based on combination of (1) shell cracking, (2) walk mech icing, and (3) wider heel pocket. Time for new liners and replacement hardware for my 2013s!

    Thanks all!

  18. Blister Member
    Ryan January 2, 2018 Reply

    How would you compare this boot to say the new Dalbello Lupo Ax 120s and 130s similar last, similar ROM although the Lupo the tongue needs to be removed for it. Given the issues with cracking on the mastralle maybe the lupo’s are a good middle ground both 3 piece shells, both wider volume, both similar weights in tour mode (lupo tongue removed) and maybe edge in downhill performance to lupo for heavier weight with tongue in? Thoughts? Know anyone on the new Lupo? Or any chance a blister review on them?

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen January 5, 2018 Reply

      Hey Ryan, we hope to check out the Lupo boots this winter. They certainly look intriguing!

  19. Matthew Sanger January 4, 2018 Reply

    I appreciate the review, and the comments on the comparison between the new RS and the new (non-RS) Maestrale.

    I have Maestrale’s from about 5 years ago (light and comfy, but SUPER soft), and am looking for a much more supportive boot…not just stiffer forward flex, but lateral support too. Any insights into how the lateral stiffness compares between the old Maestrale, the new Maestrale, and the new RS??? (BTW, I am a lightweight: 5’8″ 140lbs, not super aggressive skier, looking for a 1 boot solution for both front and backside).

    Thanks much…

    • Matthew Sanger January 4, 2018 Reply

      BTW – on the above question…I’m trying to decide between the new RS and the new non-RS Maestrale…

      • Sam Shaheen Author
        Sam Shaheen January 5, 2018 Reply

        Hey Matthew, I think it sounds like you’ll want the added support of the RS. However, the only way to really know for sure is to try them on side by side. I’d go to a good bootfitter and try them on.

  20. nicola February 5, 2018 Reply

    Hello,
    after reading your review I ordered the boot, (I did not find a dealer to try them) is a bit ‘low and crushes on the instep, tomorrow I try it, hopefully fit a bit’. Could you tell me the correct position of the hooks during the climb? Do you have to attach the first hook and close the lever or leave it open? On the skookums I had there was the longer hook for the climb, but on some dynafit the lever should be left open, here how does it work? And the central band?
    Thanks a lot
    Nicola

  21. Joe May 10, 2018 Reply

    You lost me at “wider and less anatomical heel pocket”.

  22. Dylan May 11, 2018 Reply

    I have a couple notes to add from my experience with this boot. I bought this boot at the beginning of the 2017-2018 season and got about 20 days on it. I would have more except that I broke the walk mode by skiing into a firm chunk of snow that was buried in powder. The metal lever ripped out of the plastic upper shell as I flexed hard into the cuff of the boot. It wasn’t hard enough to release my bindings (kingpins set to 11). You’ll notice that there is not a lot of plastic holding the walk mechanism to the upper shell where the forward lean adjustment is. I’ve also noticed that the “teeth” on the forward lean adjustment tend to slip. I know a few ladies who have complained about the same issue on the Gea RS. It’s worth putting some epoxy on there if you find the angle you like. Scarpa did warranty the blown boot, so props to them, but it did take 2 months and there was zero communication.

    Fwiw, I’m 6’ tall, 170 lbs. and I like to ski aggressively but fluidly.

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen May 14, 2018 Reply

      Interesting observation Dylan, I haven’t seen this but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out. I think a little Loctite if it keeps slipping is a good call.

  23. Dylan May 13, 2018 Reply

    And a quick note on the heel pocket, I actually thought the Maestrale RS had a better hold on my heel than the MTN Lab or the Zero G Guide and is ultimately why I chose this boot over the others. Goes to show that not all feet are the same.

    • Sam Poole May 14, 2018 Reply

      Dylan, how did you find the boot sizes compare between the MTN Lab and the Maestrale RS, i.e. is say a 27.5 a similar size, purely as a guide for selecting a boot? Difficult to find locally in Australia.

      • Sam Shaheen Author
        Sam Shaheen May 14, 2018 Reply

        Hey Sam, because the shell sizes break on different mondo sizes, the boot sizes are a bit tough to compare. The Maestrale RS I have is a 24.5/25 shell size with a BSL of 288 mm. The S/Lab MTN I have is a size 25/25.5 shell and the BSL is 292 mm.

        The Salomon is definitely a bit longer, and generally narrower than the RS. The Salomon is also more snug on top of the ankle and in the heel pocket, but probably has a bit more room in the instep and cuff. The RS is roomier in the toe box. If possible, though, I recommend going to a bootfitter for these things!

        • Sam Poole May 14, 2018 Reply

          Sam, thanks.
          Definitely agree agree with the MTN Lab being snug on the top of the ankles. Personally, while I don’t have huge ankle bones a punch to my 27.5 lower shells forward of the inner ankle bone made skinning in crusty off-camber terrain tolerable! Surely I am not Robinson Crusoe with this issue, haha!
          Have found the 2018 Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 27.5 to be a better all round great fit, perhaps even more snug above the ankle, same ‘crusty off-camber skinning’ ankle bone pain. The Salomon QST Pro 130 27.5 is snug but doesn’t have the same pain while skinning off camber, putting that down to the cabrio style construction, bit subjective but do feel this translates to the Maestrale cabrio styled construction?

          Understood re: break points in sizing and boot fitter, agree.
          If you find time a comparison on a liner removed shell fit between both would be informative.

          Sam, also of interest is spolier/tongue height, for me specifically compared with the MTN Lab, in general however, would it be cool for a reviewer to throw a tape measure in through leg shaft to the foot bed and note an indicative mondo vs spolier/tongue measurement in the tech specs?

  24. WB May 13, 2018 Reply

    “The biggest issue I’ve had with the fit of the Maestrale RS is with its heel pocket. *In relation to the old version*, the new heel pocket is much wider and less anatomically shaped.”

  25. Mike Capuano May 14, 2018 Reply

    I plugged into this thread early on with concerns about cracking. After skiing about 15 days on these boots with 75% in bounds pow I did have a significant crack across the back of the left shell. I have photos but not sure how to upload them to this site — not sure if I had an early production version or not but it was definitely production. I also think the design of the instep buckle is not great because when you are trying to release it you can easily grab the black ratchet strap along with the buckle and break it, which I also did. Pine Mountain sports took the boot, grabbed a new pair off the shelf and swapped the cuffs and they also replaced the ratchet strap. My boots are back to new but we’ll see how they hold up for the rest of the season.

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen May 14, 2018 Reply

      Hey Mike, thanks for your input. I think it is super important though to make a note on the intended purpose of lightweight gear. Yes, the new Maestrale RS skis great and can certainly hold its own performance wise inbounds, but it is still an extremely lightweight boot that was designed primarily for ski touring. Touring puts far less stress on a boot than ripping lap after lap of inbounds pow.

      It isn’t possible to cut weight without any consequences, that’s just physics. In the case of lightweight gear, those consequences tend to be performance, price, and of course, durability.

  26. Mike Capuano May 14, 2018 Reply

    I hear what you are saying but that is not how the shops are representing. They are saying with the improvement in bindings to have DIN front and back (like my Fritschi Tecton 12s) on top of skis like Soul 7HDs you can create a hybrid in-bounds power and AT set up. Less equipment, less money, etc. If lightweight touring was all I was intending then I would have gotten a set up dedicated to touring which would be even lighter than my supposedly “hybrid” set up. So while I hear what you are saying this is not the way it is being represented in the shops that I have visited in Bend OR.

  27. nicola May 16, 2018 Reply

    Hello,
    I used them for half a season, about 20 days and I must say they are fantastic! Before I had the Scarpa Skookum, more freeride than climbing and I was fine, even if heavy 1850 g. Downhill they were good and uphill they were a bit ‘not very mobile, but I never had blisters, very comfortable. Maestrale rs are another world! Uphill fabulous, very mobile and light and downhill are fantastic, I’ve never been better! I like to have the foot closed and with hard boots and I have to say that with the new RS I found myself really well.
    The negative aspects are a bit the fit. I have a wide foot and a high collar. At the beginning they crushed me a lot on the neck, but after a few hours they adapted and no longer bothered. They are a bit ‘low in the front and the hook I leave it open even down. For the insertion / exit of the foot I have never had problems, they enter very easily. On the contrary, it’s very difficult to remove and replace the intous, I’m always afraid of breaking something. Most of the time I prefer to let it dry without removing it.
    Another negative note is that the left after 2-3 hours of walking tends to do bladder on the heel, the right no. I never blistered with the skookum.
    The ski / walk mechanism also to me sometimes struggle to get stuck in a ski position.
    For the times that I have used it, apart from the blisters, I can say that I have found my ideal boot, comfortable uphill and fantastco downhill, on all types of snow. Ski use “skitrab piuma polvere”.
    Congratulations Scarpa, excellent work

  28. Bardur Arnaon May 26, 2018 Reply

    Hi Exelent review. I have about 20 something days on them and they are awesome. Used to be a telemarker but the maestrale rs tour better and bootpack better than my old scarpa tx pro. I skied them mostley resort both Colorado and hard packed Icelandic resorts. I also did a big tour in powder and spring soft snow tour and I cant say nothing negative about them except the liner is a pain to put in the boot. No signs of damages so I am buying the Gea for my wife. Ski resort on Mantras with Barons and tour on Dynafit Manaslus with Tectons.
    Kv Bárður

  29. WB May 29, 2018 Reply

    Finally tried on a pair of these. Definitely much more volume around the ankle and heel out of the box than my last gen boot in the same size. The old shells felt just about perfect for my feet prior to fitting, but my heels were swimming in these and there did not seem to be much contouring around the ankles. Shop was skeptical about adding padding/shims to tighten them up as they find those tend to come loose after logging some hours in walk mode. Oh well…

  30. Adam Dickinson June 4, 2018 Reply

    Thanks for the awesome review. This helped me make my decision and I love the boots.

    For what it’s worth, my feet must be weird in the same way. I have an epic struggle every time I need to put these on when they’re cold.

    After about 30 days touring and ski mountaineering a crack formed on one of the boots. Does this look similar to what you encountered in the pre-production boot?
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/58PYPm3bKRoJdGTr2

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen June 5, 2018 Reply

      Hey Adam,

      Yep, that is the same place mine cracked. I do think there is some correlation to the difficulty in putting them on and the cracking… but no hard evidence yet. Scarpa should warranty your shells for the crack though.

      • Adam Dickinson August 9, 2018 Reply

        Hi Sam, how long did it take to get your boots back? I mailed mine in like 2 months ago and still haven’t heard anything. Starting to get worried!

  31. Blister Member
    Garrett Cooney June 6, 2018 Reply

    Have you guys tested the Freedom RS 130 yet?

  32. Blister Member
    gcooney June 9, 2018 Reply

    Sam, anything on the Freedom RS yet?

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen June 13, 2018 Reply

      Hey Garrett, we should have a review out late summer sometime on the Freedom RS.

  33. Pierre Gaudreault June 21, 2018 Reply

    I have the same heel problem, can you post a picture of the “L pad” in place. Thank you.

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen June 22, 2018 Reply

      Hey Pierre, if I had any confidence that my L-pad solution was the best practice in fixing the heel lift, I’d gladly post pictures — but I’m no bootfitter. I definitely recommend going to a local bootfitter and having them take a look. They will have different shaped pads and will help you pick the right pads and placements for your particular foot.

      • WB June 22, 2018 Reply

        FWIW I’ve not had much luck with adding pads to reduce volume in touring boots, if you are actually going to tour in them. Rubbing between the liner and shell when walking can break them down and move them around.

  34. Pierre Gaudreault June 27, 2018 Reply

    Yes, I do tour in these, i had the first generation of Maestrale (white) since 2012. It’s a great boot, but i don’t get the same fit with the new one, and the bootfitter i’ve seen were not willing to punch them (on the side-where the white part joins the black one) and i’m trying to prevent my heels from moving up and down-i get blisters…

    It’s a great boot to ski up and down, it’s strong, but hard to bootfit. Any comments would help. Thank you.

  35. Doug August 9, 2018 Reply

    Any idea if these will work with the Soli Shift binding with the Quick Step insert?

  36. Bob September 13, 2018 Reply

    Excellent review. Thank you.

    I’m a 43 y/o third-year skier who wants to get into AT to make descents easier after bagging summits (as well as enjoying the workout of climbing/skiing uphill even when inbounds). I have skied the last two years (~500k vert all inbounds) using Salomon x-pro x90 (flex being 90) on a pair of adjustable binding 168 Rossignols.

    I just purchased the 176cm Black Diamond Helio 95, Fritschi Tecton 12s and hope to purchase these boots… do you have any thoughts?

    I’m intending to go on a couple introductory ski-mountaineering tours late next season and wish to get some time on the new setup beforehand.

    Thank you for your consideration and help!

    Bob

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