Maestrale RS Boot Review
Size Reviewed: 28.5 Skier: 6 ft 2 in, 180lbs Skied with: Moment Bibby Pro 191 Dynafit Radical FT
The time had come at last; I was no longer willing to hike uphill in a ski boot with minimal touring performance. I was very impressed with the new and improved touring boot from Scarpa, the Maestrale RS. After years of success with their classic Maestrale (bright orange!) boot, Scarpa decided to create a bigger stronger version for the more downhill focused skier. Although very similar to the older Maestrale, the RS has a few key upgrades that make for a far superior downhill focused boot, which sacrifices nothing on the uphill. With an easy to adjust and easy to fix ski/walk mechanism, this boot cruises uphill with ease, its huge range of motion (37 degrees) in tour mode can accommodate strides of many different lengths. The phenomenal walk mode of the RS is only complimented by the intuition liners that Scarpa includes. Touted as the most heat mold able liner on the market, the intuitions offer a huge range of adjustment that can keep feet of all shapes and sizes comfortable, both on the uphill, and on the down. In addition to being comfy, intuition liners are the warmest on the market, keeping feet warm even on the coldest of days. Weighing in at just over 1500 grams, this is on the lighter end of the boot spectrum, allowing you to save weight and go father on long ski tours.
I was nervous for my first day on these boots, having never before skied a boot so light. I was happily surprised, the Maestrale RS performs well in a variety of conditions, even happily charging through breakable crust with no second thoughts. The only place I found the RS to be lacking was during groomer turns in the ski area. Being a tall skier, when I really opened the throttle I would feel as if I were coming over the top of the slightly shorter touring cuff. A new somewhat loud paint scheme is the only other negative, and a negative that I can certainly live with.
Overall I am very happy with the Scarpa Maestrale RS. The boot handles a range of conditions, cruising uphill with ease and providing a stable platform to charge downhill with. The RS has become my boot of choice, both inbounds and out. Give it a try, it will not disappoint!