Fall-Line magazine have featured Scarpa in its Gear of Year 2018 issue, this includes a couple of Boot of the Year awards for the Maestrale RS and Gea RS. This article takes a closer look at these products and why they’re the pick of the bunch, this is along with some fantastic ski-tour images taken on test at Serles Nordrinne near Innsbruck with Fall-Line reviewer Matt Clark.
Mens Touring Boots Winner: Maestrale RS
“The original Maestrale RS boot has been the class-deﬁning ‘beef’ touring boot since its inception in 2012 and is probably the best-selling touring boot of all time. It has been completely revamped for 17/18, and now skins and skis better than ever. The weight – or lack of it – at just 1410g in a 26.5 shell is staggering; combined with a smooth walk mode with an incredible 60° degree range of motion the new version feel like slippers going uphill, dexterous and nimble on even the steepest and most technical skin tracks. Going downhill, the boots feel solid despite the lack of weight. The metal walk mode bar thunks reassuringly into ski mode and the innovative ratchet over the instep really helps to pull your feet back and hold them in the heel pocket for great power transfer and sensitivity. Scarpa works with Intuition to make the liners, which are very comfy with a precise anatomical ﬁt unusual for a touring boot. They also help stiffen up the ﬂex to 125, which is supportive in rough snow and powerful enough to charge even the burliest backcountry lines.”
‘The weight – or lack of it – at just 1410g in a 26.5 shell is staggering’
See more on the Maestrale here
Womens Touring Boot Winner: Gea RS
“There’s always some debate about how stiff a touring boot really is, but we were impressed by the amount of power and control during descents in Scarpa’s latest offering for women, the Gea RS. They’re both torsionally and laterally stiff, with a great fore/aft ﬂex that really lets you work the ski even in challenging conditions. The Gea comes with an Intuition liner as standard and this, combined with a strong power strap, gives added muscle and keeps the boot tight and close-ﬁtting in all the right places. The walk-to-ski mode mechanism is simple and doesn’t get clogged with snow. Although sometimes we found the entry and buckling system a little confusing to begin with, it does make getting into the boot easy! Scarpa have used a smart three-buckle design, which employs a pulley system on the top of the foot buckle to keep the whole foot tight and secure. It’s also possible to adjust the alignment to tip the rider further forward, for those who prefer a more aggressive style of skiing. The Gea is amazingly lightweight at just 1260g per boot, and has a very ﬂexible walk mode with a fantastic 60° range of motion – which makes for a genuinely brilliant uphill experience. The super chunky Vibram sole provides superior grip on rock, ice and snow too, once the bootpacking begins.”
‘They ski and climb so well that – like the men’s Maestrale version – we awarded them our women’s Touring Boot of the Year prize’
See more on the Gea RS here
Check out the Fall-Line Gear Guide for the full rundown of products and lots more info and insight.
The full range of Scarpa Ski Boots are viewable at Scarpa Ski.
Ski-touring images credit Hayden Buck.