While the 2019 Scarpa Maestrale RS is the same in name as the beloved 2017 version, it returns to our boot test with last year's revised shell construction, closure system and liner. The unique Evo V-Frame cuff utilizes stiff Grilamid plastic in an open cross-membered weave to increase stiffness, shave weight and allow for moisture venting. This rigid and light framework is linked to a rock solid carbon-strand infused Grilamid lower shell via the new Speedlock Plus metal-on-metal cuff release mechanism for a highly transmissive lateral connection between foot and leg to ski.
Testers again liked the revisions on the Maestrale's shell shape and Intuition Cross Fit Pro Flex G liner. They noted that it was more open than in the past, and more in line with the stated 101 mm last width. A few testers felt the lower boot was a little boxy with some pressure at the instep and ankle pockets prior to full-thermo liner molding, which evened-up the fit a bit there. The cuff rides slightly low on the leg, so it's particularly well suited to shorter skiers and larger calves.
Testers liked the lateral connectivity with the ski, rolling edge to edge smoothly. Testers were again not as excited with the Maestrale RS's forward flex character, which they said collapsed under heavy loads. Combined with the lowish cuff, this diminished the boot's hard-charging potential and rendered it a better match for skiers with a lighter touch on the tongue and smooth, side to side movers. The Maestrale RS still excels in uphill battles—light weight, long and friction-free range of motion in touring mode still make this one a top choice for skin track junkies.
The new pulley-wire loop lower buckle of the Wave Closure system was a fiddle-around initially but works well and appeals to a minimalist ethos. The ratchet strap style 45-degree middle buckle will appeal or offend depending on one's preference for ratchet strap buckles, but it is functional for retaining the instep. The ISO 9523 tech-compatible rockered sole is clad with the Vibram Cayman Pro lugged outsole.
“This boot skied much better than I thought it would for how light it is—it could be an everyday boot both in-bounds and out. Rather easy to use walk hike mode--and do it with your gloves on! Good touring range of motion and quality of movement. I like this boot!” -- Adam Tutskey
“The initial fit, once you're in, is pretty nice--very roomy toebox, then from midfoot back quite snug, with and open calf fit at boot top. In lateral moves it's strong to the inside edge.” -- Kevin Gabriel
“The open toebox provides extra room for comfort and warmth while touring. The Mastrale RS excels at side-to-side edging moves from a centered home base. Great touring range of motion and release switch.” -- Mark Elling