Our testers love this current version of the Maestrale family for its real boot feel matched with real backcountry touring resume. It goes on in a more predictable way than in the past, with the three piece design coming together without an octopus tentacled strap wrestling match, and then the fit works—contoured and comfy but firm against the foot and lower leg. Testers said it’s fit in the lower and upper are right inline with what one expects from a modern medium width. The flex feel may be the XT’s best element as testers said the tallish cuff drove big skis with authority.
Perfectly mediumish is what one tester said of the XT--anatomically matched to the curves of the foot testers thought the lower boot fit was superior to predecessor Maestrale RS's more boxy feel--and with a nice transition through the instep and into the cuff. The cuff feel is properly flared for the average sized calf and tall enough to feel supportive against the lower leg. Testers loved the legit 130 flex feel but said that the shin is also ideally cushioned for off-piste bashing all day long, even if you're lapping the chairlift.
Testers said this is the best skiing Maestrale so far and essentially crosses over into the more alpine freeride category boots in terms of descending power but without losing its lightweight touring roots. The two cuff buckles and fat cam lock power strap give the boot lower leg leverage over big, fat skis and the boot remained torsionally strong at high edge angles and at high speeds. The burly Speed Lock XT cuff release mechanism makes a strong connection between cuff and shell with zero rearward sponginess but when released still avails Maestrale-style massive range of motion.
The XT's carbon fiber injected Grilamid web frame creates a stiff but light chassis in the lower boot and paired with a Grilamid cuff and Pebax tongue the XT's coolest feature is its nearly ideal blend of power, agility and light weight in a long-range tourer. The cam lock power strap is also loaded with energy, Booster elastomer style, which testers dug. The cuff's forward lean angle can be tweaked 2-degrees in either direction but testers liked its just slightly upright feel in the stock position.