The Maestrale line has been through a variety of iterations, ups and downs, tighters and loosers, over the years and our test team says the Maestrale RS's current iteration with its revised cuff material is the best combination yet of a good, anatomical fit matched with real ski boot descending skills and legit BC touring functionality. Testers still grumble a little bit about getting past some sharp and jumbled overlaps and straps but once in and locked down they say there are few backcountry category competitors that can match the nearly universal medium width fit and easily managed features.
According to testers, Scarpa remains one of the few brands that consistently incorporates more environmentally friendly plastics into its designs without tanking their performance potential. The new Grilamid Bio cuff proved to be strong and stable when driving big, fat skis at speed through a variety of different terrain and snow surfaces, and testers said that response time remained as good as it's ever been with the Maestrale design. They thought that the balance of medium fit, strong edging skills, quick steering reactions and functional cuff-release features and functionality kept the Maestrale RS in the top group of BC boots tested.
Some testers felt that there was an excessive amount of space in the toebox and forefoot, but for many tourers this would seem a benefit, and depending on how much toe-cappage one used during liner molding a more snug liner fit in the forward cab could be achieved pretty easily.
Stance angles were neutral and allowed for easy balance for cruising, charging or ascending, alike. Testers liked the cuff release mechanism and loved the resulting stride range of motion and smooth feel. They generally had no complaints (beyond some entry and exit consternation) except for some of the usual grousing about ladder strap style 45-degree buckles and zig-zaggy Wave Closure buckles--which was probably good news--when testers' negative comments fall on buckle design, you know the boot's gotta be pretty solid overall.
“Really the best fit in the category. For a walk mode boot with a full rubber sole it's amazing. The more I ski it the more I like it. Wow, for this category it's very strong--not a powerhouse but the smooth engagement makes the power it does have feel silky smooth. It's not the lightest, but skis better then those that are. It doesn't have the very best range of motion in walk mode, but who cares, it's enough--and it's comfortable in both modes, especially walking downhill, or down stairs. It skis better than lots of fixed cuff boots and the sucker is warm. Five stars! ” -- Kevin Gabriel
“Not a bad match for most people's feet--roomy medium in the forefoot with more control in the ankle and heel. Good boot. Still one of the best in the category though relatively unchanged and a little unexciting--but it's strong and reliable and comfy and that's just fine. ” -- Mark Elling
“Tour mode switch is easy to use and has a quality feel when engaged. ” -- Bob Gleason