Our test team’s consensus on the Freedom SL: “Best one-boot quiver for hard-charging women as interested in going uphill as down.” Crisp, racy power and quickness paired with light weight and huge touring range of motion make this a no-brainer for skiers who regularly venture beyond area boundaries for day-long or even multi-day missions.
The Scarpa fit varied for our team, who bounced between their normal size and a step-down. Those who took advantage of the model’s slightly longer fit in the toebox to drop down a size, found a form-fitting Narrow feel. Those who stuck with their normal size experienced a Medium fit with extra toe room. For those doing extended tours, the latter is the go-to option as creating more toe length in the thin Pebax lower boot is tricky for even the best bootfitters.
Note that even our veteran test team experiences some confusion over sizing with Scarpa due to the fact that the brand’s shell length changes on the half-size (i.e. the 24.5 and the 25.0 are the same sole length at 287mm). The Freedom SL series merits try-on with a topnotch bootfitter to ensure you get the desired fit.
The lower boot sole’s rigid carbon insert construction continues to impress testers with the accurate power it generates; uncanny given the overall lightweight package. No other Pebax boot we've tested comes close to the Freedom SL's torsional stability and direct transmission of energy.
The cuff's range of motion and friction-free quality of movement would stand out among true backcountry boots but it's staggeringly surprising in an all-mountain hybrid that has the option to swap-out with Alpine soles. The boot comes stock with rockered, tech-compatible soles but the Alpine set (which we tested) is available as a $35 add-on.
“Loved how snug it was in the heel. ” --
“Looks stellar. ” -- Linda Parazoo
“The long range of motion in hike mode is nothing short of SPECTACULAR.” -- Michael Kendrick Powderly
“Rips! In-bounds better than most traditional boots, with the flexibility of back-country. ” -- Jim Kinney
“It was lightweight and fun to ski. ” --
“Excellent. ” --
“Its ready for extensive touring!” -- Jana Rogers