Tricky to put on but worth the effort. Lightning quick attacks on descent and featherweight climbing capabilities. Testers put the Gea RS on the podium in the Backcountry group for its winning combination of functional elements.
Don't be fooled by the 101mm rating; the Gea RS fits snug, like a narrow class boot. Testers recommended immediate molding of the Intuition Pro Flex RS Women's liner in order to even out some of the peak pressure points at the forefoot, navicular bone and instep.
The entry and exit had testers cussing while they cracked-open the sideways-hinged external tongue and pried buckle straps out of the way. There was also a little pinch on the instep for a few as their foot makes it past the boot throat. Once buckled, however, the closure was super secure. Testers liked the heel hold and the grip on the lower leg shaft. They said it was slightly lower on the leg than others and had an edgy-firm feel at the top of the cuff that relaxed after some hill time.
A polyamide shell and cuff and Pebax tongue combine to create a strong, light and snappy feel on snow. This thin shell wall and stiff construction made for close-to-foot snow feel and rapid direction changes without any flex flubber; testers were impressed with how well the boot held up when pounded.
The 45-degree ratchet strap instep buckle works wonders for retention and heel hold but will also help remind you why you don't snowboard. The presence of a functional and easily attuned lateral cuff adjuster will be appreciated by those who need to tweak their stance alignment.