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Scarpa Maestrale Review

scarpa maestrale review
Overall
4.4
  • Uphill performance
    (4.5)
  • Downhill performance
    (4.5)
  • Thermal insulation
    (4)
  • Ease of use
    (4.5)
Comments Rating 5 (1 review)

Summary

A historic model in its category, now in its fifth edition. Its strengths are its transversal use and its progressiveness in skiing. A good boot for ski mountaineers looking for the pleasure of downhill skiing, but not afraid of “walking” in mixed terrain. Some adjustments could still be improved, but overall the boot is at the top of its category.

Pros

  • Downhill stability and control
  • Wide customisable fit
  • Reduced friction on climbs
  • Excellent thermal insulation
  • Easy maintenance due to use of screws and bolts in construction

Cons

  • Adjustment of some elements not immediate
  • Strap closure can be improved
  • Delicate graphics

The Scarpa Maestrale is a versatile touring boot, now in its fifth evolution. Details have been refined to offer the best compromise between uphill comfort and downhill performance.

The claim “The Orange Legend” underlines the success of its long history at the feet of many enthusiasts. Significantly improved and lighter than its predecessor, it takes many technical cues from the ‘Quattro’ in terms of stiffness and control.

Technical features of the Scarpa Maestrale

  • 3 hooks: front four point lever, HRS ankle lock system, lever on cuff with strap
  • Weight: declared 1380 gr. (size 270) Actual: 1415 gr (size 295)
  • Cuff rotation angle in walking mode 61°
  • Intuition Foam thermoformable innerboot
  • Vibram Cayman LT outsole
  • Last: 102 mm
  • Manufacturer link

Hull

Made from Pebax Renew with Carbon Core technology, an over-injected carbon insert that provides high torsional and longitudinal stiffness to the hull. These characteristics allow a more direct transmission to the ski.

The hull construction is based on a revised overlap structure that works in symbiosis with the new liner. These innovations have made it possible to overcome some of the shortcomings of the previous series, which could cause improper closure when switching to downhill mode.

Detail of the "Overlap" construction of the tongue
Detail of the “Overlap” construction of the tongue

Wanting to find a flaw in this latest version, I noticed that the applied screen prints, compared to previous models, tend to spoil much faster, losing color quickly.

Shoe

The liner, called Pro Flex Touring, is made from fully thermoformable Intuition fabric.

The construction features a tongue with elastic on the instep and a double upper strap for easy entry. In any case, it is always advisable to pull the cuff back by separating it from the shoe to ensure a good fit.

inner shoe
Detail of the inner shoe combined with the two thicknesses for an even more precise fit

There is also an additional spoiler that can be attached with Velcro to add +2° of forward tilt.

spoiler
The spolier applied with velcro

Sole

The sole of the boot is made from a specially designed Vibram compound called Cayman LT. Using both Durastep” and Traction Lug” compounds, it maximises grip when walking and allows smooth movement thanks to the lightweight rocker.

testing the scarpa maestrale

During this winter’s tours, I have so far not perceived abnormal wear despite the softness of the rubber used.

Closure system

The Maestrale Shoe is equipped with a multi-part closure system: the “Wave Closure M-LITE.” This performs a four-point closure function between the malleolus and forefoot, simulating the closures of a 4-hook system.

A strong point is the triple adjustment on the instep, which allows a very precise fit to be found by acting on the 3-tooth rack, the micro-adjuster at the toe and the micrometric lever adjustment.

wave closure
Detail of the Wave closure

Instead, the HRS system is used for ankle and heel locking. Compared to the previous version, it is lighter, but still stable in descent and comfortable in ascent thanks to a double cable system. Previously there was a pre-shaped plastic strap.

A Velcro with Recco reflector and a 3-position adjustable lever system have been adopted for the cuff closure, in addition to the numerous teeth.

Note the use of orange painted aluminium construction for all levers, which offers greater scratch resistance than the simple paint finish of the previous model.

the upper strap
Details of the upper strap band equipped with the Recco reflector. Bottom visible HRS ankle lock system.

Ski mode

The real innovation is the locking system for descent. The contrasting lever of the previous model, which tended to jam in ice or snow, has been replaced.

detail of the lever
The walk to ski lever

In the “less is more” philosophy, there has been a return to a lever system in which the harpoon goes to close on an unrecessed pin, making it very difficult for ice to creep inside.

scarpa maestrale's closure system
Details of the locking system with the harpoon and the “exposed” pin (in “walk” mode on the left and “ski” mode on the right)

Test mode

I had the opportunity to test the Scarpa Maestrale boots during the beginning of the 2023 winter season for about ten outings with elevation gains between 700m and 1500m. The conditions found were very varied, from powder to an icy and partly even transformed snow context. I also tested them for a couple of trail outings.

The boots were used on the following skis:

  • K2 Wayback 88 mounted with Dynafit ST Rotation SL binding
  • Black Crows Camox 96 mounted with ATK Raider 12 binding
testing the Scarpa Maestrale

Scarpa Maestrale on-site test

Foot entrance

As an owner of the previous two Maestrale models, the first thing I noticed while wearing the new 23/24 model is the ease of foot entry.

the cuff opening
The remarkable cuff opening that also facilitates the extraction of the inner shoe as well as the fit

The cuff opening is very wide, which allows easy entry and exit of the foot from the boot. The foot slips or slides out of the inner shoe without any problems even when wearing somewhat thick socks and even when the boot has been left in a very cold environment.

Uphill Mode

The angle of rotation of the cuff is 61 degrees, not among the best in its class. However, the marked reduction in “mechanical resistance” (and consequent squeaking) compared to the previous version gives the impression that the degrees of rotation are definitely more.

testing the boot on uphill

The “overlap” construction of the tongue conforms very well to the shape of the foot and does not tend to overlap when closing the cuff, which could lead to strain on the plastics closing abnormally.

Initially, I struggled to find the right adjustment closure for climbing. It took a couple of settling outings to better understand how much to “tighten” hooks and loops.

uphill test scarpa maestrale

Even on icy sloping sections, I felt a good feeling with both sidecut of the paired skis while the cuff support was always effective.

Use with crampons and while walking

I also had a chance to try the boots with Petzl Irvis Hybrid automatic-type crampons for some easy mixed mountaineering sections. Here I appreciated the better compatibility compared to the previous model, especially the location of the rear locking lever.

testing the scarpa maestrale boot

The new location of the rear locking pin eliminated the problem that tended to move the crampon lever due to the conformation of the shell plastic.

boot with crampons

On the other hand, when walking on hard ground, the sole is very cushioned and has a high grip. Even in use on snow, I felt some confidence in walking. I report that this model of Maestrale is fully resoleable at authorized centers.

Downhill mode

Switching from ascent mode to descent mode is accomplished by simply lowering the lever located on the heel until you hear the harpoon snap shut on the pivot.

The movement tends to be that of a slight backward imbalance followed by a forward weight shift.

Once the cuff is locked, the boot feels decidedly rigid and stable, even when forcing in the thrust.

downhill test

The closure of the Scarpa Maestrale is done by closing the three levers we mentioned earlier, which offer a pleasant resistance while giving a feeling of stability.

With a few outings the cables tend to loosen slightly without ever giving way excessively, thus making it necessary to intervene on the 3 micrometric adjustments.

The remaining closures occur on the ankle and at cuff level, thanks to the special hook and upper strap. In this regard, I noticed a detail that could be improved: the strap tends-even when well pulled-to slide upward, ending up pressing on the upper part of the shoe instead of on the shell tab.

closing system

Although Scarpa does not officially state the flex of the Maestrale on its website, I feel confident in saying that it should be between 110 and 120, thus making it a sufficiently stiff and playful boot for a wide range of users, from beginners to the more experienced.

The “companion” to match should be a ski with a width in the middle between 80 and 95 mm while, for a more “free” context we suggest switching to its brother Maestrale RS.

Fit

I used Scarpa Maestrale boots in size 290 (Mondopoint size), which is the same as other Scarpa shoes I own equal to a 44.5 FIT.

The relatively wide footbed and 102 mm last (boot sole width) of this boot proved comfortable wearing merino wool socks designed for skitouring.

wearing the scarpa maestrale

Only once the shoe was thermoformed, however, did I find the boot really comfortable for my plantar structure. I did not feel any annoying pressure points except, the first 2/3 outings, at the level of the inner malleolus, accentuated of course in the downhill phases.

Shoe in the package also provides two underplants to customize even more the FIT depending on the structure of their feet.

Recommended for

The Scarpa Maestrale is a decidedly all-rounder boot that performs excellently on a variety of terrains, from the piste to technical ski mountaineering, and is confirmed to be an all-rounder.

I would recommend it to those new for the activity and looking for a boot suitable for (almost) all skis and uses. But I also recommend it to those who are experienced and are looking for a versatile boot that is not too heavy and offers a good compromise between comfortable ascents and satisfying descents.

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2 Responses

  1. (5)

    I offer my son a pair of MAESTRALE for his 18th birthday. He is skiing on resorts, and touring as well. Very good skier. 80Kg, 1.88 . Very happy with the boots, 2 years. 40 days of skiing . One annoying issue to report: the locking mechanism tend to jam when switching from walking mode. The culprit is a small piece of soft plastic above the heel. It flexes when walking, then jam the mechanism to lock for skiing down.
    I bought for myself MAESTRALE XT : very happy. No issue. One point of attention: choose the size up. They fit small. I used to have SCARPA Spirit 3, size 29. MAESTRALE XT, size 29 was too small. I changed for 29.5.

    1. Hi Eric,
      thank you for your comment and we are happy that you enjoyed your experience with Maestrale!

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