Scarpa Maestrale Review – Versatile and Utilitarian

scarpa mestrale ski boot review - skin track shot

The 2022 Scarpa Maestrale AT Ski Boots

Renowned for balancing uphill walkability and downhill ski performance, the Scarpa Maestrale ski boot is like the Toyota Tacoma of ski boots. It’s versatile, utilitarian and appeals to a wide range of skiers. You can find bigger, burlier boots. In fact, too many people overlook the Maestrale in favor of the stiffer Maestrale RS model when the Maestrale itself is plenty of boot for most of us mere mortal skiers. It’ll drive a wide range of backcountry skis without wavering. Like the Tacoma, it’s evolved over the years, but its core personality remains constant. It’s a utilitarian alpine touring ski boot that’s comfortable in most terrain.

scarpa maestrale ski boot product shotThe boot’s iconic orange shell carries on a Scarpa ski boot tradition first set by the Laser and later the Spirit Three. Given its popularity, it would be easy for Scarpa to simply rest on the Maestrale’s success. Instead, Scarpa continues to tweak, refine and update the Maestrale. The buckles, the tongue, the walk mode mechanism and even the materials have evolved with the times. Throughout the boot’s evolution, Scarpa has held onto the core design principles that have made it one of the worlds best selling AT boots — Its fit and hallmark balance of walkability and downhill performance.

What’s New?

The 2022 Scarpa Maestrale continues the boot’s evolution with a focus on sustainable materials and refinements ranging from a new internal frame and cuff design to buckle and walk mode updates. While significant, the updates are less outwardly noticeable than they may sound. 

skiing the scarpa maestrale

According to Scarpa, the Meastrale’s new 3D Lambda frame and Thor cuff use I-beam-like designs to reduce flex at key stress points. The design transfers energy from the boot to ski as efficiently as possible without compromising the boot’s forward flex or adding weight. The idea here is that a ski boot needs to flex forward — ideally with a nice progressive feel that lets you drive a ski while maintaining a dynamic range that modulates pressure on the ski. The Maestrale feels stiffer than its 110 flex rating might lead you to think without fighting back too much when you lean into it. 

Bio-Based Plastic

Say goodbye to a full petroleum-based ski boots. The Maestrale shell and cuff feature plant-based Pebax Rnew — a bio-based thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) made from the oil of the castor plant. It offers a unique combination of sustained flexibility at low temperature, high cold impact resistance, and excellent energy return. Plant-based Pebax also happens to be lighter than traditional petroleum-based Pebax. According to Scarpa, Pebax Rnew requires 29 percent less fossil fuel and puts out 32 percent fewer emissions to create a usable material.

In addition, castor beans can be grown on arid land where other agriculture typically isn’t possible, so farming the materials doesn’t compete with food production. Plus, for every Maestrale boot that SCARPA sells, they donate $1 to Protect Our Winters (POW), a group that advocates for actions that combat climate change. 

scarpa maestrale walk mechNew Walk Mode Mechanism

Rest assured, the design characteristics that have made the Scarpa Maestrale so popular have not changed. The boot’s 101mm last, Intuition brand liner, moderately stiff 110 flex and 60-degree cuff range are all there in the 2022 model. One of the more noticeable changes this season is a new walk mode mechanism called Speed Lock XT. The mechanism is still external to the boot like the recent versions, but it operates a little differently. While the last version was mechanically simpler, the new mechanism is actually easier to engage and disengage.

Proven Maestrale Ski Boot Feel

The new Maestrale really fits and feels like its predecessor. The new materials and tech changes are upgrades, but the boot’s performance feels very similar. The 60-degree cuff range rivals competitor boots on the market. Its weight is very competitive. And the new materials maintain a nice progressive flex. Forward lean can be set in one of three positions — 14, 16 or 18 degrees. The Maestrale also retains the signature instep buckle and the forefoot “Wave” buckle. Another detail that tips the scale toward the Maestrale is the Intution liner. Intuition set the standard to which all heat-moldable liners are measured (at least in my opinion). It’s warm, comfortable and durable.

scarpa maestrale ski boot tongueWhat’s Not to like?

There’s not much about the Maestrale to critique. Of course, every boot brand fits a little differently. I would characterize the Maestrale fit as relatively narrow (101mm last), so skiers with wide feet or a high instep may find another boot more comfortable.

My only real criticism is related to getting into the boot. The Maestrale has a hybrid tongue design of sorts that combines an easy flexing upper section with a more alpine-style wrap design across the instep. The design means the lower tongue (and boot) do not really “open” up like a traditional touring shell. The design likely helps the boot transfer power when skiing, but it also makes sliding into the boot more challenging, especially for skiers with a high instep.

Regardless, the Scarpa Maestrale is a versatile boot that can drive a wide range of skis and handle terrain of all types. 

SCARPA Maestrale – $700
Weight: 1440 grams/boot, size 26
Last: 101mm
Flex: 110
Forward lean: 16° (adjustable +/- 2°)
Cuff Range of motion: 60°

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