Maestrale XT Alpine Touring Boot
Scarpa is a family-owned company that's been designing mountain footwear from its home base in Asolo, Italy since 1938. So, it should come as no surprise that when Scarpa went to work redesigning one of its most successful alpine touring boots, it didn't just throw out what it's learned through the years to start from scratch, but built off a solid foundation to refine what's become one of the most reliable and versatile touring boots in the backcountry. On the surface, the revamped Maestrale XT Alpine Touring Boot doesn't appear to have a lot in common with the original Maestrale, but it's built on the same roomy 101mm last for comfort on the ascent and maintains much of the key features that have made the original Maestrale one of the most popular AT boots in the industry.
Trimming weight from an already lightweight boot is no easy feat, but Scarpa was able trim over five ounces from each boot—while making the boot stiffer in the process. This is achieved by making the shell from a lightweight Grilamid and reinforcing it with carbon-infused Grilamid LFT, which uses long-strand carbon fiber to increase rigidity and keep weight to a minimum. The full Grilamid cuff is vented to let body heat escape and is backed by an OutDry waterproof, breathable membrane so snow doesn't work its way through to the liner when you're breaking trail through knee-deep powder or setting the bootpack up a narrow couloir.
The original Maestrale certainly had its quirks—namely, a prone-to-freezing walk mode and hinged tongue that liked to break at inopportune situations—but the newest iteration of the Maestrale eliminates both these issues by overhauling both components. Replacing the old single-hinge tongue with a fixed split Pebax tongue gives the boot the progressive forward flex of a three-piece alpine boot, and the friction-free walk mode takes the 37-degree cuff rotation of the original Maestrale and dials it up to 60 degrees. And since the metal-on-metal mechanism is external, you won't have to worry about the walk mode icing up when it's really cold out. One of the more unique features on the Maestrale is the boot's cable-style buckle that works similarly to a self-equalizing anchor to evenly distribute pressure along the tongue for a responsive, powerful feel during the descent.
- Scarpa's stiffest ski boot for aggressive backcountry touring
- Carbon Grilamid Web shell provides 130+ flex without much weight
- Cabrio style three-piece construction ensures smooth forward flex
- Wide 101mm last for added comfort on the ascent
- Friction-free walk mode with 60-degree cuff rotation
- Fully moldable Intuition liner provides a comfortable fit
- Vibram sole ensures reliable traction on windblown ridges
- Item #SCR009B
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Background story: I’ve been skiing for 37 years. I’m 6’2”, 220lbs and always skied with a very stiff boot as I am an aggressive skier. My wife and I recently decided to join the growing number of uphillers on those “wind hold” days when your options are limited, and to get some additional fitness in. You west coasters probably don’t know what a “wind hold” day is unless of course you grew up skiing in New England.
Additional context: my feet suck. Boot fitting is an atrocious experience for me. Years of dress shoes and ski boots that probably weren’t right for me have created some serious trouble spots. Wide forefoot, narrow heel, bone spurs, etc. I’ve struggled to find the right boot for years. So, when looking for an AT setup, my utopia was a single boot that I could use with either my AT gear or alpine setup. Oh, and it would be great if my feet were warmer. High bar indeed.
I found my solution with the Scarpa Maestrale XT.
First off, I now regret not making the jump to Intuition liners years ago. Truly heat moldable, and very warm. These liners are 1000x better than any stock liner I’ve ever seen, and definitely warmer than the BD customs I had a few years ago.
The 101mm last on this boot is just right for me. I’ve put a couple days on them in VERY cold temps and my feet have never felt better in a ski boot. My wife is so happy that I’m not complaining anymore.
Flex: this boot is rated as a 130 and you can trust that rating. It’s as stiff a boot as I’ve ever skied in and can handle my “stature” and skiing style as I would expect from a burly 130 flex boot.
Bonus: because it’s an AT boot, the walk mode is truly a walk mode, unlike other non-AT boots that claim to have a walk mode.
I’m a true novice when it comes to an AT setup, so keep that in mind when reading this, but I am an expert when it comes to crappy boot experiences and requiring a big boy boot when skiing.
You get what you pay for and this boot is no exception. Two thumbs way up...happy to have found my utopia.