SCARPA Maestrale RS

Flex Pattern

The Maestrale RS has a nice progressive flex pattern. It starts rather soft and ramps up to be pretty stiff deep into travel. The flex actually reminded me quite a bit of a Raichle Flexon / Full Tilt boot. I have not skied a Full Tilt in a number of years, but I would approximate the Maestrale RS as comparable to an “8” tongue.

The Pro Tour liner (and all tongue Intuition liners) is softer flexing than an Intuition PowerWrap and other more alpine-oriented liners, which in my opinion leaves a little room to bump up the stiffness of the boot off the top and increase the overall power of the boot, should you wish to do so. If you are looking to run the Maestrale RS inbounds a good bit, or are a big, heavy cat on stiff skis, it might make sense to replace the stock Pro Tour liner with a stiffer liner that can generate more compression on your foot and bump up the stiffness. But as a dedicated backcountry setup, the stock liners are about perfect—smooth forward, and smooth striding.

SCARPA Maestrale RS Back, Blister Gear ReviewSki / Walk Mode

The ski mode of the SCARPA Maestrale functions flawlessly. The walk mode locks completely and gives a nice rigid connection between upper and lower shells. There is no perceived play or tick in the shell. I would call it comparable with the Tecnica and Dynafit offerings, and in stark contrast to some of the lower-tech walk mode solutions out there, like the Lange XT.


The Maestrale and Maestrale RS both have massive stride, equivalent with the Dynafit Vulcan, Mercury, and TLT5, which all have the largest range of motion on the market, and about twice as much ROM as a Cochise or Titan.

That said, I am convinced that having massive stride ROM is a bit of a marketing straw man—either you have enough ROM for your skinning style, or you don’t.

There are two general skinning styles; one requires a bit more ROM than the other.

I tend to tour farther up on the ball of my foot, with my boot stepping almost directly below my knee cap—a similar form to that of a trail runner—and then striding forward off that plant, bending into the boot, and using the rebound from the shell to drive my next step. Because my tibia is generally not much past vertical, I am not particularly sensitive to ROM, as long as the boot actually moves past verticalI have never had an issue with any Dynafit Titan or Cochise, and the Maestrale RS has more than enough for my needs.

For folks that tour on steep, more hard-packed skin tracks, I can very much see this large ROM being useful. As you stride forward, you tend to weight your heels, which are out in front of your knee, and use ankle flexion and contraction to move forward. This style serves to maximize skin-purchase on steep, firm snow.

Obviously, there is no downside to owning a boot with more ROM than you need, but using this as a primary purchasing motivator—which plenty of people coming to backcountry skiing actually do—seems a bit silly to me.

SCARPA Maestrale RS Front, Blister Gear ReviewOn Snow

The Maestrale is not trying to be a stiff, four-buckle overlap race boot in the way that the Cochise range from Tecnica is. The Maestrale offers a different ride. It’s built to offer a smooth and responsive ride that can hang with the top performing three-piece Cabrio boots on the market. It is less about driving the shovels and being forceful (the way a four-buckle overlap boot likes) and more about fluid turns and using angulation and leverage to bend the ski.

The Maestrale RS is much more laterally rigid than the original Maestrale; nearly as rigid as the stiffest boot in the class, the Dynafit Vulcan; and certainly as laterally rigid as the Dynafit Mercury. This lateral rigidity is far more important than the fore-stiffness of the boot, but, that said, the RS is at least as stiff as the Mercury boot, and about 10% softer, give or take, than the Vulcan.

Bottom Line

The Maestrale is a great boot that has flown under the radar a bit. It is very responsive laterally, has a beautifully progressive flex pattern closely modeled after the finest three-piece boots ever made, has a very well executed walk mode, and, to top it off, comes in at a very attractive weight.

If you are a fan of three-piece Cabrio-style boots, the Maestrale RS deserves a serious look. It can hang with the Flexon off-spring in ski-ability, but with a more modern and anatomical internal shape.

It does seem a shame to me that the boot is limited to AT bindings only, as it would make a very competitive crossover boot otherwise.

23 comments on “SCARPA Maestrale RS”

  1. Excellent review, as always Marshal. Especially like the estimate compared to the FT. I usually run a #10 tongue in my Full Tilts, but I suspect the RS will be perfect for my needs. I was really expecting to want the Vulcan, but progressive flex > stiff flex in my book.

    It’ll be interesting to see how much the weight will change if the removal of the bottom buckle and addition of a booster strap (with plastic hardware, not the steel).

    • yeah man, the Maestrale RS does have a pretty nice strap. Its not a full booster like the mobe used to have, but it matches the boot very well IMO. anyhow, just saying i would try the stock prior to replacing.

      I think one could get flexon 10 stiffness just off a liner switch (power wrap or alpine liner), should they so desire.

      • Figured I’d provide an update that might be helpful to others. I bought these off of Bent Gate the day I read this review, and just got them today. (None of the local shops are stocking them yet, and I figured I’d return them if they don’t fit.)

        Normal boot is a 27 Full Tilt, so I ordered a 26.5. While the Full Tilt is slightly lower volume, the 26.5 RS is a good fit. Maybe even great — almost too good, actually, for an out-of-the-box fit. I punched my Full Tilts in the 5th met head region, and probably won’t have to do that for these. Interestingly, didn’t notice much of a difference in fit between the new, stock liner and the packed-out powerwraps from my Full Tilts. Also tried them back-to-back with the Cochise 120 I used last season — I tried the Cochise on with the stock liners that I never used, so basically an out-of-the box fit there also. Much lower volume than the Cochise, and they had MUCH better heel hold. I’ll probably try on the 25.5/26 RS, but it’s probably going to be too small.

        Interestingly, they felt noticeably stiffer at the 11.5 deg forward lean. Which is what I prefer anyway, so that’s fine. With the powerwraps, they felt a little softer than the Full Tilt #10 tongue (same liner) and another increment softer than the Cochise 120. I’d probably call them a FT #9 tongue. Agree that they’re about a FT#8 with the stock liners. But the flex is very similar in progression. They felt considerably a bit softer than what I remember the Cochise 120 feeling with powerwraps (different, bigger pair). But I could barely flex those at room temperature with the powerwraps installed and buckled tightly enough to take up the volume around my shins, even with a tongue eliminator shim in. Simply too stiff for my foot shape.

        I need to go try on the Cochise Light in a 26.5 and the Vulcan/Mercury, but I’m pretty stoked on how the 26.5 RS fits. I’d prefer if it were just slightly stiffer, but it’s pretty decent as it is.

        Thanks again for the excellent review, Marshal.

  2. Marshal, how would this boot compare with the bd factor in skiing ability on firm snow?

    And how upright is it, say compared to a lange rx?

    • rod- i have not skied in factors since 2008, and only for 1 run then… so i can’t really help you there.

      the forward lean is 11.5 and 13deg on the RS. i believe the RX is 12deg, and the cochise is about 14deg.


  3. I tried a pair of these on last week and I think I’m going to buy. They’s be a replacement for my Scarpa Mobe, which while ski reasonably well have a fairly limited range of motion for walking. Do you have any comparisons to the Mobe in particular?

  4. Nice review, as usual.
    FWIW, re the binding compatibility, I ground/sanded the soles of my orange Maestrales the tiniest bit (just a little flat patch where it touches the afd), and they work beautifully with both my Solly STHs and Marker Jesters.
    No DIN test, but I can twist/wack out of them laterally without any problem. And they drive my Protests very nicely, thank you.

  5. Marsh,

    Another solid review. I actually just bought a pair of these boots a couple weeks ago and your fit analysis was spot on. I went into a shop to try on a pair of the Vulcan’s, but was only able to try on the Mercury. When I saw the RS I decided for the $$ compared to the Vulcan and other Dynafit products it was worth my time to give them a shot. Out of the box the fit felt dialed and the flex was noticeably more progressive than what my Titan’s offer. Pulled the trigger a week later. I found the Titan’s to be overkill for my 155lb self so looking forward to giving these a go as I think they will provide more of the “feedback” I am looking for.

    • Gary — I’ve got 20+ days of heavy resort use so far on my RS’s pushing 112mm waisted skis. Once dialed in, I prefer the RS to my alpine boots for in-bounds.

  6. It’s a little anemic but I have skied it inbounds a fair amount and as long as you aren’t switching back to a real alpine boot every other day you will likely be really happy with these. That said, I am 160 lbs… I have charged chopped pow but I would not be happy skiing high speed hard pack w this boot. It could be a quiver killer though depending on your style.

    • This boot has a pretty deep, consistent flex, and if you are like me, doesn’t stiffen up enough for heavy in-bounds snow until I’m farther into the flex than I want. My intent was to swap to an overlap liner, but decided to play with them for the season and see what I could figure out, swapping liners next season. For what it’s worth, I’ve found a little trick that works for me… When I put the boots on, I pull the tongue of the liner up so it extends about an inch above the top of the cuff and plastic tongue. Then when I go to tighten the power-strap, I pull it up a bit in front so it extends above the plastic tongue, and directly against the liner tongue (basically, use it to pull the top of the liner tongue tight to your shin). It greatly minimizes heel lift (if you have that problem), and significantly shortens the forward flex travel to give you the “alpine boot forward flex feel”. At 250#, I’ve been throwing DPS Wailer 112 Hybrids around like this inbounds all season, and now prefer these to my alpine boots…

  7. I really like these boots. They are a HUGE step fwd from my BDel Factors. Sheeesh… How do you adjust the FWD lean? I cannot find where to do this. Thanks.

    • The stainless steel bar you see on the back of your boot has 2 holes drilled in it. The forward lean setting you ski is established by which hole the pin drops into when you flip the lever from “walk” to “ski” mode. When standing upright in walk mode, flip the lever to “ski” mode and slowly flex the boot forward. You should feel/hear the pin drop into the first hole, which is the more upright setting (I think Scarpa says it’s 16 degrees.) Once it has clicked in there, continue leaning forward into the boot, flip the lever back to “walk” mode, and then flex further into the boot as you flip the lever back into “ski” mode. You should feel the pin drop into the forward lean setting (which I think Scarpa has listed as 22 degrees). I liked the forward lean setting for inbounds skiing, as it pre-loads the tongue and the boot is a bit stiffer, but I’ve got to ski very aggressive to make it work, and that much forward lean takes a serious toll on the quads.

  8. I’m trying to decide between the Maestral RS and a Cochise Pro light. It is hard to find a direct comparison, does anyone have any words of wisdom and experience.

  9. Hi Marshal,

    How would you compare the performance of the Maestrale RS with the Lange XT 130 LV? I am looking for a primarily in-bounds boot to use with my alpine skis outfitted with Dukes; a set-up that will allow me to poach occasional lines out-of-bounds. The split between in-bounds and out-of-bounds skiing for this set up is likely 75 % in-bounds and 25 % skinning for turns. When back country touring, I have a dedicated set up with tech bindings and Volkl Nunataqs.

    My foot is an L-shaped club, with skin stretched over bone. It is 280 mm long, 88 mm wide, sports an extremely low instep and a skinny ankle. I have a gargantuan styloid process that always requires a punch. The Intuition boot fitter (in Vancouver, BC) said I had one of the ugliest, most challenging feet he has ever seen! Not the kind of recognition I covet. Yet, he is right. It is a horrible sight and getting the right boot is probably impossible. I am simply trying to minimize the problems by getting into the best shell fit from the start. Whatever I choose will no doubt require mods including punching for bones that protrude and shims to take up space given my narrow width, super low instep and skinny ankle. I have been on the hunt for an alpine boot with walk mode that might come close to resembling my bony club, but I haven’t really found anything that shines. I have tried the Technica Cochise Pro, Lange XT 130 LV, K2 Pinnacle 130 LV, Fisher Vacuum Ranger, and boots from Dalbello and Full Tilt). Everything seems “big” given my foot shape. Any suggestions?

    I ask about the Maestrale RS because it doesn’t fit to terribly out of the box. The three piece design seems a little better suited to my L-shaped foot and the instep height is slightly better than most of the overlap boots I have tried, though I don’t really know how much different they really are in volume. I am wondering about the suitability of the Maestrale RS for the mostly in-bounds boot I am looking for, given its slightly better shell anatomy. Any thoughts?


    • hi curt, the RS and XT are radically different boots. the XT is an alpine boot with limited touring abilities. more of a hike mode than a tour more. the RS is a touring boot that works well with bigger skis. a cochise, freedom, vulcan/mercury would all kind of “do both” inbounds and bc better IMO. none of this really matters, as all these boots fit quite a bit differently, so unless you want to spend a lot of time fitting the boots, get whatever fits best (with your old packed out liners).


  10. Hi Marshal,

    Thanks for weighing in. Sounds like the Vulcan, which does fit my foot anatomy pretty well, might be worth looking at as a “do both” boot (mostly in bounds with some skinning out of bounds). I hadn’t really considered it because I thought the Maestrale RS and Vulcan were essentially the same kind of boot. If I interpret your comments correctly, the Vulcan is more suited as a “do both” boot than the Maestrale RS, but would still be a very different kind of ride than the Lange XT 130 LV, which is an alpine boot with hike mode, and not an AT boot with a stiff flex. As a mostly “in bounds” boot, I suspect the Lange XT, or something in that family of boots (Alpine boots with a walk mode) will still outperform the Vulcan/Freedom/Cochise. Am I interpreting your comments correctly? Thanks for you stellar reviews and helpful comments. Curt

    • thanks curt, the vulcan has a much more substantial cuff than an RS, so if gives more lateral power when skiing off-edge with speed in variable and hard snow.

      it really depends on what boot you are coming off of, and where you ski. if its a 130+ flex race boot, none of them, including the lange XT, will ski very well inbounds at big mountain locations (jackson, snowbird, telluride, crested butte, squaw, etc). if you are coming off ill-fitting 100 flex rec boots, they will all ski better if fit properly. if you are skiing somewhere where the terrain is denser (say, jay peak, brighton, stevens pass, etc) then they might also ski better for you, since a slightly softer more flexible boot is nice in the trees.

      good luck!

    • hi slim, i used these in both marker duke and dyanfit vertical bindings, but have not used them in 2 season. i just had the boots for a month to test and returned them. cheer!

  11. Hi! I have The maestrale with The Cast touring system with fks and the booth doesn’t fit well on the binding! There’s any way I can modify something in the booth to make it work?
    Thanks a lot

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