Scarpa Maestro Mid Eco
Available Sizes: 39 – 47 (half sizes), 48 – 50 (whole sizes)
Reviewer Street Shoe Size: 41 or 42
Size Tested: 40.5
- Midsole: Talyn 1.4 mm
- Outsole: Vibram® XS Edge (4 mm)
- Upper: 2.0 mm Eco Leather
- Closure: Lace
Test Locations: Eldorado Canyon, Flatirons, Boulder Canyon, & Clear Creek Canyon; CO
Days Tested: 25
The world of trad climbing shoes isn’t a big one — most companies only make one or two trad-specific models while making scores of shoes for other disciplines. As someone who spends a lot of my time on the trad routes around Colorado, I was eager to try out the Maestro Mid Eco and see how it compares to the other trad-specific options on the market.
Geometry & Construction
The Maestro Mid Eco is billed as a flat-lasted shoe designed with all-day comfort in mind. Despite Scarpa claiming that it uses a flat last, there is a tiny amount of downturn to the shoe — certainly more than its primary competitor, the La Sportiva TC Pro, or the old Scarpa Techno, which I climbed in for almost 10 years.
Like most shoes designed for comfort, the Maestro Mid Eco has very minimal asymmetry in its last. Compared to the TC Pro, the Maestro Mid Eco’s asymmetry is almost identical and compared to the Techno, the Maestro has bit more asymmetry.
The Maestro Mid Eco has extended protection around the ankle — useful for groveling in wider cracks and the general punishment dished to your feet by spending a long day on the wall. The TC Pro definitely offers slightly better ankle protection as the leather extends up higher. I wish the Maestro would come up a bit higher — the top of the leather on the ankle hits me right in the middle of my ankle bone.
Scarpa also makes a Maestro Eco (non-mid) that has a lower-cut ankle if you don’t need the added protection. Though I haven’t tested the low version, Scarpa claims that the main difference between the low-cut Maestro Eco and mid-height Maestro Mid Eco is that the rand on the low-cut version is tensioned a bit more for better power and support (though likely at the expense of a bit of comfort).
The Maestro Mid Eco is a full lace-up shoe. The laces cinch down over an extremely plush and comfortable tongue — definitely the softest and most comfortable tongue I’ve ever felt in a climbing shoe. The Maestro Mid Eco is also partially lined and padded at the ankles for additional comfort. As will become a theme in this review, this shoe is extremely comfortable.
The outsole of the Maestro is 4 mm Vibram XS Edge — a thicker application of a fairly hard rubber designed specifically for edging and long-term durability. It features a 1.4 mm Talyn midsole which makes the shoe pretty stiff (though I don’t think it’s quite as stiff as the TC Pro). The Maestro Mid Eco’s upper is a very soft 2mm-thick “Eco leather,” which reportedly uses a more environmentally friendly tanning process than traditional leathers.
Overall, the Maestro Mid Eco is the highest-volume climbing shoe I’ve ever worn. This, for me at least, is a good thing for a shoe that is designed for all-day comfort. My street shoe size is typically a US Men’s 8.5 or a 9, and the Maestro in a size 40.5 (which the tag calls a US Men’s 8 ⅔) fits me fairly well. My foot is far from flat in this size — I get a notable amount of toe curl and the shoe turns down a bit more with my foot in it than out of it, resulting in a slightly more performance-oriented fit. If I really wanted true all-day comfort, I’d size up for sure (and would probably lose a bit of precision). In terms of overall length, I’d say that the Maestro Mid Eco feels in line with other Scarpa shoes I’ve used.
Compared to the TC Pro, the Maestro Mid Eco is wider in the forefoot and has a roomier toe box (mostly in the vertical direction). The heel pockets of the two shoes feel similar, though the heel pocket on the Maestro might have a touch less hold simply due to the fact that lining material on the inside of the heel is very soft (the heel on the TC Pro is also lined with padding on the ankles, but it’s not quite as soft as the Maestro’s). All that said, I never had any issues with the fit of the Maestro Mid Eco’s heel.
Compared to the old Scarpa Techno, the Maestro is much wider in the forefoot and toe box. The Techno comes to a very pronounced point in the toe while the Maestro is much wider and has more of a blunted toe.
Even on my lower-volume foot, the fit of the Maestro Mid Eco felt great for long days on the wall — not sloppy, still comfortable, and basically appropriate for its intended use as a trad shoe.
I’ve been very happy with the Maestro Mid Eco on the rock. I’ve climbed everything from vertical, technical routes on crimps and dime edges to consequential slabs and have been happy to have the Maestro Mid Eco on every time.
The Maestro is stiff, but not overly so in my opinion. It offers good support on small edges and when cranking into cracks but isn’t a completely insensitive plank. I certainly don’t get the same sensitivity I do with a softer shoe, but I was surprised by how much rock feel I could get with the Maestro. It feels a hair softer and more sensitive than the TC Pro.
My favorite thing about this shoe though is how comfortable it is. The inside of the Maestro is softer than any other shoe I’ve worn and the wider last and flatter sole mean that I can leave it on for far longer than I ever could my old Techno’s — and obviously much longer than the more aggressive shoes in my closet. If I had a bigger size where I could stand in it with my foot completely flat, I think I could wear it without issue from dawn to dusk. But as it is with the rather aggressive fit I have, every few pitches I like to take off the Maestro Mid Eco and stretch my toes for a few minutes.
The Maestro Mid Eco is marketed as a trad shoe and I think that is definitely where it excels — long days on slabby to moderately steep routes. If you’re pushing grades, bouldering, or gym climbing, there are loads of more purpose-built shoes for those disciplines. But for plugging gear and getting up high, the Maestro Mid Eco is my current favorite shoe.
One thing that I think is very important to point out is that the toe profile on the Maestro is much higher than some other shoes in the category, such as the TC Pro. If climbing smaller cracks (thin hands and smaller) is a priority for you, then you might have a hard time jamming the Maestro’s rather blunt toe into these smaller cracks. For me, this isn’t a huge problem as I don’t do all that much pure crack climbing, but is definitely something to note.
After a full year of use, my pair of of the Maestro Mid Eco looks great. The thick and extensive rand has kept the upper free from scuffs and wear while the sole still has a fairly defined edge all around. I’ve worn these shoes on a lot of climbs and also a lot of walk-offs and have been very pleased with the durability. As always, I’ll be sure to update this review if that changes.
The Scarpa Maestro Mid Eco is an incredibly comfortable climbing shoe that excels on vertical to less-than-vertical routes and long days. If you are looking for an all-day shoe with a wider, roomier last and value comfort over the absolute performance that a tighter fit offers, the Maestro Mid Eco is definitely worth a look.