Scarpa Maestrale XT Boots ReviewOctober 1, 2019
- Stiff yet light
- Extensive cuff rotation for a boot this stiff
- Speedlock XT Ski/Walk mechanism is solid and easy
- The Wave closure system
- Newly designed non-velcro power strap with Recco
- The tongue has to go inside the upper cuff
- Forefoot buckle is difficult to latch
- More expensive than the Maestrale and RS versions
Scarpa takes their best selling Maestrale AT Boots and makes them stiffer with minimal weight gain but this isn’t the only story with the new XT version. There is a new Speedlock XT Ski/Walk mechanism that provides 56° of cuff rotation, a new non-velcro Powerstrap with a built-in Recco reflector, Carbon Grilamid LFT construction, and much more. What hasn’t changed is the use of the Wave closure system on the forefront that turns two buckles into one, Dynafit certified tech inserts on the toes and Vibram soles on the bottom. Scarpa also kept the weight consistent between the RS and XT versions (more or less) with only an 80-gram increase per boot. Essentially Scarpa has taken the Maestrale RS and beefed them up to the status of a true alpine/freeride touring boot—allowing the new Maestrale XT to do it all.
Scarpa has always had a reputation for making great fitting boots and the Maestrale XT’s don’t disappoint with a fit that is nearly identical to the current Maestrale and Maestrale RS Boots. Using a slightly smaller 101mm last, the XT’s fit is near identical to the previous Maestrale versions. Maintaining their use of Intuition liners in this XT version of the Maestrale ensures a custom fit as they are of course thermo-moldable. After a quick liner cook and insertion of custom footbeds, the XT’s will provided optimal foothold with a nice deep heel pocket and plenty of room up front in the toe box.
While the Maestrale XT Boots aren’t the lightest in the Scarpa line, they’re certainly not heavy either. When you compare the flex to weight ratio of the XTs, these boots come out on top with a 103+ flex and a weight of 1490 grams per boot. Scarpa uses a dual-injection molding technology to keep the XT’s light and stiff. A carbon-fiber and Grilamid nylon material called ‘Carbon Grilamid LFT’ is used around the heel and underfoot of the boot while regular Grilamid is found on the front and top of the boot. Scarpa also saved weight by integrating the Wave Closure System on the lower forefoot, this uses a Z-shaped cable and single buckle to effectively replace two buckles with one, while still providing the fit and adjustment of a two-buckle closure system.
With a 130+ flex rating, the Scarpa’s Maestrale XT Boots are plenty stiff for any backcountry adventure as well as most day-to-day inbounds skiing. The three-piece dual-injection overlap cuff design provides a snug fit which increases responsiveness and maximizes power transfer to the skis in an effective manner. The use of Grilamid throughout most of the boots (rear, sides, and cuff) provides the stiffness you want while a softer Pebax material is injected in the front wrap-around closure to allow for a progressive forward flex. If you want a stiffer boot than Scarpa’s current Maestrale and Maestrale RS but don’t want the added weight and minimal cuff rotation of the Freedom SL then consider the Maestrale XT Boots as they fill this sweet spot just right.
The Maestrale XT’s cuff rotation of 56° is more than adequate for long days on the skin track, however, this is slightly less than the current Maestrale’s 60° of cuff rotation but you’re hard-pressed to notice. Scarpa also improved upon the Maestrale’s external ski/walk mechanism in this new XT version with their new Speedlock XT Ski/Walk mechanism which provides a solid connection
in ski mode and is easy to use with gloves on. Under the Maestrales XT’s, Scarpa maintained the Vibram soles which are effective at providing reliable traction on rocky ridges and ski lodge floors.
Just like the current Maestrale, the new Maestrale XT Boots are equally at home in the backcountry and the resort. This is thanks to their lightweight, ample cuff rotation and stiff flex rating. Unlike Scarpa’s super lightweight F1 AT Boot which is only competent in the backcountry the Maestrale XT has sufficient support, power and stiffness to ski any terrain inbounds or out. With the XT, Scarpa has combined their experience creating lightweight ski touring boots, like the Scarpa F1, with that of alpine/freeride boots such as the Freedom SL and RS.Continue Reading
Brad Steele is the co-creator of BackcountrySkiingCanada.com, a one-stop-shop for skiers and riders seeking timely, on-the-money information. BackcountrySkiingCanada.com is where you’ll find route descriptions, product reviews, guides, videos, comps and other like minded people who are as amped on ski touring as you are.