Scarpa Women’s Freedom SL Review

March 8, 2014
Scarpa Women’s Freedom SL
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
94
Fit / Comfort
9
Lightweight
8
Power
9
Walk-ability
9
Versatility
10
Value
9

The Good

  • Power comparable to performance alpine boots
  • Easy entry and exit—even in single-digit temperatures
  • Simple but effective ski/walk switch; easy visual inspection
  • Hike mode maxes out comfort—zero resistance and 27-degree range
  • Two sole options, bolted through the frame for improved stability

The Bad

  • No toe rocker on the sole lessens feel on rocky ridges
  • Try before you buy. Scarpa sizes are hard to nail down
THE VERDICT

The Freedom SL represents an evolutionary leap forward in the hybridization of downhill and alpine touring ski boots. New technology and insightful design redefines versatility for a ski boot, and means it performs better than most competitors in either category. Plus, Scarpa rolled out a full women’s line (shell sizes 21.5 to 31) in sync with the men’s collection.

FULL REVIEW

Tech, Tested
A carbon-fiber core to the lower shell ups power without adding weight, and boosts the connection between interchangeable soles and boot shell. Tech and DIN-compatible soles both employ Vibram rubber for traction. The ski/hike switch is simple yet powerful. The end result: The benefits of a fully featured alpine boot coupled with the weight savings and uphill savvy of a touring product. In short, a smartly built crowd pleaser.

In the Field
The Freedom SL executes the best of both the resort and alpine touring worlds better than anything else on the market. It’s the tool of choice if you split time between resort and backcountry, prefer hike-to terrain or a short tour rather than resort lift lines, or simply want the best downhill performance in a tour-worthy package.

What Women Want
Innovations come thick and fast in the outdoor gear world, but they can take an extra year to migrate from unisex collections to women’s specific products. Ski boot molds carry a hefty price tag, but Scarpa went all in with a complete women’s line in the inaugural season of the Freedom series.

 


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