Do you consider yourself a dedicated backcountry denizen, aspiring ski mountaineer, or simply like to make the right call with AT boots? Powder skiing, skin tracks, couloirs, bootpacks, ridgelines, the goal for AT boots has always been to balance uphill ergonomics with downhill chops. Well, the Rush is on.
Stripped to the waist, SCARPA’s Rush is the svelte sibling to the Maestrale. Built with three buckles as opposed to four, active PowerStrap, tech fittings, and 40° fore and aft walking range, the Rush still weighs less than 6lbs. 5 oz. per pair dripping wet, and it’s always up for getting down.
Professional ski mountaineer and SCARPA athlete Andrew McLean has been wooed by the Rush’s siren calls. Making a habit of searching out some of the world’s most remote and technical terrain, one could argue he gets after it. Currently readying himself for his fourth Antarctica trip, Andrew will be taking a pair of Rush’s, and not his favorite-to-date Maestrales, for the occasion. The Reason? “The Rush is a little lighter, bit simpler,” he says, “and I think it’ll be great for the type of touring we do down there.”
SCARPA has long demonstrated its knowledge of buckle placement with the signature placed heel-retention buckle on touring boots. Essentially doing the work of two buckles, the heel retention keeps your foot snugly into the boot’s driving core, while the Rush’s second and third buckles support your shin and midsole for enhanced control and sensitivity. The powerstrap keeps the upper shin engaged, flexes with you leg’s movements, all the while maintaining cuff engagement on the down.
Primary features include tech fittings, Intuition™ liners, rockered, lugged sole, as well as participation into SCARPA’s “Planet Friendly” program, which puts Pebax Rnew® in a growing number of its fleet, delivering the same performance characteristics of traditional Pebax, but constructed with Castor plant oil instead of petroleum.
While Polyurethane (PU) has been a standard among Alpine boot manufacturers, many boot makers, including SCARPA, have seen the better value in Pebax. It’s lighter than PU—ideal for touring purposes, a virtue among backcountry skiers. And its performance also isn’t as affected by temperature swings, meaning your boots don’t get softer or stiffer as temps rise or fall.
SCARPA showcases the Rush’s capabilities into the female side of things in the Blink. And while it’s arguable if the Gea is the better-looking sister, the Blink (at 5lb. 10 oz) is definitely the lighter of the two. Women-specific Intuition™ liners and anatomical last cater to the female form, providing optimal ergonomics and dependability for ever-charging backcountry Betties.
Because the freedom of the hills is at the heart of backcountry skiing, why not utilize the gear that best provides us the freedom of movement, as comfort is as much a part of SCARPA’s vision as performance. Andrew boils it down to simple facts. “I haven’t had a blister in years,” he says. Instead, “I have the reliability, durability and performance I get out of SCARPA boots.”