In the mountains, it’s sometimes hard to find your identity. Even harder is maintaining that identity in the ever-evolving world of alpinism. But the Maestrale RS, SCARPA’s most award-winning alpine touring boot to date, has an identity based upon a firm foundation: downhill power and maximum tourability.
Similar to its newer cousin, the Freedom SL, The RS has resort-based aspirations, but its true passion yearns for the trailhead, and the glory that comes with backcountry and ski mountaineering ambitions. The body of the RS is comprised of Polyamide instead of Pebax, which has a slightly higher strength-to-weight ratio, giving the RS a 120-flex index (20% advantage) over the original Maestrale’s initial 100 flex. However, it only adds 1.4oz (40g) in additional weight – less than a pound per pair than the slightly more muscular Freedom SL.
The boot’s low-profile architecture begins with the sole, which is nimble for striding on hikes and scrambles, and the sparse lug pattern keeps off unnecessary weight while maintaining ample traction. Augmenting the striding ergonomics is 37 degrees of fore-aft cuff articulation—10 degrees more than the already impressive range of the Freedom. It also features an Intuition tongue liner that incorporates small reinforcements to the upper cuff and tongue, enhancing the structural integrity from the inside out. This allows for optimum comfort, control and precision, whether on the skin track, the powder field or the steep chute.
Much of the RS’s performance is attributed to the Predator RS instep heel retention. It provides maximum heel hold and boosts the tongue stiffness for snapping short swing turns in tight quarters, but also delivers when you open up that turn and put those skis on edge. The RS’s progressive flex provides both sensitivity and power transmission to the ski edges – perfect for nuanced moves in technical terrain or just lapping the spring corn below sunny skies.
Because the freedom of the hills is at the heart of backcountry skiing, why not utilize the gear that provides us with the freedom of movement? And since comfort is as much a part of SCARPA’s vision as performance, the Maestrale RS’s identity is best summed up as reliable. What more can be said of a trustworthy friend?
Curious about the axial alpine tongue operation? Check out this video: