Scarpa has taken the Maestrale, the most popular alpine touring boot on the market and given it a stiffer 130 flex rating similar to that found in their Freedom SL boots. What makes this even more impressive is that they managed to do this and keep them 2lbs or 900 grams lighter than that of the Freedom SL’s. In fact the new XT's are only 100 grams heavier (per boot) than the regular Maestrale and retains all the same great fit and comfort characteristics. With the XT, Scarpa has combined their experience creating lightweight ski touring boots, such as the Scarpa F1, with that of the Freedom SL and RS alpine/freeride boots. The Maestrale XT is a three buckle AT boot designed for aggressive backcountry skiers and ski mountaineers who have lofty objectives in their sights.
The XT version of Scarpa's popular Maestrale Boots are made for big lines and hard charging skiers.
Scarpa took the middle buckle found over the ankle on the Maestrale and Masetrale RS versions and moved it up onto the cuff in the XT version to further stiffen the boot. They also beefed up the power strap to more of a booster strap which further enhances the XT’s stiff yet progressive feel and they also embedded a Recco reflector for added safety.
The design of the walk mode mechanism on the Maestrale XT’s has been overhauled and is now called the “Speed lock XT”. It has an all-new cam system that bites down on the spine of the boot with zero play. The result is a super-stiff cuff/lower shell integration which helps deliver the 130 flex rating. Flip-up the Speed lock XT and you get a full 56° of cuff rotation which is more than adequate for long days on the skin track, however, this is slightly less than the regular Maestrale’s 60° of cuff rotation—but you’re hard-pressed to notice.
Intuition Cross Fit Pro Flex Ride liners are used inside the XT’s and are of course thermo-formable to get that fit dialled the way you like. The high supportive back and firm construction provide a great foothold and warmth on those colder days and because they are Intuitions you know they are quality through and through.
Scarpa uses a dual-injection moulding technology to create the XT’s shell with a carbon-fibre and Grilamid nylon material called ‘Carbon Grilamid LFT’ around the heel and underfoot of the boot while regular Grilamid is found on the front and top of the boot. While the Maestrale XT’s aren’t the lightest boots in the Scarpa line, they’re certainly not heavy either. Weighing in at 1490g per boot, Scarpa saved weight by eliminating two buckles and instead using their Wave Closure System on the lower forefoot. This uses a Z-shaped cable and single buckle but does not compromise fit or adjustability. On the toes, you’ll find Dynafit certified tech inserts, naturally, and to facilitate with a smooth flex in walk mode Scarpa uses a Friction-free pivot in the heel.
Shell: Carbon Grilamid LFT/Grilamid
Liner: Intuition Cross Fit Pro Flex Ride
Outsole: Vibram Cayman PRO (ISO 9523)
Using a slightly smaller 101mm last, the XT’s fit is near identical to the regular and RS version of the Maestrale boots and provides that classic Scarpa fit they are known for, so if your foot is happy in either of those then the XT fill also fit you well. I naturally cooked the thermo-moldable Intuition liners in the XT’s and inserted my custom footbeds to ensure a custom fit which made the foothold firm yet comfortable with a nice deep heel pocket and plenty of room up front in the toe box.
Thanks to the increased stiffness and placement of the two top cuff buckles and improved power strap on the Maestrale XT’s, they had no trouble driving a big fat ski in challenging terrain. The flex pattern was solid yet progressive and allowed total power transmission from the boot to the ski.
The improved external Speedlock XT Ski/Walk mechanism also helped provide a solid ski experience as there was zero play compared to what you’ll find in most other AT boots. The Speedlock XT is easy to use with gloves on and when disengaged opens up the boot's full 56° of cuff rotation. While this is not as much as the 60° found on the Maestrale RS Boots it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference.
It’s difficult not to like what the Maestrale XT’s serve up, while the flex rating is the same as the most recent Maestrale RS’s, the XT’s feel much more solid and instil confidence for those that demand a lot from their boots and want to charge hard.
I tested the Maestrale XT’s in the backcountry surrounding Whitewater Ski Resort in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia with a pair of 180cm Blizzard Zero G skis. This lightweight ski is by no means build for aggressive skiing and neither am I so I find the Masetrale RS’s more than capable for what I demand from them but if you have a heavier build or like to drop backcountry cliffs and consistently ski steep lines then the XT was made for you!
Price: $1,079.95CAN / $899US
Weight: 2980g / 6.6lb (size 27 per pair)
Sizes: 24.5-32 in half sizes
Cuff rotation: 56°
Forward Lean: 16° +/- 2°
Last Width: 101mm
Closure: 3 Buckles + Booster Active Power Strap
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