When I saw the Scarpa Maestrale RS at last winters OR show I was intrigued. I loved touring in the original orange Maestrale, but always wanted a bit more behind the boot for the skis I use (95-118mm underfoot). I was able to obtain a pair of these prized boots in November, but had to wait until December to get the boots out into the field. So far I have used the Maestrales on many short tours, a few long tours and for eight days at the resort. Overall the new Maestrale RS is a great step forward in the high performance AT world.
The absolute best feature of all Scarpas is that they come with real Intuition liners. The new RS Maestrale comes with the new Intuition Pro Flex RS liners. This liner has more padding than the older version and the tongue is stiff enough on the outside so you do not get shin bang. As always remember to get your liners molded by a professional (or be really patient at home) and have the boots shell sized before you purchase. The next feature you notice is the weight. The RS is only 40 grams heavier (7lbs 4oz per pair, actual weight on a scale in size 27 vs 7lbs 2oz) than the original Maestrale and comes in at a 120 flex instead of a 100. This difference in stiffness is marked and really appreciated. Here’s a video of the RS in action.
So what terrain is this boot set up for? It has become my go to boot for short and long tours as it meets all my demands for a lightweight, stiff boot with great range of motion (Scarpa claims 37 degrees of motion). I can’t say if there really is 37 degrees of motion, but the boot range is greater than my body’s range of motion. I have been riding skis that are 105mm and 118mm underfoot and the boots drive the skis with ease. I have skied crud, powder, and groomed and these boots tackled all snow types. I would not recommend this boot if you exclusively ski the area, but they are fine if you are occasionally visiting them. Overall these are awesome.