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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Backcountry, Telemark, and Cross Country › AT Boot decision regarding stiffness: Scarpa Maestrale vs Maestrale RS
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AT Boot decision regarding stiffness: Scarpa Maestrale vs Maestrale RS

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm trying to decide between the Maestrale or the Maestrale RS.  Both feel comfortable when I try them on.  Here is a bit about me:

 

5'6, 150# male

Never backcountry skied before.  This will be my first foray into it.

Regarding resort skiing, I have been an intermediate, recently transitioning into advanced skier, finally starting to ski black diamond runs, but not doing amazing at it yet.

I imagine myself using the boots in both resorts and backcountry, maybe 70/30

 

The Maestrale has a stiffness rating of 100, and the Maestrale RS has a stiffness rating of 120.

In sum, I need to decide to go with the stiffer RS boot, or the softer Maestrale.

 

Any tips?  Let me know if more specific info would be helpful in this decision, cheers.

post #2 of 17
I would definitely get the rs, it will help in bad snow.
post #3 of 17

I use the RS as everyday boot and as a BC boot.  Like the stiffness, lightweight, easy to walk in, comfy, you will like.  

post #4 of 17
The 100 is a stiff boot (stiffer than my Dalbellos with the same "100" rating.

I would caution against the 120 given your weight.

Also, given the lugged sole these boots cannot be used with traditional alpine bindings. You will need either tech bindings or a plate binding such as Tyrolia Adrenalin.
post #5 of 17

You might want to review Lee Lau's list http://www.tetongravity.com/story/ski/Guide-To-Ski-Touring-Boot-Flexes-431 you will see there is a big difference between the M and M RS.  You might also want to check Wildsnow.com for reviews of the two if you haven't already.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe strummer View Post

The 100 is a stiff boot (stiffer than my Dalbellos with the same "100" rating.

I would caution against the 120 given your weight.

Also, given the lugged sole these boots cannot be used with traditional alpine bindings. You will need either tech bindings or a plate binding such as Tyrolia Adrenalin.

 

What is the risk of skiing on too stiff a boot?  I don't fully understand the concept.

post #7 of 17

A lot depends on your skiing style, personal preferences, and where you ski.  I like a much burlier boot skiing lift-served than I do skiing backcountry.  A stiffer boot is required for skiing big skis than is required for skiing mid-fat skis and skiing stiff skis vs softer skis and skiing faster, more agressively than skiing slower with more finesse and having to make lots of minor adjustment (as in the backcountry).  Lift-served I like a progressive flex, a boot with alternate cuff lean angles, and one I can add a booster strap or take it off.  I use an AT boot (Dynafit Zzeus) that is polyurethane with interchangeable toe blocks (pin blocks and alpine blocks) for lift served skiing.  According to Lee Lau's list it has a flex rating of 85.  Yet I skied 184 cm Kastle LX92s (92 waist), 191 2011 Volkl Mantras (98 waist), 188 Rossi S7 (118 waist?), and 190 cm Bibby Pros (118 waist) with no problem in all kinds of snow on piste and off piste.  If the snow is good I use the lesser of lean angles, no booster strap, and a nice, mildly snug buckling.  I am thinking of adding a new ski, say 106-112 w medium flex around 178 cm with tech bindings, for skiing deeper snow, principally in trees and glades where quickness and short to medium turns are needed and using my Dynafit Mercury boots--that will take about 10 lbs or so off my aging legs :-).  The Mercury is stiffer than the Maestrales but I can ski it w/o the tongue and w/ or w/o a booster strap allowing for adjustment in stiffness; there is little in the way of progressive flex or flex of any kind but there are light.

 

In the backcountry I've used the TLT5 and TLT6 2-buckle boots without accessory tongues for soft skis from 76-98 mm waists.  For stiffer skis up to 106 mm, I use the tongues and a booster strap.  For my 184 Volkl Nanuqs (98 waist) and 182 Dynafit Stokes (106 waist), farily stiff bc skis designed to go fast,  I prefered going up to a 3 buckle boot (Dynafit Mercury) w/ or w/o tongues and or booster strap depending on the snow.

 

Lighter, softer, looser boots are more comfortable for me and more easy to use when there are lots of terrain obstacles to avoid and some narrow spaces to ski.  As the runs get longer, steeper, deeper, and the snow heavier I prefer increasing stiffness of boot.  Removable tongues make climbing much much easier for me too.

 

Oh, btw, I weigh 230 lbs and was a pretty strong skier till I injured my lower right leg;  I stiff found the Mercury to a little stiffer than I liked for skier lower angles and tighter places.

post #8 of 17
No downside whatsoever to skiing a stiff boot in the bc.
post #9 of 17

Seems I often have a different point of view than you Rod.  Downsides are 1) light, stiff, even flexing pick 2 so a stiff boot is going to involve some sacrifice 2) If the boot is too stiff for the persons skiing style, then it will hamper their ability to ski.  Given the OP self description this second point is most likely relevant.

post #10 of 17
True, a stiff boot may not tour as well, but I go up so I can ski, si to me it's with the trade-off.

And true, it depends on the skill of the skier.
post #11 of 17

@treejay  This makes a lot of sense:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Carey View Post
 

A lot depends on your skiing style, personal preferences, and where you ski.  I like a much burlier boot skiing lift-served than I do skiing backcountry.  A stiffer boot is required for skiing big skis than is required for skiing mid-fat skis and skiing stiff skis vs softer skis and skiing faster, more agressively than skiing slower with more finesse and having to make lots of minor adjustment (as in the backcountry).  Lift-served I like a progressive flex, a boot with alternate cuff lean angles, and one I can add a booster strap or take it off.  I use an AT boot (Dynafit Zzeus) that is polyurethane with interchangeable toe blocks (pin blocks and alpine blocks) for lift served skiing.  According to Lee Lau's list it has a flex rating of 85.  Yet I skied 184 cm Kastle LX92s (92 waist), 191 2011 Volkl Mantras (98 waist), 188 Rossi S7 (118 waist?), and 190 cm Bibby Pros (118 waist) with no problem in all kinds of snow on piste and off piste.  If the snow is good I use the lesser of lean angles, no booster strap, and a nice, mildly snug buckling.  I am thinking of adding a new ski, say 106-112 w medium flex around 178 cm with tech bindings, for skiing deeper snow, principally in trees and glades where quickness and short to medium turns are needed and using my Dynafit Mercury boots--that will take about 10 lbs or so off my aging legs :-).  The Mercury is stiffer than the Maestrales but I can ski it w/o the tongue and w/ or w/o a booster strap allowing for adjustment in stiffness; there is little in the way of progressive flex or flex of any kind but there are light.

 

In the backcountry I've used the TLT5 and TLT6 2-buckle boots without accessory tongues for soft skis from 76-98 mm waists.  For stiffer skis up to 106 mm, I use the tongues and a booster strap.  For my 184 Volkl Nanuqs (98 waist) and 182 Dynafit Stokes (106 waist), farily stiff bc skis designed to go fast,  I prefered going up to a 3 buckle boot (Dynafit Mercury) w/ or w/o tongues and or booster strap depending on the snow.

 

Lighter, softer, looser boots are more comfortable for me and more easy to use when there are lots of terrain obstacles to avoid and some narrow spaces to ski.  As the runs get longer, steeper, deeper, and the snow heavier I prefer increasing stiffness of boot.  Removable tongues make climbing much much easier for me too.

 

Oh, btw, I weigh 230 lbs and was a pretty strong skier till I injured my lower right leg;  I stiff found the Mercury to a little stiffer than I liked for skier lower angles and tighter places.

 

 

FWIW, I'm heavier than you (178lbs) and usually ski a DPS Wailer 105 @ 188cm in the Maestrale without any problems. If you are pushing a burlier ski, then maybe consider the RS but the BC is more about finesse than power, especially with tech bindings.  And you will spend more time going up than down, so a more comfortable/forgiving boot makes more sense.

post #12 of 17
The rating refers to flex: the ability of the upper cuff of the boot to flex forward. The higher the flex rating, the less the boot flexes forward. Think of a super stiff boot as being made out of steel.

If you are buying the boots from a shop, just try them on. Walk around and flex the boots.

If you are buying on line, caveat emptor.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe strummer View Post

The rating refers to flex: the ability of the upper cuff of the boot to flex forward. The higher the flex rating, the less the boot flexes forward. Think of a super stiff boot as being made out of steel.

If you are buying the boots from a shop, just try them on. Walk around and flex the boots.

If you are buying on line, caveat emptor.


From what I have read, there is no standard whatsoever on flex ratings.  That is why Lee Lau asked people to subjectively compare different boots to popular alpine/downhill boots.  There seems to be much jive ascribed to flex, but you are right, a person should just try them out.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe strummer View Post


Also, given the lugged sole these boots cannot be used with traditional alpine bindings. You will need either tech bindings or a plate binding such as Tyrolia Adrenalin.

The Marker Lord bindings are rated for the rockered/lugged soles (as are the Salomon Wardens I think) and work great if you want to mount them on a pair of dedicated resorts skis.  I've got 3 seasons skiing the RS inbounds (two of them on the Lords) and like both the boots and the bindings. 

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post

No downside whatsoever to skiing a stiff boot in the bc.

Gonna disagree here.  A lot of personal preference involved.

 

I have skied both standard and RS versions.  I found the orange to be a bit soft on groomers, but liked it in the BC.  RS skied groomers great, but I did not like them for mellow BC skiing.  Too much work to stay forward on easy terrain.  I found the flex to be very "on and off", rather than progressive.  

 

For frame of reference- my daily resort boot is a Skookum- rated by Scarpa to be between the 2 Maestraeles. I replaced the tongue liner with an overlap to stiffen it a bit. If there were some easy mods to stiffen it a bit more, I probably would.  

 

My BC boot is a Spectre, which is generally classed in the same category as the RS.  Regardless of flex rating, I find it a much friendlier BC boot, and don't consider it stiff.  It has a nice, smooth, progressive flex that works well for me n all conditions.

 

OP-  Given your description of your skiing, I would go orange.  Lot's of really good skiers in this boot.  And, if you get boots too stiff, you will end up in the back seat, and that is not going to advance your skiing.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone who chimed in.  Very helpful.  I'll probably go with the orange Maestrales.  Cheers,

post #17 of 17
If you find the orange Maestrales to be a little too soft in certain conditions, here's a trick for you to get them to ski a little stiffer.  After you've got all the buckles tight, when getting ready to make the booster strap attachment, thread the booster strap thru the finger loop at the top of the liner tongue and then the metal buckle before folding the Velcro back on itself.  Threading the strap thru the finger loop does 2 things: it provides constant down pressure on the tongue (holding your instep down and keeping your heel in the pocket) and makes the booster strap ride a little higher on the cuff (part of the strap will lie against the cuff and part of it will pressure the liner).  The higher placement of the booster strap gives it a little more leverage on the boot and limits the forward flex, adding a noticeable amount of stiffness.  I ski the RS as my "do everything" boot, and find that when I'm skiing my wide skis on heavier inbounds snow, I'm wishing for a little stiffer boot.  (Note that I'm also 6'2" and 260#.) I figured out this little trick with the booster strap this year, and since doing that haven't found any situation where the boot isn't stiff enough.  Enjoy your boots!  
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