Rush v. Maestrale

| September 27, 2011 | 19 Comments

The people of the backcountry will now hear the case of Rush v. Maestrale.  Please be seated.

I don’t think I toured a single day last year in anything but Scarpa Maestrale boots.  For resorts, I have a pair of Scarpa Mobe boots, but I have yet to brave any touring with them.  I come from a long line of Scarpa boots dating all the way back to the leather Tele Savauge (yes, tele…) and have been very happy with the Lazer/Matrix/Spirit line of three buckle boots.  My first impression of the Maestrale was dismay as it was a four buckle boot – gasp – but it turned out to be lighter and toured better than the Spirit 3 it replaced, so I never looked back.  But still, I secretly yearned for a three buckle boot as I seldom if ever adjust the toe buckle on a 4 buckle boot, so it is kind of vestigial and needs to be dropped.

My prayers were answered this year with the Scarpa Rush.  The Executive Summary is that it is a 3 buckle version of the Maestrale, which makes it a bit lighter.  I have yet to actually ski it, but in flex tests and on carpet tours, it feels very much the same as a Maestrale.  Why would you get this boot over the Maestrale?  It is a little lighter (85 grams/3 oz), a little simpler (3 vs. 4 buckles) and a little less expensive ($549 vs. $599).  Dropping the toe buckle means that the toe profile is a bit cleaner, which is nice for booting and/or technical climbing as it is less cluttered. The bright yellow doesn’t match my eyes as well as the Day-glow orange Maestrales, but I can live with that.

The Rush covers all of the essentials - Vibram sole, tech fittings, top quality & top materials.

It is hard to discuss the Rush (right) without mentioning the Maestrale (left) as well. The Maestrale is one of the all-time classic AT boots and has won all sorts of awards - the Rush is a slightly trimmer version of the same.

Aside from the obvious 3 buckles vs. four, the Rush (left) has a solid ankle strap instead of the split version on the Maestrale (right).

I've removed the Powerstraps from both boots, but as the photo shows, they are very similar in height and construction.

Both boots have Intuition liners, tech fittings, Vibram soles, etc, etc..  For either boot, I use SuperFeet or FootBalance insoles, get the liners molded with lots of extra room in the toes for warmth and remove the power strap.  Aside from that they are 100% stock – no grinding, punching, tongue swaps, carbon cuffs or drill holes.

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Help support StraightChuter.com and speed up your stride with a pair of Scarpa Rush Alpine Touring Boots from Backcountry.com. Click on the photo below…

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Category: Gear Reviews

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

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  1. tucker says:

    Andrew, why remove the power straps? Is it just weight, or do you like the way they ski w/o straps?
    I usually end up adding Booster straps in place of my stock power straps, which admittedly weigh more but I have always felt have a high performance gain/weight ratio. Always interesting to see how other folks with tons of experience are doing it, thanks for the post.

  2. Justin says:

    On the topic of the power straps…. If you aren’t using them on either boots I’d love to buy one or both pairs from you… I’m a neighbor in SP so you wouldn’t even need to ship them…

  3. Tom says:

    Score another point for Voile ski straps. They make the best power straps and seem pretty light.

  4. Andrew says:

    Hi Justin – I’ve got a bunch of them, so stop by some time.

  5. Andrew says:

    Hi Tucker – I like PowerStraps on my alpine boots, but for touring boots, I find that it just takes too long to open and close them for each run. Plus, if they are not fully opened, it reduces your stride, which makes you slower. Admittedly, there is a slight decrease in performance, but after I got use to skiing without them, I never even notice it. The straps are easy to install or remove, so I have them if I ever change my mind.

  6. Kirk Turner says:

    Hey Andrew, I met you briefly at your slide show here in Bellingham, same question as Justin. I would love to buy your power straps off the Maestrale’s. I have TLT5’s and I’ve always been jealous of Louie’s straps when we’re touring on his scarpa’s. The ones on the maestrale’s are light, wide and stretchy, the dynafit are narrow, stadic and just nylon, Booster straps are way too heavy…..
    I like the extra support for general bc skiing, racing is a different story and I take them off.

  7. Rob Suminsby says:

    Andrew – how are the Scarpa boots for a wide foot? Are they any better or worse than other AT boots? Currently skiing on BD Factors, but considering Scarpas as a lighter boot for multi-day touring.

  8. Andrew says:

    Hi Rob – I’m not sure about Scarpa’s and wide feet. My feet are normal to narrow, so perhaps there are better wide-body options out there..?

  9. Jake says:

    Hi Andrew, I was wondering if you have done any technical climbing in these? or how you think they would fair on easy ice and mixed ground. I am looking to get my first AT set up and am trying to decide between these and the Dynafit TLT5 Mountains… thanks!

  10. Andrew says:

    Hi Jake – I haven’t used the Rush boots for technical climbing, but have done a lot in the Maestrales, which work fine in an Alpine Touring boot kind of way. You can make it up moderate rock and ice with them as well as climb peaks (and of course ski), but for dedicated alpine rock and/or ice, you’d be better off with a dedicated climbing boot.

  11. Seth says:

    @Rob – I consider myself to have an average foot with a large 6th toe due to so many days in ski boots. I had to punch the Maestrale just my 6th toe, but now they fit great. Never had to do this with my Garmonts, so if you have a wide foot these may not be for you…

  12. johns says:

    Andrew – you mentioned that the Rush has a solid ankle strap. I know that the Maestrale had split strap to seemingly accommodate the bellowed tongue which is pretty nice for touring. Did they change the tongue design on the RUSH to have no bellow? Hard to tell from the pics.

  13. Andrew says:

    Hi Johns – Yes, the Rush as a single, non split ankle strap. After using it for about 10-15 days so far this year, that is one thing that I would like to change about it (and maybe will…) – I wish it had the split Maestrale strap. I think the split strap has a better pull angle to it , is easier to buckle/unbuckle and pulls your heel in with a bit more authority. The advantage of the single, solid strap is that it is light.

  14. Nick says:

    How does the Rush ski compare to the Maestrale? I have a pair of spirit 3’s – does the Rush ski similar to that?

  15. Nick says:

    Andrew – wondering how these boots ski in downhill mode compared to the Maestrale? I currently ski a Spirit 3 – will the Rush ski similar or be stiffer than the Spirit 3?
    Thanks

  16. Andrew says:

    I think the Rush is a bit softer than the Maestrale, but not a lot. I think where you’d really notice it is with a heavy pack in really punchy conditions where you are jerking around.

  17. Andrew says:

    I think the Rush is probably a better long touring boot, but the Maestrale has a bit more skiing control. It’s been a while since I skied the Spirit 3, but the both the Rush and Maestale tour WAAAY better than the Spirit.

  18. Nick says:

    Hey Andrew – thanks for the feedback. I’ve got them both in the living room trying to make up my mind. I live on the west coast but still do quite a bit of skiing in the interior of BC. Sounds like the maestale might be a better boot for the west coast.

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