Scarpa Freedom SL 2015
A really excellent all round back-country / touring / downhill boot
The boots have been used for 2 weeks since purchase and fitting back in February. Any initial concerns that the fit might be too snug for a touring boot were quickly dispelled. The intuition liner is so good that within a day of use the boot fitted like a glove.. they had lots of use on long uphill slogs, for which the flex (one of main reasons for buying) on walk mode and general comfort was unlike anything I'd used before. Much prefer the articulated motion in this boot than the flexible material that others seem to use. And so light! For the way down, a decent cranking of buckles, switch into ski (tilted most of the way forward, which you can dictate, unlike many others) and the skis felt precise, with good power transfer and stability. I used with the standard binding set up, however you have the option of Dynafit-type tech bindings too by changing out the sole (additional purchase). To summarise - light, great in almost all conditions, warm (never got cold). Can't imagine not taking them on any trip.
24 March 2015
Great for Day Trips
Used these for 1 week with a mix of off piste day tours and piste skiing. Great fit from Snow and Rock.
The walk feature worked really well for the touring but boot was also stiff enough for making turns on hard pack.
For me it did all the things the manufacturers claim from it, it is pricey but for good reason in my view. Would definitely recomend for skier expecting to hike for powder but not enough to justify a pure touring boot.
23 March 2015
Very good compromise for walking up and skiing down
This is my first pair of boots with a walk mechanism which I plan to use touring and free ride.
So far I have only tested on dry slope but here goes:
For its lightweight the shell is quite stiff, although I would say it is more like a 110 flex than the 130 it is promoted to be. This was when air temp was around zero centigrade. Maybe they are stiffer when it is colder...
Expert tourers who have seen my new boots have all been very impressed by the walk mechanism. Apparently it is a very innovative mechanism, but for me it looks like the obvious way to do it...
Take note that the shell size changes on the whole number, so if you buy a 26.5 it will be a 26.5 liner in a 27 shell. A 27 would be a 27 liner in a 27 shell. Some stores only stock the half sizes and some the full sizes. I found the shell length to be slightly shorter internally than other boots like Lange. But for me a 27 Scarpa shell is similar internal size to a 26.5 Lange.
The Intuition liner is really light, but I found it too voluminous and soft even after moulding to my foot in store. So for a better response I changed to a Zipfit liner which also increased the stiffness of the boot, though makes them heavier. With the original intuition liner it is a really light boot though.
Other good points are:
you can adjust ramp angle with wedges supplied
you can adjust forward lean
you can adjust cuff height
you can unscrew tech soles and screw on alpine soles (extra cost)
What I would have liked
Front two buckles to be screwed rather than riveted so that I could change to longer ones and also make them easy to replace if/when they break
Power strap with a ratchet rather than velcro
17 February 2015
These are my third pair of ski boots. The first were sloppy and uncomfortable and the second which were fully custom fitted and adjusted never made me happy. Ski boots seemed to be heavy restricting clamps that were never tight enough to be responsive but always seemed to squeeze the fluid out of my feet nonetheless.
I bought the Scarpa Freedom SL to use both on-piste and for touring although I have only used them on piste so far using the alpine sole (which was not easy to get hold of). That is my only criticism; the boot fits the contours of my feet and allows me to feel more athletic, they are snug and stiff yet comfortable and so light. The walk mode makes it so easy to get around. In summary they are a joy.
I could not go back to a standard ski boot and whilst expensive, they are worth every penny. They are a game changer and no doubt others will try and copy so you could wait a few years but personally I would seek to avoid the restrictions of standard ski boots.
10 March 2014
stiff and light but narrow and with a soft liner
As expected and advertised this boot is super light and stiff. The lateral stiffness is excellent thanks to the carbon in the shell and they are great for all conditions.
But they come up very narrow for a 101 last and are especially narrow in the toe box. I will have to take them back to get them blown wider having come from Garmont Axons with a 103 last.
The Intuition liner is great for the climb, but is soft and gives the boot an overall softer feel than the advertised 110. I've had to put Intuition Powewraps in to get a good stiff downhill feel.
11 February 2014