Scarpa – Gea RS 2
There’s always some debate about how stiff a touring boot really is, but we were impressed by the amount of power and control during descents in Scarpa’s latest offering for women, the Gea RS2. They’re both torsionally and laterally stiff, with a great fore/aft flex that really lets you work the ski even in challenging conditions. They both ski and climb so well that ‘ like the men’s Maestrale version ‘ we awarded them our women’s Touring Boot of the Year prize. The Gea comes with an Intuition liner as standard and this, combined with a strong power strap, gives added muscle and keeps the boot tight and close-fitting in all the right places. The walk-to-ski mode mechanism is simple and doesn’t get clogged with snow. Although sometimes we found the entry and buckling system a little confusing to begin with, it does make getting into the boot really easy! Scarpa have use a smart three-buckle design which employs a pulley system on the top of the foot buckle to keep the whole foot tight and secure. It’s also possible to adjust the alignment to tip the rider further forward, for those who prefer a more aggressive style of skiing. The Gea is amazingly lightweight at just 1260g per boot, and has a very flexible walk mode with a fantastic 60’ range of motion – which makes for a genuinely brilliant uphill experience. The super chunky Vibram sole provides superior grip on rock, ice and snow too, once the bootpacking begins.