Scarpa Freedom SL

Model Year
2014-15
Category
All-Mountain Walk, Backcountry
Last Width
101
Flex Index
120
Price (MSRP)
$769.00USD

Scarpa's a backcountry brand, right? Does the Freedom SL belong here? You bet it does. Well, assuming you're okay with race boot level edge power and quickness, featherweight construction and one of the best hike modes on the market. Our test team loves it for those reasons, and we think you will too.

The Freedom SL returns unchanged for this season to unanimously positive reviews, again. Testers love the light and snappy Pebax plastic construction and continue to marvel over how strong it skis—vastly superior to other Pebax boots we've tested in the past. Its secret is a carbon fiber I-beam built into the boot sole that stiffens the boot laterally and torsionally but without adding weight. This, in combination with a best-in-class touring range of motion made this boot a dual category winner—here, in the All-Mountain Adventure category with alpine soles, and also in the Backcountry category where it was tested by a different team using the Freedom's lugged and toe-rockered tech-compatible soles.

This medium-fit 101mm overlap boot sports an evenly distributed fit tension from toebox through instep and up into the cuff, but whether that's a tight-medium or a roomy-medium depends on sizing. It fits long enough in length that many testers were able to ski it a size down for a seriously snug, area-based performance fit. Other testers stuck with their more normal boot sole length for a luxurious toebox and forefoot better suited for off-trail and hike-to forays. Note that Scarpa's shell sizing breaks at the half-size, meaning that the 26.5 and the 27.0 shared the same boot sole length (307mm).

Testers note that in its stock stance settings the boot is a bit more upright than most and the cuffs are tipped outwardly, which translated into strong inside edge angles. Adding to the strong-edged feel of the boot is the fact that the bootboard is also tipped out slightly (i.e. varus). This makes it a ripper on smooth, firm surfaces, but at times a little hooky and unmanageable with wider, softer skis in deeper snow. The Freedom SL is highly adjustable, with an eight-degree fore-aft range and single-sided cuff adjustment with threaded, metal attachment points on the cuff.

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.5-31.0
Hike Mode 
Yes
Heat Moldable Liner 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Medium

Kudos

  • “Huge edge power—crisp. Snappy and balanced with an awesome flex feel.” -- Mark Elling
  • “Great skiing boot.” -- Greg Hoffmann
  • “Strong edging characteristics, good snow feel.” -- Mike Evans
  • “This boot is coming home with me. Two thumbs up—super snappy.” --
  • “Strong skiing character with a long range of touring motion.” -- Bob Gleason
  • “Easy to fit (the pre-last on the liner is perfect) with good downhill performance. With buckles loose, the Freedom SL's range of motion is best-in-class.” -- Craig Dostie
  • “This boot is amazing. It tours like a light AT boot but is as powerful as any other boot.” -- Bob Egeland
  • “Best of category—great hike mode switch and skis like a frontside boot.” -- Jim Kinney
  • “Poppy but solid—nice even flex. Rewarded athletic turns and rotary movements.” -- Eino Holm

Caveats

  • “Super positive edge set-up.” -- Chris Wiberg
  • “Too much varus built into the bootboard for me, and it has a bit of a dip at the forefoot--odd.” -- Mark Elling

This boot available at...

Princeton, MA
Ludlow, VT
Warren, VT
Stowe, VT
Taos Ski Valley, NM
Telluride, CO
Telluride, CO

Special thanks to all of our sponsors!

Platinum

Gold

Silver