Scarpa Maestro Mid Eco Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Supportive, comfortable, burly construction
Cons: Expensive, poor sensitivity, blunt toe box, Achilles pain for some
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Scarpa Maestro Mid Eco
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|$195.00 at REI|
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|$185.00 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Supportive, comfortable, burly construction||Versatile, stiff, durable, comfortable||Extremely precise toe, extra heel sensitivity, comfortable for an aggressive shoe||Comfortable design, respectable edging, low-profile toe, excellent price||Affordable, flat midsole is comfortable all day, well-balanced performance across many areas|
|Cons||Expensive, poor sensitivity, blunt toe box, Achilles pain for some||Expensive, limited sensitivity||Pricey, tall toe box, too narrow for some feet||Mediocre precision, subpar on the steeps, somewhat insensitive||Insensitive, imprecise fit, ineffective design for steep terrain|
|Bottom Line||A trad-specific shoe with plenty of support for monster days on the wall||This stiff shoe is an all-day crack climbing workhorse that also performs well on edges and slabs||An ultra-high-end shoe that could put you on the podium of your climbing competition||Decent overall climbing performance at an affordable price make these a sold choice||An entry-level shoe ideal for beginners that comes at an awesomely low price|
|Rating Categories||Scarpa Maestro Mid Eco||La Sportiva Katana...||La Sportiva Solutio...||La Sportiva Finale||La Sportiva Tarantu...|
|Steep Terrain (20%)|
|Specs||Scarpa Maestro Mid Eco||La Sportiva Katana...||La Sportiva Solutio...||La Sportiva Finale||La Sportiva Tarantu...|
|Upper||Eco leather||Leather/Lorica||Leather / microfiber||Leather / microfiber||Leather/Synthetic|
|Lining||Microfiber||Pacific (forefoot and back)||Pacific, lycra||Unlined||None|
|Rubber Type||Vibram XS Edge||Vibram XS Edge||Vibram XS Grip2||Vibram XS Edge||FriXion RS|
|Rubber Thickness (millimeters)||4 mm||4 mm||4 mm||5 mm||5 mm|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Eco in the name of the Scarpa Maestro Mid refers to the ecological friendliness of its leather upper, which is "produced with significantly reduced water use and by renewable energy," according to Scarpa's website. While we applaud this choice, we believe it falls well short of similar efforts made by La Sportiva. According to their website, their Mythos Eco features similarly ecological-minded leather and 95% of the other components come from recycled materials.
The midsole of the Maestro Mid is reinforced with 1.0-1.4 mm of Relion plastic that creates a sturdy platform to support your foot while you tap dance on tiny edges. Our testers were thoroughly impressed with the edging ability of its 4 mm Vibram XS Edge rubber. The primary drawback to this substantial construction is a loss of sensitivity. If your project demands a prolonged effort on micro edges, however, these shoes can supply the support to counter foot fatigue and the grip to ensure you'll soon be clipping the chains.
Climbing cracks is often painful. The Maestro Mid is designed to dull that pain. The leather upper rises high enough to shield your ankle bones and avoid bloody scrapes in wider cracks. Its wide, neutral sole allows your foot to lay flat to increase comfort during sustained foot jams. When it comes to narrower cracks, however, this shoe is poorly suited. The toe profile is much taller than other high-top trad shoes, which severely harms its ability to sneak inside thin cracks. We consider this flaw to be the Maestro's greatest weakness.
These shoes are borderline abysmal for pocket climbing. The toe box is not only tall, but it's also broad. This makes it tricky to get them inside all but the largest of pockets. The stiff, flat sole also makes it harder to curl your foot and pull with your toes on steeper terrain. There aren't any high-top shoes that are particularly well-suited for overhanging climbing, but the Maestro is among the worst for this purpose.
To achieve this shoe's considerable edging performance, some sensitivity had to be sacrificed. Although the plastic reinforced midsole and 4.0 mm rubber supply ample support, they reduce your ability to feel any crystals or dimples on the rock. The shoe is more supple below the arch and at the heel, but sensitivity in these zones is far less important for feeling most rock climbing footholds.
We think that most people will find the Maestro supremely comfortable. A small contingent, however, may find them absolutely unbearable. For the majority, the comfort will come from a combination of the flat, supportive sole, and the padded leather upper that together provide plenty of foot protection. The wideness of the midsole and toe box also ensures that your foot and toes lay flat and delightfully unconstrained.
In our tests, however, we encountered several people who found the shape of the heel especially uncomfortable. In comparison to other high-top trad shoes, this heel rises higher and with a stronger forward lean. This contributed to sharp Achilles pain for some people. If you've never had issues with climbing shoes and Achilles pain, you should be okay, but if you've had any issues in the past, we suggest you steer clear of these kicks.
The quality construction of these shoes comes with a corresponding price tag. However, they do seem pretty durable, so when it comes to price-per-pitch, they present a pretty good deal. We've also seen them on sale on occasion. If you can find them for a decent discount, they're sure to provide an awesome value.
Many manufacturers are now bringing their own high-top, trad-oriented shoes to the market. The Maestro Mid Eco is one of the stiffer, burlier options. We're big fans of their durability and edging prowess, and if found on sale, they could be a great deal. However, a limited number of testers complained of acute Achilles pain, so consider the shape of your Achilles before making a purchase.
— Jack Cramer