Remember when backcountry touring meant wool sweaters and knickers, skinny skis, leather boots, and low-angle turns while whistling carefree tunes? Neither does the hard-charging Scarpa Maestrale RS Alpine Touring Boot. Wool is great, as are mellow turns, but the Maestrale's more interested in shredding the crap out of steep chutes, ripping big faces, and slaying deep pow. It's 20% stiffer and only 1.5oz heavier than the old Maestrale, with a burly 120 flex, stiff polyamide shell, and stout power strap that provide plenty of juice when the lines get big but still checks in at under 3.5 lbs for most sizes, so you'll be able to make it up the skin track faster than your partner. The cuff also rotates a full 37°, which isn't too far behind many more uphill-oriented AT boots. Scarpa's new Mirage Pro ski/walk mode makes it super easy to switch between uphill and downhill settings, and locks the cuff to the shell with two stiff metal pins for serious power and control without the risk of coming unlocked when you don't want it to. In conjunction with the Evo V-Frame cuff, this gives the Maestrale plenty of fore and aft stiffness, so you'll be able to crush it without feeling like you're wobbling backwards and forwards.