Originally purchased as an ‘old man’ trad shoe to avoid having to use my overly snug Anasazi velcros, the Maestro has been a surprisingly versatile shoe. It has a great combination of stiffness with a slight bit of flexion for smearing. It’s slightly toe down in appearance but feels flat enough to walk around in and use as an all day multi-pitch shoe when sized sensibly. Due to the shape, it can be sized accordingly for boulder, sport, indoor or trad and excel in all.


Having lapsed in my trad climbing over the last 10 years, I went a bit crazy on size until the heel was the perfect fit for hooking… not the intended use but this did make them a great ‘comfortable’ bouldering shoe due to the well vented padded leather uppers, precise toe shape and snug tensioned heel. However, as a result, I had to borrow another pair from my climbing partner 1 full size up from street size for when we hiked up to Tophet Wall and the Needles from Wasdale in searing heat,and they performed tremendously due to the stiffness of the toe-box.


The shoe is nicely adjustable with the laces allowing for a snug performance fit or a flatter multipitch fit when easing them off completely or not tying them at all ala Steve McClure (as I did for Main Wall up on Cyrn Las). The uppers have a bit of give in them but I haven’t found the shoe loses its shape too much in terms of stretching out.


If buying them for trad I wouldn’t stray far from street size with a 0.5 to 1 size down being a good tight fit for short single pitch or sport use. They would be a little on the stiff side for bouldering for most people but definitely work well on small sharp edges (think Welsh volcanic rock or slate). I’d say I have fairly low volume but wedge shaped feet and the Maestro was good in terms of a bit of extra forefoot width without excessive volume to crank in.


There is also a mid version of the Maestro aimed at the big wallers who need a mega stiff shoe with a little more ankle protection. They also feature XS grip 2 on the top of the toes instead of regular rand rubber, making them a bit better for twisting and torquing your toes into cracks if that’s your jam. Scarpa also tells us the XS Grip 2 is a more durable compound than the regular rand rubber, coupled with the entire build quality makes this a great candidate for resoling and prolonged life. 


As always, shoe sizing is pretty subjective and I would always recommend trying a variety of makes, models and sizes when fine tuning your next shoe.


- Rich