Expert Review: Scarpa Gea Women's Alpine Touring Boots
This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2021.
The Scarpa Gea Women’s ski boot is a great choice for aggressive female backcountry skiers with an average width foot. I have personally found it is the most comfortable and trustworthy women’s backcountry ski boot and can handle whatever terrain you throw at it. While not the very lightest weight option on the market, I also believe it's the most lightweight boot you’ll find that can still perform on the downhill.
About the gear
- Model: 2021 Scarpa Gea
- Size: 22.5
- Height: 5’3
- Weight: 110 lb
- Street shoe size: 6.5
- Experience: 20 + years
- When I bought these: April 2021
- Days tested : 20
- Skis : DPS Zelda Alchemist 106s
- Bindings : Dynafit ST Rotations
- Where I’ve used it: Utah
- Terrain: backcountry
How they perform
What I was looking for
If you are a woman who backcountry skis, you know the struggle. If you aren’t, buckle up. For every ten men’s backcountry ski boot options, there is maybe one women’s option, and it doesn’t even compare in design and quality. It’s incredible how few options there are for women, especially in higher flex boots, especially when you wear a women’s size 6. I went through three other options before finding these ones and the previous boots all had varying issues. The ones I had immediately before this were rated as a 110 flex but felt like a 65 and were really comfortable and light on the uphill, but would cause both my feet to go numb in the same spot as soon as I started skiing. I have been skiing my whole life and am comfortable with almost any type of terrain, but I found in my previous boots I never wanted to ski anything that was slightly difficult or technical.
So I was looking for a women’s ski boot that could keep up and didn’t cause me physical pain in my feet and emotional pain at the discrepancy between men's and women's gear every time I used it.
Why I chose this gear
I chose this product because I had heard good things about them and I hadn’t tried Scarpa boots yet. Previously, I tried boots from Atomic, Salomon, and Hoji. Some of these might have been a good option had my foot shape been different, but it did not work well for me. In short, I chose this boot because it was one of the only women’s touring boots on the market that I had not tried, and my options were really limited.
What I love about it
- Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness: This boot is rated as a 100 flex and feels like such, which is not the case for most women’s touring boots. The trade-off of using materials that make it lighter weight for functionality on the uphill usually makes it feel softer, but this is not the case on the Geas.
- Accuracy of Claimed Fit: It fits really well; it is a 101 last, so an average width boot, and I am a 6/6.5 in a street shoe, and I went with the 22.5 (so it would be a bit tighter), and it fits well (though a bit snug, as I wanted).
- Comfort: This boot overall is really comfortable; there are a lot of micro-adjustments you can make with the buckles to personalize the fit.
- Weight: These weigh 5.5 lbs as a pair. This isn’t necessarily ultralight, but I think it's the lightest I would want a ski boot to maintain performance on the downhill. It also pairs well with my skis which are about 6 lbs as a pair, so they are also not ultralight but on the average/slightly lighter side when it comes to touring gear.
- Ease of use: They are incredibly easy to get on and off, there is a large pull at the front to help with that, and the buckles are easy to maneuver with gloves or mittens.
- Adjustability: You can make a few micro-adjustments on each buckle, and the buckles are slightly different. This makes it easier to get a more customized fit if you were to have pain or discomfort in one area from the boot. The adjustability is also really easy to do with gloves on.
- Walk mode: Walk mode is really easy to switch; there is a tap on the lever you pull up, and it can be done while your boots are attached to your skis and take about 3 seconds. I have gone touring with girlfriends whose boots require a much more complicated mechanism to switch (again, women’s boots), but the Geas is incredibly intuitive and easy. They also have a great range of forwarding bend in walk mode, which makes skinning feel easier.
- Durability: Though I haven’t put more than 20 days on them so far, they have held up great. They also feel like a quality material that will last for a long time, which is more than I can say about most women’s boots.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Comfort: The liner is really puffy, for lack of a better word, I had to get mine heat molded twice to pack the liner in a bit because it was squishing my toes, but that was a really easy 15-minute fix at the local ski shop.
- Resort: You would not use these boots at a resort; they are not compatible with resort bindings and are meant for touring.
Favorite moment with this gear
Though not an incredibly epic line that we were skiing, my favorite moment with these boots was the first tour of the 2021 ski year up Albion Basin at Alta. It was pretty terrible conditions, really icy, but my housemate and I were just excited to get outside. It was my first time using the boots, and I just remember those first turns in a boot that both were not causing me pain and felt really stable even on ice. This boot process had been really frustrating, and many days made me wonder if I even liked skiing, so this was a huge deal to me.
Value for the money vs. other options
They are not the cheapest, but what is way more expensive than the Scarpa Geas is spending thousands of dollars on other boots that end up being terrible, and I think they are worth every penny. Overall, backcountry ski gear is not very cheap, so these aren’t crazy expensive comparatively.
Also, spending slightly less money on a boot that makes you wonder if you might hate skiing will be emotionally more expensive than the price difference of just buying these.
The Scarpa Gea is my favorite women’s backcountry ski boot in its category. For intermediate to expert women skiers who have an average foot width, it is the best option on the market. It will feel stable on whatever variable terrain you encounter on the downhill and won’t feel heavy walking uphill.