Sunday, March 05, 2023

La Sportiva Skorpius CR II Ski Mountaineering/Touring Boot Review

Article by Jeff Valliere

La Sportiva Skorpius CR II

Weight: 1190g/2.6lbs per boot (Mondo size 27 = US Men’s 9.5)

Sizes: 23-31.5

$849 - Available now

Introduction:  You may be asking yourself, “why is RoadTrailRun now reviewing ski boots?”, Good question indeed!  The number of runners cross training in the Winter with SkiMo (Ski Mountaineering) is steadily on the rise, from top running names like KilianJornet of course, to multiple time world SkiMo champion Remi Bonnett, Jim Walmsley, Rob Krar, Sage Canaday, the list goes on and on, to just about all of my local trail running buddies.  

During the winter months, my Strava activity feed of my trail running friends shows more SkiMo activities than any other activity. SkiMo is an amazing crossover sport where one can gain/maintain amazing fitness, while simultaneously giving your legs/body a bit of a break from the impact of running.  Not to mention, it is really fun!

The Skorpius CR II is a performance oriented touring boot that is light enough for fast uphills, yet substantial enough to provide a high level of control and performance on the downhills.  With the addition now of the BOA Fit System (over the buckles of the previous version), adjustments for transitions between uphill mode and downhill mode are particularly quick and easy.  

At just 2.6 lbs or 1190 grams per boot, they are less than half the weight of my alpine boots, which feels remarkably light to me, yet on the downhills, they feel as secure and sturdy as I would expect from a downhill boot.


• A lightweight touring boot for backcountry skiers and entry-level skimo racers that delivers a ton of power

• 3 forward lean positions

• Swing-lock closure system allows fast and simple lockout

• Carbon reinforced shell and cuff provides a stiffer flex than the ultralight weight suggests

• La Sportiva Grip Guard™ Sole provides needed traction for walking perilous ridge-lines

• EZ 3D Flex Tongue™ with BOA® Fit System with joint between the upper and lower sections as well as overlap system customize the fit

• Progressive Grade System™: quick forward lean boot angle with adjustable height spoiler insert

Product Information:

WEIGHT: 1190g (1⁄2 pair size 27)

SIZES: 23 – 31.5 (including half sizes)

SHELL • TONGUE: Pebax® Bio Based Rnew® 1100 w/ 10% Carbon Reinforcement • Pebax® Bio Based Rnew® 1100 EZ 3D Flex Tongue™

CUFF: Pebax® Bio Based Rnew® 1100 w/ 30% Carbon Reinforcement

LINER: Thermomoldable High Density PEE & Open Cell Low Density PU w/ Flex Inserts / Skorpius CR II Liner (#69W)

SOLE: La Sportiva Grip Guard™ (complies with ISMF standards)

RANGE OF MOTION: 68° (33° back/ 35° front)

FORWARD LEAN: 3 positions (12°, 14°, 16°)

BUCKLES: Swing-Lock Closure System™/ BOA® Fit System / Easy 2 Wear Closure System / Optional power strap

FLEX • LAST WIDTH: 100 • 102.5


Fit:  Fit was a bit tricky for me, as is often the case with La Sportiva.  

Before deciding on my size, I went to nearby Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder to get measured up and my foot came up as 27.  When I received the size 27 (US 9.5), getting into the boot was a serious undertaking, requiring several attempts with rest breaks in between and a mental pep talk.  I eventually got my foot in, but then felt a bit small after wearing them around the house for some time.  I then attempted to trade out for a 28, but they only had a 28.5, which was way too large.  I also learned in this process that the boot shell only comes in full size increments and when a half size is mentioned, that is just a slight variance in the liner, so going 27.5 (US 10) would not really gain me that much. 

I gave the 27 another shot and after wearing them around the house for a few hours and taking them off/putting them on a few times, I was able to break them in some and over the course of using them for a few weeks, the liner has stretched out a little more.  Also, using a slightly thinner ski sock than I initially intended also helped.  While I wish I had a little more wiggle room for casual touring, they fit very well for performance and downhill control.  I will also note that I wear a US Men’s size 10 in just about all shoes and often 10.5 in La Sportiva, so theoretically, a 27.5 would be ideal for me. 


The liner is heat moldable and there are a lot of other fit mods that can be made if you work with a professional boot fitter, but bottom line, get measured and try on if you can before buying just so that you have the proper size and be as close as you can before employing any additional boot fit mods.

There are areas of varying foam density to maximize comfort and control.

Within the liner, there is a bio insole like you would find in their running shoes that can easily be swapped out for custom footbeds.

There is extra padding around the cuff of the liner that is a higher density in order to minimize pressure when really snugging the power straps and which adds a bit of comfort.

The BOA fit system, which combines with an integrated tongue is amazing, as it is so easy to make quick and secure adjustments that provides an infinitely customizable dynamic fit.  I love that I can leave the BOA tension somewhat relaxed on uphills and then when I transition to the downhill, just a quick turn of the dial and my foot is locked in.  I find that on a ski outing, I either have it mostly loose (just rotated a few turns for skinning) or cranked down tight and never really have to mess with at any point in between.

The velcro power strap and upper velcro strap (there are two straps here) are easy to quickly adjust and secure, locking the boot down incredibly well for positive control on the downhill, yet it also comfortably and easily loosens for flexible and relaxed uphilling. The upper strap can also be removed for faster transitions.

The primary power strap has a lever, where you set the velcro to the optimal spot and then flip the lever to tighten.  

It takes a few times to determine exactly where you want the strap to line up so that a quick flip of the lever achieves the proper tension.  This is especially fast during transitions, just pull loose the top velcro strap, pop the lever for the 2nd velcro strap and pop the BOA dial to relieve the tension, or just reverse the process.

The Swing Lock mechanism is a very simple and easy to use lever that flips up to relieve the boot for forward flex of 68 degrees and flips back down to solidly lock the boot into place for downhilling.  

While the Swing Lock is easy to use, when releasing, I found I have to rock my shin gently back and forth to find the spot where tension is relieved enough so that it will let go.  Conversely, I have to do the same when locking it back into place until I hear it positively snap into a locked position.

The boot is somewhat modular, at least some of the components that could potentially wear out or break are replaceable.

The La Sportiva Grip Guard Sole has sticky rubber and an aggressive outsole pattern for times where you need to throw the skis on the pack and hike to the snow, up a ridgeline or for any other reason.  

While it is still a bit awkward hiking in a stiff soled boot, this outsole makes it much more reasonable and safer by having good traction, a concept that seems so obvious, yet novel to me after slip sliding across resort parking lots in my alpine boots.

Performance:  Performance here is amazing, honestly MUCH better than I expected from such a lightweight boot.  Fit leans on the performance end of the spectrum, at least for me, which is great, as I plan to enter some low key local races at some point, but they also tour just fine too now that I break them in more and more.  I find that they are plenty light enough for quick and efficient uphills, have a nice forward lean angle and with the BOA Fit System, Swing Lock and easy quick power straps are easy to adjust on the go.  

It is super fast to transition between uphill mode to downhill mode and then back again, while achieving just the right fit.  As I mentioned earlier, I was pleasantly surprised at how good downhill performance is for the Skorpius CR II. I have been testing on a demo pair of La Sportiva Salto skis that are 95mm under foot (that are slightly on the heavy side due to the not super light binding and additional heavy slider plate that is found on demo skis), but they drive this ski easily and with confidence.  I honestly find that I am not sacrificing much at all, if anything, even when the going gets rough and especially when not just cruising easier terrain.

Conclusions/Recommendations:  The Skorpius CR II is the ideal boot for those who want the versatility for reasonably quick, lightweight uphilling, quick and precise transitions with the fast and precision fit BOA Fit system, quick power straps and easy, reliable and secure Swing Lock, yet have the power and control for confident downhilling in just about any condition.  The boots thus far are proving to be quite durable, and I like that many of the parts can be replaced easily, if need be.

Still plenty of winter! The Skorpius CR II is available at La Sportiva HERE

Jeff Valliere While reviewing ski gear and the sport of Skimo is somewhat new to Jeff with trail running (and cycling) his main focus, he has been skiing since the age of 4, be it classic XC, skate skiing, downhill skiing and was even  wasa ski bum in Breckenridge, skiing up to 120 days per year.
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