Cochise Pro Light vs. Dynafit Vulcan and Scarpa Maestrale RS
The Cochise Pro Light is competitively lightweight, especially since it’s about 200 grams heavier than the comparable Dynafit Vulcan/Mercury and Scarpa Maestrale RS, and almost all of the additional weight of the Pro Light is from its replaceable sole blocks. You might prefer to save the weight than have replaceable sole blocks, but for me, the lack of replaceable sole blocks and the non-alpine binding compatibility of the competition is a deal breaker. In any case, the point is that the replaceable soles of the Pro Light adds 200 grams to the boot system.
The Cochise Pro Light feels more like an alpine boot in comparison to the Dynafit Vulcan and Scarpa Maestrale RS. I don’t have enough time in a production Vulcan to really break it down (I skied a prototype Vulcan last spring), but the flex pattern felt a little regressive: firm off the top, and slightly notchy as I flexed into the boot. Still, it’s a very high-performance boot, nonetheless.
The Scarpa Maestrale RS has a smooth, progressive flex pattern, and actually reminds me of a Flexon / Full Tilt boot. The Scarpa has a little more volume in the fore-foot, but a nice, smooth flex pattern with a similarly roomy heel pocket to the Flexon / Full Tilt boots.
Both the Maestrale and Vulcan are… complicated to get into and out of. The strange arrays of tongues and buckles on both of these boots are not the most user friendly, though I am sure that with repetition, they both become more straightforward.
By comparison, the Cochise Pro Light feels like a 120 flex, overlap alpine boot. Smooth flex, rigid spine, nice lateral stiffness. Which is exactly what I am after.
Cochise Pro Light vs. ‘Alpine-Boots-With-Walk-Modes’
I really appreciated the lateral rigidity of the Cochise Pro Light compared to the class of ‘modified alpine boots with walk mode’ that are on the market (Atomic Tracker, Salomon Quest, Lange XT, Fischer Ranger). I find that the Pro Light’s walk mode produces a nice stride, but also does an admirable job approximating the feel of a fully rigid spine and riveted upper.
The modified alpine boot class is different in that they basically cut off the spine of the lower, which introduces additional lower shell deformation. Also, since the upper cuff is not firmly attached to the lower, the boot has a flex pattern that is comparable to an alpine boot with its rivets removed, resulting in a softer, more vague sensation.
NEXT: SIZING THE COCHISE PRO LIGHT
Welcome to the future.
WARNING: THIS REVIEW MAY CAUSE WHIPLASH. (It also might change your life.)
Here's a Do It Yourself project that will leave you psyched on your new $700 Tecnica boots (or bummed that you just messed them up). DIY'ers, read and proceed...with caution.