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2016-2017 Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro

Brian Lindahl reviews the 2016-2017 Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro for Blister Gear Review.

Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro

2016-2017 Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro

Size Tested: 25.5

Stated BSL: 295 mm

Stated Range of Motion: 42°

Stated Last: 99 mm

Stated Flex: 130

Stated Weight per Boot — size 26.5: 1950 g

Blister’s Measured Weight per Boot — size 25.5:

  • Shells, no liners: 1493 & 1496 g
  • Liners, no footbeds: 440 & 441 g
  • Shells + Liners: 1933 & 1937 g

MSRP: $699.99 USD

Test Location: Craigieburn Valley Ski Area, Porters Ski Area, NZ; Arapahoe Basin and Vail, CO

Days Tested: 12

Introduction

In 2011, Tecnica came out with the original Cochise, one of the first first tech-compatible boots created by an alpine boot manufacturer. It quickly generated a lot of buzz, then went on to become a class leader in downhill-oriented touring boots — a boot that could hold its own at the resort, but would also work on shorter tours and in a tech binding.

For 16/17, the Cochise has undergone some pretty dramatic changes — especially in fit — but there are also some noticeable improvements in its downhill performance, too. I’ve been skiing in the Cochise ever since it was released back in 2011, and have used it for skiing hard inbounds, and on 4-5 hour-long tours. So how does the new Cochise measure up?

Fit

Each iteration of the Cochise has always provided me with a great fit right out of the box, but there are plenty of other skiers who can’t quite say the same — the Cochise series has been known for its boxier fit in the heel pocket and around the ankles (which is something that we’ve mentioned more than a few times over the years). But with the new Cochise, things have changed.

Brian Lindahl reviews the 2016-2017 Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro for Blister Gear Review.

Brian Lindahl in the Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro, Porters Ski Area, NZ.

The heel pocket of the Cochise, which could formerly be described as “High Volume,” is now on the other side of the spectrum — nearly low volume. The midfoot width has tightened up a bit as well, and the toebox gets a bit roomier. I’ve needed significant punching in the heel and a decent amount of punching in the midfoot to get the new Cochise to work with my feet, and to be clear, this is a good thing — you can’t do much with a boot shell that’s too large, but it’s pretty easy to create more space. I can safely say that a lot of people will be really pleased with the changes that have been made to the fit of the Cochise. If you’ve been disappointed in the past with the fit of the Cochise, you may want to give this new boot a shot.

Liner

The stock liner is quite sculpted through the ankle area, and it has an atypical psuedo-shell that can be punched and grinded. The liner itself is also quite thick and composed of a material that, when compressed, won’t pack out easily. When we were creating space in the boot for my heel, John Freely at The Custom Foot (Englewood, CO) tried to use a vice to compress the material. It didn’t work; the material would just spring back to its original thickness. So he then proceeded with major liner surgery to remove some foam. That’s pretty impressive. Overall, I’ve found the liner to be quite excellent, and I wouldn’t jump to replace it.

Range of Motion

While the forward range of motion of the Cochise has been excellent in every iteration of the boot, the rearward ROM has always been middle-of-the-pack. Without your foot in the boot, the upper cuff demonstrated great mobility. But once your leg is placed in the boot, the lower shell rises high enough to effectively reduce the rearward range of motion by quite a bit. As mentioned in our Tecnica Zero G Pro Guide review, trying to utilize the entire upper cuff’s range of motion will lever your leg off the lower shell and push your entire foot forward — either stopping when your instep or midfoot becomes trapped (my experience), or your toes are pushed into the front of the boot (reviewer Paul Forward’s experience).

Brian Lindahl reviews the Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro for Blister Gear Review

Cochise Walk Mode

In a resort / touring boot like the Cochise, reduced range-of-motion is pretty common, and whether or not this is a deal breaker depends on personal preference and the type of terrain you tend to tour in — in terrain that requires long stretches of flat or even downhill touring, rearward range of motion can be pretty useful. However, if your approaches are generally all uphill, then the limited rearward range of motion of the Cochise will be less of a problem, or no problem at all. I personally prefer a decent amount of ROM, but other reviewers (like Jonathan Ellsworth and Paul Forward) are fine with less. For me, the rearward ROM of the Cochise isn’t a total deal breaker, but that’s due in part to the fact that I have a different touring boot that I use on longer tours (Atomic Backland).

Tecnica touts the new 16/17 Cochise 130 Pro’s increased range of motion. The liner has been improved significantly by adding a flex zone in the rear, and the movement is a bit smoother. However, the rear of the lower shell has been extended quite a bit higher, so the levering action mentioned above starts a bit sooner than before. Still, the new Cochise is slightly better than the old Cochise and the old liner (without the flex zone).

And if you are really concerned about this, you can easily modify the shell of the new Cochise so that it operates like the old Cochise, if not better. (Tecnica claims a smoother movement.) Just cut the lower shell down so that it’s at the same height, all the way around. This is something that any bootfitter worth his or her salt can do in a matter of minutes. I personally won’t be modifying my pair since I’m more concerned about downhill performance in a boot like this, and I have a pair of more touring-oriented boots.

Downhill Performance

With the changes to the new Cochise, the downhill performance has improved quite a bit. If you’ve spent time with the old Cochise, you may have noticed that the new Cochise feels a bit softer in room temperatures. This is primarily due to a difference in plastics. The new plastic has different thermal properties.

Brian Lindahl reviews the 2016-2017 Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro for Blister Gear Review.

Brian Lindahl in the Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro, Porters Ski Area, NZ.

Thanks to weight loss in other areas (like eliminating the replaceable sole blocks), Tecnica has been able to return to a traditional alpine-boot plastic (polyurethane and polyether instead of Triax). What does this mean? While it may feel softer than previous years on the showroom floor, outside in colder temperatures, its familiar solid flex comes even closer to the performance of a full alpine boot. And this change is very much welcome. The new Cochise is not only smoother in flex, but also has improved rebound. Down in New Zealand I was able to get the boot into some challenging terrain and snow, and I appreciated the Cochise 130 Pro’s suspension and rebound at speed through crud. I’ve also appreciated the improved suspension in cut up powder and crud back in Colorado.

Although the new Cochise 130 Pro has an additional buckle in addition to a power strap, the fourth buckle is placed a bit lower than the powerstrap buckle on the old Cochise. The new Cochise engages a bit slower because I simply can’t get the velcro powerstrap as tight as you could on the old Cochise via the buckle. After playing around with the new powerstrap, I’ve found that I could get quicker engagement of the cuff by shifting the powerstrap up above the outermost plastic overlap so that it engages the liner more firmly. This makes the new Cochise feel like it has a taller cuff and improves its downhill performance.

All in all, I found the downhill performance of this boot to be nearly indistinguishable from a full alpine boot — excellent rebound and absorption, a nice stiff flex, a performance fit, a solid lock in ski mode, and a great liner that resists packing out but still cushions your foot and shin.

NEXT: Binding Compatibility, Buckles and Powerstrap, Etc.

28 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    Jamie December 4, 2016 Reply

    How does the fit, flex and downhill performance of this boot compare with the Salomon MTN Lab?

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl December 5, 2016 Reply

      Hi Jamie,

      I haven’t spent any ski time in the MTN Lab, so I can only speak to what I found in the shop.

      SHELL ONLY: Placing my molded Intuition ProTour liners in each boot – the Cochise is much narrower in the heel and slightly narrower in the midfoot. The toebox of the MTN Lab is a bit narrower. I needed a lot of punching in the heel, and some punching in the midfoot for the Cochise. The MTN Lab fit my heel and midfoot fine (might need very minor punching – would need to ski it to find out), but I’d need a little bit of punching for width in the toebox/sixth toe region. The instep of both boots are similar.

      If you use the stock liner from the Cochise, the instep is a bit lower, and the overall fit is narrower in general. The stock liner of the Cochise is much cushier and I would THINK that it would provide a much comfier ride inbounds than the MTN Lab in harsh conditions.

      Again, this is SHOP ONLY observations, but the Cochise offers more support in the rear of the boot than the MTN Lab. It also has a smoother AND stiffer flex. The MTN Lab feels like a touring boot still, a VERY good one, but a touring boot nonetheless. The Cochise feels like an alpine boot.

      If you said I could only own ONE boot, I’d probably go with the MTN Lab. If it was two boots? I’d keep my Atomic Backlands and the Cochise (though adding the Scarpa Freedom RS and Lange XT 130 Freetour as other options would be interesting). Again, from my experiences in shop testing only, I suspect that the Cochise would perform on the downhill at a much higher level, especially in harsher conditions.

      • Blister Member
        Jamie December 5, 2016 Reply

        That’s great Brian.

        Further to that, have you guys written anything about boot flex. I currently ski a 120 flex boot (Salomon Falcon Pro), but am pretty light (75kg) and don’t ski as hard as I used to (I’m 47). I still do more off the piste than on. Also, I will be touring, but currently do so on frame bindings and an alpine boot so any tech-compatible boot is going to be a massive relief.

        The question: is the Cochise 120 (or even 100) likely to be pretty similar to the 130, allowing for differences in flex?

        Finally, have you guys done a review of the K2 Pinnacle Pro?

        • Author
          Brian Lindahl December 5, 2016 Reply

          Based on my experiences with the older 120 (I haven’t tried the new 120), it would perform similarly to the 130. The flex would be a bit softer, and I don’t think it would be quite as smooth or alpine-feeling, but it would still be a very good boot. I’m not as familiar with the 100 in the Cochise series. I think if you’re looking for something a bit softer, based on my shop testing, the Lange Freetour series might give you that smoother feel in a softer flex – I haven’t skied it however. Also consider the QST Pro 130, as it also has a softer and more forgiving flex – there are some caveats however, which my review will discuss (look for it to be released soon).

        • Blister Member
          Sami December 31, 2016 Reply

          I bought the 120 recently, size 26,5. I haven´t tried out the 130 so I can only comment for 120, and how it compares fit-wise to other boots. I’m 49 and 70kg and don´t ski that hard either. I tried also Cochise 100 but that has a different liner, and the fit was not as good as in 120. I have a very narrow heel and ankle area, so Cochise 120 provided a really excellent fit, with no punching needed – the arch in the footbed is too high, though, so that I will need to get lowered. In the shop, I also tested Salomon QST 120, Lange XT 110 Freetour, and Dalbello Panterra 120. Fit-wise, Panterra was probably the second best for me, while Salomon and Lange were too wide (XT 110 is not available in LV version). I have yet to ski the boot more, but my early observation is that the boot provides a good level of support and precision, yet it is not overly stiff. Also, it feels relatively comfortable (at least when I get the arch area sorted out).

  2. Robert December 4, 2016 Reply

    Have you tried with a booster strap instead of the manufacturers power strap? I find a booster strap pulled tight on the liner skis better and is easier to loosen due to the cam system as you mentioned on the salomon boots…

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl December 5, 2016 Reply

      Hi Robert,

      I’m personally not a fan of booster straps, though I know plenty of people that are. Quite a few people I ski with use booster straps on their Cochises (older models). Booster straps have a bit of elasticity in them. I don’t like this elasticity. I generally want a more direct and immediate response from the boot and liner.

  3. Alexander December 5, 2016 Reply

    Did you find this to be a real 130 flex? I’m in a 120 flex boot right now, and it gets quite stiff in the cold. The Cochise 120 in the store seems to be waaaay too soft, and it has that springiness you mentioned. No one seems to stock the 130 around me, which is odd. If it really stiffens up in the cold, I guess that would be enough, but I was flexing the thing in half.

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl December 5, 2016 Reply

      “but I was flexing the thing in half.”

      I assume you meant in the shop? I think it’s extremely important for people to understand that shop flexing a boot really won’t tell you much unless you’ve been able to get the boot down to ski slope temperatures (use a fridge or leave them outside for a while, if it’s cold enough). Most boots are MUCH softer at 70 degrees than they would be on the ski slope. While one could compare two different boots in the same shop temperatures, this isn’t reliable either – different boots can use different plastics, which have different thermal properties. The thickness of the plastic will create thermal differences as well.

      I do think that the Cochise is at or near a real 130 flex. Its a solid boot. But, flex numbers can be all over the map, and its hard to say whether or not it will be stiffer than your current 120 flex boot (I don’t know what boot it is, nor have I probably skied it).

  4. Freddy December 5, 2016 Reply

    Very interesting read Brian! Thanks for this!

    I have started getting into backcountry skiing (nothing too fancy, mostly sidecountry or maybe 2-3 hour hikes) and have thus far toured with Guardian bindings and my Mach 1 130’s. Fun and all but a pretty heavy setup… Which got me into thinking of buying some better boots I can tour with.

    I will probably keep my Guardian’s for now since I spend 80% of my time in-bounds but was initially thinking of getting something like a MTN lab or Zero G Guide Pro for the touring stuff and keeping my Mach1’s for inbound.

    Reading this, it seems like the Cochise 130 could be the one-trick pony for me? (if it fits my feet of course =D)

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl December 8, 2016 Reply

      Hi Freddy,

      The Cochise 130 certainly could be a one-trick pony, especially if you augment it with a more touring-oriented liner. I often use an Intuition ProTour liner, which drops the weight down to a more manageable 1800g while also improving ROM and touring comfort by quite a bit. Swapping between the stock liner and the ProTour liner would be an option, but I’ve found that it skis quite well in this configuration, even inbounds. Just be aware that the liner is thinner and if you have a low volume foot, it may be a sloppier fit (my wider foot is fine, however). You’ll probably have to crank the cuff buckles more also – I had to move one of the ladders. The Cochise 120 with a ProTour liner would also be another option for even less weight.

      The other way to go would be as you suggested – keep the Mach1 for inbounds and a MTN Lab or ZeroG for touring.

      Finally, I could see some people being happy with skiing in only the MTN Lab or ZeroG for both resort and touring (using an MNC binding for resort).

      Personally, I like the Cochise option best – I like being able to take my everyday resort boot, which I know well and am comfortable with, into the backcountry for the more challenging skiing. It’s also nice being able to take only one boot when going on ski trips. If you’re happy with the MTN Lab or ZeroG in the resort, either of those could work as well (I haven’t skied either of them, but am skeptical).

      That said, the Cochise is a bit much for the really long tours (8+ hour days), so having a secondary very lightweight touring boot is really nice (Atomic Backland for me). The MTN Lab or ZeroG could work here as well, but the Atomic Backland skis ‘good enough’ for me and is even less weight and has even better ROM. You could easily substitute the Atomic Backland with any of the other lightweight boots like the Dyanfit TLT7, Scarpa F1, Fischer Traverse, or Arcteryx Procline, but I prefer the Atomic Backland the most, so far, mostly for fit reasons.

  5. Rod Georgiu December 6, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for the review.

    Resort,I ski a lange rx 130 in 102 width.
    Do you think the cochise can be pinched out enough to be as wide in the mid foot as the rx?

    Also, heard about rebound in a boot, what does it mean?

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl December 6, 2016 Reply

      Hi Rod,

      Yes, I do believe so. The Cochise can be punched quite a bit. By rebound, I mean the ‘return to neutral’ property of the plastic. When you flex into the boot and then relax, the boot will push your leg back into the neutral position. This is rebound. Its a spring-like property of the plastics.

  6. Robin December 9, 2016 Reply

    Really interested in the comparison with the QST Pro, when is the review gonna drop?

  7. Blister Member
    Jamie Forster December 9, 2016 Reply

    On another note, boot makers seem to be putting much better liners in their boots these days. Is that a fair comment?

  8. Hans December 11, 2016 Reply

    Hi,

    very interesting. I currently use K2 Pinnacle 130. How does the Tecnica 130 compares to that Boot? I am more downhill oriented. Thanks!

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl December 11, 2016 Reply

      Hey Hans,

      I haven’t had any time in the Pinnacle 130. I do know that its a LOT heavier – if what I’ve read is correct, it’s about 400 grams more per foot. From rumors I’ve heard, I believe it’s a bit softer than the older Cochise 130 and the walk mode isn’t as good, but again, those are rumors – I haven’t even tried one on.

  9. Blister Member
    Brett December 13, 2016 Reply

    Brian, thanks for the great review!

    One question: do you know if the new soles can be canted using a Cantology shim/cant wedge?

    I am a strong and aggressive skier (23 years old, 6’6 and 225lbs) but I’m constantly battling my poor knee alignment (internally rotated femurs and horridly flat feet…..the classic high Q-angle A-frame). Because of this, most boot fitters give me anywhere from a +2.5-3.5 degree cant adjustment on the insides, depending on the boot.

    I don’t like to be canted on the skin track, but it’s pretty vital to being able to engage my outside edge on the downhill. I use the CAST system, so I can tech-tour up, and ski alpine bindings down.

    Do you know if I could shim these boots using a cantology wedge (or similar) in order to replicate a boot fitter planing the soles? And if so, any idea if that might interfere with entry into a dynafit-style toe piece?

    Also if anyone in the peanut gallery has thoughts, please let me know as well!

    Brett

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl December 20, 2016 Reply

      Hi Brett,

      I don’t think I have a good answer for you on this subject. Probably best to ask your local bootfitter.

  10. Bob February 23, 2017 Reply

    Very informative review!
    Is the forward range of the QST a problem also if it is unbuckled?
    Sounds like the perfect boot for my feet (very wide fore/middle foot, low arc, but also low instep and normal ankle/heel). I would buy this boot if it was not for the touring issue you mention.

    Currently use the old quest max (working well after molding the forefoot), and I find the touring to be acceptable if fully unbuckled and unhinged.
    But I am worried the new endofit tongue would create problems also if unbuckled?

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl March 3, 2017 Reply

      Hi Bob,

      The QST 130 Pro review is still being worked on but should be released soon, so I’d prefer to hold off on making any comments on that boot until the review is live.

  11. PL Bouvier February 28, 2017 Reply

    Hi, thanks for the review !
    Those boots seems really good to me, but I skied for 3 years with Dalbello boots, now that I want to change them for tech inserts compatible boots, I dont know if I should continue to ski with Dalbello by taking the Lupo TI or try something new by taking those Tecnica Cochise 130 …
    Could you telle me if there’s a big difference of feeling or performance between Dalbello TI and Cochise 130 ?
    thanks (and sorry for the English level, I’m french)

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl March 1, 2017 Reply

      Hi PL,

      I haven’t skied the Dalbello TI before, nor have I done any in-shop comparisons. However, I do know that a lot of people are happy with it. I wish I had a better answer for you.

  12. Jeff C. March 23, 2017 Reply

    Are there any plans to review the Scarpa Freedom RS? I’d be very interested in hearing how that compares head to head with this boot. I own the RS but only have about a week in them. While I sized down in the shell from my previous Langes, it took a good amount of tweaking to get them to fit well. Love the way they ski now but those first couple days were a bit painful. This boot is popular enough that I think the comments from you guys would be appreciated. Don’t think I need more of a boot but it’d be interesting to hear what you folks find.

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl April 5, 2017 Reply

      Hi Jeff,

      Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do a head-to-head comparison with the Scarpa Freedom RS. However, I do believe we will have a review on this boot at some point in time. In the mean time, we do have a brief review of the boot in our Buyer’s Guide. And yes, it does occupy the same niche as the Cochise 130. Great downhill performance, great ROM, but heavy. Good for occasional shorter tours and inbounds alike.

  13. Milo April 28, 2017 Reply

    Tossed my Scrapa maestrale rs for the Cochise Pro and could not be happier. There was some punching needed in the toe box, (super wide feet) and the heels were the best fitting ever. Old Scarpas were great on the up but just didnt have enough cuff and were way to soft to drive the larger touring skis were using now day.
    Great powerful boot for frontside days and could drive anything hard in all conditions. I have just one small complaint and I got the same feed back from others that have this boot, there COLD! New plastic? I’m an old guy, been in lots of boots over the years and have not had issues staying warm since my old Hansens.

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl April 29, 2017 Reply

      Hi Milo,

      With my OLD Cochise in really cold temperatures, duct taping the overlap seam at the toe of the boot made it much warmer (and leak less) – when skiing fast, or on the lift, it felt like cold air would leak into the boot, which was reduced via with the duct tape. I know a lot of people do this with Lange boots for this very reason. Caveat being, we’ve had a pretty warm winter, so I haven’t been able to determine if the NEW Cochise is like the OLD one (it’s designed a bit different that area – has a bulge in front of the overlap seal, perhaps to assist for this very reason).

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