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2011-2012 Tecnica Cochise alpine touring boot

Boots: 2011/2012 Tecnica Cochise, size 27.5, 100mm last (manufacturer’s stated width).

Skier: 6’2”, 210lbs, athletic, technically proficient, fast and fluid skier.

Foot: size 10.5 / 11 street shoe, C+ width (105mm width, static/weighted), high instep, low volume ankle and lower calf.

My regular ski boots: Nordica Jah Love, 98mm last, 130 flex, with no grinding or punches.

Conditions tested: Backcountry powder, sun effect, wind effect, inbounds soft, chalk, firm. Basically everything.

Duration of test: 3 days.

The Tecnica Cochise is a new AT boot on the market that has generated quite a bit of buzz. Here’s what I found:

The Fit: Out of the box, the Cochise is quite a bit more roomy than a like-lasted alpine boot. It feels more like a 101-102mm width in my opinion.

It also has the worst stock liner I have ever tried on. This thing deserves to go straight into the garbage can and should be replaced immediately with an aftermarket liner, or a liner from just about any other high end boot.

The stock liner is made of a very low density foam that will probably hold up for about fifteen days for the average skier before significant pack-out occurs. The exterior material will not bond to boot fitting foam, and there is very poor padding on the tongue of the liner. The tongue also lacks adequate stiffening material, causing the boot to ski softer that it should with a proper liner.

The rubber sole material of the liner is also made of a very soft, low density foam.  It showed significant wear after just three days of skiing. Finally, there is no anatomical adjustment for the heel pocket, calcaneous bone, or Achilles tendon, the liner is just a single thickness throughout, which contributes to significant heel lift.

After trying the boot on with a few different liner and foot bed configurations, I was quite disappointed with the boot, and kept referring to it as “the bucket.”

[First editor’s note: This must have been about the time that Marshal sent me the text message: “Cochise review – not going to be positive.” But you’re going to want to keep reading….]

The last might only be 101-102mm, but the boot is quite tall. I decided to keep adding Bontex boot fitting shims until I could at least FIND the top of the shell with my foot….So, two thick and one thin layer of bontex later – and with the shell mated to a pair of intuition liners formed to and pulled from my Nordica Alpine boots – it was like BANG. This thing fits. Wow. Really nice.

The Finishing Details: While doing all the playing with liners, footbeds, and the like, I was constantly buckling, unbuckling, and micro-adjusting the boot buckles. Hopefully the buckles on my pair are just pre-production stand-ins, but the range of micro-adjustment and the overall mechanics of the buckles were rather disappointing. The buckles micro-adjustments did not turn exceptionally well, and their shape didn’t sync with or mate to the ladders very neatly.  However, once everything was dialed in, there were no further frustrations.

The Stiffness: The boot itself felt fairly soft until I buckled it up super tight. I also found myself needing to really crank the power strap down, far tighter than I normally would. But once done, the boot feels like a legitimate 120 flex alpine boot in the cold. (With the boots moderately buckled, they feel more in line with a 95-100 flex boot.)

The power strap functions differently on this boot compared to others, and once I got used to it and how it worked, I really came to like the design. It allows you to get the highest portion of the shell’s cuff very tight – and with even pressure – across the shin.  If Tecnica had used a buckle here instead of a power strap, the shell would deform at the same level of tightness and cause cramping in the leg. Overall, quite a nice design.

 

NEXT: TOURING

36 Comments

  1. Nate Blaser April 13, 2011 Reply

    Keep in Mind that this boot’s father was a World Cup Race Boot. And you’re not going to find a stiff three buckled boot like that. You’ll notice that a lot of the big name Big Mountain skiers ski in a 150 flex Race boot that comes out of the Race pool.

  2. Justin April 15, 2011 Reply

    So is that 1790 grams the Cochise with the Intuition liner?

  3. Author
    marshal April 19, 2011 Reply

    correct.

  4. Aaron Mathes April 22, 2011 Reply

    Finally, someone my height & weight dispensing technical info on AT gear. Broke 2 pair of BD Factors before returning to my trusty Nordica Speedmachine 130. I look forward to trying these babies. Tell me about your experience with the dynafit set up driving your weight, big skis and big lines. Any noticeable torsional flex, or releases on impact?
    Thanks again.

  5. Author
    marshal April 25, 2011 Reply

    to be honest, i do not trust the ft12 to hold me in off anything bigger than 10-15feet or over 40mph. you might check my review of the plum guide at binding, which in my opinion does solve these issues.

  6. Maurice November 14, 2011 Reply

    Hi Marshall!

    Have you had a chance yet to compare Cochise to the new Dynafit Titan Ultralight?

    Maurice

  7. tc December 13, 2011 Reply

    hi marshal- wondering if you know or have any experience with the tecnica agent bc? I read that the agent weighed 3200g, but that seemed a bit heavy? thanks man. Nice site. freakofsnow

  8. Author
    marshal Olson December 13, 2011 Reply

    hey man, all i know is that the agent bc was a re-branded lowa x-alp… you might be able to find a review of that. i have never tried them, sorry.

  9. Stefan January 23, 2012 Reply

    what’s the BSL of the 27.5??

  10. Author
    marshal Olson January 24, 2012 Reply

    320mm

  11. Aaron January 27, 2012 Reply

    Good review. I am thinking of picking up the cochise, but just read a bit on the 2012-2013 line up (cochise pro and cochise light)…and now am unsure if I should buy now or wait to check out the new models. The Pro in a 130 flex looks quite good if you can get the 98mm last to work…and the light also looks good as well, if you can get over the top cuff being a non-integrated buckle (some sacrifice in downhill performance I would suspect…although they claim a 120 flex).

    What are your thoughts on the changes? Pull the trigger now on the cochise?

  12. Author
    marshal Olson January 29, 2012 Reply

    the light for 2012 is basically the same boot as the standard cochise that is available now, just with a thinner, lighter liner stock, a little rubber off the bottom (easy to do yourself), lighter wire buckles, and a normal strap. if that appeals to you, wait. if you are a do-it-yourselfer, i would pop on the current cochise, and do a few mods to it.

  13. John B February 6, 2012 Reply

    Hi,

    The liner you dislike so intensly, is it the regular or the Light one ?

    Just bought the boot, but havent done any skiing yet.

    John

  14. Author
    marshal Olson February 6, 2012 Reply

    the comments above are on a pre-production liner. the current liner for sale today is mildly, but not hugely improved. the :light: liner for next year is very thin, i am unsure how well it will take up volume, or ski, since i have not tried it. i am now in the 2012/13 liner, which is very very nice. hopefully that is more clear…?

  15. John B February 7, 2012 Reply

    Thank you very much for taking the time to enlighten me on the liner issues. I originally got the Cochise DYN Light, but got the dealer to swap out the liner withe “original” but i guess eventually a good aftermarket liner is due.

    John

  16. Aaron February 8, 2012 Reply

    I finally got my hands on this years cochise…and as fate would have it, I am between sizes. I am a 1 to 1.5 finger fit in the 27.5, and a 2 to 2.5 finger fit in the 28.5. The 27.5 feels really good stock, and the 28.5 only feels good with an intuition liner to help take up room. I wear 11.5 street shoe.

    I like a performance fit even with an AT boot, but do have a bone spur on both back heals that I need to make sure doesn’t get worse.

    Do I stick with a 27.5 or size up???

  17. Author
    marshal Olson February 8, 2012 Reply

    greetings, we can’t exactly fit your boots over the internet, but 1-1.5cm shell fit is right where i am looking to be at least, and where i typically fit people, 2-2.5 is well… 1 size too big.

  18. Dmitry February 12, 2012 Reply

    Hi Marshal,

    WE are going to alpine 7 days ski-touring in Alps (Shamonix Zermatt Houte route). Quite a number of days: how do you think Cochise may behave? Thinkng to buy these boots although hesitating about the weight. Another question did you try Dalbello Virus Tour – can you compare with Tecnica cochise?
    Thanks

  19. Wookie1974 February 16, 2012 Reply

    Hey – right on about these boots. Liner is weak. The rest is pretty ok.

    One gripe: I feel as if the ramp angle and forward lean are too small. (meaning – I’m standing straight up in these things.) I think that may be to allow for a more natural motion when touring, but it sucks on the down. BTW – I don’t entirely agree about the range of motion in these boots when touring. I think they are pretty hot when compared to alpine boots – but crappy when compared to a true AT boot. I’m willing to accept that – as this is a “sidecountry” boot and buiilt for hard charging, heavy gear – but its not an excellent uphill boot by any means. The ideal user: Ski coach. Skis some, stands around lots yelling at kids in spandex.
    Anyway – back to the ramp angle and forward lean: Anybody done any mods to the shell to get these things forward? I’m worried about stacking a bunch of foam under the heel of my footbed because eventually, that will affect range of motion when touring. I’m trying to avoid having to put a riser-plate under my heel-piece!

  20. Author
    marshal Olson February 16, 2012 Reply

    hey wookie, not sure what, specifically, you mean by ramp angle (which is in the binding), but if you mean forward lean (aka cuff angle), you can’t really change the way the walk mode behaves, but you can do several things to get more forward.

    I added a thick spoiler to the cuff. You can just screw the spoiler into the shell, and in my case, this added about 3 degrees more forward lean.

    if you want to open your ankle angle, but get more forward in the boot, you can add a heel wedge / lift, as well.

    • Wookie February 16, 2012 Reply

      Thanks Marshal. I didn’t know that ramp angle only referred to the angle IN the binding. I thought it referred to the angle of the foot wrt the ground in general.
      Do you think that adding a large wedge under the heel will poorly affect the range of motion in the ankle while climbing?

  21. cbrown February 17, 2012 Reply

    Wookie

    The ramp angle and forward lean in the boot are exactly the same as all the high performance boots from Tecnica (Inferno and Demon). The trend in ski boots these days is to make them more upright for a more natural stance while skiing, especially in variable conditions and off groomed. The new Lange RS and RX series of boots are actually even more upright with less ramp angle than the Tecnica offerings (inferno, demon, cochise) and people love the way they ski. However the more upright stance isn’t for everyone. Adding ramp to the boot board by putting foam under the heel will actually make you sit back more. Marshal’s comment about adding a spoiler to the back of the boot will help to push you more forward and add a little bit of effective forward lean to the ski boot is the way to go. Bummed you think the range of motion is poor. Yeah it’s not as good as a Maestrale, TLT, but most people feel that it has the same if not slightly more than a Titan, ZZeus, Factor and it’s two to three times as much as the Quest, Tracker, new Lange XT, etc.

    • Wookie February 18, 2012 Reply

      Thanks for the tip!
      If you got the impression I didn’t like the range of motion, I should clarify. I like the boot very well. It’s a better fit than any other touring boot I’ve had….and I’ve tried a lot! The range of motion is good enough, but a traditional touring boot with a laced liner and a tongue on it can move a lot more….but they do that on the way down too! Overall, this is the best of the new side country oriented boots I have tested this year.
      I have a three year old tecnica boot for my alpine…..it’s a liite more forward…..
      Its true that I like a more aggressive forwar stance than many….so my experiences may not be typical.

      I also have a feeling that the mounting points on skis are moving further back as well. This may also have something to do with my feeling of not being able to get enough pressure on the tips during turn initiation…..especially on fat powder skis.

      Thanks to everyone! I’ve set up an appointment with my boot fitter. It helps to be able to express my difficulties and discuss options.

  22. Author
    marshal Olson February 17, 2012 Reply

    wookie, trying a spoiler and heel wedge are both pretty easy. just duct tape them in, try it for a day, and see if you like it. i would strongly suggest using a proper heel wedge that is tapered though. it feels funny with a home made version. i would for sure start with a spoiler over the heel wedge, since the heel wedge will open your ankle angle, rather than close it, and push you in the backseat more, as cbrown indicated. you can put numerous spoilers in, or padding or whatever in, you are only limited by the amount of closure on the front of the cuff, really.

  23. rob February 22, 2012 Reply

    hi marshal,

    sorry if this is a stupid question but would these boots fit my twin tip Salomon suspect ski without additional sole purchase? would like to get into more off piste/ powder and like these boots (especially the current cost) just unsure on the sole fitting? they advertise a technical sole as standard!

    also i have a relatively wide foot and was interested in your comment regarding the last width?

    cheers

    Rob

  24. Wookie1974 February 27, 2012 Reply

    Just thought I’d give an update, as it pertains to my perception of the boot’s fit and performance.

    I spent another week touring in these, and was expirimenting the whole time with spoilers, and wedges – but what I eventually did was a bit of a surprize to me: I mounted my bindings MUCH further forward, and left the boot as is. I’m much happier now, and the perception I had of not being able to get forward enough in the boot is gone.
    I got the idea that the skis could be my issue after looking at photos of my skiing. I was well forward, in an aggressive position, and still about half my ski was sticking out of the pow – in every photo!
    I’ve never mounted forward of the line (or back of it for that matter), but I remounted 3 cm forward and the difference was immediate, and just what I wanted.
    I was talking to a friend who told me afterwards that a 3 cm forward mount is a big change. I didn’t know that when I did it, but I’m glad I did.
    The ski is one of the new Völkl Nanataqs. I feel that for me, the standard mounting position is a mistake. I can imagine it is for many people.
    As for the boot – the issues I had are gone. Fits great – tours well for heavy gear, and skis like an alpine boot on the down.

    Great boot. Will still get a new liner though and see how that affects it. I’d love to have a lace-up liner for hut nights.

  25. Jon UK May 31, 2012 Reply

    Hi Marshall
    I’m after some sizing advice re the Cochise which would be my first tech/AT boot so I can dual mount my Llasa Pow’s with inserts for alpine & Dynafit bindings. My current alpine boot, which I’m very pleased with, are Atomic M-Tech 110’s in 26 mondo with a 10/11mm shell gap fitted with a Zipfit Grand Prix liner on top of 2.5 degree canting strips. Only mods are that I’ve had a bit of additional toe box height added & the back of the cuff flared out for a large calf & to give a slightly more upright stance.
    Finding AT boots in the UK to try is difficult so any recommendations re Cochise sizing, or any other boot suggestion, would be gratefully appreciated. Also how about using a Zipfit liner in an AT (I’m not too concerned about the weight)?
    Thanks
    Jon

  26. Author
    marshal Olson June 1, 2012 Reply

    greetings jon! a few things -the cochise will be a rather similar, thought *slightly* large last, and volume, with similar stiffness to what you are in. i would suggest trying on both a 25 cochise and a 26. the cochise is going to be slightly longer in the same size that the atomic boot. you may or may not need to down-size. i would suggest 47 degrees in london if you are in the UK. great shop and awesome selection. hopefully that helps, but without your foot, your old boot, and a few boots here in person, it is sort of the best i can do.

    re: zipfit, you will find the zip fit will restrict the walk mode articulation a bit. and its obviously heavy, and slightly more *cold* than, say an intuition, but they certainly ski well. it is easy of course to try the cochise on with your old zip fit to see how it feels.

    cheers!

  27. Cal September 22, 2012 Reply

    Hi Marshal,

    Thanks for your review and all the time and care you guys take in passing on invaluable info. I’m about to the pull the trigger on a pair of 2011-12 Tecnica Cochise 120’s in size 29. I went and tried on a pair at a local retailer and they felt fantastic, snug in general, but not overly much, though I almost certainly have to widen the forefoot on at least one side. I also definitely need to add some L pads to lock down the ankle a bit more (I may move to an Intuition liner at some point, but budget demands one thing at a time). Anyhow, the guy present did not really help me overly much in terms of assessing the size. I could fit about a finger and half, maybe two fingers in behind my heel with the liner out. I usually wear an 11-11.5 shoe, measure in at 29 on the dot on the boot scale, and so size 29 according to Tecnica’s size chart seems right. However, I notice you and Aaron (a poster above) both have very similar size feet according to your street shoe size but are using a smaller boot. As luck would have it, I have stumbled upon a great deal available for a short time on a pair of 29’s (off the Net) and want to hop on it right away. Any thoughts on this fit? How hard is it to tighten up the fit if the lining packs out more than expected? Thanks for your help. (I may try to get back by the retail store, but may not have time before this deal expires)

  28. Author
    Marshal September 23, 2012 Reply

    Hey Cal,

    I would suggest at the minimum trying the 28 on as well. bring a sharpie with you. that is about 1cm. if you can fit a sharpie behind you, you’re good. if you can’t, its probably too small. if you could fit 2 sharpies behind the heel, its too big.

    I don’t know if you have seen my 2012 cochise pro light review, but I go into sizing a good bit more. I am a 278mm foot length, and will be skiing a 26.5 boot this season, FWIW.

    cheers!

  29. ben November 14, 2012 Reply

    Marshall,

    Thanks for an excellent review.

    Does the cochise pro 130 ski as stiff as the scarpa mobe? I found the titans to be quite a bit less stiff, but have great interest in the technica boot as technica generally fits my feet well.

    Thanks,

    Ben

    • Author
      marshal November 15, 2012 Reply

      hey ben,

      stiffness is a funny thing. fore-aft the mobe is a little stiffer than the titan. laterally the titan is a little more precise. small amounts either way.

      the cochise 120 boots are a little stiffer fore-aft than either the titan or mobe. the 130 is notably stiffer. the big point is that neither the titan or mobe hold a candle to the cochise boots laterally. the cochise boots ski much more like an alpine boot, significantly more laterally stiff.

      hope that helps?

      • ben November 16, 2012 Reply

        Thanks Marshall. That is exactly what I was wondering.

        b

  30. Tamas October 15, 2013 Reply

    Marshal. Very useful, brilliant review. Convinced me enough to go for the Cochise 120. I just need to decide which one. As I understand 2011-2012 liner is crap, The 2012-2013 liner is much better, and I have no info on the 2013-2014 liner.
    Question #1: How can I recognise which liner is the 2012-2013? Is it the one with brown top or the one with black top at the back of the calf? The shops here are telling me different things.
    Question #2: Should I instead go for the 2013-2014? Have you tried these?
    Many thanks for your feedback once again..
    T

    • Author
      Marshal October 15, 2013 Reply

      greetings,

      the first season liner was brownish around the cuff. last seasons and this seasons are the same and black, i believe.

      cheers!

  31. Late to the Party November 23, 2014 Reply

    I have a pair of these boots with “tech soles” which came standard for 11-12..should I be worried about swapping out for DIN soles? Seems like the rubber underfoot might affect toe release, but I can’t really find any opinions out there…

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