Boot: 2012-2013 Tecnica Cochise Pro Light
Flex Rating: 120
Stated Last: 100mm
Weight: 1,493 grams (shell) + 195 grams (liner)
Boot Sole Length: 310mm at 26.5
Skier: 6’2”, 205 lbs., athletic, technically proficient, fast and fluid skier.
Foot: size 10.5/11 street shoe (278mm actual length); C+ width (105mm width, weighted); high instep; low-volume heel, ankle, and lower calf.
My regular ski boots: 27.5 Head Raptor RD 130 (95mm last) with several punches for width in the instep and metatarsal heads.
Conditions tested: Backcountry powder, sun affect, wind affect, in-bounds soft, chalk, firm. Basically everything.
INTRO: MY ONGOING QUEST FOR THE PERFECT BOOT
The following is really a labor of love, and outlines my desire to search out the best dual-purpose inbound/backcountry crossover boot. I know that this is possible, but every offering out there seems to just miss the mark.
My personal requirements are:
• Compatible with both tech and alpine bindings
• Rigid spine—alpine boot flex and power
• Precise anatomical shape with exceptional heel hold
• Functional walk mode
• Replaceable soles (I hike on lots of rocks, burn through my soles every season, and would rather replace the soles than the whole boot.)
• Reasonable weight to skin for 5+ hours in a day, ideally around 1,800 grams
Before I get too far out into left field with this review (and I’ll tell you now, I’m heading out to boot liner left field), I would like to directly compare the new Tecnica Cochise Pro Light to its relative that I reviewed a year and a half ago, the Tecnica Cochise 120. I’ll also compare it to some of the Cochise Pro Light’s competition, the new Dynafit Vulcan and Scarpa Maestrale RS (which will see their own articles shortly). And if you haven’t read my First Look on the Cochise Pro Light, you may want to read that first for more information on its design and fit.
Features: Cochise Pro Light vs. Cochise 120
• The Cochise Pro Light is, in essence, a stripped-down Cochise 120. There are a few small differences that were mostly implemented to save weight. The shell of the Pro Light is about 150 grams lighter than the shell of the Cochise 120, and the Pro Light liner is about 150 grams lighter than the Cochise 120’s. (Advantage: Pro Light)
• The Pro Light has a single-density lower, as opposed to the Cochise 120’s dual-density shell. The 120‘s lower uses a more malleable plastic on the instep of the boot, supposedly to make sliding it on easier. I found the Cochise Pro Light to slide on totally fine, and felt the Pro Light flexed a little truer to its claimed 120 flex. (Advantage: Pro Light)
• The Pro Light features stripped down wire-bail buckles that save a little weight. Both buckles systems work totally fine. No downside in skiing performance in either direction. (Advantage: Pro Light, for the weight savings)
• The Pro Light forgoes the fancy buckling power-strap arrangement in favor of a standard power strap. I actually added the power strap buckle of the Cochise 120 onto the Pro Light to stiffen the flex slightly. (Advantage: Cochise 120)
• The Cochise Pro Light comes with a lightweight, heat moldable, Palau liner as opposed to the stock, alpine-style liner of the Cochise 120. I can say that the new 120 liner for 12/13 is a marked improvement over the 2011 liner. The Pro Light Liner is very nice, but is a little thin and low volume for my personal needs. But it will work well for many skiers. More on this later. (Advantage: It’s a push—depends on which one works best with your foot and the fit you’re going for.)
• The Pro Light saves weight by removing the pad under the instep. I’m okay with that, though I could imagine plenty of sled skiers wishing it were there. The pad itself is about 40 grams in weight. (Advantage: Cochise 120, or push. It really depends on your needs. It’s easy to remove the pad from a Cochise 120 should you wish, but it’s more difficult to add it to a Pro Light….)
Buying Recommendations: Cochise 120 or Cochise Pro Light?
If I already owned an 11/12 Cochise 120, I would not rush out and buy the Cochise Pro Light just for the lighter shell and liner. And if I was in a shop choosing between the two boots, I would probably buy based on what liner worked best for me. However, if I didn’t plan to use a stock liner for either the Cochise 120 or the Cochise Pro Light, I would spring for the Pro Light 100% of the time.
NEXT: COCHISE PRO LIGHT VS. DYNAFIT VULCAN AND SCARPA MAESTRALE RS