2014-2015 Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro

Paul Forward  reviews the Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro, Blister Gear Review
Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro

2014-2015 Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro

MSRP: $750

Stated Flex Rating: 130

Available Sizes: 22.0 – 31.0

Stated Last Width: 98mm

Size Tested: 27.5 / 320mm Boot Sole Length

Blister’s Measured Weight per Boot
(w/ stock liners, DIN soles, & Sidas custom footbeds):

  • Right Shell (1,626 g) & Liner (465 g): 2,091 grams
  • Left Shell (1,618 g) & Liner (465 g): 2,083 grams

Features:

  • Ski / Hike Modes
  • Interchangeable soles (DIN & tech); comes with DIN soles
  • Power Lock Buckle – 45mm Powerstrap
  • Liner: UltraFit Pro
  • Shell Material: Triax 2.0

Tested with:

Test Locations: Craigieburn, Broken River, Temple Basin, and Mt Cheeseman club fields of New Zealand

Days Tested: 14

The Cochise was first introduced for the 2011-2012 season with a 100mm last and a 120-flex rating. It immediately became popular among skiers looking for a boot that combined the downhill performance of a traditional alpine boot with an articulating cuff for hiking and touring.

In the two season’s since the Cochise’s debut, Tecnica’s Free Ride line has seen a few changes and tweaks. For the 2012-2013 season, Tecnica released a new, more aggressive version of the Cochise called the Cochise 130 Pro that featured a narrower, 98mm last and a stiffer 130 flex rating.

Two years later, for the 2014-2015 season, Tecnica is using a new lower shell and a new plastic on Cochise 130 Pro. In their words:

“The 130 comes back for 2014 with significant upgrades after two years of extensive athlete feedback. The all-new lower shell of the 98mm-lasted Cochise 130 features a more anatomical, defined heel pocket, lower internal volume and more toe room. The new lower shell also gives the Cuff Mobility system an incredible 8º more articulation. This makes climbing, boot packing and the stride while skinning even more efficient. A new plastic, Triax 2.0, is 10% lighter yet responsive, and is more durable than the previous versions.”

Fit & Sizing: 14/15 Cochise 130 Pro vs. 12/13 Cochise 130 Pro

According to Tecnica, the most significant changes to the Cochise 130 Pro involve its fit, and I suspect that there are people who’ve skied previous versions of the Cochise 130 who are wondering if the fit really is different. I’ll expand on that here, but as always, we strongly recommend that you go see the best boot fitter you can find to determine what boot fits you best.

I have owned both the Tecnica Bodacious and the first, 2012-2013 version of the Cochise 130 Pro. Both boots featured the same lower shell with a 98mm last.

I skied most of a season in the Bodacious in a size 26.5, which is a size smaller than the Cochise 130 Pro reviewed here. I could tolerate wearing the Bodacious all day, but only after a lot of working punching out the shell around my big toe, 5th metatarsal head, and 6th toe and while using an Intuition Low Volume Dreamliner. My shell fit allowed for 5-7 mm of space behind my heel, which was definitely a tight fit lengthwise, but the overall volume of the shell convinced me that a size 26.5 was the best choice for the Bodacious.

Paul Forward  reviews the Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro, Blister Gear Review
Paul Forward in the Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro, Temple Basin, NZ.

(For more information about the fit of a boot’s shell and how this relates to its performance, see Charlie Bradley’s Boot Fitting 101.)

Subsequently, I opted for a size 26.5 in the 2012-2013 Cochise 130 Pro. However, while I used the same Intuition liner and made the same modifications to its shell as I had to the Bodacious, I was barely comfortable skiing in the boot. And when using the walk mode for touring and hiking, flexing back even a few degrees with the cuff’s rearward travel caused my big toes to smash into the front of the boot. My achilles was also painfully gouged / pinched by the upper, rear portion of the lower shell. I sold the boots after one month of using them in South America, and my feet thanked me for it.

When it came time to review this latest, 2014-2015 version of the Cochise 130 Pro, which was said to have a lower volume fit overall, I went with a size 27.5.

When we arrived in New Zealand, we went straight to Gnomes Sports in Darfield and took the boots to Leith Rhodes, whom we’d worked with the year before. (Leith also happens to be one of the best bootfitters that our crew has worked with.)

Leith got familiar again with my feet, and since she was already familiar with the changes of the Cochise series, told me that I’d definitely chosen the correct size.

Together we concluded that Tecnica is accurate in their reports of changes to the new shell:

(a) the new Cochise 130 Pro’s heel pocket is more defined, which provided good heel hold for me even though I sized up this year.

(b) The boot’s instep feels lower, which reassured me that it would have been very challenging for me to wear a 26.5 comfortably.

(c) The front of the boot still created substantial fifth-metatarsal and 6th-toe pressure, and we ultimately decided that I still needed punches on both boots to accommodate for this. This was easily accomplished.

Because the instep of the Cochise 130 Pro feels a bit lower now than in previous versions, I usually leave the buckle over the instep relatively loose, but this doesn’t seem to detract from the overall fit or the boot’s performance. Overall, I am happy with the fit of the Cochise 130 Pro, and it was easier to dial in than with most other boots I’ve used. I do feel like there is more volume in the ankle of the boot than I need, and I don’t feel quite as locked in as I might like (more on this below).

Liner

As with every stock liner I’ve tried in the past 4 or 5 years, the Cochise 130 Pro’s stock liner crushed my relatively high instep, even after giving them a couple of days to break in. I probably could have persevered for a number of days in the boot in order to break in the stock liner, but I decided to get comfortable sooner than later and save some weight, so I had Leith cook a pair of Intuition Powerwrap Pro liners.

The new aftermarket liners, combined with the 27.5 size boot and Leith’s work on the shell, yielded the most comfortable fit in an alpine boot that I can remember.

More Fit Comparisons: Cochise 130 Pro vs. Dynafit Vulcan vs. Salomon X-Max 130

At home, with one foot in the Cochise Pro 130 I swapped between two other boots on the other foot: a Dynafit Vulcan in a size 27.5 with an Intuition Powerwrap liner and a 2014-2015 Salomon X Max 130, also in a size 27.5.

My heel doesn’t feel as locked in in the Cochise 130 Pro as it does in the Vulcan, so the Cochise feels closer to the Salomon X Max 130 in that respect.

The instep and overall volume of the Cochise is similar to the X Max, although the Cochise is a bit more comfortable and natural feeling overall, despite the fact that I’ve done very similar punches to the Salomon.

All three boots seem to have a little more volume than I need in the ankle, but the Intuition liners mitigate this well in each case.

The cuff of the Cochise Pro 130 has a lateral cant adjustment on one side only, and because of my relatively varus leg shape, Leith glued in some high-density, closed-cell foam on the medial aspect of my liner. This worked well, although I feel like I still could use a little more outward canting.

 

24 thoughts on “2014-2015 Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro

  1. Great review. Can you describe the forward flex a bit. Does the boot have a progressive forward flex or is it more like the Vulcan?

    • Hey Max, Thanks for the comments. The flex is much closer to a more traditional alpine boot like the Salomon X-Max 130 I was in last year than it is to the Vulcan. It is more progressive than the Vulcan with a deeper range. As an aside, in my experience the Vulcan does ramp up relatively quickly but I have found that it flexes deeper than most reviews I have read would suggest.

      • So, in your experience, do you think that companies like Tecnica have solved the problem of not being a “real” 120 or 130 flex when having a walk mode? Obviously, other boots in that flex class that don’t have walk modes have bolts through the rear. Is there something in the ski lock part of the ski/walk mechanism or some other design feature that accomplishes this? We are probably a similar size, and I like to lean forward. Sometimes I need a reminder, and I find a not too soft boot that is really leaned forward helps recover from backseat driving.

        • Thanks for reading and for your comments. The caveat to what I’m going to say and to this review is that I had not skied any other boot since early June when I tested the Cochise. I may revise my opinion when I can ski them back to back at the hill in direct comparison to other boots. The Cochise is enough boot for anything I do, including skiing fast with a heavy pack. The flex is progressive like other alpine boots. The X-Max 130 (14/15 version if it matters) is not among the stiffest of the “130” boots on the market, but I think the Cochise flex is just as progressive and smooth as the X-max. So yes, in my opinion, the walk mode on this boot (and the Salomon walk-mode boots I’ve used) effectively bolts the shells together so that the boot flexes very similarly to a comparable alpine boot. All of that said, 2 years ago I regularly skied both the Bodacious and the Cochise Pro 130 which shared the same lower shell and had the same purported flex of 130. While both were progressive in flex, the Bodacious did feel stiffer overall in forward flex.

  2. Paul,

    Thanks for your work and another great review. This is very helpful stuff. I am looking in this category of boot and I love the features on the Cochise, but I may need a wider last. Do you have any comments on its comparison to the Rossignol Alltrack 130 Pro?

    • Hy Ryan, Thank you for your comment. I have no experience with the Alltrack series. I would definitely check with your local boot-fitter before you rule out the Cochise or any other boot based solely on the stated last width. Depending on your foot, it may be a great boot for you with a some strategic punches.

  3. thanks for that review. maybe i am not understanding the key sentences right, because of not being a native english speaker.
    maybe you can help me out. i understood that the new cochise is lower volume overall.

    new cochise 130 vs old cochise 130:
    internal shell longer vs shorter ?
    instep is lower
    calf “volume” the same?

    the old cochise is the best boot i ever had, but it´s bit too big overall and too short in length for me.
    so i have two bontex to adjust volume but can barely fit my own liner in it (lengthwise).
    if the new boot would adress that i am on the border, getting a new one.

    • Thanks for your comment. Your best bet is to go see your local bootfitter and have him or her take a look at your feet and this boot. I’ll give you the best info I can but highly recommend you check in at your local shop.

      It does seem a little lower volume overall but the differences are more nuanced than that. The heal pocket seems al little more shaped and provides subtly better hold for my foot. The instep is a little lower in my experience. Lengthwise, I do not think there is a difference. The BSL is unchanged and. lengthwise, the shell fit is the same for me. The forefoot seems to have little more width at the 5th metatarsal but it was still not enough room for me so I had an additional punch there. Check with your bootfitter and let us know how it goes for you.

  4. Great review! Have you tested the K2 Pinnacle 130 and if so how do they compare? Will you do a review of that boot? I have tried the cochise in stores and it fit my foot really well, but I am a bit concerned about the stock liner. In your experience, is there a big difference in comfort and warmth between intuition liners and the cochise stock liners? The days you skied in the stock liners, did you have any other concerns than the lower volume in the instep?

    • I haven’t skied any of the 120 versions of the boot. This would be a great question for your bootfitter. Best case would be to size up both boots and see if you can tell the difference. Best of luck with your bootfitting!

  5. I was wondering what kind of boot you would recommend to someone who is looking to getting into sidecountry/backcountry skiing. I have Tyrolia Attack 16 bindings on my daily drivers and I was hoping to be able to have a boot that would still be compatible with those bindings as well as an AT binding. I consider my feet to be somewhat wide, so a wider boot would be nice. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks

    • I think the Cochise Pro would be a great choice for sidecountry with some pure skinning days mixed in. I was also impressed with the Salomon Quest Max BC120 and suspect the Salomon line-up is also worth a look. You might check out the BD Factor series as well. All of those will also allow you to use tech bindings if you choose. Try to get your foot in any of those boots and see what works best for you. Enjoy!

  6. I’m curious if the Intuition Power Wraps changed the flex of the boots. Did they stiffen them up? I’d like to use my old PowerWraps but don’t need a stiffer boot. Thanks!

    • The Powerwrap Pro liner did stiffen them up although it was not as dramatic of a difference as I’ve noticed when I added a wrap liner to some of the touring boots I’ve used. When I was in New Zealand on a relatively warm day I skied back to back runs with the stock liner and then the Powerwrap. While the difference in comfort for me was marked, the difference in flex was present but more subtle. I hope this helps. Best, Paul

  7. Paul,

    Any update to how you would compare the Cochise 130 to a standard Alpine boot (like the X Max 130) now that its later in the season and you have likely had more time in other boots? I am giving up on my Lange RS130’s Wide in 26.5. Have a size 27 foot with a high instep and regardless of the work done to them, my feet are ice cold and wet (work has just made them wetter and created more leak points). Boot fitter that put me in the Langes did me a disservice – although a great boot – not great for the type of foot I have. Have a choice between the Cochise 130 I can grab online or the X Max 130 here in a local store. Looking for something as responsive as possible for resort skiing (although I always do side country as well) but that wont leave my feet hurting for days.

    Thanks!

    • Hey TJ, Sorry for the delay. Over the past few weeks I have been skiing the X-Max 130’s inbounds at Alyeska and the Cochise Pro’s for heli-guiding. It’s not a perfect comparison because the skis and snow conditions are different but I have Powerwrap liners in both boots. The X-Max does feel a tiny bit stiffer fore-aft but the Cochise is easily enough boot for me. I think the 4th buckle in combination with the Booster strap I added to the X-Max accounts for part of the increased stiffness. The most noticeable difference for me is that the fit around the ankle (and to a lesser degree, the heel pocket) is looser in the Cochise. When in bouncy, hard snow the X-max gives me better edge hold laterally and feels a bit more solid. I hope this helps.

  8. Tecnica has made a great backcountry boot for a large volume foot into an inbounds boot(a precise liner) with little room for warmth for those who need room in the toebox.

  9. I had a similar experience with sloppy heels in the older Cochise Pro 120’s. Had heel wedges put in by the local shop. This took up the room in the heel and put me a little more on my toes. Perfect. I have been on those boots for the last three years, free-skiing and patrolling. No other fitting required, but I am probably going to need new liners this year. Best boot ever.

  10. I tried these a day ago on our annual winter sports fair, among 7-8 other high-flex low volume boots from every known manufacturer. And god, did they feel good, it was like 2 angels were holding my feet with their their blissful hands softer than the softest cashmere. Right out of the box!
    I have a low volume feet and barely any instep, and skinny calves. Size 28.
    But the thing Is, I ski 90% on paved slopes (SL, GS) so I’m not sure should I go for a freeride declared boot?

  11. Hey, good review. I’m shopping for bindings and would like to know if Cochise boots with the dynafit sole blocks work with Rossignol FKS bindings, or would I have to swap them out with the din ones? (I tour on dynafits)

    Might go for Jesters if that is the case.

  12. As always…Stellar review. I cannot tell you how often I come to Blister to help me make informed decisions about my gear. This is a random question, but do you recall what size Intuition Powerwrap Pro liner you put in to the 27.5 boot? Thanks so much for all your help!

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