The Mach1 105 is evidence that Tecnica is one of the companies leading the charge away from the shrink it and pink it approach to women's specific design. The Mach1 is by far the burliest boot of the test. It's stiff, but the flex isn't as progressive as the Rossignols Pure Pro Heat or softer boots like the Nordica Speedmachine or Lange RX. Why does flex matter? It's like comparing a race car to an SUV. A stiff boot without a progressive flex loves to go fast like a race car, but it doesn't have the shock absorbing capabilities of an SUV to handle off-road conditions. If you want to ski all mountain, this matters. These boots require an aggressive skier who's okay with a rougher ride on chop. We are happy to report this former award winner had some stiff competition this year, which means that women's' specific ski boots are just getting better.
Tecnica Mach1 105 LV - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Customizable fit, loves carving
Cons: Wimpy power strap, too stiff in some conditions
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Mach1 rips, but gone are the days of high-performance boots being a struggle to step into. The Mach1 is plenty stiff, but we had no problem sliding our feet into the comfortable chassis of this beautiful little number.
The Mach1 lives for long, fast turns on blue runs. Torsionally quite stiff, this boot is in love with high speed, high edge angle turns. To our surprise, it did not outperform the review-winning Rossignol Pure Pro Heat. The Mach1 is slightly stiffer, but the flex has a very short range of motion compared to its Rossignol opponent. The Mach1 reacts as if it has an early stopping point, and doesn't give equal push back when flexed forward. This is great for skiing groomers like you're driving a race car but not ideal if you want to take the same ride off-road.
We found the Mach1 problematic when charging hard in variable snow conditions. Due to the boot's lack of progressive flex, it doesn't want to steer back under the body in between turns. We started to get bucked around off-piste when we picked up speed. If your ski style finds you often pushing snow away from the ski at the bottom of the turn, this boot likes that type of skiing and is plenty stiff enough. The Mach1 is fearless and fast, but hang on because if you push too hard on rough terrain, it could be a bumpy ride.
Comfort and Fit
Tecnica spent a lot of time and energy developing this comfortable, high-performance boot. Their solution to the hassles of getting in and out of a boot stiff enough for the best skiers around is a Quick Instep panel. This is a flexible piece of plastic located at the overlap to make sure that putting your ski boot on isn't as dreaded as going to the dentist. We also found the heel pocket very secure, and the forefoot felt surprisingly generous for a low volume boot.
The Mach1 features Custom Adaptive Shape (C.A.S.) technology throughout. That just means the liner and shell are made to allow as much customization as you need. Tecnica advertises that the plastic shell is thick enough for a boot fitter to shave or grind down any hot spots or problem areas you may encounter. This is more likely with this boot since it is a 98mm LV (low volume) boot. The fancy lambswool liner is totally heat-moldable. We also noticed the grippy bi-material sole on the heel and toe pieces. They minimize our nightmares of eating it in the parking lot before we even step into our skis.
There is no let down in the durability department either. Thick, durable plastic and replaceable toe and heel pieces are now an industry standard, and this high-caliber boot is no exception.
But, we don't love the measly 35mm power strap. It's installed in two parts, and the bolts that connect both straps to the boot are plastic. This seems much less durable than a regular synthetic woven nylon strap with only one bolt. We balk at the skinny power strap with this burly boot and recommend adding an aftermarket booster strap to this model.
As if they've thought of everything, Tecnica covered their liner in lambswool with Celliant micro-crystals. According to them, these are meant to "convert body heat into infrared radiation, which stimulates blood circulation thereby increasing warmth." (That's a direct tech quote from Tecnica. We don't know much about all that scientific jargon, but our feet did stay comfortable on more than one exceptionally cold day.
We also noted that on the cold days we had to buckle our buckles a little tighter as the plastic seemed to shrink or stiffen. On the warmer days, we had to change the buckle position and tension, so our feet didn't fall asleep and lose circulation. This is a cautionary tale — less circulation means less warmth in your feet. Your boots should fit snuggly, not like they're in a vice.
This boot is suited for anyone who prefers a stiff boot feeling and is okay with a less progressive flex. The Mach1 needs to be driven, so take the reins and take control because if you don't, it will. The woman who enjoys this boot skis the whole mountain. She's a take charge, take no prisoners kinda gal, and we would get her number for ski dates.
The Mach1 retails for $600. When you consider its features and overall performance the is cost reasonable, but it's not a bargain. The Nordica Speedmachine 105 is a much better value. But it's also much softer, so we'd recommend trying the 115 flex to compete with the more rigid Mach1.
We wouldn't drive a Ferrari off-road, and we sometimes felt that this is what was happening with our Mach1. You can go anywhere in this boot, but it prefers to tear apart groomers above all else. Sitting solidly in the advanced skier category, this boot is not to be underestimated.
— Meagan Jones