The New Cochise 130 DYN vs. The Old Cochise 130 Pro
Tecnica revamped their Cochise line since our testing period, but they have assured us that not much has changed between these two boots. There are some graphics updates, and the power strap has been amended slightly, which you can see in the comparison photos below. The first photo shows the new version, followed by the version we tested on the right.
We link to the new version of the boot in this review, but until we can get out on the slopes in the Cochise 130 DYN, the text that follows only refers to the previous version.
Hands-On Review of the Cochise 130 Pro
In the resort or out of bounds, these boots absolutely rip.
The Cochise 130 Pro is designed to offer touring ability without sacrificing downhill capability. It is pretty tough to hit that sweet spot, as lighter weights and range of motion often come at the expense of skiing performance. Don't expect these boots to set any speed records on the skin track, but when it comes time to rip off the skins and ski your line, the Cochise boots will drive hard and fast. They require a strong and aggressive skier to keep them under control.
Tackling large faces in firm conditions at speed, we felt confident with the Cochise boots on our feet.
For most skiers looking into this crossover freeride boot, this model will handle virtually any condition they will encounter. Firm and variable conditions at speed did not seem to phase the Cochise. We found that this boot offered a somewhat more predictable forward flex than the similarly designed Scarpa Freedom RS 130.
These comfortable 99mm wide boots were snug but not too tight.
The Cochise 130 Pro are amongst the most comfortable boots we stepped into. They fit our medium volume feet quite well, offering a secure yet none restrictive feel with their 99mm last. The C.A.S. shell provides boot fitters the ability to custom fit in problem areas, and the plastic is an upgrade from previous generations of the Cochise line.
The included C.A.S. boot board is quite thick, and those with high arches may find themselves tight around the top of the foot, but the board is easily ground down to allow for more vertical space. These are a much more comfortable boot overall than the race-inspired Technica Mach1 boot and gives skiers more room than the narrow volume Atomic Hawx Ultra 130.
The Walk/Ski mode switch on the back is simple and durable.
As a freeride/adventure style ski boot, the Cochise 130 Pro employs a walk mode that allows skiers to gain range of motion for touring or hiking. The range of motion is described as 42 degrees, but we found that to be grossly exaggerated. The Scarpa Freedom RS has a claimed range of 25 degrees and has a much larger walking range.
We would not want to hike or tour long distances in this boot, but it is ok for short durations where high downhill performance is required. We liked the sole blocks that are compatible with alpine bindings as well as tech bindings, eliminating the need to purchase aftermarket soles like previous Cochise boots required.
Cold winter days riding the ski lifts did not cause us to have any warmth issues in these boots.
The C.A.S liner is made of thick microcell foam and offers decent warmth for cold days taking lifts. They are not so hot that our feet overheat in them on short hikes to access sidecountry terrain. The liner did appropriately wick moisture away from the foot when it was used in high output activities such as hiking. The roomy toe box and thicker liner material help to contribute to the warmth of the boot. The slightly wider toe box allows for enough wiggling to keep the digits warm on cold, sedentary chair rides and while waiting in lift lines. Similar to the Lange RX 120, the Cochise 120 liner comes prepared to accept an aftermarket boot heater.
The rubberized sole blocks will wear down faster if you hike on a lot of rock, but they are easily replaceable.
We did not experience any durability issues with the Cochise boots during our test period, and we have not heard of any people with major problems with their Tecnicas either. The plastic on the sole blocks seemed to hold up pretty well to rough travel over rocky terrain to access hidden stashes, and when they wear out, it is easy to replace them.
Due to its metal components and locking design, the walk mode is more durable than a block style plastic mechanism. The use of velcro as a top buckle system may be a long-term concern for the performance of the boot, but only more time with the boot will tell.
We chose these boots as the Top Pick for Skiing Sidecountry (lift-accessed backcountry) terrain. These are too heavy to be considered dedicated ski touring boots, and we would choose something more nimble for those trips. For hiking to secret snow stashes or for shorter distance touring, the Cochise 130 Pro is going to offer pure performance on the down.
These boots will take you all over the mountain, in and out of bounds.
These boots are an average price for ski boots but offer above-average performance. These are a great value, especially considering that their competition in this review, the Scarpa Freedom RS, retail for more and do not include DIN certified sole blocks.
If you are an aggressive skier who demands consistent downhill performance in a wide spectrum of snow conditions and wants to access out of bounds terrain, the Technica Cochise 130 Pro is one of the best boots you can find.