Expert Review: K2 Recon 120 RWB Ski Boots · 2022
This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
These K2 Recon 120 RWB Boots are great performance-oriented resort ski boots in a great red, white, and blue colorway. These ultra-light boots are solely made for resort skiing and a medium volume (MV) width foot.
About the boots I own
- Model: 2021 K2 Recon 120
- Size: 26.5
- Height: 6’0’’
- Weight: 185lbs
- Street shoe size: 10 men’s
- Experience: 26 years skiing and 16 years ski racing
- When I bought these: November 2020
- Days tested: 15+
- Skis: 2020 Armada Tracer 98
- Bindings: 2020 Look SPX 12
- Where I’ve used it: PNW skiing (Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood, Alpental)
- Terrain: Powder, groomer, and mixed snow
How they perform
What I was looking for
K2 had just released their new Recon ski boot series, and I was very curious about what they had to offer for their new resort boot, as I had been skiing on the K2 Spyne series before that. I was looking for a 120 to 130 flex rating and a boot that would be comfortable.
Why I chose this gear
Not only did I love the colorway of these boots, but I loved the comfort and the fit. With ski boots, finding a liner that matches one’s foot profile well is tough without having to be cooked in an oven. These Recon boots fit well both in the shell and the liner. Granted, these are medium-volume boots, and my foot is used to low-volume boots, but with my custom footbed, these boots are great. They respond well when wanting to get forward and are great for all-day comfort. Having the ability to try on other boots at the ski shop, I also looked at a Technica Mach 1 120 MV and a Rossignol All Speed Pro.
What I love about them
- Accuracy of Claimed Fit: Very true to an MV fit. Having a 100mm last is true to construction. The medium volume is a little sloppy, but then again, I am used to a cockpit-style feel from a low-volume boot, but with some proper boot fitting, they snug up great.
- Comfort: With a little upgrade of a custom footbed and putting my stance together, these boots are great on the comfort level. Never once all day do I think I need to take them off.
- Weight: With the new PowerLite shell, these boots are almost half the weight of the old K2 Spyne boots. It is a fantastic feeling. The new PowerLite shell has a great balance of lightweight, agility, and power.
- Ease of use: As a boot fitter, it is really important to find a liner that is easy to get on and off, and these new K2 Recons are awesome. They have a PrecisionFit Pro designed liner that is pre-molded for comfort with heat-moldable foam. The padding on the tongue isn’t too aggressive but has the right amount of pressure all over. It has a great comfort design without compromising performance.
- Grip: The new K2 Recon series has GripWalk soles. They are removable and interchangeable with ISO 9523 Alpine. But these GripWalk boot soles are meant to add grip while walking out of the binding and added comfort when standing in boots.
- Durability: I am very pleasantly surprised to ski and walk around in these boots, and the durability is excellent. For having shed so much weight in their new plastics, it is great to see they didn’t scuff up too much, crack, or collapse when flexed aggressively.
- Versatility: This is a great boot for all-day riding at the resort. The boots are comfortable, a great boot with performance, and comfortable in all sorts of skiing styles.
- Heel Hold: The PrecisionFit Pro liners have a good snug heel cup fit right out of the box without having to bake them for a custom fit. Granted, the custom fit is what the ability to cook in the oven is for, but the heel cup is a good feel and an even better feel with a custom footbed.
- Responsiveness: When all the buckles are firm, the ski tongue is pulled up, the heel is pushed back in the boot, and all are comfortable, these K2 Recon 120s are very responsive to any skier's movement. From freeriding to hard carving, the Recon is there when I want that movement to be there.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness (what does the brand claim and how accurate is it?): As a ski racer and a ski boot tester, I have been in many pairs of ski boots over the years and have become accustomed to the feeling of most of the flex ratings put on a pair of ski boots. Having skied these K2 Recon 120s many runs, they felt a touch soft on the flex rating. Not quite as soft as a 110 rating, but not a true 120. Standing in a ski shop, straight up and down, and trying to move the boot, they flex like a 120, but when I ski on them and put pressure into the boot on the hill, they squash.
- Flex: Having skied all styles and flex ratings of boots, these seem a little soft for a 120 rating. I even tried K2s 140 flex model, and they felt like a true 130. Overall, a little softer than rated.
- Adjustability: Nowhere to adjust the flex. No bolt pattern to add or subtract a 10 rating of flex.
- Walk mode: A lack of walk mode is a bummer, as it only has a stiff spine up the back—no walk mode to get to the apres-ski.
Favorite moment with this gear
Trying these boots at the 2020 boot test, held at Silver Mountain in Idaho, was a great sigh of relief. I put them on; they were comfy and just fit like a glove. I slipped in my custom footbed, which was a match made. They performed well, transferred energy well, and fit well the entire test. These boots felt so good I ordered them.
Value for the money vs. other options
K2 is always the best-priced ski hard goods on the market. They are worth the money and don’t compromise any integrity of the boot for being less expensive than many European ski brands. Other options are Rossignol All Speed Pro, the Technica Mach 1 120 MV, and the Head Raptor 120. All are excellent boots, but one should try every option in their foot shape and size to find what is best for them. Everyone’s feet are different, so find the best fit and run with them. If one ever has trouble with new boots, always seek the help of a professional boot fitter. That's what they are there for.
The K2 Recon 120 boot is a great resort boot with a smooth and responsive 120 flex with a fully moldable shell and liner that is customizable to the skier. It has the backbone to keep up with some aggressive skiing but still forgiving to throw around in soft snow and tight spaces.