Expert Review: Tecnica Cochise 130 DYN Ski Boots · 2023Published on 05/12/2023 · 7 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2022.
All photos by Adam St. Ours
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2022.
The Technica Cochise 130 DYN Ski Boots are meant for aggressive, all-mountain skiers who want the ability to hike for turns and tour with a low-tech pin binding on occasion, but don’t want to compromise any downhill performance when they do so.
About the boots I own
- Model: 2023 Tecnica Cochise 130 DYN Ski Boots
- Size: 27.5
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 230lbs
- Street shoe size: 10.5
- Experience: 35+ years of skiing
- When I bought these: November 2022
- Days tested: 30+
- Skis: DPS Pagoda 94C2
- Bindings: Look Pivot 15 GW w/CAST Freetour Upgrade
- Where I’ve used it: Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Colorado
- Terrain: Groomers, Powder, Trees, Moguls, Alpine Mountaineering, Ice Climbing
How they perform
What I was looking for
I wanted the strongest, burliest boot available that had the ability to tour with Dynafit inserts. My previous boots were a touch too wide, so I was looking for an average last.
Why I chose this gear
Every review and trusted source described the Cochise as a no-compromise “50/50” (hybrid resort/backcountry) ski boot. My previous boots were Lange XT Free, and felt too wide after some use. I also considered the Fischer Ranger Pro 130 GW DYN.
What I love about them
- Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness: These are a legit 130-flex boot. Being a larger skier at 230lbs, I want a strong supportive boot, and these fit the bill perfectly. I’ve never felt them folding or buckling underneath me.
- Accuracy of Claimed Fit: Most boots with a claimed “average” last are 100mm, but the Cochises are a claimed 99mm. This was my biggest area of concern when buying the boots. My previous boots were a 102mm last, and after some use were too wide, which caused my foot to move around inside the boot. I knew I wanted to go narrower, but I also didn’t want to over-correct and get a boot that was too narrow. Ultimately, I thought the 99mm last would work well due to the liner naturally molding to my foot after some use. I think I was correct, because the fit and support at the end of the season is just as good as in the beginning.
- Comfort: Once my foot is in, the boots are snug around my foot like a glove, but not tight. They feel a lot more substantial and plush than any boot I’ve had in the past.
- Flex: The boots are easy to initiate turns, and the flex gets progressively stronger as I lean into them. They’re not jarring or over-corrective at slower speeds, which I appreciate, considering I do a lot of my skiing with my daughter who is just starting to get off green trails.
- Resort: This is where they shine, as in there is nothing in their performance that would make me wish for a resort-specific boot. In terms of downhill performance, they can certainly be described as “no compromises”.
- Backcountry: The Tecnica Cochise can go anywhere and do anything I’d want in the mountains. If I can deal with a little extra weight (and as I said, it’s less weight than previous versions), there are no limitations to where I can go or what I can do. I’ve skinned 16 miles in a day and ice climbed Huntington Ravine on Mt. Washington (NH) in them, and I’ve also skinned a closed resort for powder laps.
- Adjustability: One of the features that I absolutely love is the lace-up liner. I feel like it provides an extra level of support and lets me lock in my heel without needing to keep cranking down on the buckles. I feel so strongly about it, I bought an extra replacement liner with laces for my wife, who was having troubles with the fit of her boots.
- Walk mode: Tecnica updated the walk mechanism on the Cochise to a “T-Ride” lever. Flip the lever up to engage walk mode, and flip it back down to lock in for ski mode. They also have a dial to lock it in ski mode, and prevent it from releasing into walk mode. As someone who has had this happen in previous boots, as well as my son in a different brand, it’s a thoughtful feature that performs exactly as intended. As for the actual walk mode, Tecnica claims a 50-degree range of motion, and while I didn’t take out my protractor and measure, I see no reason why it’s not accurate. I never reached the end range in any hiking or climbing that I did.
- Grip: The Cochise 130 comes standard with Vibram-branded rubber GripWalk soles which are easy to walk with. They also feature a rubber strip along the instep, making them grippier on rocks, stairs, and any other feature where one steps in the middle of one’s foot.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Weight: While the Cochise is on the heavier side of comparable 50/50 hybrid ski boots, Tecnica did lighten them slightly from previous versions, so it’s not as drastic as when they first came out. All said, they’re about 10% lighter than Tecnica’s comparable resort-specific boot: the Mach1 130 MV.
- Ease of use: The boots can be some work to take on and off, specifically getting around the bend in the ankle. I think it’s due to the thickness of the liner that provides a high level of support while skiing. As long as I fully open the buckles and pull on the tongue, getting in is usually not a problem. Taking them off, however, usually results in the liner coming out to some degree. It’s not the worst thing, and certainly a small issue to deal with in exchange for superior performance on the downhill.
- Durability: I have some cosmetic scratches on the rubber soles from walking in gravel parking lots, and navigating around rocks while climbing in the alpine, but the function of the boots is just as good in May as they were in November. I’m excited to continue to wear them for many seasons to come.
Favorite moment with this gear
I had just got my boots, and Buffalo was hit with a historic lake-effect storm, so we drove out and skied three feet of powder with the place to ourselves since the resort wasn’t even open yet. I was nervous trying a new boot on such a committed excursion, but they performed brilliantly, and I didn’t have any blisters or hot spots despite six hours of hiking and skiing. A close second place would be climbing and skiing down Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. A full day of skinning, ice climbing, alpine trekking, and finally skiing, and no issues or foot pain whatsoever.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Cochise 130 is mostly similar to other comparable, high-end, 50/50 hybrid boots, such as the Atomic Hawx Prime XTD 130 and Salomon Shift Pro 130. They’re maybe on the higher side of the list, but not by any drastic amount. What I get for the price is the best possible downhill performance and some thoughtful performance features, such as the lacing liner and intuitive walk mode lever, that make them easy to use and high functioning.
Tecnica practically invented the 50/50 hybrid ski boot market when they released the Cochise over a decade ago. Since then, they’ve been constantly making upgrades and tweaks to the construction and features. The most recent version is a refined product that offers the best technology and performance one can get in a no-compromises boot. Whether one’s skiing hard in the resort, or earning one’s turns outside the boundary lines, the Cochise will be there to enjoy the way down.