Since the Tecnus Comp of the early ‘80’s, Tecnica has created simple, powerful ski boots at the top end and a diverse offering throughout. Despite not having the name recognition of some other ski boot makers, Tecnica has maintained a high status at the elite levels of racing and continued bringing popular and successful ski boots to market.
They continue to do so.
More recently a trend has developed in “crossover” type Alpine/AT boots as more skiers venture off piste into front-‐ and side-‐country terrain that is accessible from lift serviced ski areas. Tecnica has jumped on this trend with a lineup of “Freemountain” boots named after PBR (no, not Pabst Blue Ribbon-‐Professional Bull Riders) bulls…go figure. I don’t know how this came about-‐it doesn’t matter-‐the boots work well.
Top of the heap is the Cochise 130 Pro. Tecnica has prioritized the downhill performance rather than hiking or touring. The Cochise 130 Pro exemplifies that commitment. The Cochise 130 Pro has all the features one would expect to find on AT/Touring boots; a hike/ski mechanism they term “Cuff Mobility System”, interchangeable soles-‐out of the box they have DIN soles (conventional configuration for alpine bindings) but soles for AT can be ordered, “Arch Grip” inserts…these are under the shell between the toe and heel lugs-‐essentially an additional mid-‐sole for hiking, and the top or fourth buckle is actually a burly 45mm Velcro strap attached to a conventional buckle that can be flipped open for hiking then closed for downhill.
But wait! There’s more! A small innovation on the Cochise 130 Pro that makes a large performance difference is the i-‐Rebound. Small only in terms of it not being a blatant gimmick affixed to the shell, the i-‐ Rebound is a metal interface between the Cuff Mobility System and the shell lower. It functionally enhances the response through the boots in downhill mode creating much more of a traditional alpine ski boot flex pattern.
The Cochise 130 Pro is 98mm at the forefoot. The toe box is roomy up and down as is the instep height.
The medial wall is pretty upright and the heel cup is well sculpted though not as aggressive as in the Inferno’s. It is a feat making boots that balance uphill with downhill-‐too tenacious a hold on the heels for hiking/touring can create problems; too loose a grip for downhill creates problems also. The Cochise 130 Pro has achieved a good equilibrium between the two disciplines. Indeed the Cochise 130 Pro’s skis really well, there is no compromise in skiability. And it is versatile. This boot could easily be a go-‐to boot for all terrain and all conditions and on any ski width.
The ROM at the ankles is well defined and there is no give at the rear spoiler.
Engaging the skis, holding and refining edges is no different than what one would expect from any well made high end ski boot. The Cochise 130 Pro is the Audi Allroad with a Cadillac ride.
To reiterate comments from earlier reviews; back country was virtually nonexistent last season so the hiking/touring aspect has not been experienced in any meaningful way.
The attributes of the 130 Pro can be applied to the Cochise 120. A bit softer and a bit wider @ 100mm, the Cochise 120 comes out of the box with “Tech” soles-‐ Dynafit compatible-‐and DIN soles and the same features as the 130 Pro; cuff alignment, shock absorbing zeppa, i-‐ Rebound, Arch Grip inserts and 3-‐buckle-‐45mm Velcro power strap w/integrated buckle.
The Cochise 120 has more internal volume than the 130 but the rear half of the shell still maintains the mid-‐foot and heel necessary to give it good performance traits.
The Cochise 130 Pro, Cochise 120, and the ladies Cochise 100 W are fairly lightweight which should serve to make hiking/touring a little easier and makes turn-‐to-‐turn a bit more effortless. The soles and shock absorbing zeppas tend to mute the feedback from underfoot but snow feel is still accurate.
The Cochise lineup is well thought out and well executed.
New last season was the Inferno, which includes the Inferno 130, Inferno 110, Inferno 90, Inferno Crush and Inferno Fling. All the Inferno ski boots are 98mm.
The Inferno 130 is a rock…the whole of the Inferno line is super solid. Replacing the Diablo Race Pro series, the Inferno has better balance for the present crop of skis; neutral stance, forward lean set up for contemporary skis and a good 98mm last.
There is a small technology story here; the Inferno 150 R (not on our shelves), Inferno 130 R (also not on our shelves) and Inferno 130 have a “Power Chassis”. The power strap on the 130 is a “Power Lock”-‐not Velcro. The strap can be cinched as tight as needed and will not release unless the skier does so. It acts as a fifth buckle and is one more way to augment performance.
The Power Chassis is a carbon steel frame that is integrated into the soles of the previously mentioned boots. It is there to minimize the torsion inherent in most if not all ski boots. Like the Nordica EDT, it is effective. Unlike the EDT of two seasons ago, the Power chassis is external and does not transfer cold to the feet. It is fixed through the replaceable toe and heel plates.
The whole of the series have very stout spoilers enhanced with a burly spine molded into the cuff plastic and an added alloy spoiler frame through which the upper strap is attached.
The Power Chassis is the tech story in the 130 flex, otherwise the Infernos are clean and simple.
The Inferno 130 is a formidable ski boot. Like any of the ski boots at this level the shells are very precise. The ankle flex is fairly restricted and, although with some progressiveness is rather abrupt. This is not a detriment; it’s a component of the precise nature of the boot.
The Inferno 130 is potent laterally…on any width ski, any terrain or snow.
As one goes down in flex from the Inferno 130 to the Inferno 110 there is plenty lateral strength and the ankle flex is a bit more open and less abrupt than the 130.
The liners are the same in both the 130 and 110. Typically one finds softer material in liners for softer flexing boots. With denser liner materials the longevity is enhanced and the boots will feel much more like the flex they were intended to be.
The Inferno Crush and Inferno Fling you might guess are the woman’s boots. The Crush is given a 100 flex, the Fling 90. The ratings throughout the Inferno line seem accurate.
Though the flex difference is minimal the Inferno Fling has a lower cuff thus there is a bit of a mechanical advantage so it will feel a bit softer.
Both the Inferno Crush and Inferno Fling have a really plush velvet fur lining…great put-‐of-‐the-‐box feel without detracting from the life of the liners.
We will also have the Inferno 90 in the mix. Typically we stock this as a kid’s race but the flex and proportions are well suited for small women up to 120 pounds. This is a simple no-‐bells, no-‐whistles ski boot with the bearing of the stiffer shells-‐no concessions in performance here.
There is no Power Frame in any of the Inferno models from the 110 down…making them a little less forgiving. All have replaceable toe and heel.
The boots that take the place of the Dragon is the Demon-‐the Demon 120 and Demon 100 L. They are 100mm shells.
The Demon is knocked off from the Inferno last and given a couple millimeters more width all ’round. This increases the internal volume somewhat but have no fear…the rear-‐foot retains tenacious heel hold and the mid-‐foot is structured with a well-‐fortified medial wall.
The instep has a bit more room than did the Dragon and the toe box has ample wiggle room.
The Dragon 120 features the Power Chassis, adding torsional stiffness to the shells, and the i-‐ Rebound, which makes the flex very positive and accurate. The Dragon 100 L does not have the Power Chassis but does include the i-‐Rebound. Both the Demon 120 and Demon 100 L have replaceable toe and heel. The ladies have lower rear spoilers and liners scalloped for the calf.
The i-‐Rebound actually has two discernable effects; metal-‐to-‐metal is a positive interface and creates a noticeably decisive interaction when the boot flexes and, because it is fixed through the spoiler reinforced by an aluminum frame, the support at the turn completion is terrific…you can really load the tails of the skis-‐good or bad depending on where you are when that happens!
The Demon 120 and 100 L presents no surprise on snow-‐it is a versatile all-‐mountain, all terrain ski boot. It is at home on anything from groomers to big days, carving skis to wide rocker boards. It is not as precise as the Infernos and it shouldn’t be…for all mountain skiing it is critical to adapt to different snow conditions and terrain variations…too precise a boot tends to buck the skier around a bit. There is enough exactitude in the Demon series to make it a very capable and creditable ski boot.
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