Downhill performance is a top priority for this alpine shoe, which also goes touring. There are also a number of new updates for material, last and shell.
Fact: high-performance skiers reaching the resort and the hinterland have at least two pairs of ski boots. Why? Because touring boots are not as stiff and stable as alpine ski boots and alpine boots do not go uphill.
Thanks to the newly designed Cochise from Tecnica – the first uncompromising downhill ski boot in which a skier can also tour – there is now the option of a seamless quiver with a shoe.
Tecnica Cochise boat
The Cochise has been an integral part of the Tecnica line since 2010, when Tecnica athlete Arne Backstrom retrofitted his 150 flex racing boots with technical inserts. Backstrom and his Franken-Stiefel inspired the engineers at Tecnica to develop the Cochise.
It was a good boot. And it’s going to be a great shoe for 2021-2022. Tecnica has taken the Cochise to a new level of performance and comfort and made the new version the best alpine ski boot that also has a tour mode.
The Cochise 2021-2022 features several innovations, including a new anatomically shaped, pre-shaped last that is more comfortable and reduces the weight of the boot by 10-15%. The 99mm wide last has a more precise fit than previous Cochise lasts and requires less material to manufacture.
The new Tecnica Cochise: performance and comfort
Next season’s Cochise is made from a high-quality, high-performance polyurethane shell with a thicker construction in the middle of the shoe for more lateral power transfer and increased edge grip. Inside, the supportive liner is preformed for out-of-the-box comfort, which also allows skiers to assess how the boot will fit before buying and shaping it.
Shoemakers and skiers will appreciate the work areas with nubs and perforations in both the shell and liner that make dialing in problem areas like ankle, sixth toe and bunion easier.
A note about these new cochises: They are built so that they can be customized. The liner, which is optional with laces, has an accordion structure on the Achilles for easier hiking, a removable stiffener on the upper side of the calf and a carbon fiber band in the cuff for even more power transmission. And the sharp edge where the base and upper of the previous cochise liner met is gone. Boot technicians are happy!
These boots were made for walkin ‘
Even given the shell updates, it might be the redesigned walk mode that made the biggest difference in how the new Cochise boot worked and how it skis. Enter the new T-Ride walking mechanism.
The T-Ride creates a solid connection between the cuff and the shell, which in walk mode still has a range of motion of 50 degrees. The cuff and shell feel like a solid piece and are locked when skiing. The mechanism is fully integrated into the trunk, and not a piece of chunky metal protrudes from the back of the trunk.
Tecnica said its longer lever arm gives the trunk more strength and stability, as well as a faster edge-to-edge transition.
Ski-to-walk mode: twist to lock
As with most ski / walk modes, pull the lever to switch the boot from skiing to walking. What is unique about this ski / walking lever is a rotary knob on the back of the closed lever. Lock the button and prevent the shoe from jumping out of ski mode at an inconvenient and potentially dangerous moment. Locking the lever also removes any potential slack in the trunk.
The catch (pun intended) of the ski / walk mode lock is that you may need the included small plastic key (or pliers) to turn the lock button so it is fully engaged. I could twist it with my bare fingers – gloves made it harder – in my office. But it was much more difficult up on a slope with the shoe on. The button is small and difficult to grip.
So I make sure my Leatherman is always with me. (Yes, I should have slipped the plastic key on a neck cord when I got the boots, but I already misplaced it.)
Any inconsistency in changing ski / walk mode paid off as I showed my skis downhill. Skiing in this shoe was a really different experience in backcountry carving than in any hybrid shoe I’ve tested or owned. Downhill performance was in a different class than Tecnica’s Zero G Tour Scout, my much lighter touring boots.
But the Cochise is not a shoe for uphill speed. While the cuff didn’t twist back all the way to a few other boots, I didn’t feel constrained even when riding up a steep stretch.
But at 4 pounds 3 ounces in 26.5, the Cochise isn’t excusingly heavy. Tecnicas 120-Flex Mach1 MVMy standard downhill shoe weighs only 3 ounces more. The boots felt very similar on the descent, although the Cochise has a slightly stiffer flex.
Even more updates: new cuff, women’s model and more
Other functional updates to the new Cochise include a redesigned cuff hinge point at the ankle that allows for smooth hiking and an easy-to-use Power Lock strap that keeps the cuff stiff and transitions quickly.
More good news: Tecnica is making the Cochise in a 120 Flex Pro model for women. Only a few women’s ski boots are available over 110-Flex. A women’s 120 flex Tecnica boot is particularly good news because I’ve found the Tecnica flex is stiffer than the flex of many other brands.
The men’s Cochise will be available in the same flexes as previously offered: 130, 120 and 110. The women’s collection will now be available in 85, 95, 105 and 120. This means that this boot is available in more flex for women than for men. that may be another first.
The Cochise has a GripWalk sole and technical fittings so that it is compatible with most alpine, frame and technical bindings.
Tecnica Cochise Specs
- Latest: 99 mm
- Freedom of movement: 50 degrees
- To bend: Available in 130, 120, 110
- Bowl: CAS polyurethane with Quick Instep
- Cuff: Polypropylene plastic, carbon co-injected spine
- Liner: High-performance CAS, floating tongue with CAS instep, light fiberglass collar, shoelaces
- Spoiler: Velcro fastener
- Powerstrap: 45mm strap with power lock
- Mobility cuff: T-Ride with locking screw
- Buckles: 4th
- Cuff buckles: Expandable hiking catch
- Soles: GripWalk, Vibram, Low Tech inserts, rubber bow handle
Tecnica Cochise: Conclusion
Tecnica positions this shoe for high-performance skiers who want to easily access hiking trails, walk on the property or in the village or cover short distances.
I skinned full days in this shoe on technical terrain where I wanted downhill performance. While there was a weight penalty, I’ll wear this shoe to ski when downhill performance is a priority.
I also plan to travel with it when I go on a trip with lift and backcountry terrain on the menu.
Learn more at Blizzard-Tecnica
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