New Beef Boots from Tecnica

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Reporting from Outdoor Retailer trade show. One of the more interesting things I’ve seen in the past few days is Tecnica’s new line of tech compatible ski boots and ‘freeride’ skis.

Tecnica beef boots available at our favorite etailer.

While beef boots for touring are now somewhat of a yawner category (hot thing is again lightweight boots — the cycle never ends…), it is still interesting to see who will make a real alpine ski boot that doubles as a touring boot, rather than endlessly trying to convince hardcore riders that a touring boot can ski hard. (The latter makes for good blog fodder, but does get a bit repetitive.)

Now, for those of you who recall WildSnow history that’s so old it has to be translated from rock carvings, you’ll remember that Tecnica attempted to re-brand and slightly rework some Lowa AT boots a few years ago. I thought those were fairly nice and blogged about them, but I have to admit they were sleep inducing. After that, they went off my radar. But Tecnica wasn’t snuggling under the covers despite putting the rest of us to sleep with the Lowas. Instead, look what happened:

Tecnica backcountry skiing boots.

The new Tecnica boot line comprises a selection of pretty much full-on alpine boots they're calling 'Big Mountain,' and three models with walk/ski mode called 'Side Country.' The Big Mountain offerings are too alpine oriented to concern us here, but the 'Side Country' triad look super impressive. Beefy, nicely designed, and even some unique features. All have swap soles with tech fittings in the touring version. We will of course test the tech fittings at some point, Tecnica says they are making their own and they are super beefy. Click image to enlarge.

Tecnica Bushwacker model. Check out the hybrid buckle power strap.

Tecnica Bushwacker model. Check out the hybrid buckle power strap. Also, this model has what I think could be a very effective technology for hybrid (backcountry/alpine) ski boots. It's got an air bladder that surrounds your ankle area, which you can pump up for as much holding compression as you desire. Not a new idea (Nordica patented in early 1970s), but if implemented well could be truly nice. I'm already wondering if the system could be swapped to other boots. The bladder is removable for doing boot mods, but the pump is built-in to the upper cuff. I can't wait to experiment with these boots! Click image to enlarge.

Tecnica Cochise

Tecnica Cochise model sidecountry and backcountry beef boot. Click image to enlarge.

Tecnica backcountry skiing boots.

Check out the metal backbone on these guys. Stiff enough for you beef boot aficionados out there? Time will tell. Click image to enlarge.

Press release reprinted below, with slight editing:

Tecnica introduces new Free Mountain collection targeting the Big Mountain and Side Country skier.

WEST LEBANON, NH. (December 2010) – Tecnica introduces a new ski boot collection for the freeride skier with performance features and designs throughout. There are six models that will be introduced in the Free Mountain collection that are designed specifically for the skier who wants the excitement of skiing the outer limits.

The new collection addresses both Big Mountain and Side Country skiing with features to address the needs of both. The Big Mountain collection is built for gnarly terrain where performance is critical but the product is lightweight enough for some hike capability. There are two models that utilize a performance 98mm last – the Bodacious with a 130 flex and the Bonafide with a 110 flex. Both feature interchangeable soles so they can be either DIN or Tech Compatible. Injected in a lightweight, yet strong, Triax material, they also feature an Arch Grip Insert for gripping while walking on rough terrain. An I-Rebound flex management system and a shock absorbing zeppa complete the performance package.

The Side Country models offer more side country touring capability without sacrificing downhill performance. A new Cuff Mobility System allows a long range of motion for uphill mobility. An easy switch from hike to ski mode offers great versatility. A three-buckle system with a fourth Velcro Alu closure enhances the cuff mobility while still offering four buckle performance. There are three men’s models and one women’s in a 100mm last that also feature the Interchangeable Soles, the I-Rebound Flex Management System, the Arch Grip Insert and are injected in a lightweight triax material. Quick Instep enhances easy on and off while a shock absorbing zeppa completes the performance package.

The Side Country models offered are the Cochise, Bushwacker Air Shell (flex 110, , Crossfire (flex 100) and the Viva Crossfire for women (flex 100).

Located in West Lebanon, NH, Tecnica handles all sales and marketing efforts in the U.S. and collaborates on product development with the parent company Tecnica Spa located in Giavera del Montello, Italy. Tecnica began producing work and mountain boots in 1960, fast becoming a world leader in footwear design and development. It should be noted that Tecnica created the famed Moon Boot™ in 1970 and the first bi-injected plastic ski boot in 1973.

Tecnica beef boots available at our favorite etailer.

The skis:

WEST LEBANON, NH (January 2011) – Blizzard skis takes the freeride market by the horns with a 2011–12 collection that boasts innovation and marketing savvy. The Blizzard Free Mountain collection, with five new models, features Blizzards revolutionary Flipcore Technology.

Flipcore is a patent pending new technology developed by Blizzard at their factory in Mittersill, Austria where the core of the ski is flipped and built upside down in the mold. The result is a naturally reversed camber ski built in the mold, whose downward-facing convex side forms the natural rocker shape of the ski, without having to bend or artificially shape the ski in a press. This allows the rocker construction to reach a previously unknown level of stability and even pressure distribution. Flipcore Technology produces super stable, smooth handling skis that are extremely easy to use.

The Flipcore concept originated with our Tecnica/Blizzard engineers in collaboration with the late Arne Backstrom, who was a member of the Tec Blizz Freeride Team. The Bodacious, a ski built for big terrain, was Arne’s ski of choice and adorns his signature on the tail of the ski.

The Free Mountain collection is made up of five models. The line-up includes the Bodacious (118 mm), Cochise (108 mm), Bonafide (98 mm), Bushwacker (88 mm), and Black Pearl (88 mm)–the later being a women’s specific ski.

Blizzard Sport USA is the distributor of Blizzard Skis in the United States. The Blizzard factory is located in Mittersill, Austria. Blizzard Sport USA is under The Tecnica Group umbrella where Blizzard and Tecnica operate as a single business unit in the United States. Current Olympic Silver Medalist, Reinfried Herbst has many victories on Blizzard skis. For more information on Blizzard, please go to www.blizzardsportusa.com.

Comments

32 Responses to “New Beef Boots from Tecnica”

  1. Tom Gos January 24th, 2011 12:12 pm

    Any weights on the boots?

    Despite Lou’s frequent “yawns” at overlap “beef” boots, I for one am excited to see more and more offerings in this category. I think I’m like a lot of backcountry skiers – I spend about 25% of my time truly touring and 75% of my time skiing the resort (or sidecountry on my resort gear). I want touring boots that ski downhill as close to my resort boots as possible, but are lighter weight and have a walk mode. So I’m excited to see the product offerings getting ever closer to my ideal. And I’m really excited to see touring oriented boots with a “performance last”. I’ve got feet that are on the skinny side to begin with and the shoe box fit of most backcountry boots really compromises downhill ski performance for me.

  2. Tom Gos January 24th, 2011 12:55 pm

    Hey Lou, off topic a bit, but I really like your boot measurement chart and hope to see you add more shells to the table in the future. Do you have any thoughts on how the shell length of the Titan runs relative to the Zzero? I’m in a 28 Zzero and it appears that a 28 Titan/Zeus would be a little shorter in terms of footbed length (FL) which would suit me just fine. Thanks.

  3. Brian Hessling January 24th, 2011 4:47 pm

    Hey Tom, I liked the look of these boots too. I’m at that same place, where resort time is more likely than a true b.c. lap. I had been considering the Garmont Shaman but it looks like there may be something here…Brian

  4. Lou January 24th, 2011 4:56 pm

    Sorry about the yawns you guys, must have been jet lag (grin).

  5. MIke Marolt January 24th, 2011 5:12 pm

    I have been in this line for the past 5 years, all over the world on ski expeditions and they are amazing!! They walk, climb, and ski like you want them too. They have evolved into a perfect boot in my opinion.

  6. Tom Gos January 24th, 2011 5:57 pm

    Wow, pretty big statements from Mr. Marolt. Hey Lou, how about a guest review of these boots from Mike?

  7. MIke Marolt January 24th, 2011 6:02 pm

    It’s a big boot, ha.

  8. Tay January 24th, 2011 6:03 pm

    It’s good to see companies like Tecnica that have a solid reputation for alpine boots getting into the AT market with their own product. Especially if they use Dynafit inserts, unlike Salomon’s own tech fittings which had reported failures in the toe. http://www.wildsnow.com/2888/salomon-quest-tech-fittings-failure/

  9. Lou January 24th, 2011 6:34 pm

    Tay, I think ANY new aftermarket tech fitting in a boot is suspect. I plan on testing the Tecnica ones just as soon as I get a set of sole blocks. Until then, I would NOT buy these boots. There is NO DIN/ISO standard for tech fittings, so a company can put just about anything in there they want. I’m having faith that Tecnica either used ones from Dynafit or made beefy ones of their own, but we don’t know the answer yet. I wish I had an answer.

  10. Lou January 24th, 2011 6:37 pm

    Well, perhaps a review from Mike will be forthcoming. As for weight, if you’re concerned about the weight of a boot like this you’ve got the wrong view of the category. BUT, it’s understandable to want that information. Probably best just to wait till we have some production samples, but perhaps they’ll come up with some weight specs.

  11. Jesse Ballard January 24th, 2011 9:20 pm

    love the review. thanks for the insight!

    Jesse
    http://www.snowriot.com

  12. Mike Marolt January 24th, 2011 10:20 pm

    I am not the best guy to review anything because I hate shopping and am not even remotely a gear freak. So I tend to take what i can get, and make the best of it. ( If you don’t beleive me, look back in the Wildsnow archives and see how i was blasted for skiing on Naxo for years. They worked well enough, ha. (Actually worked incredibly well). But in the case of LOWA (same as Technica), they simply don’t make bad gear. Same holds true for their AT ski boots. For me, i got lucky. From the first step to the first turn, i honestly have loved this boot, all 4 pair i have used. I don’t know jack about Dynafit so can’t comment on their tech aspects, but for Frische, Marker, (or Naxo), they are super. I would bet the farm they did a good job on the dynafit compatiblity as well. I just don’t care enough about Dynafit to look into the system so it’s never been an issue.

  13. Eurob January 25th, 2011 4:24 am

    The hybrid buckle/strap thing looks useful for speeding up transitions. Fiddling with the velcro always takes time …

    Come to think of it maybe I should try to retrofit something like this onto my trusty Scarpa Lasers …

  14. Brian Hessling January 25th, 2011 8:59 am

    Hey Lou, speaking of after market boot fittings, did you see what Eric Hjorleifson did with his Titans (in this months Powder)?!

  15. Lou January 25th, 2011 10:12 am

    Brian, I heard about it. Cracks me up that Powder finally thinks boot mods are hip. We’ve bee covering them here for more than 10 years…

    BTW, the ultimate mod for a tech compatible beef boot is to just pick an alpine boot you like, grind the sole off, then bolt on the sole blocks from a Titan or other swap sole system with tech fittings. In a good shop a person could do this in just a few hours. Wish I needed it myself, would be fun to do. But I seem to ski just fine in half the boot these other guys need. Perhaps because I don’t do tricks for movies, or something like that (grin).

  16. brian hessling January 25th, 2011 10:24 am

    Lou, the Rossi boots my teenager skis in the park would make any b.c. skier cry “uncle” in ten (vertical) steps.

  17. Greg Louie January 25th, 2011 10:43 am

    Eric Hjorleifson nees those mods. Ever see him ski? And quite a testiment to the stoutness of the FT12 as well . . .

  18. Lou January 25th, 2011 10:55 am

    Greg, I agree on both points. Of course I’ve seen him ski, he’s really something. Louie turned me into a fan.

  19. Tom Gos January 25th, 2011 11:35 am

    One thing I caught in that Powder article was that he ground down the sole lugs so that the boot would fit into an alpine binding. I took this to mean that he wasn’t using tech bindings, which makes sense for cliff hucking stuff, but it seemed kind of funny that he stated that boots had to have tech fittings or something like that. Perhaps tech fittings on boots is becoming the latest fashion statement in the freeski crowd. Ha! I also thought it kind of interesting that he took an overlap boot and converted it to an external tounge.

  20. Lou January 25th, 2011 11:44 am

    Tom, from what I’ve seen and heard he uses all sorts of bindings. That’s common.

  21. Jason January 25th, 2011 3:43 pm

    Sick boots! I’d love a pair with the dynafit soles.

  22. Kyle January 25th, 2011 3:45 pm

    Yup Lou,

    i believe it was his most recent film segment filmed last year up hear at golden alpine holidays that he skied on the FT12s the whole trip. As it is an earn your turns fly in lodge they were at.

  23. brian p. harder January 26th, 2011 9:10 am

    Hey Lou,

    All this talk of cliff hucking, alpine…er…beef boots is fine and dandy (yawn), but what else is out there in the light weight department? I am curious if Black Diamond is entering the fray with either a speed touring kind of boot or even a race boot.

  24. Wes Morrison January 26th, 2011 12:23 pm

    The Tecnica air bladder has been very successful on this year’s Pheonix boots, but swapping them would be a true test of boot fitting skills. Any word on how the tech fittings on this years Agent BC and AT are holding up?

  25. Harry January 26th, 2011 4:42 pm

    From a sales standpoint the air bladder phoenix has been very successful for my shop. Just not more successful than the non air bladder models. The phoenix sells well because it is a wide generous fit aimed at 10 day a year resort skiers. It is made out of quality plastics with good hardware and looks appropriate for what it costs. I can’t recall a single time when I have had a phoenix on a persons foot and they did not like it, but when I inflated the air bladder they did. It does snug the boot up noticeably, but it doesn’t make you feel more secure or connected to the boot.

    At maximum inflation the forefoot can feel squeezed uncomfortably, but still move around in the boot quite a bit. The trick would be to take up the correct volume, then hold the volume static and increase the air pressure until it had little give to it and transfered energy efficiently.

    Oh, thats kinda what an intuition or injection mold liner does…

    The air shell is a great way to adjust volume on a recreation boot for a recreational customer at a low unit cost. I don’t think it is as useful on a performance oriented product.

    Of course i choose Air Jordans over Reebok pump sneakers when I was a tyke and had to make such choices. Its funny how consumers can make the same choice this year between the Tom Wallach Hot Dogger and the Technica Airshell boots!

  26. Jeff January 30th, 2011 3:10 pm

    Anyone know of good lightweight ski wall racks or snowboard wall racks? I don’t want to tear up my drywall with a heavy rack. The best I can find so far are at Pro Board Racks http://www.proboardracks.com. Sorry to be off topic but couldn’t find any relevant posts.

  27. Lou January 30th, 2011 5:37 pm

    Jeff, I don’t understand, if you’re hanging skis and snowboards, what’s the weight of the rack have to do with it?

  28. c.brown January 31st, 2011 2:13 pm

    Weights on the boots are as follows (all 310mm sole length)

    Cochise w/ stock Alpine Liner 4.9 lbs per boot
    Cochise w/ light Thermoform liner 4.2 lbs per boot
    -These liners will be available as an accessory, made specifically for this boot

    Bushwacker w/ stock Alpine Liner 4.11 lbs per boot

    Bodacious w/ stock Alpine liner 4.7 lbs per boot

    Just an FYI the 310mm is a 26.5. The internal dimensions should fit like a normal 26.5 but the external last is thicker around the toe and heel to make the interchangeable toe and heel system beefed up. Don’t be swayed by the mm measurements on a boot, they don’t always have a lot to do with the internal fit. Lou should have the tech inserts to test this week or early next week. They are not Dynafit sourced however they are 2.5 times the thickness and weight of the Dynafit ones and the two front screws that bolt the sole on (there are 4 screws plus a dovetail system that holds the toe on) go through the insert into a metal fitting in the boot. I have pics of the inserts next to a Dynafit if somebody wants to post them. I’m sure Lou will do a full review when he tests them.

  29. Dan February 20th, 2011 9:41 am

    As a downhiller wanting to tour for fresh snow, the explosion in alpine based AT boots with long travel cuffs is a good thing. Never had a Technica boot though expect they will fit well. Seems I have a few boot choices to try now.

  30. Mike March 5th, 2011 1:36 pm

    Lou,

    Do you have any links or other info on grinding down a downhill boot sole and bolting on tech fitting soles? I have some Reichle Comp Flexons that I would love to use with dynafits.

    thanks,

    Mike from Golden B.C.

  31. Dustin September 10th, 2011 9:22 am

    I have used a pair of BD Methods the last two seasons. The boots have been exstreamly cold! I’ve been told this was due to the cold radiating through the sole block mounting hardware and into my foot. Does the new Technica boots have the same issue?

  32. Roller November 15th, 2011 6:13 am

    Is the boot wider inside than the dynafit titan? I got some crappy feet, they only fit in scarpas so far. Never tried any tecnicas.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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