Tecnica Cochise Pro Light 2012/13 Ski Boots – First Look

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 2, 2012      
Tecnica Cochise Pro Light, overall beautiful construction with plenty of beef.

Tecnica Cochise Pro Light, overall beautiful construction with plenty of beef.

Tecnica Cochise Pro Light available at our favorite etailer.

Take an alpine boot and make it tour. After testing Tecnica’s freshman Cochise backcountry skiing boot last winter, then getting a first look at this season’s version, I can say yes, they did that. In this case, mass is reduced by pairing the shell with a simple but nicely constructed Palau liner, along with a slightly lighter buckle configuration and a few other things left out of the mix (such as the mostly decorative plastic spoiler on the regular Cochise). As usual, we’ll be testing a limited quiver of boots this winter, and these most certainly will be in there. Check out a first look.

(Note that Cochise is also sold in the “Cochise Pro 130” version with a 98mm last ,(i.e, plug version of the 100mm Cochise/Dragon). This boot has a stiffer liner and alpine soles with no tech fittings. For an overview of the full Tecnica freeride-backcountry line, click here.)

Cochise sole block for backcountry skiing.

Per last season, Cochise sole block is attached via T-nut backed fasteners, as well as slipping on to shaped sole fittings. We've seen other boots this beefy, but nothing better. Movement is minimal, but there.

T-nuts inside the Cochise Tecnica backcountry skiing boot.

T-nuts. Not exactly rocket science, they simply work.

The usual tech fittings for Dynafit and other types of tech bindings.

The usual tech fittings for Dynafit and other types of tech bindings. I bench tested these and they appear to be nicely designed (sometimes we've run across ones that are sticky or don't even release.) Note how use of the older style fitting allows plenty of sole materal. Fitting location is marked on top of binding shelf with small icons (these could be larger and more obvious).

Tech fitting in heel of Cochise ski mountaineering freeride boot.

Tech fitting in heel of Cochise ski mountaineering freeride boot. We removed these last season and discovered they're quite beefy. Nonetheless, seeing these in a boot this big makes one long for tech 2.0.

Cochise Tecnica boot board for boot fitting and comfortable ski mountaineering.

Rare in a touring capable boot, Tecnica's last includes room for a boot board -- wonderful for tuning fit and performance.

Overlap ski boot for alpinism and touring includes interesting buckle.

Overlap cuff ski boots can be difficult to enter and exit; having a buckle that hinges does help when you need to open up the flaps.

Cochise Pro Light continues the Tecnica buckle configuration for this line of boots.

Cochise Pro Light continues the interesting cuff buckle configuration consisting of a beefy power strap and one larger buckle. In many cases, two buckles _and_ a power strap can be a bit much so we like the simplicity of this rig. Cuff is plenty tall, around the same in rear as most other touring boots, but much higher on sides. In our experience, higher cuff can feel much stiffer, but also offer less comfort in touring mode. Cuff alignment rivet is present, good, but the opposite side rivet is now permanent instead of removable. That's good for reliability but a bummer for boot fitting and mods, as easily removing the cuff makes life much better if you need to hack on your boots.

Cuff in downhill mode has classic lean angle. Walk-ski latch is solid with no perceptible play.

Cuff in downhill mode has classic lean angle. Walk-ski latch is solid with no perceptible play.

Rear cuff angle in tour mode is essentially vertical. A few more degrees rearward would be nice.

Rear cuff angle in tour mode is essentially vertical. A few more degrees rearward would be nice.

Cochise Pro Light liner is made by well known Palau company, orange area is a flex zone that adds quite a bit of comfort over a stiffer liner.

Cochise Pro Light liner is made by well known Palau company, orange area is a flex zone that adds quite a bit of comfort over a stiffer liner.

Cochise add-on kit includes rear spoilers and duck-bills to add some space and stiffness to tongue.  All these stick on with hook-loop fastening, quite nice.

Cochise add-on kit includes rear spoilers and duck-bills to add some space and stiffness to tongue. All these stick on with hook-loop fastening. Quite nice, especially with the minimal Palau liner.

Tongue duck-bill stuck on with hook-loop adds liner beef and takes up space.

Tongue duck-bill stuck on with hook-loop adds liner beef and takes up space.

There you have it. Looking for an attractive side-country option or a touring boot with beef?

Available at our favorite etailer.

100 mm last
Size evaluated 28.5, BSL 330
Total weight of one boot, 63.2 oz, 1788 gr
Shell weight 56.5 oz, 1602 gr
(See our weight chart for comparo)


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30 Responses to “Tecnica Cochise Pro Light 2012/13 Ski Boots – First Look”

  1. Dan October 2nd, 2012 11:18 am

    Lou, I have a petite size female ski partner with tiny feet. She has always had a hard time finding/forcing boots to fit. Do you happen to know the size range of the Technica, tech compatible boots for woman? I was not able to find this info on line.


  2. Lou Dawson October 2nd, 2012 11:21 am

    Absolutely! I just got that info yesterday. By using a toe cap, the Tecnica last fits down to size 22. Pretty sure that shell size is a 23… What size are you looking for?

  3. Dan October 2nd, 2012 12:13 pm

    Lou, Thanks for the quick response. I believe she is a 20 or 21 and has been trying the various, obvious tricks for filling the empty space for years. She has worked with a boot-fitter, but I have no idea about his/her boot-fitting skills. I sometimes wonder just how she keeps from tipping over with those tiny feet of hers.

  4. Lou Dawson October 2nd, 2012 12:15 pm

    Dan, yeah, a person can usually run at least a size over normal with correct fitting. I’ve done it many times myself. If I find out more I’ll make a comment. Anyone else have any info about smaller boots?

  5. Tom Gos October 2nd, 2012 2:09 pm

    Lou, looking forward to seeing the full review of these in the future. As an primarily alpine skier (I still spend most of my days at the resort) I’m always looking for AT boots that come closest to matching the performance of my alpine boots. This Tecnica is quite light for a beefy boot too. If you have a weigth on the Pro 130 it would be interesting to compare.

  6. Lou Dawson October 2nd, 2012 2:32 pm

    From Tecnica:

    Here are the internal lengths and widths of the Cochise/Demon shells. In the 98mm last (Cochise Pro 130 and Bodacious) we did not develop below a size 25.0, but will for 13/14.

    For 12/13 the 100mm lasted Cochise/Demons go down to a size 22.0, but the smallest shell is a 23.5 and the smaller sizes are achieved by liner, footbed thickness, and toe cap, or combination of the 3.

  7. Lou Dawson October 2nd, 2012 2:36 pm

    Tom, I’m not sure we’ll go over to evaluating the Pro 130, it’s a bit out of gamut for our focus here at WildSnow, but I’ll think about it. Would be fun to at least do a first-look with weight and such.

  8. Tom Gos October 2nd, 2012 5:07 pm

    Lou, FWIW, I hope you also consider looking at the Pro 130 if only because it is one of the few (only?) truly narrow lasted AT boot shells. For those of us who are skinier of foot the trend toward 102+ mm AT boots has been disapointing. I suspect, and would like to confirm, that the Pro 130 shell is not all that much heavier than the Pro Light shell, and that much of the weight difference is in the liner. Of course that is easily solved with an Intuition swap. Thanks.

  9. Frank K October 2nd, 2012 6:08 pm

    Tom, while you would drop the weight of the Pro 130 should you put an intuition in it, it still would not be nearly as light as the Pro light. The Pro 130 is both stiffer and narrower due to simply using more material- so the shell is definitely heavier. The other difference is in the buckles, which would probably be another easy mod to make if you were trying to get the weight of the pro 130 closer to the pro light, though the light would still be, well, lighter. For the record, I too was waiting in vain for an AT boot that skied like an alpine boot and IMO Tecnica knocked it out of the park with the Cochise, which I was on most of last year. I think you’ll be happy.

  10. Lou Dawson October 2nd, 2012 6:11 pm

    Thanks Frank! Yeah Tom, the Pro 130 is said to be somewhat of a “plug” boot with thicker plastic that gives it the 98 mm last instead of 100. Right Frank?

  11. Tim October 2nd, 2012 6:48 pm

    a friend of mine with tiny feet struggled to find tiny AT boots too, but now she’s in love with the older model black diamond shivas (yellow ones). i *think they are size 22 shells, the smallest ones she could find on the market at the time, but the new ones only go down to size 23, according to the bd site. the same friend also has “junior”-sized alpine boots… maybe lou knows of some “junior” options for AT boots?

    in the male gear dept., i really liked the technica cochise boots too (last year’s model). i would get a little bit of a “flex bulge” going on about the ankles, but it skis solid. it felt a bit “flat-footed” or clunky to me for walking around in, but it struck me as the ski patrol boot of the future. and the high cuff coupled with ingenious powerstrap buckle dealio is such genius that i’m surprised i’ve not seen other brands lifting it. this new boot looks good too and i’ll be curious to hear what people think.

  12. Frank K October 2nd, 2012 7:27 pm

    Yes, my understanding is thicker plastic resulting in a narrower last and more stiffness in the 130.

  13. rangerjake October 2nd, 2012 8:18 pm

    Great first look Lou. I share a lot of the same thoughts.

    Forgive this, but for those looking for a “on-snow” review of this boot from last season…


  14. Stella October 3rd, 2012 3:26 am

    Lou; I have always had trouble getting boots to fit, similarly because -similar to Dan’s friend- I have been gifted with size 21 feet. It’s nice to know that there are blogs out there advising skiiers with the same issue.
    I plan on booking a chalet in Verbier in the near future and will be exploring the options of different boots on your recommendation.

  15. Cathie Calgary October 3rd, 2012 7:41 am

    These look perfect. Thank you for the details and the photos. My boots always hurt around the lower shin. I wonder if these would.

  16. Rolf October 3rd, 2012 9:34 am

    In Europe I have seen quite a number of Conchises with problems with the Tech inserts. After some use they start moving in the socket and ultimately they’ll come loose. So Wildsnow: while testing these don’t overdo it!

  17. Wes Morrison October 3rd, 2012 12:51 pm

    The 22 that is really a 23 is a joke. If you put a toe cap in front of your foot you most likely just pulled the widest part of the foot back into a narrow part of the boot. Of course, that midsole mark does not mean much either, and that heel pocket in the shell is probably way to big, along with the whole shaft of the boot. There is a reason why boot fitters shell size, and real shops won’t even carry a 22 that is really a 23. If they are not going to make a true 22, they should just stop at 23, because they are just misleading people by pretending to do so.

    Anybody have advice on a Dynafit compatible boot for my wife who skis a Lange RS SC110 in a 266mm 22 shell, with just minimal 6th toe grinds in a generous 97 last? Has to have the same low ramp and fwd lean of the RS. She has been suffering in 270mm sole Megaride with plenty of lifts under the forefoot.

  18. Peter Gallant October 3rd, 2012 4:23 pm

    I skied the Cochise last winter in Verbier. My foot is a C to D width, with narrow ankle and high instep. The boot crushed my instep, but was far too great a volume everywhere else. It had a rather abrupt flex, sloppy at first, then hitting a wall. The boot didn’t walk very well. They were used with Dynafit bindings. I ended the season touring on my Nordica Dobermans with Alpine Trekkers and alpine bindings. The boots were so bad, I gave them back to the ski shop because they weren’t worth carrying back to the states. Desperately searching for a boot that skis and walks well, but these do both poorly.

  19. Stella October 4th, 2012 3:19 am

    In my experience ill fitting boots are a common problem. I have a friend whose heels were rubbed raw after an hour flat because her boots were so terrible to walk in. They were a highly recommended brand as well.
    Stella, Dynamic Lives

  20. Mike Marolt October 4th, 2012 7:01 pm

    My brother and Jim file and I had this boot on illimani a few months ago. They hike and climb on rock and scree like nothing we have been in. They climb on snow and ice with ease and comfort. They ski like a race boot. This peak was a major test with just under 9000 feet of climbing to over 21,150 feet and even after 16 hours of rugged use these boots were still comfortable. Positively the best AT boot we have ever been in. Tecnica put a lot into this line and they have created an unbelievable product.

  21. See October 4th, 2012 8:31 pm

    Peter Gallant, I’m puzzled by your comment.

    As I see it, within a given category of boot (touring, freeride, alpine, etc.), the basic requirements are proper shell length, width, and volume (instep and ankle). I don’t understand why you set out on what (for me) would be a major adventure with boots that didn’t fit.

    I guess what I’m saying is that, in my opinion, boots are the single most difficult piece of gear to get right. Skis, clothes, bindings, etc., I can probably make do with what is locally available. But I take my boots in my carry on bag.

  22. Bernard October 4th, 2012 9:06 pm

    Rolf. Tecnica has updated the tech soles to prevent the problem you’re describing. I have a pair of the newer soles and the tech inserts appear to be a little deeper than on my old ones. If anyone has a problem with the soles they should be able to just contact Tecnica and get a pair of the newer ones. Also, my understanding is that this years models have the newer tech fittings.

  23. rangerjake October 5th, 2012 7:43 pm

    This seasons boots have non-Dynafit produced tech fittings (not “quick step”). The company line on the issues with the fittings last season was that they got specs from Dynafit on how to build the fittings. The specs allowed a range of depth tolerances to be acceptable, so Tecnica made the fittings to the tightest tolerance. What they didn’t account for, again according to the company, was that there was ice/snow buildup and that is what caused pre-releases. This seasons fittings are made to the deepest/widest tolerance so the pins are seated a bit further into the fittings. I guess we’ll see what difference is made.

  24. Wookie1974 October 8th, 2012 8:27 am

    I have had problems for years trying to find a touring boot that fit. I bought last years’ Cochise after an hour around the shop because I figured that Technica alpine boots had always fit me well, and maybe their touring boot would be the same.
    I expected it to be heavy, and I figured the range of motion would be poor – but I was pleasantly surprized! I loved these boots and can say they are the best I have ever owned!
    I think they are a bit heavy, but the range of motion is much better than I anticipated – and the fact that they fit great makes complaints about weight moot. I have done very minimal modding to these and they fit better than all my old boots which I took to the fitter about once a month! People freak out about weight and stiffness – but that stuff is not nearly as important as a good fit.
    I’ve had no issues with the fittings.
    They do not walk great – this is mostly because the sole is pretty flat, I think. Its not about the articulation. I can live with that.
    The liner (I have the second one – the first was apparently a dog) is pretty good for stock. I’ve had worse anyway – but there is a downside, and I think it is significant. There is a rubberized bottom on the liner. I think someone wanted to make it useable as a hut-shoe – but this thing makes inserting the liner back into the boot after you take it out a herculean task! The boot is close to an alpine boot in its construction, so you can’t really get the tongue out of the way like most touring boots of ten years ago….you end up trying to slide these in like an alpine liner, only, that rubber bottom has so much friction, it won’t go!
    Two sessions of about 40 minutes each, complete with bloody knuckles, convinced me to just leave those things in there. Made for cold mornings in the hut – but not a deal-breaker.
    I’ll probably switch to an aftermarket liner just for this reason though.
    Overall – a great boot. A lighter version? Meh – its OK I guess – as long as it fits!

  25. Tom October 15th, 2012 10:47 am

    As Tom Gos pointed out above, a review of the Pro 130 might be a good idea as well since so few AT boots come in a 98mm last. Last week I did some bootfittings, and while the store didn’t hadn’t received their Cochise orders yet, he was able to put me in a couple of other Tecnica boots (Demon and one other) with similar flex and last widths. My feet aren’t exactly narrow but I quickly found the 100mm last to be a bit too wide and I’m certainly willing to add a few ounces for a more properly fitting boot.

  26. Paul October 28th, 2012 7:55 am

    Lou thanks for review. I want to update my backcountry set and cant decide between Cochise PL and Dynafit ZZeus. Friend of mine got Cochise 120DYN and he’s saying that on his weight 180 lb (81 kg) they are very stiff. I’m a bit heavy guy 210 lb (95 kg), 5,9 ft (181 cm) and don’t know how they will behaviour in colder condition as in the shop is different temperature.
    Dynafit team wrote me back that ZZeus got flex index about 120 what is the same as PL, but for sure can’t compare two different manufacturer as the flex index is no standard. ZZeus got four magnesium buckles and seems that their are higher that PL so I think they can hold my leg better. PL are stripped-down Cochise 120 so instead of power strap connected with buckle (cochise 120) they leave there only power strap with three aluminum buckles. So how do you felt in PL in downhill mode, the transmition from leg to ski was good, is the cuff high enough? Also I couldn’t find how big the lean angle is. Is it between 15°- 21° as in ZZeus or lower? I will use them with Marker Baron and skis Line Prophet 100.
    Sorry for to many questions but I’m trying to get as much information as I can, becasue I have limited selection of products that I can also try here. Thanks in advance =))

  27. Bruno March 17th, 2013 4:38 pm

    I’ve skied this boot for about ten days, and I’m getting close to having a great boot. The short lasted liners really didn’t float my boat, so I went with some Scarpa (Intuition Wrap) linears that I had on hand. Much better, but still not satisfied. Picked up some Full Tilt liners (Intuiton Wrap), and now we’re dancing. I’ve skied In the Tecnica Icon XT for ~12 years, and it is quite a bit lower volume over the instep, and slightly more forward lean than the Cochise, but has the same long toe box that my foot really needs.

    Main reason for this post is I wanted to alert those that use this boot with Dynafit Vertical ST (and similar bindings) that a gap in the heel lug lines up with the back edge of the brake ‘pedal’. I pre-released out of my bindings this week due to a chatter on frozen cord at Snowmass, and the boot lug caught the brake and pulled the brake off the binding post (lost the retaining clip). Had this happened at the top of a long backcountry descent I would have been SOL.

  28. Andy Harris March 20th, 2013 9:23 pm

    Thanks for the great post on this exciting boot. First, a mea culpa: shame on me for tossing out the owner’s pamphlet that came with the boot.

    I have a set of the 120s, and am baffled by the Roman numerals (visible in your first and 8th photos above). What do they signify, and how do I use them?
    I’ve checked the Tecnica web site, done about a million Google searches, and even taken the boot apart–with no success in determining their meaning.

    Hoping you can help!

  29. Lou Dawson March 21st, 2013 5:12 am

    Huh? Where exactly are these roman numerals?

  30. James December 15th, 2013 9:02 am

    I have been searching high and low for a shop that has a Cochise pro light 120, a maestral rs and a dynafit mercury under the same roof. Alas in Switzerland this is but a dream. In fact I can’t find the Cochise 120 anywhere.
    How do these three boots compare, it seems the maestral and the mercury both fit me pretty well off the shelf and with a proper fitting would be great. I am keen to know how the Cochise compares both in fit and skiability (up and down).
    Thanks again for all your work on wild snow.

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