First things first: Tecnica’s newly designed Cochise Pro W is one great-looking boot, pale gray with black and orange accents. Intended to be a hybrid alpine and touring boot, it definitely feels more like an alpine boot to me, skewing 80-20 rather than 50-50 — but as always, this depends on your needs. The cuff is decently high for a women’s boot, and Tecnica has put thicker and stiffer material on the inside than the outside in order to improve power transmission; I think it works! The 115 flex seems accurate as well (ie, it is a "true" 115, as far as that goes, not just a "touring" 115.)
The Pro comes with Vibram soles that are GripWalk- and tech-compatible and can be swapped to DIN. (Other boots in the line have rubber soles but not Vibram.) The arch has a rubber grip for better traction on rocks and snowmobiles. Tecnica has given it a beefy walk-mode lever with a proprietary T-Ride lock (more on that later) as well as its Quick Instep feature, which makes it easier to get on and off. I really like the 45mm cam-style power strap with a hook; it is light and easy to adjust. The liner is especially interesting, with CAS (for Custom Adaptive Shape) and dimples and fiberglass panels and an adjustable tongue and a flexing zone on the back and a notched calf for women’s fit and Celliant + lambswool insulation for greater warmth and ... and …. I did not heat mold it, so I can’t speak to its effectiveness, but it certainly looks good.
Unfortunately for me, the 99mm boot is just too roomy. I have a healthy instep, but the ceiling is still too high. I loved how it skied groomers on the first morning -- this boot rips -- but once I got into a little more 3D terrain, I began rattling around inside. I would describe it as just a bit on the low side of medium volume. Stance is upright at 13°, and it felt very natural when skiing. The 50° range of motion enables comfortable walking, hiking, and skinning.
I did use it with my Zipfits one day, as you can see in the photos. This helped in the volume department but messed up my stance. Then the season was over, so I never tweaked it anymore and can't tell you if that would be the answer or not. Obviously a Zipfit isn't for touring, but I could envision using it for resort days and the lighter stock liner for BC days: still a one-boot quiver, just not a one-boot, one-liner quiver. (I left the Zipfit in for photos as a reference to the cuff height.)
I only toured one short day in this boot, so take this part with a grain of salt. It is a little bulkier than the other hybrid boots I have had (Langes and Atomics), but everything went smoothly. Our day was filled with breakable crust, so I appreciated its extra heft in the challenging conditions. "Heft" may be a little strong, but you don’t sacrifice very much (if anything) on the down. Range of motion is comfortable on the up, and the walk mechanism is large and easy to use with gloves on. The T-Ride lock is an extra measure of safety to keep you in ski mode; it was a little sticky on one of the boots, so I didn’t use it very often. The 24.5 is listed at 1650 g, putting it somewhere in the middle of the range of hybrid tourers: heavier than the Atomic XTD Ultras but lighter than the Lange XT versions.
- Who is it for? Strong skiers who prioritize downhill performance but still want a boot for skinning, hiking, and/or sledding.
- Who is it not for? Weight weenies, owners of low-volume feet.
- Insider tip: If you happen to have one of Pret’s gray helmets with black on the vents, as I do, it matches perfectly.