Sneak Peek: 2019 K2 Recon Ski Boot

Philpug

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For 2019, K2 will be offering an entirely new boot collection with a blast from the past named the Recon. First of all, “all new” gets thrown around a lot. The Recons are not Spynes with NGT (New Graphics Technology); they are a ground-up redesign starting with slightly shorter BSLs to completely new plastics that shave ... err … chop hundreds of grams from the previous collection, down to about 1650g in the reference 26.5 shell size.

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One of my toughest jobs as a tester is reviewing early-production ski boots because most are produced in the more common sizes of 26.5 or 27.5, and I normally ski in a low-volume 25.5. K2 sent the Recon 120 in a 26.5 medium-volume 100mm shell, so what am I to do? Simple, build a footbed to take up that excess volume. I also added a Bontex shim between the liner and the zeppa before heading out to Mt Rose.

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While this process worked well in the initial shop fit, once I was on the slopes, it was actually taking up too much volume so I had to remove the shim. Why am I even pointing this out? Well, I took the boot off at the top of the lift on the bench where snowboarders strap in. That may not sound like a monumental feat, but it is something that I could never have done in a traditional plastic boot. This lightweight boot was easy to get off and back on even in the cold. I don't expect everyone to do this, but there has been a lot of talk of some of these newer plastics being difficult to get off when cold; this is not the case with the new K2 Recon.

With the extra shim out, it was time to ski. I have skied 100mm boots before, even in a 25.5, and it really is an act of futility, because I just swim in it. Sure it's fine just “standing on the boot” on groomers, but as soon as I go into other conditions, my foot just starts moving and I have no control, especially in moguls and other varied terrain. The Recon actually skied quite well in the mixed conditions with a level of control that was a pleasant surprise.

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K2 chose to stay with a more upright stance in the new Recon with a 4° ramp and a 12° cuff angle adjustment; using the heat-moldable shell and adding a spoiler, the cuff angle can be molded from 10° to 16°. I have been skiing in the Head Raptor 140, which is much more aggressive out of the box, but I didn’t feel too upright in the Recon (with the supplied spoiler), and the 120 flex allowed me to drive the boot easily.
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The Recon and its sister Luv series will be offered in the expected flex and width ranges; certain models will also have heated versions. They will be both GripWalk-compatible and Cantology-friendly, which will make your local bootfitter happy. We will be passing the boot along to one of our testers who skis this size shell; stay tuned for a full long-term test.
Models in the collection:
  • Men (24.5-30.5)
    • Recon 130 LV/MV
    • Recon 120 LV/MV
    • Recon 120 Heat MV
    • Recon 100 MV
  • Women (22.5-27.5)
    • Luv 110 LV/MV
    • Luv 100 LV/MV
    • Luv 100 Heat MV
    • Luv 80 LV/MV
LV = 98mm
MV = 100mm​
 
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PTskier

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Are these boots from Dalbello or Full Tilt? All the same ownership, K2-MDV Holdings, L.P., part of Kohlberg & Co. (MDV = Marker, Dalbello, Volkl)
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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Are these boots from Dalbello or Full Tilt? All the same ownership, K2-MDV Holdings, L.P., part of Kohlberg & Co. (MDV = Marker, Dalbello, Volkl)
I imagine they will come out of the shared factory. I do not see any parts or design elements shared with any current or upcoming products I have seen so far.
 
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How would you describe the heel pocket on this boot.
Pretty darn good for a 100mm shell. Like I said, I normally ski in a 96-97mm and other 100mm shells that I have attempted to ski I would move around in (especially the back half of the boot), I had sufficient control with the Recon.
 

Ron

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Phil handed these off to me for further testing especially since I normally wear a Lange RX 130 LV (98mm) in 26.5 with a BSL (boot sole length) of 306. The K2's are 304. For reference, I am 10.5 in a street shoe. I have not had these heat molded yet (hopefully, next week) but My overall impression after putting in my beds are that although its a 100mm boot, the overall fit is pretty low volume. It def' has a lower instep than the Lange and I am really loving the achilles and heel grip which actually feels tighter than the Lange. After having them on my feet for over an hour I can really notice the lightness of the boot. I am going to ski them tomorrow since they fit so well. i had to adjust the cuffs for better alignment but otherwise, I really like the out of the box fit. You can't tell at Room temperature but the plastic does feel more pliable than my langes.
 
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Ron

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Quick update. I skied the Recons today and was quite happy with this boot. I need to compare some numbers but the boot had a very good feel of being connected to the ski. Although flex is relative, I felt the 120 was more like a 130 in a good way. Most liked so far: after a couple of hours in the cold temps, this boot came off like a regular shoe.
 
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Ron

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@Brian Finch I skied with the spoilers in today and really liked the setup. This is a boot more people should be paying attention to. Write up coming soon but the 120 MAP is 499! I am liking this boot more than my Lange...... :popcorn:
 
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Brian Finch

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@Brian Finch I skied with the spoilers in today and really liked the setup. This is a boot more people should be paying attention to. Write up coming soon but the 120 MAP is 499! I am liking this boot more than my Lange...... :popcorn:

Spoilers FTW!
 
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Ske-Bum

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Good review, however if you don’t fit in the boot why not wait to review it until you can get the correct size, seems like that would make life easier and the review more valid. Also did I read that correctly, your every day boot is a 140? Are you running a GS everyday?
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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Good review, however if you don’t fit in the boot why not wait to review it until you can get the correct size, seems like that would make life easier and the review more valid. Also did I read that correctly, your every day boot is a 140? Are you running a GS everyday?
Again, the post was a preview, not a review. 25.5 shells will not be available until next season, at that point, I am sure I will get one in my size. The Head Raptor is listed as a 140, that is if you put the additional bolts in the cuff, but I am not using the additional bolts, so the boot is more like a 130 as I am using it.
 

Ske-Bum

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Again, the post was a preview, not a review. 25.5 shells will not be available until next season, at that point, I am sure I will get one in my size. The Head Raptor is listed as a 140, that is if you put the additional bolts in the cuff, but I am not using the additional bolts, so the boot is more like a 130 as I am using it.

Ok, makes sense now, on both boots.
 
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