Tecnica Cochise HV 105 W

The Tecnica Cochise freeride boot has been through a number of revisions and updates over the years, with nary a backward step, and now Tecnica takes a huge stride forward with a wide-freeride (

Category 
All-Mountain Freeride
Last Width 
102
Flex Index 
105
Price (MSRP) 
$700.00USD

Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 BOA GW

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.0-29.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Narrow
Also in this Collection 
130 (no BOA), 120 (no BOA), 110, 110 (no BOA)
Cantology Compatible 
No

The new BOA-enabled 130 flex Hawx Ultra XTD impressed testers for its narrow fit and agreeable, rally-ready attitude. They placed their highest scores in its Convenience and Features column, citing a relatively easy slide on and off and intuitive and functional closure enabled by the lower boot's BOA reel. With one of the best striding ranges of motion in the freeride group, testers loved the way this boot hiked and toured (again, as it's been one of the top freeriders for mobility several years running).

The thin shell wall and light weight combined with its truly narrow fit character proved a boon to the boot's steering accuracy and quickness but the larger and more aggressive skiers on the test team thought that the flex feel was a bit under-gunned and mentioned the shell sapped a bit of energy on the way to the ski edge. The shorter and lighter testers on the team and those guys with a lighter touch on snow liked its feather weight responsiveness.

Testers said the stance set-up was neutral, as always with this model, and the flex feel along the shin was well distributed, if a little collapsing for the big dudes. Of particular note, stance-wise, was the tuned-in and balanced feel underfoot, especially at the forefoot, which testers mentioned felt especially well connected to the edges. The snug fit was appreciated by the truly slender of foot, but the ankle pockets were mentioned as lacking some curvature, and indeed that fit parameter received the tightest average score of all tested fit elements.

The BOA reel was generally a hit with testers, who didn't find that it impeded entry or exit and they liked the micro-adjustment that its one-click-at-a-time rotation provided. Praise for the power strap was harder to find, with testers liking the lock-release cam functionality but lamenting the flimsy fabric of the strap itself.

Total Avg Score 
4.37
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
polyurethane/polyurethane
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
4.57
Dynamic Balance 
4.43
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
3.71
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.29
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.86
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Tecnica Cochise Pro W DYN

Gender 
Women's
Sizes (MP) 
22.5-27.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
105, 95, 85
Cantology Compatible 
No

The Tecnica Cochise Pro W Dyn returned to our boot test this time around unchanged from its entry a year ago. Why did we test it again? Well, the Cochise likes to beat up on the rest of the field and we didn't want to take that joy away from it. Our testers also wanted to see if their love for the Cochise last year might have been a fluke--but no, it seems that it was an accurate assessment. For example, last year its total average score was 4.72 with a 4.80 for Anatomical Fit and a 4.60 for Dynamic Balance. This year its total average score was 4.64 with a 4.80 for Anatomical Fit and a 4.60 for Dynamic Balance. What the numbers added up to this time was yet another podium finish in the Freeride category and another chance for testers to heap praise on this perennial favorite.

Testers had virtually no complaints about the fit, which they slotted right between narrow and medium width fit profiles, as you'd expect for a 99mm last. Some testers noted a more medium fit, with even a bit of extra flare, in the calf shape of the cuff which will appeal to a lot of skiers looking to avoid that jab in the back of the leg while touring. The heel and ankle pockets were described as anatomically contoured and without need for modification. The toebox and forefoot were appropriately roomy-enough for the target audience and the application of an occasional schlog in the skin track. The liner revisions of last year remain appreciated by the test team for its cleaner, seamless feel and expanded CAS customizing material used on the liner's exterior surface.

Power-wise the Cochise was well-received, with many comments of predictable, stable leverage against the ski on hard surfaces and at high speeds. Some testers said that the boot was more powerful and damp than it was laser-quick, but these were testers splitting hairs as most of the crew thought the balance of torque and agility was pretty evenly distributed. Stance angles were cited as ideal and neutral, with an absence of negative commentary about any alignment or balance issue.

Testers for the most part appreciated the unique features found on the flagship Cochise: a cam-buckle up-hooking power strap, Lift-Lock buckles that stay open and out of the way during touring (okay, there were a few comments of their annoyingness) and a nifty cuff release lock feature to prevent unwanted hike-moding while skiing. Testers weren't sure that the release lock actually solved a real problem but they agreed it was a cool doodad all the same, if a little small for gloved fingers to manipulate.

Total Avg Score 
4.64
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
polyurethane/polypropylene
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
4.80
Dynamic Balance 
4.60
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.60
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.60
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.60
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Tecnica Cochise 130 DYN

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
22.5-30.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
120, 110
Cantology Compatible 
No

This year's Tecnica Cochise 130 Dyn returned to our boot test unchanged from last year mainly to provide a gold-medal, category anchoring benchmark by which to compare other boots in the medium width Freeride group, and it didn't disappoint. It remains at the top of the heap there as one of the original hike mode boots that ski like all-mountain boots and it continued to impress our test team with its fit, downhill performance and touring competency.

The Cochise was one of the first to stake out the in-between widths middle ground of the 99mm last. Sure it might have primarily been a way to consolidate the line into one boot instead of a narrow and a medium, but it created a good fit tension solution for many skiers looking for just enough of a locked-in fit for a safely thrilling downhill combined with enough room and creature comforts to manage slogging along a skin track or boot pack mission without numbness and agony. Its updates over the years to liner and shell have been met with tester approval as an evolution of fit and performance that has not shown any real missteps along the way. Testers gave its fit ratings 3's across the board with a 4 thrown into the toebox and some 2's for the ankle and heel--essentially exactly what one would expect to see from a 99mm boot on a 1-to-5 tight-to-loose fit tension scale.

The Cochise remains one of those few Freeride boots that testers can honestly say skis as well as most fixed cuff boots--it would take very firm snow on race-bred skis for any weakness on the boot's part to become apparent, testers said. The stance is perfect (or at least it is without any noted complaint) and testers claim the balance of power and quickness is nicely blended for all-terrain exploration. While they would steer a skier toward the BC category Zero G line-up for serious, long touring applications, testers say the Cochise is more than adequate for the shorter "sidecountry" missions that would be most commonly asked of a Freeride boot.

The new ski mode lock-out mechanism is particularly nifty, if pretty small for actuation with anything other than bare fingers, and will provide an even higher level of confidence for those skiers prone to sending it. Testers still like the CAS shell's dimples for defined shell punches that keep their shape and size, as well as the always evolving CAS liner with its moldable-grindable exterior material. Yes testers generally like the up-hooking cam buckle power strap, though it makes it impossible to connect boots and sling them over a shoulder--Transpack anyone? The color remains a hit--testers haven't tired of this one yet.

 

Total Avg Score 
4.50
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
PU/PU
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
4.63
Dynamic Balance 
4.50
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.63
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.38
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.38
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Scarpa 4-Quattro XT W

Gender 
Women's
Sizes (MP) 
22.5-27.0
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Cabrio/3-PC
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
SL
Cantology Compatible 
No

Testers said that skiers who place a premium on precise edging response and directly linked steering control in their hybrid touring boot should look no further--the new Scarpa 4-Quattro XT W is shockingly strong and quick on the downhill, regardless of ski width, terrain choice or rate of travel. This is a skier's Freeride boot, they said, and a skier with low-volume feet would be better suited to this somewhat mis-labeled medium. It's a minimalist's dream boot for featherweight touring in long and unimpeded strides toward soft and untracked pow, where this rigid transmitter is most happy, they said.

The test team agreed that its fit suits a lower volume foot and leg than expected for a so-called 100mm last. They said that the boot's rigid translation of body movement to ski response is belied by its rigid feel against the foot and leg--it's stiff thin plastic is only barely padded by a thin, performance-oriented liner. While this strong little boot sent major edge power messages to the ski it also received vibration and impact messaging from the snow surface and terrain inconsistencies--think track suspension, not luxury wagon cushioning.Testers said that some shell work for any hot spots (which there were a few) followed by a full liner molding session would sort out much of their creature comfort complaints, but they said this was not a bulky, padded cruiser-weight but a stripped and ripped descender that for the right kind of no-compromises side-country artist would produce stellar results. Testers agreed that the stance angles were well set for a neutral stance fore and aft as well as side to side, and they liked the cuff and tongue height against the leg, if a bit firm-feeling.

Testers liked the built-on GripWalk sole construction that takes what's essentially a backcountry-built boot and opened the doors to a broader variety of binding combinations. They thought that the built-in sole also contributed to a direct-to-snow feel which was also teamed with the lack of a removable internal bootboard which puts the skier's foot in closer contact with the ski. Testers mention that Scarpa is one of few brands to successfully utilize more environmentally friendly plastics without sacrificing skiing performance--owed largely to their use of a carbon-reinforced insert structure in the lower shell.

Testers also tested the supposedly-softer 4-Quattro SL W and found the fit and flex feel to be essentially identical, so this is another good option that comes at a $100 discount.

Total Avg Score 
4.10
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
Grilamid Bio w carbon/Grilamid Bio/Pebax
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
2.50
Dynamic Balance 
4.50
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
5.00
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.50
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.00
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Scarpa 4-Quattro XT

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.5-31.0
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Cabrio/3-PC
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
SL
Cantology Compatible 
No

Scarpa proves once again that more sustainably sourced boot plastics can be used in a boot that skis well, testers said, giving their performance-approval to the all new 4-Quattro XT, a first of its kind for a production-molded GripWalk sole rather than a removable plate. The result is a pared-down, high-efficiency ski-tour combo unit that skis way stronger than expected, given its heft, according to testers who hammered on it and its softer sibling 4-Quattro SL everywhere they could. Testers were intrigued by the molded-on Presa GripWalk sole, which added to the boot's low-on-the-snow feel and hyper-transmissive nature--why not, they said, wondering if more boots would follow suit.

What did not surprise testers about the 4-Quattro XT? The characteristic, long-ranging Scarpa stride when the cuff is released remains intact with this new boot, testers said. The quality of cuff rotation is tops, with a smooth, frictionless feel that paired well with a GripWalky roll underfoot. They were not surprised by the light weight feel of the 4-Quattro--they've come to expect that when Scarpa makes a Freeride boot it will tour as long and well as its BC brethren within the brand.

What surprised the test team was how strongly this micro boot put a ski on edge and held it there through a variety of terrain changes, snow conditions, speeds and varied radius of turn. In addition to power and stability, testers said it was quick--in fact, its Quickness score was its highest. This was a downhill skiing machine by all accounts, and testers said it was transmissive of movement energy, perhaps to a fault. This is a semi-rigid ride (did someone say carbon-Grilamid insert?) that communicates skier inputs immediately to the ski, but also lacks much dampness or shock absorption. The no-bootboard lower boot construction puts the foot in very direct contact with the ski, and there is little room for liner bulk and padding to mitigate the shocks coming back at the skier at high speeds on firm surfaces. Testers say the best way to soften the rigid ride is to find some softer, untracked snow--put one foot after the other in the right direction and...problem solved.

Fit-wise testers thought that the shell shape and cuff did an admirable job of mirroring the anatomical contours of the foot and leg, but that lack of room for a liner left testers with a firm, flat feel against bony bits here and there. They almost universally mentioned a need for a full liner cook (duh), but thought that some minor shell work in typical spots would increase creature comfort and allow the spartan liner to do its thing more effectively. As a fit side-note, we also tested the slightly softer 4-Quattro SL and testers concurred that it was virtually indistinguishable from the XT in flex feel and edge power. However, the SL's liner gave it a substantially more-snug fit throughout the lower boot--for the lower volume foot, the SL's 100-buck discount with zero performance loss may be a happy windfall there.

Total Avg Score 
4.00
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
Grilamid Bio w carbon/Grilamid Bio/Pebax
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
3.50
Dynamic Balance 
4.00
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.25
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.50
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
3.75
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Salomon Shift Pro 110 W

Gender 
Women's
Sizes (MP) 
22.5-27.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
100, 90
Cantology Compatible 
No

As proof that our women's boot test team approach is not just skin deep in their appraisal of the industry's top ski boots they nearly unanimously agreed that the new Salomon Shift Pro 110 W got properly bashed by the ugly stick when the design team selected its fresh new colorway, and yet testers looked right past that demerit to give it four perfect scores out of five available fit and performance parameters, which garnered it the highest overall score in the entire Freeride category! It's been a couple seasons since we last tested the Shift boots and testers said this was a completely new experience for them due to its new and amazing liner. While the boot skied with shockingly good energy and stability, testers said its downhill performance was eclipsed by the liner fit's perfect combination of shape, cushion and control of the foot.

Testers couldn't say enough good things about the Shift Pro 110 W's initial, dreamy feel--from the first slide in (which was very easy they said) they were hooked by a silky, well-draped interior feel against the sock, with contours to match bony prominences, wide spots and even the negative spaces around the heel. They said the medium fit was pinch- and hot-spot-free, with a luxuriant level of cushioning that somehow didn't feel soft enough to pose a pack-out risk. The liner is elasticized in the toebox and forefoot, which testers said had a seamless and just-stretchy-enough feel, and it's articulated at the rear part of the cuff as is the current Freeride liner style to enhance touring range of motion.

Yes, this boot skis, they said. Specifically, they said that it skis as well as most all-mountain fixed cuff boots--or even somewhat better than many of those. The blend of descending skills was evenly distributed they said: quick, powerful, accurate, stable--there wasn't anything that the boot didn't do well on snow.

Well, to be honest testers weren't as impressed with the quality or range of cuff movement when released for hiking as they were with some others in the Freeride category, but they do still like the unique-to-Salomon sideways flip switch release and said the range of motion and quality of cuff rotation was more than adequate for any resort-launched mission into the backcountry. True, the test team's only real complaint was about the color, but we recognize that beauty remains in the eye of the beholder--one tester's urine was another's limoncello, so who are we to judge?

Total Avg Score 
4.90
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
polyurethane with fiberglass Core Frame/polyolefin with polyamide spine (Custom Shell HD in lower shell)
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
5.00
Dynamic Balance 
5.00
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.50
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
5.00
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
5.00
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Salomon Shift Pro 130

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
22.5-31.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
120, 110, 100
Cantology Compatible 
No

Sometimes it makes sense to just let the testers tell the story about a boot. So, here's Kevin Gabriel's post-testing take on the Salomon Shift Pro 130: Great medium fit. Skinny heels with large calves will really like this. Feels like a nice, squishy, lovely home--I like it! Mold liner and add spoiler, all good. Surprisingly easy to steer--it loved short and medium radius turns, was very quick edge to edge with lots of pop. For a walk-about boot it feels locked-in and powerful. Huge improvement to its fit shape with this new liner, and skis better than most in this category. We couldn't have said it better ourselves! It's been a few seasons since we last tested the Shift boots, and with this year's revised liner it was a completely new, awesomely cushioned and shockingly strong-skiing experience for our test team, all over again. Bravo Salomon for reminding us how much difference liner updates make.

To yammer on about the liner, it's elasticized in the toebox and forefoot with minimal seams, articulated at the rear cuff for improved touring range of motion (as is the style), and highly thermo-moldable. But testers loved it straight off the rack--it received the only perfect score in the entire field of Freeride entries, in the creature comfort category called Convenience, Warmth & Features. They said it was the silky-pillow-foot-love-liner of the test, and while some testers interpreted this extreme luxury of fit as "roomy," they also noted that their feet remained planted right where they needed to be no matter what moves they threw at tricky terrain. This is a curvaceous medium--well shaped to match the foot and leg, with sumptuous cushioning but testers said it also managed to avoid feeling too soft or destined for excessive pack-out. Some testers mentioned that on initial fit out-of-the-box the heel padding on the liner felt a little low and aggressive, but said that it softened up just with skiing and that a liner cook job would sort that out. Others thought that the roomiest part of the boot was at the boot top, which left skinny legs seeking a home base but put testers with thicker calves right where they wanted to be.

Many comments were made that the Shift Pro 130 skied as well, or better than, your fixed-cuff all-mountain models, with particularly high scores given in the Quickness and Agility category. Testers liked the stance--neutral in all directions with no complaints, period, so check that box for one less thing to fiddle with. The hiking range of motion and quality is on par with the best boots of the category but testers said it wasn't absolute tops there--they do continue to praise the Salomon-specific sideways cuff release latch. They did also say that considering the close-to-perfect medium last fit and stellar downhill performance, they'd happily skin about for hours in the Shift Pro 130.

Total Avg Score 
4.50
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
polyamide with XECARB Core Frame/polyolefin with polyamide spine
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
4.50
Dynamic Balance 
4.25
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.25
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.50
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
5.00
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Roxa R3W 115 TI I.R.

Gender 
Women's
Sizes (MP) 
22.5-27.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Cabrio/3-PC
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
105, 95
Cantology Compatible 
No

Testers were surprised by the R3W 115's long touring range of motion and ergonomic stride enabled by GripWalk soles and its new, hinging external tongue design. They liked the upright stance positioning for easy commuting from stash to stash where it served up comfortable, effortless pow turns. They felt the 115 flex was a little over-stated but liked the travel of flexion and the feel against the shin throughout its range.

Testers appreciated the full-molding capabilities of the Intuition, tongue-style I.R. liner and suggested that it be implemented with additional padding on the skier's midfoot to open up the fit there where they said it's off the rack feel was flat and firm across the top of the foot. The transition just behind the midfoot up through the remaining instep and throat of the boot was opened up in generous fashion, which would suit a thick lower leg or high volume instep nicely.

The flex feel is tunable with a soft-hard flex adjustment which testers liked. Testers were split on the Velcro pulley-style top buckle and power strap combination--proponents pointed to its highly micro-adjustable nature while skeptics called it fiddly and wondered about Velcro lifespan. For an apt tourer that will see primary duty in out-of-bounds, untracked snow, the R3W may be in a class of its own.

 

Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
Grilamid/Grilamid/polyamide
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Roxa R3 130 TI I.R.

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.5-30.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Cabrio/3-PC
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
120, 110, 100
Cantology Compatible 
No

Testers thought that this newest version of the R3 was the best they've tested, with its characteristic tall and upright starting position for a move through a resilient-feeling flex range, a la Grilamid plastic in the cuff and shell. The hinged polyamide tongue improved hiking range-of-motion as advertised, without creating any undesired folding on flexion during descent. Testers who have liked the R3 in the past were pleased with the continuation of the long-travel, spring-loaded fore-aft movement pattern and found it most playful in off-piste, soft conditions.

Testers pointed out that the full-thermo I.R. Intuition tongue liner was not best suited to an off-the-rack fit test, and a couple of our testers took it for additional tests after heat molding the liner. Prior to liner molding, most testers experienced an excessively flat and firm fit over the top of the midfoot and our heat molding testers made a point of pre-padding their feet on the midfoot bumps for molding, which evened out the fit tension well, they said.

While the fore-aft set up is on the upright side and fits tall against the leg, testers who pushed the boot through its long range of motion found a balance sweet spot mid-range. Laterally, testers thought it was slightly under-edged, which made for a loose and slashy off-piste attack (where this boot would most often be found) but a little absent of inside edge bite on harder pistes. 

The hike mode switch was particularly well-executed and the resulting range of stride when released and combination with the rolling stride enabled by GripWalk soles made the R3 130 one of the best travelers in its class, testers said.

Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
Grilamid/Grilamid/Grilamid
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Lange XT3 Free 115 W MV

Gender 
Women's
Sizes (MP) 
22.5-27.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
95, 85
Cantology Compatible 
No

Testers said that for a skier who'd like the power and stability of a fixed-cuff all-mountain boot for inbounds days, riding the chair, but who'd like the touring range of motion of a dedicated backcountry boot, the Lange XT3 Free 115 W MV offers a one-boot solution that comes with little compromise on either end of the hybrid performance spectrum. This is a claim that many brands make about their Freeride boots but in our experience few actually deliver on the combination of legit alpine descent capabilities with passable backcountry ascending skills. Lange's past attempts similarly failed on their touring range of motion and quality of cuff rotation feel, but the XT3 (new last year) has solved those problems, according to our testers.

A proper anatomical fit for the medium width foot and leg is found here, testers agreed, and the cuff height is appropriately tall (like a real ski boot) and offers a comfortably firm and progressive flex feel (if a little softer than the 115 labeling), they said. These qualities should not be taken for granted in the Freeride category--a boot that fits right, flexes right, goes down the hill without hesitation or miscue and tours back up in a functional way remains rare, if we're being honest. Testers say this is one of the few that executes well on all those fronts.

Testers note that the fully rockered backcountry-specific XT3 Tour W Pro is available for women this year after the men's-only launch last season, and for those skiers looking for a suitable BC mate to their fixed cuff frontside ride in a two-boot solution, that may be the way to go for a trekker that won't turn an otherwise good skier into a tip-wheelie-prone kook upon descent. However, our testers still like the GripWalk sole option and slightly beefier Dual Core polyurethane shell build of the XT3 Free for a sidecounty single quiver, one and done.

 

Total Avg Score 
4.53
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
polyurethane/lyfran polypropylene
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
4.63
Dynamic Balance 
4.63
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.38
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.38
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.63
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Head Kore RS 105 W GW

Gender 
Women's
Sizes (MP) 
22.0, 23.5-27.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Narrow
Cantology Compatible 
No

The Freeride category remains a bit of a mixed bag, with a variety of different shell designs, plastics types, liner options and hike mode mechanisms to choose from. The defining characteristics of the category, tech fittings and a hike mode, may gain a model entry into the marketplace but they certainly don't guarantee that a boot will deliver on the three most important criteria: fits well, skis down well, goes up well. Our women's test team is a demanding bunch who won't take any trade-offs in fit or skiing performance for the sake of uphill capability, so when they say the Head Kore RS 105 W GW ticks all three boxes without issue we call that a gold medal level seal of approval.

The new Kore for the women's and men's lines is revised this year to employ the lower shell shape of the narrow Formula RS and medium Formula all-mountain boots. This change and the use of a polyurethane lower shell has proven to be a game changer for the model according to our testers. The new Kore 105 W GW fits as well as its narrow all-mountain sister, skis as well as it does, and manages both of those feats while shaving weight with a polypropylene (Superlight) upper cuff construction and incorporating an updated hike mode lever that testers loved. They said the range of motion when released is smooth in quality and adequate in range and in concert with GripWalk soles and tech fittings manages to slot the Kore into the very top of women's freeride boots available today.

Testers mentioned that the cuff height felt slightly lower than average on the leg shaft (they had similar feedback about the Formula boots) which was great for some and less-than-ideal for others, but they said the 105 flex rating was true and the flex feel was even and well distributed against the leg. Stance angles are neutral in all directions according to testers who said that they varied radius and speed through a mix of terrain and snow with good response. In fact, the Kore RS 105 received perfect scores for Dynamic Balance and Edge Power as proof there.

The superleggera (Italian for super light) buckles were indeed minimal but also functional and testers like the fat 53 mm ratchet cam powerstrap. The double pull loop liner is always appreciated and the Form Fit shell molding feature is a slick way to open up the fit slightly or provide a moderate stance angle improvement. The Liquid Fit liner option is there for filling the heel pocket for the ultra-skinny-foot folks out there.

Total Avg Score 
4.68
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
polyurethane/polypropylene (Superlight)
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
4.00
Dynamic Balance 
5.00
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
5.00
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.50
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.50
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Head Kore 120 GW

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.0, 24.5-30.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
110
Cantology Compatible 
No

The all-new Kore freeride boot may have caused some problems at home--it essentially ditched its Nexo family roots, went down the hall and cozied up to cousins Raptor WCR and Formula who bestowed upon it their many positive traits while allowing it to maintain a hike mode (nicely revised this year as well), its Kore-ish tech compatibility and lightweight cuff construction. The Kore 120 GW impressed our test team with its re-imagined form which took it from an okay performer in the category last year to the category winner this time around.

The Kore 120 is now a medium width Formula with lighter weight cuff plastic, a hike mode and tech fittings, plus an all new liner with articulation for better cuff rotation when released for touring. It all actually works, our test team agreed, and works quite well. They said it's one of those freeride unicorns--the kind that fit and ski as well as the very best all-mountain boots yet manage to offer a releasable cuff for skin track forays or rambling ridge top routes. Where the Kore of old had some flex feel and shin fit issues, the new Kore 120 GW has thankfully banished those and instead offers a solid and progressive feel against the leg while skiing and a smooth glide forward and back when ascending.

Testers praised the Kore's neutral lateral stance angles (a good thing, sans cuff adjustment mechanisms) and they also liked the out-of-box fore-aft stance. The fat 53 mm "Ratchet Velcro" power strap was a test favorite, and testers mentioned that even entry and exit was improved with this new Kore design. Testers liked the lightweight and easily managed buckles and found that the cuff release was simple and easily operated.

As evidenced by the tester comments tab here--not a caveat in sight.

Total Avg Score 
4.56
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
polyurethane/polypropylene (Superlight)
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
4.56
Dynamic Balance 
4.56
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.44
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.44
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.78
Tech Compatible 
Yes

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Gold