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

Nordica Strider 130 Pro Dyn

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.5-31.0
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
Strider 120 Dyn, $750
Cantology Compatible 
No

The 2019/2020 Nordica Strider 130 Pro Dyn was tested in the men's All-Mountain Freeride medium width category at Silver Mountain Resort by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.

The Gist

Though it returns this year with a flip-flopped shell-cuff cosmetic change, testers did not flip-flop on their previous adulation for how strongly the Strider 130 Pro Dyn skis. Skis like a real boot, was a common refrain (poor hike mode boots get no respect, unless they earn it, and this one did) from testers who scored it highest for a balanced stance and edge power. The 3D Cork Fit Lite liner fit is initially aggressive (firm and snug for a medium), they said, but assured that it settles in with some wear time or heat molding.

The Fit

This year testers agreed that the Strider Pro 130 Dyn sat just on the snug side of the medium-fit centerline, with a quite snug initial fit on the lateral side of the foot, heel and ankle. Testers noted that after skiing a few runs the liner relaxed just enough to even-up the fit throughout, though it didn't blow out—it's a performance medium fit, they said. The flex-feel is firm but on target for a 130, they said, with just enough cushion for the shin. The 3D Cork Fit Lite liner is articulated for touring and is light weight, but still manages to both cushion and control the foot. The Tri-Force design Grilamid lower shell can be custom fitted with Nordica's Infrared molding system, but there weren't many testers calling for it, as liner molding took care of most of their fit needs easily.

Performance

One tester said, form has high-fived function here, and the rest of the crew agreed. Testers were surprised by the Strider Pro 130's power-to-weight ratio as the thin-shell-wall Grilamid lower boot and carbon reinforced Triax cuff teamed up to produce a noticeably lightweight boot that pumped out remarkably strong and quick turns. It didn't take many of those turns for a tester to forget it wasn't his own daily driver and go start looking for fresh lines. The hike mode got pretty decent marks for mobility range and quality of movement—one of the best of the alpine-strong tourers for sure, testers agreed. The wire-bale cuff release actuation was simple and effective, they said, though took a little practice to get latched initially.

Cool Features

The lightweight, Spartan Velcro power strap was a favorite—no silly pulley-buckle B.S. here, thank you Nordica. The wire-loop-hooky buckles were disdained by some and loved by others, but they got the boot buckled just fine with a little fiddling about along the learning curve. The combination of Dynafit certified tech inserts and GripWalk soles made this boot viable in a variety of different bindings: low-tech, alpine GripWalk, or A.T. frame, and testers appreciated that versatility (as will retailers). Testers were divided on the boot name's coolness, since it sounds an awful lot like an elliptical trainer found on the Home Shopping Network—but hey, you can get exercise with this one too, and with way better views.

Total Avg Score 
4.15
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
Grilamid/carbon Triax (polypropylene)
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
3.92
Dynamic Balance 
4.50
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.25
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.17
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
3.92
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Lange XT Free 130 LV

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.5-29.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Narrow
Also in this Collection 
XT Free Promodel LV, $ 950; XT Free 120 LV, $700
Cantology Compatible 
No

The 2019/2020 Lange XT Free 130 LV was tested in the men's On-Off Area narrow category at Silver Mountain Resort by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.

The Gist

The most “real boot like” of the Freeride group, testers said over and over—both for fit and for downhill performance. One tester praised the snug but hotspot-free fit by saying the boot felt poured around his foot and ankle. Testers said that there was no sacrifice made on the edge power and stability side of things for having a hike mode and tech compatibility, making it a great choice for aspirational tourers and those who demand true alpine performance. It lacks huge touring range-of-motion, but nobody cared.

The Fit

Testers were aligned on the fact that the LV moniker is a little exaggerated—they say it's sort of the opposite of a mullet, in that this one is all business in the back and a party in the front! Tight and right rearfoot with a relaxed fit forefoot and toebox—testers said, nice! At any rate, average feet shouldn't be scared away by the 97 mm labeling. Testers like the lightweight, cushioned Ultralon liner (full thermo-moldable) and said that the fit was firm enough in control areas without feeling harsh. Testers liked the fairly tall instep fit—good for blood flow and maintaining warm feet while touring, they said. Entry to the XT Free 130 LV was no problem for testers this year who mentioned considering using the liner as a lace-up (laces come in the box) for slick entry and for further customizing the fit.

Performance

For the weight and the mobility features here you won't do much better for a solid descender. Testers liked the Lange-family stance angles—slightly upright but with enough travel of flex to move through the downhill power band and find dynamic balance turn to turn. The Dual Core Grilamid lower boot proved surprisingly strong on edge, testers agreed, who easily found a stable platform in the midst of deep carves at speed. A few testers mentioned the boot's previous jittery, overly springy feel seemed tamed this year and highly ready to dominate in off-piste sorties. Testers were still a bit unimpressed with the touring range of motion—not great to the rear and fairly limited in forward travel, but most were willing to trade that for real-boot fit and performance in a lightweight package.

Cool Features

In addition to a full-thermo Ultralon liner, removable rear spoiler, easy to actuate Power V-Lock cuff release, rockered GripWalk soles and Dynafit-certified tech fittings, the XT Free 130 LV also sports grippy mid-arch cladding for secure scrambling and boot-packing.

Total Avg Score 
4.42
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
Dual Core Light Grilamid/polyolefin HP/n.a.
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
4.36
Dynamic Balance 
4.64
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.45
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.36
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.27
Tech Compatible 
Yes

K2 Mindbender 130

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.5-30.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Narrow
Also in this Collection 
Mindbender 120, $750
Cantology Compatible 
No

The 2019/2020 K2 Mindbender 130 was tested in the men’s All-Mountain Freeride narrow category at Silver Mountain Resort by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.

The Gist

The newest addition to K2’s boot family, Mindbender 130, got testers thinking about how comfortable this category has become—its silky, luscious liner had them salivating on the first slide in, and while it received the roomiest fit scores within the narrow group, testers loved the ample room for warm and compression-free touring. The toebox and forefoot offers lots of space in width and height but the fit tapers to a snug grip for the ankles and heel. Great power-to-weight ratio with a trick set of features, testers said.

Total Avg Score 
4.23
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
polyurethane/Pebax bioresin/n.a.
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
4.17
Dynamic Balance 
4.33
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.08
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.00
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.64
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Head Kore 1

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
23.5-30.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
Kore 2, $825
Cantology Compatible 
No

The 2019/2020 Head Kore 1 was tested in the men's All-Mountain Freeride medium width category at Silver Mountain Resort by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.

The Gist

The Kore 1 got a shell overhaul for this coming season, with thickened shell walls in critical zones to stiffen the flex and provide more stability on edge. Testers could feel the difference and liked it, citing a stronger feel on edge than last year’s version. The hike-articulated 3D Perfect Fit liner’s Liquid Fit injection feature remains a tester favorite for anatomically snugging the heel and ankle pocket, and testers who underwent the Form Fit shell-cook customization process said both fit and flex feel improved dramatically.

Head's first true foray into lightweight Freeride boots in the Kore 1 G was met with broad tester approval. They liked the fact that the light weight of the Grilflex and Graphene shell and cuff didn't reduce the kind of "real boot" fit or performance they've come to expect from Head. They liked that the simplicity and tradition of the Head four-buckle overlap has been modernized with space age plastics, tech binding compatibility and an intuitive, functional hike mode.

The Fit

Testers found the fit evenly snug and well adapted to bony points and wide spots, but they said it ran on the narrow end of the medium-width fit spectrum. That was not a criticism, but an observation—testers had zero complaints of hot spots or other fit issues. Testers that underwent the Liquid Fit liner injection

Process reported an improved rearfoot (heel and ankle) fit that they were able to control during the process, which they liked for its simplicity and immediately perceptible result.

Performance

The Kore 1 G displayed accurate steering and a quick move to the edge (a perfect score there) then easily found a stable sweet spot through a variety of snow conditions during our test period, testers reported. Some testers thought the boot felt a little edgy at first but discovered that Form Fit shell molding created a more balanced and neutral feeling position. All testers who got Liquid Fit injected noted an uptick in steering, quickness and edging performance.

Cool Features

The Smart Frame shell construction maintains thicker, ribbed and rigid Grilflex plastic in areas where stability and power are critical and keeps the thinner, better wrapping Grilflex where it suits foot-shape matching and easing entry and exit. Graphene is a powder additive to the plastic that increases stability and provide a damp feel like polyurethane without adding substantial weight. GripWalk soles come mounted on the Kore.

Total Avg Score 
4.11
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
Grilflex with Graphene/Grilflex with Graphene/n.a.
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
3.89
Dynamic Balance 
4.11
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.11
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.56
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
3.89
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Full Tilt Ascendant

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.5-30.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Cabrio/3-PC
Boot width profile 
Wide
Cantology Compatible 
No

The 2019/2020 Full Tilt Ascendant was tested in the men's On-Off Area wide category at Silver Mountain Resort by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.

The Gist

Who did testers say would like the Ascendant? Just about anybody who’s looking for a lightweight (Grilamid), warm, supremely easy on and off boot that comes with a walk mode, that’s who. And it’s tech compatible, with the good touring range of motion that comes naturally to a releasable three-piece shell construction. Testers liked the revised, lasted Intuition liner construction that allowed for better custom footbed use and suggested that full-thermo liner molding be front-and-center on the post-purchase to do list.

The Fit

Testers say don't buy this boot without trying on a couple sizes. It fits even shorter than other Full Tilts, they said, and they already fit shorter than the norm. Going up a size from testers' usual and heat molding the Tour Pro Intuition spiral wrap liner got them the advertised 102 mm fit. They liked the way the full thermo liner evened out the few hot spots and provided a more contoured pocket for the ankle bones. They mentioned that skiers might want to pull the rear spoiler before molding the liner to promote a more upright stance and comfortable calf.

Performance

Testers liked the ease of the hike mode actuation, but didn't get excited about the touring range of motion until they pulled off the removable tongue (a la Dalbello Lupo boots) and stashed it away in a pack—then the cuff really glides, and with the option of GripWalk rockered soles and the boot's light weight testers thought this would be a good solution for longer uphill missions to build a big kicker somewhere that patrol wouldn't see. The skiing performance of the Ascendant depended much on the size of the boot tested—testers who sized up got enough room that their feet could spread and find balance, and the cuff felt a little taller and stronger to them. Other testers felt the cuff overly low and forward, which negatively affected their control and stability.

Cool Features

The Ascendant is truly packed full of cool stuff. Yes, a Grilamid shell and tongue lightens the load, and tech binding compatibility further reduces the weight of the uphill kit. Once the tongue is removed, a waterproof snow gaiter maintains a weather break for the lower leg and foot. GripWalk soles and alpine DIN soles come with the Ascendant (that's cool, we think), and the Tour Pro liner has the neatest internal lacing system we've seen for keeping a spiral wrap liner snug around the leg while the cuff is loosened for touring.

Total Avg Score 
3.87
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
Grilamid/polyurethane/Grilamid
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
3.67
Dynamic Balance 
3.67
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.33
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.00
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
3.67
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Fischer Ranger One 130

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
25.5-30.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Wide
Also in this Collection 
Ranger One 120 PBV, $650; Ranger One 110 PBV Dyn, $650; Ranger One 100 PBV, $550
Cantology Compatible 
No

The 2019/2020 Fischer Ranger One 130 PBV Dyn was tested in the men’s All-Mountain Freeride wide category at Silver Mountain Resort by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.

The Gist

Our test team said that for the thick foot, high instep and large calf attached to a human who’s interested in doing some real touring, there is no better option than the new Fischer Ranger One PBV Dyn. Wondering about those last three letters, Dyn? That stands for Dynafit tech fittings, the standard for accessing the goods on lightweight touring bindings and not offered on the softer Ranger One 120. PBV? Powered by Vacuum—meaning the lower shell is easily molded with Fischer’s various Vacuum tools.

Total Avg Score 
4.06
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
Vacuplast/polyurethane/n.a.
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
3.86
Dynamic Balance 
4.14
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.14
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
3.86
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.29
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Fischer Ranger Free 130

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
25.5-30.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Medium
Also in this Collection 
Ranger Free 120, $750; Ranger Free 110, $650
Cantology Compatible 
No

The 2019/2020 Fischer Ranger Free 130 was tested in the men's All-Mountain Freeride medium width category at Silver Mountain Resort by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.

The Gist

Last year we thought the Ranger Free 130 was Fischer’s best boot ever and one of the best boots in our test. This year, with the arrival of it’s wider brother Ranger One, we think Fischer now has two of its best boots ever and two of the best in our test. Testers still applaud how strongly this boot skis given its very light weight and huge range of motion in walk mode, and they love how well it cradles the foot and leg—if a little like that uncle’s too-hard handshake on the lower leg and ankles…a bit too tight but you kind of like it too.

The Fit

It fits the way you'd expect a 99 mm last should—snug side of the medium group. This is a close-to-anatomy shell design with a thin, fully moldable liner for some minimally cushioned separation between foot and shell, leg and cuff. Testers say it fits with an anatomically contoured python-like grip, especially though the lower leg shaft and into the heel and ankle pockets where the fit tension was fairly aggressive. Testers who had the liner molded found the fit relaxed there, but this is no wide side of medium last bucket—it's more like a Recaro bucket seat for the feet.

Performance

Where to start? When you first pick up the boot you realize it's out of the ordinary. The sleek look, smooth finish and featherweight feel in hand (1540 grams) set it apart from others in the hike mode category. The first buckle-up provides a performance fit feel, and then the search for the hike mode switch leads to the discovery of the stealthiest touring flip switch on the market. Barely the size of a beetle wing, a smooth flip of the lever engages a thin interior cable which releases the cuff (will it stand the test of time, a few tester wondered). And then the easy stroll to the skis begins, with long and unhindered strides enabled by friction-free and wide-ranging cuff rotation, both rearward and forward in equal measure. When veteran testers prepare to test an on-off area boot that weighs so little and walks so well, we naturally ready ourselves for a worthless downhill experience. So, imagine our collective surprise when we find that the Ranger Free 130 absolutely rips! Stable through high speed crud laps, sensitive in untracked pow, commanding to the edge when arcing trenches on piste. Testers couldn't find its performance Achilles heel—though it maintained one hell of a grip on theirs.

Cool Features

While we tested On-Off Area category boots with alpine soles, the Ranger Free 130 comes with GripWalk soles installed, which only adds to its easy walking game. Tech compatible with Dynafit tech fittings, this sidecountry/Freeride boot might easily compete with true Backcountry boots—which we tested out by entering it in our Backcountry category test as well. Two liner pull loops and a simple Velcro power strap are the extent of the features menu, and we are a little disappointed that there isn't a lateral cuff adjustment, but often those are sacrificed in the name of better cuff rotation in hike mode.

Total Avg Score 
4.24
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
Grilamid/Grilamid/n.a.
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
4.13
Dynamic Balance 
4.27
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.07
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.40
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.33
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Dalbello Lupo Pro HD

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.5-29.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Cabrio/3-PC
Boot width profile 
Narrow
Also in this Collection 
Lupo Factory, $1100; Lupo 130 C, $975
Cantology Compatible 
No

The 2019/2020 Dalbello Lupo Pro HD was tested in the men's All-Mountain Freeride narrow category at Silver Mountain Resort by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.

The Gist

Testers liked the new Lupo Pro HD for its polyurethane shell’s more damp feel on the snow than the stiffer carbon cuffed Lupo Factory, but appreciated that it didn’t lose any of its quickness or power when it lost $150 off the Factory’s price tag! They found it easy on and off and loved the touring range of motion when the removable tongue was off, allowing unhindered forward cuff movement, matching its long rearward travel. One tester said it got better with every run and the faster he went.

Total Avg Score 
4.34
Shell/Cuff/Tongue Plastic 
PU/polyamide composite carbon/polyamide
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
3.75
Dynamic Balance 
4.50
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.50
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.50
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.67
Tech Compatible 
Yes

Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.5-29.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Narrow
Also in this Collection 
Hawx Ultra XTD 120, $850; Hawx Ultra XTD 100, $725
Cantology Compatible 
No

The 2019/2020 Atomic Hawx XTD 130 was tested in the men’s All-Mountain Freeride narrow category at Silver Mountain Resort by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.

The Gist

Testers concur, the revised Hawx XTD 130 is a true low volume boot that doesn’t mess around when it comes to gripping the foot and leg. The tightest of the All-Mountain Freeride group and on the short list for snuggest of the entire test. Light, agile, and insanely good at going uphill, testers said the Hawx XTD belongs in the skin track where it can dominate an untracked big-mountain descent. Many testers mentioned wanting to fire up the Memory Fit oven to quickly relax the fit where needed.

The 2018 Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 pretty well blew doors off the backcountry category competition and both fit as well and skied as well, as most of the other boots in the test, regardless of category—according to our very unimpressed testers. Uh, that last part was a joke.

The Fit

Tight, evenly tight. Sorta like: Bond, James Bond. That's how this boot fits—like a tailored dinner jacket with a suppressed Walther PPK in the inside chest pocket. Sophisticated but badass—Spartan and connected to the shell, yet well-shaped and ergonomic, the Hawx Ultra XTD 130 hit the fit-bullseye for testers right between minimalist and humanist. This little, narrow featherweight actually fits like a real boot. This, of course, according to our very unimpressed test team.

Performance

We like Grilamid. Here you'll find it in both the lower shell and upper cuff. It's heat-stretchable like polyurethane, and when it's done right it skis pretty damn similar—meaning, strong and stable, predictable. Sometimes it can be twitchy, but here we'll just call it quick. A resiliant, energetic flex feel (testers said). A snappy return to center in between turns (testers said). It was strong and undeterred through a variety of mank and mung (testers said). This boot skied almost as well as the pinned cuff Hawx Ultra 130, and we think toured as well as the Atomic Backland. Maybe the core, on-area, off-area guy really doesn't need two boots. Wow, what a concept.

Cool Features

It's got rockered, lugged soles and is tech-compatible, like the rest of the group. It forgoes lateral cuff adjustments for the sake of solid, touring pivot points, which sometimes is an alignment demerit, but the Memory Fit oven-cook customization feature can help the knock-kneed and bowlegged while addressing general fit improvements—win, win!

Total Avg Score 
4.08
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
4.00
Dynamic Balance 
4.20
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
3.80
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.40
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.00
Tech Compatible 
Yes

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