Tecnica Cochise Pro 130 (2014)
One of the first all-mountain boots to successfully free the cuff without sacrificing fore-aft stability, it remains among the strongest skiing and most stable of hike mode boots. Tall on the leg and upright in its stance, it's decidedly a big guy's boot. The fit is on the roomy side of the narrow category but the new liner is more thickly padded, making for a better distributed lower boot fit tension and a more containing heel pocket. The Triax shell plastic is lighter than typical ski boot materials and testers said it had a spring-loaded feel that helped generate rebound energy when properly driven. Taller, bigger and more aggressive testers liked this a lot; some of our lighter guys wanted to add additional rear spoiler or step down to a somewhat softer Cochise 120 for help getting into the front of the boot. Lateral power is without top end here, testers said, meaning you can go as fast as you want without losing connection to the snow.