I have been skiing in the same boots since I was in middle school. They aren't even good boots; they're the boots we leased every year and eventually ended up buying from a ski shop down in Boise, Idaho. By the end of last season, even forcing my foot into them became a major hassle. I'd make a scene just trying to buckle them, knees on the ground, body contorted to pull the buckles down, red in the face, white in the knuckles, and cursing under my breath. The thought of unbuckling them to enjoy lunch? I wouldn't dare.
So you can imagine my enthusiasm when I learned my Christmas gifts included a brand new pair of ski boots.
After making the rounds at two popular ski shops in Boise (where I'm from), and having my foot shoved into a dozen different boots, I finally found my match: this year's Tecnica Cochise for women.
It has a flex rating of 90, but the boot salesman told me it works for brand newbies just as well as for the pros. These pretty, white boots have a "walk" option as well, but walking around the lodge, I didn't feel much of a difference.
These boots changed my life. My skiing life, anyway. I do believe skiing is one of those sports where equipment can make all the difference in the world. Put a good skier on good equipment and you get this girl: fearless and with a sense of newfound confidence. The boots are wonderfully receptive to whatever I want to do. I can feel the complete roundness of my turns so much better. I can hop through the powder with ease. They're pretty lightweight! The fur lining makes for a nice perk, too.
The boots only have three buckles, but a big strap of velcro across the top definitely holds me in place. I did have ankle lifts inserted into the boots because my heels wanted to rise up and move around too much otherwise.
Two days of skiing in these boots back to back, though, did bring a whole new meaning to the word "sore." The boots force me into a more aggressive skiing position, pulling my knees into a good bend and making every run a thigh-burner. By lunchtime on the second day, I felt pretty constricted half way up my calves. On the other hand, I skied the best I ever have...ever.
Finding the balance between comfort and performance will always be a challenge, but I think the Tecnica Cochise comes pretty close. The boot fell middle-of-the-range in pricing, about $400. But ladies, it was worth every penny. Shred on!