The 2019/2020 Head Recon 130 LV was tested in the men's All-Mountain Traditional narrow category at Silver Mountain Resort by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.
The 2020 K2 Recon 130 LV returns with an updated, tighter fitting Ultralon liner over last year’s debut, which testers appreciated, especially in the well-shaped heel pocket. However, it remains what testers called the most comfortable boot in the category, and it retains it’s slimmed-down, thinned-out all polyurethane shell construction. Testers agreed the Recon 130 LV is an easy-on, trouble-free fit as well as a point-and-shoot performer everywhere on the hill that manages to pack just as much power as heavier models.
showed off its completely new shell shape, slimmed down, thinned out and packing a fully sculpted full-thermo Ultralon liner at this year's boot test and flummoxed testers with the question: Can a boot be too comfortable? Apparently it can be, as testers handicapped the LV's scores slightly for feeling a bit too much like its medium width brother, MV (who, if he was a real brother, would no doubt be claiming his initials are for More Virile). Otherwise, it's the perfect boot, they said! Tough crowd, our test team.
Testers say the fit is on the money for its anatomical curves and nice blend of both cushion and grip in the PrecisionFit liner, just a touch too open across the board to suit the narrow last test category, having wandered too far into the medium width fit tension neighborhood. Not that this is a bad neighborhood, it's just that K2 already has a medium width Recon that pretty well hit the bullseye for that slot. So, this fraternal twin got picked on for being too comfy—'tis a shame, considering that a couple testers said this was the best-feeling K2 boot they'd ever put on their feet. Fit Update: K2 tells us that the Recon 130 LV liner has been re-designed since our boot test to snug-up the fit across the board.
Testers were in lock-step that the Recon 130 LV has a perfectly grounded stance, quickness Bruce Lee would approve of and a strong, stable attitude while on edge at any speed, on any snow, through any terrain—all heightened by the fact that it does it with less mass. 1650 grams worth of real boot is how one tester described the thin polyurethane newcomer. Testers felt that some performance got siphoned off by the uncharacteristic room in the lower boot, and with a slightly thicker, denser liner that would come back in badass spades.
K2 built the Recon with four different stiffnesses of polyurethane in a variety of different shell wall thickness--going very thin where possible for weight reduction but keeping things thick in areas critical for power and stability. Testers thought they accomplished this mission and were appreciative of the bootfitting-centric material that will support all common heat stretches and grinds (where the shell wall is thick enough). Still at play for K2 boots is the Powerfuse Spyne, which links the cuff to lower shell in a firm but slightly elastic fashion—not blocked and locked but neither is it free to dump forward. The K2 dual upper cuff alignment system is still effective and still a bit of a puzzle for first-timers, though now they are anchored internally with regular T-nuts (bootfitters in the know thank you for that, K2) and the Recons also have cantable soles. The PrecisionFit liners are still full-thermo Ultralon affairs, but now they are anatomically sculpted and, testers said, vastly superior to K2 liners of the past. The Recon shell is designed to be wholly moldable by wearing after an oven-cook, which we tested. The shape and volume change was dramatic but easily over-done. Testers suggest molding the liner first, then later consider oven cooking the shell if the overall fit still feels too tight.
“Feels perfect. Comfy fit. Goldy locks. Not that tight for a 98 but not too roomy either. Toes and lateral column feels nice. Heel is tight and ankle pockets are good. Ummm, they are very close to perfect. Definitely the best boot K2 has made so far. Not that the first boots were bad, but I could take this boot out of the box and be happy. No need for custom mold--feels great. The power delivered to the ski edge is surprisingly good for how light this boot is. Its rebound energy combined with light weight made me feel light on my feet. This thing just rips! The light weight has not compromised performance, and the new liner is a great improvement on the old Intuition job.” -- Kevin Gabriel
“Positive first impression—snug enough without pressure points. The Recon LV seemed to combine a bunch of good qualities, like a centered stance and a comfortable but dense liner that had solid power transmission without harming the user!” -- Brian Elling
“Could relax and just ski, nice turns from upright stance to laid over angles---confident within recreational range. Overall, the light weight was a plus. ” -- Jack Rafferty
“Loose for a 130-flex low volume boot—the forefoot is very big and the toebox is huge.” -- Jackson Hogen
“Excellent attention to detail on all fit areas. It's light enough to be recognized for it without losing any integrity--lightweight often equals quickness but this one steers well too and many light boots don't. Adjustable Velcro spoilers are awesome—a quick fore-aft adjustment, so easy.” -- Erik Korman
“It's not a narrow LV last, despite what K2 says.” -- Jack Rafferty