The new Atomic Hawx Ultra 130 sure is a looker - and it skis damn well too. | Atomic photo.
I haven’t been one to ski a dedicated resort boot in quite a few years. With the stellar performance that crossover boots have offered recently – including Atomic’s own walk-mode boots – I just haven’t really seen the point, but testing the new Atomic Hawx Ultra 130 made me realize what I’ve been missing out on. A few inbounds days Jackson Hole confirmed my suspicions - I was blown away by how powerful and surprisingly comfortable the boot felt.
The 130 flex, 98mm-lasted bright red four-buckle boot is designed using Atomic’s new Prolite Memory Fit shell, meaning that not only is it extremely light, but the shell plastic is actually heat-moldable in addition to the liner. The boot clocks in at 1810 grams for a size 26 – not bad for something this powerful. The 98mm last is on the narrower end of the spectrum, but the moldable plastic means it can accommodate all the weird intricacies of your feet. Alternatively, Atomic also makes the same boot as part of its 100mm last Prime and 102mm last Magna series.
Equally at home both on and off-piste - the Hawx Ultra 130 is Atomic's answer to a freeride boot. | Atomic photo.
Compared to the existing Hawx Ultra XTD, the new boot feels slightly longer, with more room (both laterally and vertically) in the toebox. I required extensive toe punching on the old Ultra XTD, and did not feel the need to modify the shell of the new Ultra 130 in any way. The shell and liner's heel pocket feels very snug, and I would say that the instep height is on the medium end of the spectrum. Finally, the cuff height feels perfect to me, allowing a good amount of leverage to drive the boot as intended, without going too high on my leg.
The liner itself is incredibly warm, and the four pull tabs at the top make it easy to get in and out of the boot even in snowy, cold parking lots. It is heat moldable and provides a very snug, glove-like fit without any plastic or seams getting in the way. The boot ships in a relatively upright forward lean position, and I ended up moving the screws on the spine to the more aggressive 17-degree position after a few runs. The power strap comes with a cam buckle closure similar to what is found on an aftermarket Booster strap, allowing you to tighten the cuff snugly against your shin. On the sole, you’ll find Grip Walk rubber, giving the boot plenty of purchase on bootpacks and in parking lots and compatibility with all Grip Walk and MNC bindings. It does not have any tech fittings.
With adjustable forward lean, canting, and a moldable shell and liner, the boot as all the necessary adjustments to make your feet feel welcome. | Atomic photo.
On the snow, the boot’s light weight is immediately noticeable, and on long days, I felt that saved energy while skiing. I never want to go back to heavier boots. The flex pattern is exactly what I’d expect out of a four-buckle boot – smooth and predictable. While flex numbers are in fact arbitrary and not a measurement of anything real, this boot is the real deal – stiff and powerful. It’s not quite in plug boot territory, but it’s damn close. I even took them up plenty of JHMR’s bootpacks and found that once I loosened the top two buckles and the powerstrap, it was very comfortable to walk in for extended periods of time.
The Atomic Hawx Ultra 130 is the kind of boot for the hard-charging skier looking for a dedicated resort boot. If zippering mogul fields, launching off cat tracks, and skiing hard and fast all day long no matter the conditions is your jam, then look no further. It’s a fantastic choice to pair with a big ski like Atomic’s Maverick 100ti or the Bent Chetler 120. Buckle up and point em. Get the Atomic Hawx 130 here.