In this its fifth encore performance for our test team the Hawx Ultra 130 S continues to impress, reminding testers why it consistently scores within the top group in a highly competitive category. Light, tight and right is what testers still agree on—comparing its fit to compression socks and comfy vacuum bags. Snug everywhere, especially in the cuff, but with extra room in the toebox and forefoot, testers applaud its connection to the ski. It remains tall-ish on the leg with a spring-loaded flex feel--testers love it in all conditions. In addition to its new, stealthier Dark Knight look for this year it boasts a brand new Mimic liner for a more customizable, closer-to-skin fit.
The boot sole length (BSL) of the Hawx Ultra 130 S is shorter by 5 mm than average and yet it fit as roomy in length as the rest of the group and might even sport a little extra width for the toes than most narrows. The Hawx Ultra Progressive Shell design leaves plastic thick where needed for support and stability but thins it out where better wrapping is required—this reduces weight and opens up some bonus interior room. Incorporated with the thin and feely Memory Fit 3D Platinum liner the Hawx Ultra 130 provides a locked-down fit from the midfoot to heel and up through the cuff while maintaining an open toebox. The feel against the leg is a little tall with an elasticized flex feel that grips the calf firmly but without a pinch, testers continue to affirm. Testers continue to mention that it's still not the easiest on and off, especially when it's cold. Though if you're enough of a skier for this boot, you shouldn't complain about that, should you?
That snappy flex feel that testers notice indoors always translated to rapid-fire edging moves and loaded-up, slingshot-style, rebounding transitions on snow. The thin-walled polyurethane cuff wraps the leg shaft and gives a skier two joy-sticks for driving skis in all directions with no-delay transmission of movement. The switch to polyurethane from its original (and somewhat problematic) Grilamid construction gives the thin, springy cuff a little more dampness and gravity than before, which testers continue to like. The Hawx Ultra 130 S put skis of all widths on a rail and drilled turns at all speeds in all terrain. A few bigger, taller guys said they could over-power the cuff during Flintstonian flexing, but generally it held up to normal all-mountain abuse. The thinned-out shell wall in the lower boot and cuff gives the boot a noticeably light feel, which combined with the snug fit translates into serious agility.
The Memory Fit shell molding feature allows a skier to oven-cook the boot, wear it for a couple minutes, cool it down and enjoy a more personalized fit. Most of our testers have liked the out-of-box fit just fine, however, and this year is no different. The Hawx Ultra 130 also comes with slate of handy stance-alignment options, from lateral cuff adjustment, to the Power Shift forward lean and flex adjustment (which accounts for the "S" in the model name), to an option on canted sole shims in 0.5- to 3.0-degrees in half-degree increments—bootfitters approve! The new Mimic liner utilizes a thin layer of heat moldable material close to the foot contact layer to provide a fine-tuned fit, post oven cooking.
“Tight and light. Great turn initiation and feel, thin shell walls translate to an agile boot--think scalpel not hammer. ” -- Kevin Gabriel
“I own this boot foot a reason. DJ Quick. For those who don’t follow rap he is the best old school rapper ever. Perfect fit.” -- Dallas Goldsmith
“Fits amazing and super light. Fit like plastic slippers--didn’t even know anything was on my foot. ” -- Stacy Crumpler
“WOW! Incredible bite on both feet upon exit. Even using surgical methods of shell manipulation this was not easy to get off. ” -- Steve Cohen