The 2021/2022 Atomic Hawx Ultra 130 S was tested in the men’s All-Mountain Traditional narrow category by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.
The Hawx Ultra 130 S GW continues to control the fast twitch response and tight-is-right test sub-categories. It’s always been a snug and anatomical fit paired with split second reaction time but the current configuration with its highly moldable Mimic liner and revised shell construction has taken these two elements to their zenith. The lowest of volume of volume feet and legs attached to highly skilled and technical skiers found a perfect home here.
Testers called it the tightest narrow class boot in the entire test and yet there were very few numbness or hot spot complaints. The snug heel pocket is defined by this boot and provided the sort of hold for our skinny footers that they normally find in plug boots and foam injected liners—the fatter of heel were begging for mercy, and agreed they’d want to move on to the medium width Prime rather than hope for fitting modifications there.
The newly re-designed Prolite shell construction incorporates targeted, thick reinforcements through the medial and lateral rear portion of the shell that wrap to the heel and spine areas in a visually reassuring way—this boot looks burly, but without packing on substantial poundage. Ripped, is a good way to describe its appearance. Ripping, is a good way to describe its performance. Our most technically skiing testers could not get over how accurately the Hawx Ultra 130 put the ski on edge and held it there, without flinching or deflecting. While its characteristically long-travel, springy flex feel remains part of the program, the now stronger lower boot helped drive big stiff skis on hard snow and through difficult chunder equally well. The combination of light weight, fortified shell construction and energized flex feel made for an exciting and powerful ride all over the mountain.
The Mimic liner feels great against the foot right out of the box but it’s highly moldable as well and should be the first course of action for minor fitting needs. The Memory Fit shell molding protocol remains a great way to make subtle increases of space where needed and does a great job of adapting the cuff for wide or heavily muscled calves. The fore-aft adjusting PowerShift mechanism on the cuff is cool but rarely needed (note that it’s a lot easier to adjust as a two-person job, with the wearer levering forward or rearward to line up bolt holes). The 50mm quick-releasing cam power strap is a nice feature for solid cranking closure but be sure the little flip tab is returned to the locking position when tightening. The GW in the name indicates that GripWalk soles come mounted on the boot. An aftermarket, foam-injected Professional Series liner is available for 300 bucks (or opt for the Professional Series Hawx Ultra 130 with that liner included if you’re convinced that’s the way to go). There are also aftermarket V3 Tongue options in 3 different volumes for 30 bucks for customizing the shin and instep feel.