The testers who put the Atomic Hawx Prime 115 W through its paces comprised a mix of boot retailers, boot fitters, instructors and hard core local skiers--so that's a good blend of folks to see what shook out as common threads both good (mostly) and bad (minimal). The boot sellers and fitters may have been slightly biased going in, as the Hawx Prime women's boot is one of the go-to medium widths for shops that carry the brand--these testers mention that it provides a "universal" kind of fit that appeals to many skiers and as such is usually in the try-on mix with other mediums and often the one remaining on the customer's feet at the end of the trial.
The common fit thread that came through in tester commentary is an ideal blend of fit tension, or squeeze factor, in the lower boot from heel and ankle (rearfoot) to the forefoot and toebox--tighter in the rear, looser in the front. This is not good balance for a race car, but great for a medium width performance ski boot. The newly revised Mimic liner impressed the team for the open and smooth-feeling toebox construction. Testers also unanimously agreed that the vase-like flare at the boot top was well-matched to the athletic (or just thick) calf, and the combined feature set of the Adaptive Fit System Cuff and heat moldable Memory Fit shell make it possible for the calf-fit-challenged to keep a true medium width foot fit while gaining wide-last-territory calf room. This calf-loving fit map should have many skiers putting the Hawx Prime W on their short list.
Another cool feature of the Hawx line is the fore-aft stance adjustment offered by the Power Shift rear cuff anchoring mechanism--this allows the cuff to be made slightly more upright or more forward, but few testers ever mention wanted to employ this tool as the stance angles seem to work for virtually everyone right out of the box. Testers say no big frills on board the Prime but also no problems or unnecessary features--a common refrain from testers was praise for an unencumbered ski experience with plenty of fun and the absence of gear-related hassles. Most shops will carry the 105 flexing Hawx Prime W, which offers enough horsepower for most good skiers, but our test team liked the 115 for its ability to stand up to harder terrain hits and taller, more aggressive skiers mashing on the throttle without collapsing the flex.
“A true blue mid-volume boot. Consistent, comfortable step-in feeling, a gentle cradle and hold on the foot. Has a great anatomical hold and nothing directly agitating the foot. You feel like a skier with this boot. The drive, control and balance moves evenly forward; even with it being a thinner walled plastic build. ” -- Sam Tischendorf
“Great fit out of the box and this transfers on to the snow with no weird shit going on. No frills, easy on easy off, easy buckles, cushy liner. Great anatomical foot feel provides a quick response time whether you're quick-turning or laying it out. ” -- Emily Poore
“A really nice medium fit through the entirety of the boot until the calf. Perfect for a medium foot with a wider calf. The comfort of the liner and the forefoot feel is great. ” -- Kori Coggin
“Accommodates a large calf well, and there are a lot of built-in adjustments to improve that further with this boot. ” -- Lee Ann Ross
“The tongue of the boot feels sharp and aggressive on the lateral side of the tongue. I find this boot to be hard to get on and off and tricky with the buckles. The tongue of the liner always pulls through the plastic overlap if you pull on the tongue loop and then the plastic bites my instep, super sharp. ” -- Kori Coggin