Expert Review: Atomic Hawx Prime XTD 120 Tech GW Ski Boots · 2021

Published on 10/18/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
Kade Loveridge, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Kade Loveridge

All photos courtesy of Kade Loveridge

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.

My take

The Atomic Hawx Prime XTD 120 Tech GW Ski Boots are a fantastic option for aggressive skiers looking for a 50/50 or backcountry-specific ski boot.

About the gear

  • Model: 2022 Atomic Hawx Prime XTD 120 Tech GW Ski Boots
  • Size: 26.5

About me

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 180 lbs
  • Street shoe size: 9.5-10
  • Experience: 16 years of skiing

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: December 2021
  • Days tested: 25
  • Skis: Line Outline 186, Armada JJ UL 192
  • Bindings: Salomon Shift 13
  • Where I’ve used it: Wasatch Front backcountry, Snowbasin, Brighton
  • Terrain: Powder, groomers, moguls, chop

How they perform

Claimed Stiffness Accuracy
5/5
Heel Hold
5/5
Responsiveness
5/5
Versatility
5/5
Durability
4/5
Lightweight
4/5
Walk Mode
4/5

What I was looking for

I wanted a ski boot that could push hard in both the resort and the backcountry. But, at the same time, I also wanted a fairly light boot with a functional walk mode.

Why I chose this gear

I chose this boot because it checked off all the boxes I was looking for. The Atomic Hawx Prime XTD 120 Tech GW Ski Boots is a four-buckle boot that is stiff and burly (for a touring boot) but comes in at a reasonable weight. These seemed like the perfect option for someone like me who wants a nice balance of downhill and uphill performance.

What I love about them

  • Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness: These boots are listed as 120 flex. Stiffness values vary a lot from brand to brand, but I do feel like 120 is a fair value for these boots.
  • Accuracy of Claimed Fit: I am barely a 26.5 mondopoint with a fairly average foot width, and because of this narrow last, ski boots are often not possible for me to wear for sustained periods of time. However, I also don’t want my foot to have too much room and move around in my boot. The fit and 100mm last of the Hawx Prime XTD 120 allow me to be comfortable while skiing and touring without sacrificing performance.
  • Comfort: I have had no pinch points when skiing or touring. My feet have never been happier in a backcountry boot.
  • Flex: The flex on these boots is fantastic for an alpine touring boot. The flex of these ramps up more quickly and is less progressive than one would typically find in an alpine-only ski boot, but for a boot this light, I have no complaints about the flex.
  • Weight: There are much lighter touring boots (think Atomic Backland), but the fact that Atomic was able to preserve so much downhill performance while making them a reasonable weight for longer tours in the backcountry is pretty remarkable.
  • Ease of use: The Hawx Prime 120 XTD is as easy to get on and off as any other two-piece ski boot I have used.
  • Resort: These boots perform admirably in-bounds for how light they are. I would not hesitate to use them as a one-boot quiver and spend all my resort days in them.
  • Backcountry: This boot is not the absolute lightest or the easiest to walk in, but I have found them perfectly capable of meeting my needs as a backcountry skier. I suspect that this would hold true for 90% of backcountry skiers. If one’s focus is the up, then there are better boots for them, but for those who also care about downhill performance, these will serve them well.
  • Walk mode: As I have already touched on, I have no complaints about the walk mode. There are boots with more range of motion, but those are generally lighter boots with less downhill performance. The walk mode of these boots may not be class-leading, but it won't hold someone back, either. Transitioning from walk to ski mode is easy as long as one ensures excess snow is out of the way.
  • Durability: After 25 days on these boots, I have no damage to show other than cosmetic scrapes and scuffs. The flex of the boots still feels robust without any noticeable softening.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Other: I do love this boot; however, I am fairly confident that I would have enjoyed the 130 Hawx Prime XTD a little bit more due to the increased stiffness and support that this boot would offer. This would be especially true if one is a heavier or more aggressive skier.

Favorite moment with this gear

We had some epic spring powder days this past April. I was fortunate enough to tour up in the USA Bowl in Big Cottonwood Canyon and lap a foot of fresh snow all day. On the up and down, the 2022 Atomic Hawx Prime XTD 120 Tech GW Ski Boots allowed me to get after it in the backcountry.

Value for the money vs. other options

These boots are not cheap but compared to 50/50 boots from other brands (K2 Mindbender, Salomon Shift Pro), they come in at a similar price point. These boots are an investment, but if one wants one boot to do it all, I think these are one of the best options on the market.

Final verdict

The 2022 Atomic Hawx Prime XTD 120 Tech GW Ski Boots offer an impressive blend of uphill and downhill performance that will allow aggressive skiers to push themselves in or out of the resort.

Out of stock
  • We price match
  • Returnable

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