Expert Review: Atomic Hawx Ultra 130 S Ski Boots · 2021Published on 12/05/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2018.
All photos courtesy of Randy Terrill
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2018.
The Atomic Hawx Ultra 130S ski boots are advanced to expert-level ski boots. However, any skiers looking to take their skiing to the next level will benefit from how stiff and lightweight these boots are. The newer models have minimal differences, except the power strap is no longer Velcro. Instead, it now uses a quick–release buckle. The only other differences are the colors offered.
About the gear
- Model: 2018 Atomic Hawx Ultra 130S
- Size: 28.5
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 185lbs
- Street shoe size: 11
- Experience: 31 years of skiing
- When I bought these: November 2018
- Days tested: 50
- Skis: Rossignol Squad 7
- Bindings: Marker Griffon and Salomon Warden
- Where I’ve used it: Montana, Washington, Alaska, Idaho
- Terrain: Moguls, backcountry, deep powder, and hardpack/groomed.
How they perform
What I was looking for
At the time, my boots were overdue for replacement and seemed heavy. I had a friend that mentioned how lightweight the Atomic Hawx were, so I went for those. I wanted stiff boots for lots of power into my skis but ultimately was looking for a lightweight boot.
Why I chose this gear
I decided to buy the Atomic Hawx Ultra 130S boots because of their weight. They physically felt lighter than many other more expensive boot options. I really like their on-trend colorways as well. I considered buying the Salomon S/Pro, but they were a little out of my price range, and the colors weren’t as cool.
What I love about them
- Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness: The Prolite shell construction allows these boots to be very lightweight and retain the 130 stiffness.
- Comfort: I’ve used the same liners for four years, and the Memory Fit liners are very comfortable and require no on-mountain adjustments once buckled in.
- Flex: These boots are stiff and provide me with confidence that I will have control at all speeds.
- Weight: These boots use Prolite shell construction, which means the shells are thinned down a lot, but the shape of the design adds rigidity where needed.
- Resort: These are the perfect boot for the resort. They allow me to have precise control at high speeds and sketchy conditions with their high stiffness rating and reduced weight.
- Park: I recommend a slightly soft flex boot in the park for more shock absorption. Although the footbeds felt nice right out of the box, cork footbeds would be better for park use.
- Backcountry: I’ve used these boots with an AT binding, and they worked great. They felt lightweight even though the bindings were heavy.
- Adjustability: The forward lean is nice for skiers who want an aggressive stance or a more upright stance. The angles can change to three angles and 13, 15, or 17 degrees.
- Grip: The newer models have GripWalk, which is ideal for getting around the resort. They don’t have the best traction on icy surfaces.
- Durability: These boots have minor wear on the heels from walking. Parking lots and walking around the resort can be brutal on ski boots. Overall, I’m very impressed with how they have held up over four seasons of abuse.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Accuracy of Claimed Fit: These boots fit on the narrow side as claimed. My boots were very tight when I first tried them on, and they needed to be heat-formed before I could stay in them comfortably. Once they were heat-formed, they fit amazingly, and I haven’t had to make any adjustments.
- Ease of use: The 130 stiffness on these boots makes them a little difficult to put on if they are cold. But these are 130 stiffness which is to be expected. However, the durable liner straps help with getting them on/off.
- Any workarounds? Heat-forming is a must.
Favorite moment with this gear
I was at Whistler Heli-Skiing the first time I skied with the Atomic Hawx Ultra 130S boots. After a long day of big lines and deep snow, we headed back to the village for après. I noticed an hour later that I hadn’t unbuckled my boots from the day of skiing. They felt like shoes compared to any other ski boots I’d used in the past.
Value for the money vs. other options
These boots are 100% worth the money. For the price, one gets precision, durability, style, and comfort all in one package. Cheaper boots tend to be uncomfortable or do not have accurate stiffness claims. I thought about trying the Salomon S/Pro boots, but for a little more money and not that great of styling, I decided to stay with Atomic.
Overall, the Atomic Hawx Ultra 130S ski boots exceeded my expectations with their stiffness and lightweight feeling. With such a stiff boot, I can push my skis even harder than before, which gives me a better feeling out of the ski, more control, and better confidence in high-speed areas.