Boot: 2019-2020 Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130
Stated Flex: 130
Available Sizes: 24.5-29.5
Stated Last (size 26.5): 98 mm (can expand ~6 mm in the forefoot through heat molding)
Stated Range of Motion: 54°
Stated Forward Lean: 15° (can be switched to 17° w/ factory “flip chip;” 13°/19° flip chip available)
Size Tested: 26.5
Stated Boot Sole Length (size 26.5): 302 mm
Blister’s Measured Weight (size 26.5):
- Shells, no Liners: 1130 & 1132 g
- Liners, no Footbeds: 276 & 282 g
- Shells + Liners = 1406 & 1414 g
- Stock Insoles: 24 & 25 g
- Removable Spoilers: 27 & 27 g
Buckles: 4 micro-adjustable aluminum
Powerstrap: 50 mm cam-style
- Cuff: Grilamid
- Shoe / Clog: Grilamid
Soles: Grip Walk
Binding Compatibility: Grip Walk, Tech / Pin, and MNC bindings
Tech Fittings: Yes
Last season, Atomic launched their Hawx Ultra XTD lineup of touring boots, and they immediately made some noise in the ski industry — and for good reason. The boots walk uphill very well, but also perform very well on the downhill, especially given how light they are.
For 19/20, Atomic is making some updates to the Hawx Ultra XTD line, and we’re pretty excited about all of them. So we’re going to now cover what’s new with the 19/20 Hawx Ultra XTD 130, and we’ll soon be posting a Flash Review of the new boot with our initial on-snow impressions.
The 19/20 Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD Lineup & Changes
Atomic is updating four key parts of the 19/20 Hawx Ultra XTD boots:
- power straps
All of the 19/20 Hawx Ultra XTD boots will feature Grip Walk soles instead of the WTR soles that are on the current boots. All of the boots will also get new buckles (more on the buckles later).
The Hawx Ultra XTD 130 and women’s Hawx Ultra XTD 115 W will get new “Platinum” liners that are supposed to be burlier, hold their shape better, and have more stable tongues. Atomic says that the “Platinum” liner is their highest-performance touring liner.
(And for the record, Atomic says the bump in stated flex for the Hawx Ultra XTD 110 from 110 to 115 is attributed to this new liner.)
The rest of the line (Hawx Ultra XTD 120, 100, 95 W) will get slightly heavier, beefier liners than the ones they currently have, but they don’t get the lighter and stiffer “Platinum” versions.
The 19/20 Hawx Ultra XTD 130, 120, and 115 W will all feature new cam-style power straps, with the Hawx Ultra XTD 100 and 95 W sticking with standard Velcro power straps found on the current boots.
Apart from the updates mentioned above and new colorways, the rest of the boots’ designs (e.g., the boot molds, plastics, walk mechanism, etc.) remain the same.
Weight + Comparisons
The new Hawx Ultra XTD 130 is coming in a touch lighter than the current version. While the shell gained a couple grams, the new boot’s liner is a bit lighter than the current stock liner.
At this point, you’re probably asking yourself, “But I thought the new liner was supposed to be beefier — so how is it lighter?”
And to that, I’d say “keep reading.”
Like the current boot, the new Hawx Ultra XTD 130 comes in at a very competitive weight in the “130-flex” touring boot category. It’s about 100 grams heavier than the very light Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro, but it’s over a 100 grams lighter than other boots in its class, like the Salomon S/Lab MTN and Fischer Ranger Free 130.
For reference, below are a number of our measured weights for some other notable boots (keep in mind the size differences). Our measured weights show the size of boot, then the weight of each boot + the weight of each liner, then the total weight for shells + liners, listed in grams:
Scarpa Maestrale RS (24.5 / 25.0): 1053 & 1057 + 244 & 245 = 1297 & 1302 g
Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro (26.5): 1099 & 1100 + 210 & 211 = 1309 & 1311 g
19/20 Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 (26.5): 1130 & 1132 + 276 & 282 = 1406 & 1414
Salomon MTN Explore (26.5): 1126 & 1135 + 281 & 281 = 1407 & 1416 g
17/18–18/19 Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 (26.5): 1128 & 1127 + 300 & 305 = 1428 & 1432 g
Scarpa Maestrale XT (26.5 / 27.0): 1258 & 1258 + 247 & 252 = 1505 & 1510 g
Head Kore 1 (26.5): 1132 & 1136 + 392 & 393 = 1524 & 1527 g
Salomon S/Lab MTN (26.5): 1257 & 1246 + 288 & 303 = 1545 & 1549 g
Fischer Ranger Free 130 (26.5): 1204 & 1204 + 348 & 351 = 1552 & 1555 g
Roxa R3 130 T.I. (27.5): 1341 & 1348 + 263 & 262 = 1604 & 1610 g
Salomon QST Pro TR 130 (26.5): 1389 & 1391 + 273 & 274 = 1662 & 1665 g
Nordica Strider Pro 130 DYN (27.5): 1445 & 1440 + 363 & 373 = 1808 & 1813
Lange XT Free 130 LV (27.5): 1472 & 1473 + 376 & 376 = 1848 & 1849 g
Full Tilt Ascendant (27.5): 1613 & 1615 & + 308 & 311 = 1921 & 1962 g
Tecnica Cochise 130 DYN (25.5): 1493 & 1496 + 440 & 441 = 1933 & 1937 g
The New Liner
This is arguably the biggest update for the Hawx Ultra XTD 130. The current Hawx Ultra XTD 130’s liner is quite pliable and not all that substantial. That means it tours very well, but is not quite as powerful or comfortable on the downhill compared to beefier liners like those in heavier boots like the Fischer Ranger Free 130, Nordica Strider 130, Lange XT Free 130, and Tecnica Cochise 130. That’s part of why we encouraged people to consider the Hawx Ultra XTD 120 if they were planning on using the boot a lot inbounds, as the Hawx Ultra XTD 120 has a significantly more substantial liner than the current Hawx Ultra XTD 130. (Alternatively, you could always try putting a beefier aftermarket liner in the current Hawx Ultra XTD 130.)
The new Hawx Ultra XTD 130’s liner uses a significantly denser and stiffer foam around the ankle and cuff compared to the current Hawx Ultra XTD 130’s liner. Interestingly, the new Hawx Ultra XTD 130’s liner’s foam is a bit softer and more pliable around the midfoot and toes compared to the current boot’s liner.
The new liner has a smaller section of stiffened textile reinforcement around the top of the calf, and its plastic tongue reinforcement is also a bit shorter, though I think it feels a touch stiffer than the textile tongue reinforcement on the current liner.
The new liner has a slightly smaller “flex zone” on the back, though while flexing the liners in hand and on my feet, I don’t notice any real difference in terms of range of motion (aka, “ROM”).
In terms of shaping, the new liner looks and feels a bit more sculpted around the ankle, heel, and toe box. The new liner’s ankle pocket is more defined, the Achilles area feels a bit tighter and more anatomical, and the toe box looks a touch narrower when looking at both liners out of the shells.
Compared to heavier, inbounds-oriented AT boots like the Nordica Strider 130 and Lange XT Free 130, the Hawx Ultra XTD 130’s liner still feels much thinner and less substantial. But compared to the current boot’s liner, the new Hawx Ultra XTD 130’s liner feels a bit stiffer and denser, while coming in even lighter than the current boot’s liner. Interesting.
No changes here, and we’re happy about that. The Hawx Ultra XTD 130 keeps the big, external walk mechanism of the current boot. We’ve come to affectionately call this walk mechanism the “prison shank,” and have not had any issues with it when it comes to durability, icing, or going in or out of ski mode unexpectedly.
Like the current Hawx Ultra XTD 130, the 19/20 Hawx Ultra XTD 130 comes standard with a stated 15° forward lean. You can switch the “flip chip” on the walk mechanism to change that forward lean to 17°. If you want more or less than that, you can contact an Atomic dealer to have them order an alternative flip chip that lets you switch between 13° and 19° forward lean.
The New Buckles
One of the other major changes, the 19/20 Hawx Ultra XTD 130 features buckles that reportedly borrow tech from Atomic’s lightweight Backland boot series. The new Hawx Ultra XTD 130’s upper buckles have sliders on them that let the buckles open up far wider than standard buckles like those on the current Hawx Ultra XTD 130.
As a result, when you have the buckles latched onto the cuff of the boot, you can still get a lot of range of motion by simply opening the buckles, rather than completely taking them off the latches.
To do a quick test of how effective the new buckles are, I spent time walking around in the 18/19 and 19/20 Hawx Ultra XTD 130, one on each foot.
With the current (18/19) boot, I had to leave the buckles latched on the last “keeper” latch that can slide outward in order to get a lot of ROM. In the new 19/20 boot, I could keep the latches latched where I would have them when skiing, and I simply needed to open up the buckles. Doing this, I got what felt like the exact same ROM in both boots. That’s noteworthy since, with the new boot, all I’d have to do during transitions is close the buckles, whereas I’d have to re-buckle the new boot to my preferred skiing settings. It may sound minor, but if you’re banging out quick laps or hate fiddling with buckles, it’s a cool feature.
The New Power Strap
For 19/20, Atomic swapped the Hawx Ultra XTD 130’s Velcro power strap for a much more minimal but equally tall (50 mm) cam-style strap. While the new strap isn’t elastic like a Booster strap, Atomic claims that the Hawx Ultra XTD 130’s new cam-style power strap conforms better to the boot, and, in turn, your leg.
Overall, the new Hawx Ultra XTD 130’s cam-style power strap is very similar to that on the Zero G Tour Pro. The Hawx Ultra XTD 130’s strap is 5 mm taller than the Zero G’s, and the Zero G’s strap has a hook that you can use to completely undo it.
The New Soles
Final big change: the new Hawx Ultra XTD series will feature Grip Walk soles instead of WTR soles. This is part of an industry-wide change we’re seeing, with WTR going away, and Grip Walk taking over as the only sole norm that slots between full-rubber touring soles and standard Alpine soles.
We don’t expect the new Grip Walk soles to change much in terms of performance, but it is nice to see the industry moving to one standard, and decreasing the confusion and incompatibility issues associated with Grip Walk vs. WTR.
As always, we highly recommend going to a bootfitter to figure out what boot will work best for you.
With that said, here are my thoughts on how the Hawx Ultra XTD 130 fits my feet.
For reference, I have pretty average-volume feet overall, but I have large lateral splats which mean my midfoot widens when I am standing / skiing, and I often get pain on the outside of my forefoot and midfoot when running, skiing, skinning, etc. I have a low instep, an average to low arch, and a fairly low-volume ankle. My feet tend to work best with boots that offer ample room in the midfoot, and have lower insteps (e.g., the Salomon QST Pro 130). Since my toes taper significantly (i.e., my pinkie toe is much shorter than my big toe), I’ve never needed a 6th toe punch in any boots.
The Hawx Ultra XTD 130 has a stated last width of 98 mm in a size 26.5, and the last width increases by 2 mm for every size you go up — so a 27.5 has a 100 mm last; a 28.5 has a 102 mm last, etc.
You can heat-mold the Hawx Ultra XTD 130, and Atomic claims their “Memory Fit” molding process can get you around 6 mm of space in the forefoot. I haven’t yet heat-molded the Hawx Ultra XTD 130, but I will do so very soon. Here’s how it feels right out of the box:
The Hawx Ultra XTD 130’s 98 mm stated last is narrower than most boots that fit me well, and it feels like it. This is most noticeable around the toe box — the Hawx Ultra XTD 130’s toe box feels very low volume. As I noted above, my toes taper a lot, so I don’t usually get pain around my pinkie toes. And while I don’t have any pain there in the Hawx Ultra XTD 130, the area around my big toe does feel a bit cramped. My big toes are pretty messed up after spending hundreds of days in ski boots, and my second toes are about the same length as my big toes. In the Hawx Ultra XTD 130, the fit around my big toes and second toes feels quite tight, and a bit short. Compared to the Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro and Scarpa Maestrale RS & XT, the Hawx Ultra XTD 130 feels like it has the lowest-volume toe box.
In the midfoot area, the Hawx Ultra XTD 130 feels pretty true to its stated 98 mm last. It feels pretty tight on my wider midfoot, and narrower than both the Zero G Tour Pro and the Maestrale XT.
Like most boots, the Hawx Ultra XTD 130 leaves me with a bit of room over my low instep. While walking around in it, it doesn’t feel like it’ll be an issue, though the boot doesn’t feel as snug over my instep compared to the Salomon QST Pro 130.
Overall, the new Hawx Ultra XTD 130 feels extremely similar to the current one. And that should be expected, given that the shell hasn’t changed at all.
If anything, I think the new boot feels a bit more snug around my fairly low-volume ankle and heel, which I’d attribute to the more anatomical shape of the new boot’s liner. The other thing I’ve noticed is that the tongue of the old boot’s liner creates a bit of a pressure point on the outside of my ankle. I haven’t noticed this issue with the new boot’s liner, probably because its plastic reinforcement doesn’t extend as low as the current boot’s does.
Bottom Line (For Now)
The Hawx Ultra XTD 130 was already a very, very good boot. And the updates to the boot look like they should make it even better. We’ll be spending time A/B-ing the new boot against the current version this week, and will post a Flash Review ASAP. Stay tuned…