Boot: 2020-2021 Atomic Hawx Prime XTD 130 Tech
Stated Flex: 130
Available Sizes: 22–32.5
Stated Last (size 26.5): 100 mm (heat moldable)
Stated Range of Motion: 54°
Stated Forward Lean: 15° stock (can be adjusted to 13° and 17°)
Size Tested: 26.5
Stated Boot Sole Length: 305 mm
Blister’s Measured Weight (size 26.5):
- Shells, no Liners: 1242 & 1249 g
- Liners, no Footbeds: 408 & 410 g
- Shells + Liners = 1650 & 1659 g
Buckles: 4 micro-adjustable 6000-series aluminum
Powerstrap: 50 mm cam-style
- Cuff: Grilamid
- Shoe / Clog: Grilamid
Binding Compatibility: GripWalk-compatible bindings; tech / pin bindings
Tech Fittings: yes
A month ago we talked with Atomic’s product manager of ski boots, Matt Manser, about a ton of things, including the new Atomic Hawx Prime XTD boots. You should definitely check out that conversation and our other conversations with Matt Manser for some really detailed info on ski boots, but here we’re taking a closer look at the new Hawx Prime XTD 130.
We’ve been really impressed by Atomic’s Hawx Ultra XTD boots’ blend of uphill and downhill performance, with those boots receiving our “Best Of” award each year since they were first released back in the 17/18 season. But all of those boots had a fairly low-volume, 98mm-wide last, and even with Atomic’s excellent Memory Fit heat molding process, that left people with wider feet looking to higher-volume boots.
The 100mm-lasted Hawx Prime XTD series addresses that, offering the exact fit of Atomic’s Hawx Prime alpine boots in a lighter, touring-oriented package. As someone who cannot cram their feet into the Hawx Ultra XTD without some serious pain, I was extremely excited by this announcement, so let’s dive into the Hawx Prime XTD 130 and how its design stacks up to the competition.
2020-2021 Atomic Hawx Prime XTD Lineup
Atomic will be making 9 boots within the Hawx Prime XTD line. The versions with “Tech” in their name will come with GripWalk soles that have toe and heel fittings for use with tech / pin bindings, while the other boots will also come with GripWalk soles but do not have tech fittings.
It’s also worth noting that Atomic is offering their “men’s” Hawx Prime XTD boots in a really wide range of sizes, from 22.5 to 32.5, which we know will be appreciated by the many people on the upper and lower end of the size spectrum. The 20/21 men’s Hawx Ultra XTD boots will also be offered in sizes ranging from 22.5 to 29.5. Here’s a quick breakdown of the Hawx Prime XTD line:
Men’s (size 22.5–32.5)
- Hawx Prime XTD 130 Tech (Grilamid Shell; Grilamid Cuff)
- Hawx Prime XTD 120 Tech (True Flex PU Shell; PU Cuff)
- Hawx Prime XTD 120 (PU Shell; PU Cuff)
- Hawx Prime XTD 110 (PU Shell; PU Cuff)
- Hawx Prime XTD 100 (PU Shell; PU Cuff)
Women’s (size 22.5–27.5)
- Hawx Prime XTD 115 W Tech (Grilamid Shell; PU Cuff)
- Hawx Prime XTD 105 W (PU Shell; PU Cuff)
- Hawx Prime XTD 95 W Tech (PU Shell; PU Cuff)
- Hawx Prime XTD 95 W (PU Shell; PU Cuff)
As Matt Manser noted on our GEAR:30 podcast, Atomic reinforced the shell of the Hawx Prime XTD vs. the Hawx Ultra XTD boots to account for the higher-volume shape of the Prime boots. Matt said this was mostly done around the pivot point and most of the lower shell to avoid deformation while flexing the boot. To get an idea of this, he said to think of two PVC pipes that have equal wall thickness but are different in terms of diameter. The wider-diameter PVC pipe would be easier to bend / deform vs. the narrower-diameter pipe, and this idea is why Atomic used a slightly thicker shell material in the higher-volume Prime XTD boots.
As a result of this, the Hawx Prime XTD boots are coming in a bit heavier than the Hawx Ultra XTD boots (we have each in a size 26.5 and there’s a ~100-gram difference per boot). The Hawx Prime XTD 130 is still a pretty light boot, with our pair of a size 26.5 coming in around 1655 grams per boot. That’s heavier than boots like the Scarpa Maestrale RS & XT, Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro, and Fischer Ranger Free 130, but not as heavy as some of the “50/50” boots like the Nordica Strider 130, Lange XT3 130, Tecnica Cochise 130, Full Tilt Ascendant, and Dalbello Lupo Pro HD.
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
Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130, 19/20 (26.5): 1130 & 1132 + 276 & 282 = 1406 & 1414
Salomon MTN Explore (26.5): 1126 & 1135 + 281 & 281 = 1407 & 1416 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
Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130, 20/21 (26.5): 1147 & 1150 + 403 & 404 = 1550 & 1554
Fischer Ranger Free 130 (26.5): 1204 & 1204 + 348 & 351 = 1552 & 1555 g
Roxa R3 130 T.I. (27.5): 1319 & 1320 + 263 & 263 = 1582 & 1583 g
Atomic Hawx Prime XTD 130 (26.5): 1242 & 1249 + 408 & 410 = 1650 & 1659 g
Salomon QST Pro TR 130 (26.5): 1389 & 1391 + 273 & 274 = 1662 & 1665 g
K2 Mindbender 130 (26.5): 1428 & 1427 + 346 & 348 = 1774 & 1775 g
Lange XT3 130 LV (26.5): 1407 & 1410 + 368 & 368 = 1775 & 1778 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
Dalbello Lupo Pro HD w/o Tongues (26.5): 1589 & 1596 + 266 & 267 = 1855 & 1863 g
Full Tilt Ascendant (27.5): 1613 & 1615 & + 308 & 311 = 1921 & 1926 g
Tecnica Cochise 130 DYN (25.5): 1493 & 1496 + 440 & 441 = 1933 & 1937 g
Dalbello Lupo Pro HD w/ Tongues (26.5): 1747 & 1754 + 266 & 267 = 2013 & 2021 g
The Hawx Prime XTD 130 uses Grilamid in both the shell and cuff. As noted above, the other men’s Hawx Prime XTD boots use Polyurethane in the shell and cuff. All of the Hawx Prime XTD boots are fully heat moldable (both shell & liner).
Matt Manser spent a lot of time discussing Atomic’s new 20/21 “Mimic” liners on our GEAR:30 podcast and I highly recommend listening to him because he does a way better job of explaining the technology. Here, I’ll try to briefly summarize.
The Hawx Prime XTD 130 has Atomic’s new “Mimic Platinum with Flex Zone” liner. The women’s Hawx Prime XTD 115 W also gets the women’s version of the Mimic Platinum liner, while the rest of the Hawx Prime XTD boots do not feature the new Mimic liners.
Basically, the Mimic liners are designed to give you the good out-of-the-box fit of a regular, 3D-shaped stock liner but with added customization options usually only found in aftermarket foam liners like Intuition or foam-injected liners. The Mimic material is used in the ankle, heel, and tongue areas and, unlike most heat-moldable foams, the Mimic material can be re-heated, re-molded, and will re-harden many times without deteriorating or packing out. Matt says that people should be able to re-mold the Mimic liners around 4-6 times before the non-Mimic materials in the liner begin to pack out or deteriorate.
Mimic technology aside, the Hawx Prime XTD 130’s liner is very beefy compared to the much more minimal liners in boots like the Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro and 19/20 Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130, and a bit more substantial overall vs. the Intuition liners in the Scarpa Maestrale RS & Maestrale XT.
The liner in the Hawx Prime XTD 130 is nearly identical to the new Mimic liners in the Atomic Hawx Prime 130 and Hawx Ultra 130, but the XTD version features a small “flex zone” near the Achilles for less friction while skinning / walking.
The Hawx Prime XTD boots use the same “Free / Lock” walk mechanism as the Hawx Ultra XTD boots, which we’ve come to affectionately call the “prison shank” walk mechanism since the big, aluminum lever looks like it could do some serious damage in a pinch.
Apart from the silly nickname, we’ve become big fans of this walk mechanism since it’s proven very easy to use, we haven’t had any issues with it accidentally releasing into walk mode, it is not super prone to icing, it feels solid in ski mode, and its external placement makes it easy to service in the event of anything breaking.
Same as the Hawx Ultra XTD boots, the Hawx Prime XTD boots offer a reported 54° of range of motion when in walk mode, which is pretty large for this class of touring boots, but neither exceptionally large nor exceptionally small.
Adjustable Forward Lean
One update for the “Free / Lock 4.0” vs. the previous versions of the walk mechanism is the ability to adjust the forward lean without needing to purchase any “flip chips” from a dealer.
The 20/21 Hawx Prime XTD and Hawx Ultra XTD boots come standard with the 15° forward lean setting, but by loosening the Allen bolt and sliding the walk mechanism up or down, you can change that forward lean to 13° or 17°.
The Hawx Prime XTD boots use buckles that are basically identical to those on the 19/20 and 20/21 Hawx Ultra XTD boots. They’re all micro-adjustable and the two upper buckles have sliders on them that let the buckles open much wider than traditional buckles. As a result, you can leave the upper latches on the ladders but leave the buckles fully loosened and still get plenty of range of motion, which can make for quicker transitions and fewer buckles flapping around while you’re walking. I love this feature on the Hawx Ultra XTD boots, so I’m glad to see it on the Primes.
The Hawx Prime XTD 130 features a 50mm-wide power strap with a cam-style closure. The power strap itself is quite thin but it still does a good job of distributing pressure across the upper shell and liner. While the Hawx Prime XTD 130 gets a cam-style strap, the rest of the Hawx Prime XTD boots feature velcro power straps.
All of Atomic’s Hawx Prime XTD and Hawx Ultra XTD boots feature GripWalk soles. This means they’ll work in a wider range of bindings than boots with full-rubber touring soles like the Tecnica Zero G and Scarpa Maestrale, but it comes at the cost of some grip and overall performance while scrambling on rocks and other firm surfaces.
First and foremost — please go to a bootfitter to see what boot will work best for you. Fit is the most important thing with ski boots, and is where you’ll want to start. With that said, here’s how the Hawx Prime XTD 130 fits my feet.
For reference, I have pretty average-volume feet, 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 and an average to low arch. 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 and Nordica Strider 120). 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.
Overall, I got a very good fit out of the box with the Hawx Prime XTD 130. My ankle felt secure, I didn’t feel lots of pressure on my midfoot, and I didn’t feel like I had way too much room over my low instep. I.e., the Hawx Prime XTD 130 seemed to work well and didn’t instantly create the usual fit issues I get with most boots.
Since this fit felt good right away, I haven’t yet heat molded the Hawx Prime XTD 130, but I will be at some point since there are some areas that could fit better. Specifically, I am still getting a bit of pain in my midfoot while skiing in the boot for more than about one hour, and I’ve also been getting some blisters on the outside of my pinky toe and the inside of my heel while skinning in the boot. But given that I usually have way worse pain in most other boots, I’m very optimistic about how the Hawx Prime XTD will work for my feet after I find a place to heat mold it.
Compared to the Hawx Ultra XTD 130, the Hawx Prime XTD 130 feels notably roomier in the toe box, midfoot and instep. I can barely use the Hawx Ultra XTD without extreme pain in my midfoot and toes, and the Hawx Prime XTD is much more accomodating to my feet in those areas.
Compared to the Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro, the Hawx Prime XTD 130 feels a bit more spacious around my midfoot (less noticeable than with the Ultra XTD), but actually a bit more secure around the ankle pocket. We’ve put a lot of days in the Zero G so this may just be its liner packing out, but I have less heel lift / ankle movement while touring in the Hawx Prime XTD 130.
Compared to the Salomon S/Pro 130 (and the new Salomon Shift 130 boot, which shares the same last), the Hawx Prime XTD feels a bit higher-volume in the ankle and instep but roomier in the midfoot.
Overall, the fit of the Hawx Prime XTD doesn’t feel super far off from the Dalbello Lupo Pro HD, though the Lupo has more room over the instep and its ankle pocket feels a bit roomier as well. The midfoot area on these two boots feels similar to me; skiing them for a few hours leaves me with some pain in that area but it doesn’t feel drastically different between the two.
Bottom Line (For Now)
The Atomic Hawx Prime XTD boots bring everything many people love about their Hawx Ultra XTD boots and offer it to people with higher-volume feet. The Hawx Prime XTD 130 is not the lightest boot in this class, but it’s far from the heaviest and I’m very much looking forward to touring in it for as long as I can this season. Blister Members can check out our Flash Review of the Hawx Prime XTD 130 for our initial on-snow thoughts, then stay tuned for our full review.